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British Covid variant dominates two-thirds of the U.S. population

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On March 27, people gather on a beach near Miami South Beach.

Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

The B.1.1.7 version of the coronavirus is now a predominant strain in regions containing two-thirds of the U.S. population, one of President Joe Biden’s top Covid advisors said it could spread more easily and lead to more serious Covid-19. Said. symptoms.

B.1.1.7, first discovered in the UK, is the predominant variant in 5 out of 10 areas where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the U.S. population. The CDC confirmed Friday that the region covers most of the eastern coast from South New York to Florida, as well as the Midwest and most of the sun belt. About 220 million people, or two-thirds of the U.S. population, live in these five areas.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said it has become the largest strain in five regions as of March 31, accounting for 4 to 35 percent of cases, depending on the region. At the time, she did not identify the region, but said that this strain made up about 26% of cases nationwide.

“In the report we’re seeing, it could be a little more serious, but it could certainly be more communicated,” said Anthony Fausch, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a press briefing on Friday.

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Several strains of the virus are spreading in the United States, and health officials say more research is needed to see how the virus is different and how contagious or dangerous compared to the original version of the virus. Being the best variant doesn’t mean it has overtaken the original version of the virus, but it could be because of its strengths in spreading.

B.1.1.7 is now the dominant variant in regions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, the CDC said in a statement on Friday. It is a dense area around New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas, covering a total of 26 states.

“We’re looking at this very carefully,” Walensky said on Wednesday, but it’s starting to become the dominant variant in many US regions.

Biden welcomed the pace of vaccination, warning that cases and hospitalizations in the United States will continue to increase. The United States currently has 3 million vaccinations per day. According to the CDC, so far, about 58 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated, and nearly 120 million people have received at least one vaccine.

However, due to the increase in incidents, Walensky warned earlier this week of “imminent doom” without a change of trajectory.

“There are 64,000 new Covid cases today and the number continues to grow,” she said in a press briefing on Friday. “I keep worrying about the fact that 80% of the population has not been vaccinated and there is a lot to do to control this epidemic.”

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