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A new, more transmissible variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 could sweep the United States in coming weeks and become the dominant strain as soon as March, leading to a new surge of cases through the spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday.

The CDC believes the variant, known as B117, is still circulating at low levels in the U.S. Only 76 infections caused by the new variant have been detected, in 12 states, though testing for it has not been routinely conducted. CDC officials acknowledge the variant is likely more widespread here than is currently recognized.

Modeling work done by CDC scientists suggests that unless the pace of vaccination of the population increases dramatically and people adhere stringently to Covid-19 control measures, the new variant will spread rapidly. The work was reported Friday in the CDC’s online journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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“We’re concerned,” Jay Butler, CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, told STAT. “We want to sound the alarm and urge people to continue to do the things that we know work.”

The B117 variant, first reported in the United Kingdom, transmits more easily from person to person; it is thought that people infected with it develop higher levels of virus in their upper respiratory tracts. Some studies suggest the variant is about 50% more transmissible than existing iterations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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To date, there isn’t evidence to show the variant triggers more severe disease, but that’s of little reassurance, given the speed at which it spreads. Hospitals in many parts of the country are already at or near capacity. A tsunami of new cases could lead to a sharp decline in the quality of care for all. And even if the death rate stays stable, an increase in cases will fuel the already enormous death toll in this country.

As of Friday, roughly 390,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the country. That death toll has risen dramatically in recent weeks, with 45,000 deaths occurring since the beginning of January.

Butler said there is no evidence the current surge of cases in many parts of the country is due to the new variant.

The modeling effort estimated that without the new variant and with an effective rollout of vaccine, the rate of new cases in the country should have started to decline in February and March. But the vaccine rollout is not going smoothly, vaccine supplies are limited and will remain so for weeks, and now, there is a new variant to contend with.

“Efforts to prepare the health care system for further surges in cases are warranted,” the authors of the article cautioned.

Additional variants that appear to be more transmissible have been reported from South Africa and from Brazil. To date, there is no evidence they are spreading in the United States yet, the article noted.

  • JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEMS TODAY .
    No vaccines can solve it
    The LORD said we should repent and live a life that is pleasing to him than we will be save. Else more and more to come.

    • Really. This is the same god that killed thousands ofpeople in the Old Testament with horrible plagues , famine and locusts. You think this god has changed?

    • Is this how you treat your children that you love when they disobey you. Do you make them suffer and watch babies and parents die a horrible death so they will listen to you. What a father
      This god is. Sounds like a sadistic being taking joy in our suffering not a loving father

    • @ Mark

      Your comment is very misleading. The problems you are talking about is beyond the scope of this vaccine.

      You pray but you also have to use your wisdom and do your part. You don’t just pray and believe everything will be solve. Parable of the talents ?

      Comments like your will turn people away from religion.

      @Don, it seems your interpretation of the Bible is very literal. the Bible is written by human.

    • Listen here you stupid fool you want to know the truth of our fate as beings ask me this virus even with a vaccine there will be more death if you think your god that doesn’t exist and you can ask me cause I’ve been beyond your small minded notion of the universe and back many times seen future past and present and can tell you god doesn’t exist science and viruses do but pray to that nonexistent god and know this the world is going to end not because of the virus but because people like you who use religion as a scare tactic to suppress and control the masses just like your fore fathers and many before them humans think they know what’s best for everyone when the truth is science and technology will save us from ourselves not religion fact and truth not some children’s book some old guys wrote and then thousands of years later use as a control mechanism for the less well off and those easy to control remember this young one wisdom comes to those who let go of greed and materialistic ideals let go of your faith and your pride just exist not for praise of power exist to show the world your potential FYI angels are real but they aren’t from heaven they exist in a reality just next to ours and on occasion a temporal anomaly let’s them cross into this one same for monsters demons and many more things that would both confuse and scare you the lares of reality on top of reality would blow your tiny human mind FYI I’m a cast out angel no not the devil he isn’t real but I am no more human then you but I have knowledge and power far beyond that of anything you could comprehend sadly none of it is at my disposal in this form but it’s easy to live amongst you if you want to know more please ask but I won’t reveal anything I know here and I can’t tell you anything about anyone’s future only the worlds no single individual creature and life and if I told you it wouldn’t happen most likely it would get worse or something else would change sorry to leave this large comment but since it won’t matter for my predictions always come true in some form or way and would you want to chance the fate of the world just to know the truth

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  • Why worry about UK variant when the antibodies are effective against the UK variant.

    I would worry more about the South Africa variant and the unmonitored and therefore undetected local variant we have already created due to CDC incompetence in monitoring changes in genome of the covid19 virus.

    • Why worry??? When it is more easily transmissible, means more people will get it quickly, resulting in only more death. I am not sure how this easily transmissible disease could result in better outcomes and there is nothing to worry Anno!

    • @Johnny B Good

      If you can protect yourself properly with N95 masking and eye protection, and other steps, you should not have to worry much. It means you need fewer virus to mean infected because it bind tighter and enter the cell faster. But if you are well protected, there should be no difference between UK and the previous variance since both vaccine and antibodies is effective against it. Therefore protect yourself properly and get the vaccine once you can get it.

      But the same story is not true for South Africa variant. The antibodies from previous infections is not effective against one of its mutation and the vaccine is not sure to work.

      Therefore article panicking about UK variant and ignoring the South Africa and other detected variant is misleading and ignorant.

  • Imperfect vaccines may be the root cause for the emergence of these more aggressive strains. This is similar to how wrong antibiotics lead to increased antibiotic resistance. A Nature paper from 2001 predicted just that: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11742400/ The details could not be more telling: South Africa and Brazil were the testing grounds for Sinovac and AstraZeneca. These Made in China vaccines have ~50% efficacy at best and are hitting precisely the vulnerable spot, where viruses with higher binding affinity are selected. This way, China again, closing the circle, from the spread of the vaccine, to the emergence of virulent strains, that may undermine all the work, money, lockdowns, and suffering of 2020.

    • For people that are so concerned about getting their vaccines now they are most likely going to need another set to even begin to ward off the variants. Follow the money trail and it all makes sense. Sadly the people that suffer most from this negligence are the people that need the most mercy. This is why I stay focused on nutrition and naturally less invasive healing. At the very least I trust myself more than most physicians that have already shown excessively flawed judgement on several occasions. Imagine the trauma caused from multiple vaccines as variants form.

  • There is hope with ivermectin is something very good is been use in many countries and it works why not use it here is to save lives

    • You are correct, Pavis, Ivermectin can be highly effective if taken in the early stages of the disease. However, it is a cheap drug and, therefore, does not meet the high profitability requirements of Big Pharma. It will never be made available while $$$$ come pouring in from the vaccines.

    • What?? I looked up ivermectin & it’s used for parasites like lice or worms. Also rosacea. What does that have to do with coronavirus?

    • Hey Pavis and Martin Hill,
      I am presuming both of you have done trials of this drug Ivermectin on humans (maybe yourselves) for coronavirus to arrive at this conclusion. Where do people like this come from, make a statement and don’t back it with facts. Conspiracy theorists! America, so called the richest country in the world but can just watch and see the highest number of people die from this disease.

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