UK Variant Emerges as 'Dominant COVID-19 Strain in the US - CDC

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  • The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed Wednesday that the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first detected in the UK is now the dominant strain of the virus in the country
  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the statement during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing Wednesday, adding that testing remains an important strategy to rapidly identify and isolate infected persons, particularly those with variants of concern
  • The strain, known as B.1.1.7, has contributed to rising US cases in recent weeks as it had been shown to be more contagious among younger persons
  • According to the CDC, more than 16,000 cases of the variant had been detected across the US as of Tuesday, with Florida reporting the highest case count of the new strain
  • As of Wednesday, the U.S. had confirmed nearly 30.9 million total coronavirus cases and more than 557,000 deaths nationwide