British COVID-19 strain likely more widespread than known



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Dr Anthony Fauci said it was likely that the new, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 has already become more prevalent across the country than is currently known.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he would be “very surprised” if the new variant that has emerged in the UK has not already reached “several other states”.

“I think it’s pretty clear that if it’s in places like California, New York, and Colorado … that soon it will be in several other states,” Fauci told Newsweek on Tuesday.

The new variant – which has been confirmed in at least five states – is believed to be around 70% more contagious than the other strains.

“We take this very seriously. Because if you have greater transmissibility, you will get more cases, ”Fauci said.

“When you get more cases, you get more hospitalizations. And when you get more hospitalizations, you end up having more deaths. “

Yesterday, healthcare professionals transferred a patient from the ambulance to the Royal London Hospital.
Healthcare professionals transfer a patient from an ambulance to the Royal London Hospital yesterday.
Neil Hall / EPA

But Fauci said he didn’t believe the new strain was the driving factor behind more recent outbreaks of cases across the country.

“I don’t think the British mutation [variant] was responsible for the fairly large outbreak of cases in the United States, because the British variant is there, but it is not the dominant strain in the United States, “Fauci said.

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