Could ‘worrisome’ new COVID-19 variants undermine progress?

And, with flu cases at an all-time low, will we avoid a ‘twindemic’?

As the state waits for more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to get in the pipeline, new threats of a surge in cases of the disease loom due to the emergence of worrisome variants.

More than 50 cases of a variant first detected in the U.K. have been found here, according to the state Department of Health. And state leaders assume a troublesome new variant detected in New York is already circulating in New Jersey.

One small bright spot, even as the new risk heightens, is that flu cases are at an all-time low. Weekly data from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection shows just 30 new cases of influenza were detected last week across the country at peak flu season.

Does this mean we have avoided the dreaded possibility of a “twindemic”? And how tough will it be to fend off dangerous new variants of COVID-19? Anchor Briana Vannozzi asked Rutgers University professor of medicine and infectious disease Dr. Martin Blaser.

WATCH: Tests found rare COVID-19 mutation in New Jersey

MORE: Family doctors — untapped resources in NJ’s battle against COVID-19

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