Washington – The COVID-19 variant detected in the United Kingdom became the strain of the virus that circulates the most in the United States, where the mutations registered in Brazil and South Africa have also arrived, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed this Wednesday (CDC, in English).
“Our latest estimates indicate that variant B.1.1.7 is now the most common (virus) lineage circulating in the United States,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House news conference.
All states in the United States have already registered cases of the British strain, formally known as B.1.1.7, and the number of confirmed infections of that variant exceeds 16,275, according to the CDC.
Variant B.1.1.7 was first identified in the United States in December 2020. According to the CDC, this variant, originally detected in the United Kingdom, has approximately a 50% increase in COVID-19 infections. In addition, it has been detected that it produces a probable increase in hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus.
The United States also adds at least 386 infections of the variant detected in South Africa (B.1.351), present in 36 of the country’s states and territories; and 356 of that registered in Brazil (P.1), which is already in 25 of the regions, according to the same source.
Experts have also detected regional strains of the virus, including one in California and one in New York, although the CDC has so far not provided data on how many infections are related to those variants.
Florida is the state with the most confirmed cases of variant B.1.1.7, with at least 3,192, followed by Michigan (1,649), where COVID-19 hospitalizations have tripled in the last month, according to the CDC.
As for the variant first detected in the Brazilian Amazon, which is also much more contagious than the original strain, Florida also tops the list of infections with at least 84, followed by Massachusetts (82), Illinois (77) and California (3. 4).
South Carolina is the state with the most confirmed infections of the strain originally recorded in South Africa (75), followed by Maryland (44), Virginia (37), North Carolina (29) and Florida (25), data from the CDC.
Although the average daily deaths from COVID-19 in the United States is around 800, the lowest level since November; infections are increasing in several states of the country, something that the authorities attribute to pandemic fatigue and the spread of new variants of the virus.
The incidence of cases “is too high to think that we have won the race” against the virus, Walensky warned Wednesday.
The speed of vaccination, with an average of 3 million doses administered per day, has caused many to lower their guard in the country, but the health authorities ask to maintain mitigation measures, because the country is on the verge of a fourth wave of contagions.
More than 168 million Americans, a third of the nation’s population, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC.