🚨New CDC warning: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March.
Why it matters: The variant is estimated to be 30% to 50% more transmissible than other forms of the virus, threatening efforts to push the U.S. past its record high case count.
- The variant is in 12 states, but has been diagnosed in only 76 of the 23 million U.S. cases reported to date, the AP reports.
- It’s likely that the variant is more widespread than currently reported.
The big picture: Americans are exhausted and burned out, and COVID wariness is slipping.
- So far, the variants do not appear to be resistant to the existing vaccines or cause more severe disease.
- But the health care system is on the brink in places like Southern California.
- Another spike in cases could lead us to a very dark place.
The bottom line: There’s no evidence that this variant is transmitted differently, so keep up the masks and social distancing.
Go deeper … The coronavirus variants: What you need to know.