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US: New virus variant may become 'predominant' by March

Currently 76 cases of UK variant of coronavirus have been detected in 10 US states, says CDC report

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 16.01.2021
US: New virus variant may become 'predominant' by March

ANKARA

The UK variant of the COVID-19 could become the "predominant" strain in the US by March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday. 

"The modeled trajectory of this variant in the U.S. exhibits rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the predominant variant in March," the CDC said in a report.

As of Wednesday, 76 cases of the new variant have been detected in 10 states of the country, the agency's data showed. The new variant, called B.1.1.7, showed the presence in over 30 countries.

The report came as the US continues to be the worst-hit country by the virus with over 23.4 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the country as well as nearly 391,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, more than 51.5 million people have recovered from the disease.

There is no evidence that shows the new variant first seen in the UK on Dec. 14 might make people sicker yet, however, it spread faster.

"Currently, there is no known difference in clinical outcomes associated with the described SARS-CoV-2 variants; however, a higher rate of transmission will lead to more cases, increasing the number of persons overall who need clinical care, exacerbating the burden on an already strained health care system, and resulting in more deaths," the CDC said.

The agency said that increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking, and higher vaccination coverage will be needed to protect the public against the increased transmissibility of the pandemic.

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