CDC says new Covid strain in UK could already be circulating undetected in U.S.

Medical workers member Christina Mathers attends to a affected person, who’s unconscious, as she holds the affected person’s hand in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) on the United Memorial Medical Center on December 21, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

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The new coronavirus strain that was first detected in the United Kingdom could already be circulating in the United States with out discover, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentioned Tuesday.

While the variant hasn’t but been discovered in the U.S. but, the CDC famous that scientists have not sequenced the genetic coding for a lot of Covid-19 infections right here. The CDC mentioned “viruses have only been sequenced from about 51,000 of the 17 million US cases,” so the new strain could have slipped discover.

“Ongoing travel between the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the high prevalence of this variant among current UK infections, increase the likelihood of importation,” CDC mentioned in a press release. “Given the small fraction of US infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without having been detected.”

The new variant is at present being known as “SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01,” CDC mentioned. It turned prevalent throughout southeast England in November and reportedly accounts for 60% of latest infections in London, the company mentioned. CDC mentioned it does not know why the new strain of the virus emerged, nevertheless it could have been “by chance alone.”

“Alternatively, it may be emerging because it is better fit to spread in humans,” CDC mentioned. “This rapid change from being a rare strain to becoming a common strain has concerned scientists in the UK, who are urgently evaluating the characteristics of the variant strain and of the illness that it causes.”

The new coronavirus “mutates regularly,” CDC famous, however the overwhelming majority of mutations are insignificant. The significance of the new variant discovered first in the U.Ok. has but to be decided, however CDC famous that based mostly on early knowledge from the U.Ok., the new strain could “potentially be more rapidly transmissible than other circulating strains.”

This is breaking information. Check again right here for updates.

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