CDC Says New Coronavirus Strain may Already Be in the US
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- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that the new coronavirus strain first detected in the United Kingdom may already be circulating in the United States
- Although the variant is yet to be detected, the CDC noted that US scientists have not sequenced the genetic coding for many COVID-19 infections, so the new strain could have slipped detection
- The new variant, currently called SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01, is driving new outbreaks in England and reportedly accounts for 60% of recent cases in London
- The CDC notes that based on early data from the UK, the new strain may be more rapidly transmissible than other circulating variants
- The agency further said that the mutations could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the monoclonal antibodies used in treating the virus
- There are also concerns that the mutation could cause the variant to evade vaccine-induced immunity