UK coronavirus variant spreading ‘rapidly’ through US, study finds

uk variant

The coronavirus variant that has moved through the UK is now spreading “rapidly” through the US, according to a new study published on Sunday. The more contagious strain is nearly doubling its prevalence among confirmed cases in the US every nine days. The spread of the variant, known as B.1.1.7, has put added pressure on vaccination efforts worldwide.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has predicted it could be the predominant strain by March. The report, posted on the preprint server MedRxiv, is a collaboration of several researchers and scientists. It has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a journal. Case numbers of the new variant are still somewhat small in the US. According to the CDC, Florida leads the country in reported cases of B.1.1.7 with 187 as of Thursday, followed by California with 145. “Our study shows that the US is on a similar trajectory as other countries where B.1.1.7 rapidly became the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant, requiring immediate and decisive action to minimize Covid-19 morbidity and mortality,” the report’s authors wrote. This new strain is 35-45% more transmissible than other strains of the virus currently in the US, the report found.(BBC)…[+]