Highly Contagious UK COVID-19 Variant May Become Dominant Strain by March
B.1.1.7, or otherwise known as VOC 202012/01, may lead to a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States and may become the dominant strain of the virus in the coming months.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), B.1.1.7, or otherwise known as VOC 202012/01, which was discovered in the United Kingdom back in December may lead to a large increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the US and may become the dominant strain of the virus in the coming months, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released last week.
“The increased transmissibility of this variant requires an even more rigorous combined implementation of vaccination and mitigation measures (e.g., distancing, masking, and hand hygiene) to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” the CDC wrote in its report. “These measures will be more effective if they are instituted sooner rather than later to slow the initial spread of the B.1.1.7 variant.”
The B.1.1.7 variant has been spreading across the globe, but has been limited in the United States, thus far. The variant has been reported in 76 cases and discovered in 10 states. However, it is believed that the number of cases is actually much higher. Investigators have said B.1.1.7 is more contagious than the original virus, but no determination has been made that this variant can lead to severe cases and higher mortality. The CDC said the UK variant is spreading faster than other variants and points to B.1.1.7 potentially becoming the dominant virus in just a matter of weeks. The agency pointed to projections in its modeling data.