UK COVID-19 variant to become dominant in US by March, CDC warns

The fast-spreading coronavirus variant first identified in the U.K. will become the dominant strain in the U.S. within two months, the CDC predicted Jan. 15.

Modeling data indicate that the strain known as B.1.1.7, which U.K. researchers believe is about 50 percent more transmissible than the common strain, will account for a majority of cases in the U.S. by March.

Though the variant isn't known to cause more severe illness or be more deadly, more infections would mean a higher death toll overall, as the CDC explained in an informational graphic reading, "More spread — more cases — more deaths."

The increased transmissibility of the U.K. variant warrants universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, such as social distancing and masking, according to the CDC. Higher vaccination coverage might need to be achieved to protect the public, the agency concluded.

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