Metro Public Health confirms first case of 'Kraken' COVID-19 variant in Nashville

Posted at 6:12 AM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 07:44:36-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new variant of COVID-19 is now in Nashville, but luckily doctors said its new name, Kraken — like the terrifying sea monster — makes it seem scarier than it really is. Health officials said they actually aren't seeing it causing more severe illness than other variants.

The Metro Public Health Department said it is not a surprise the Kraken is here in Nashville since it has become prominent nationwide. The first confirmed case in the city was earlier this month.

CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said the variant is more transmissible and studies have found it is more "immune-evasive" than other variants.

If you are vaccinated and received an updated bivalent booster health officials said you should be protected from severe disease.

Dr. Wen said there is no need for extra alarm with this variant, but it does not hurt if people want to be extra cautious like wearing masks in public again and testing before socializing.

She said the Kraken will not be the last variant, this is part of our "new normal."