Study finds coronavirus variant discovered in Britain spreading fast in U.S.: media
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A new study finds that the more contagious coronavirus variant first detected in Britain is spreading rapidly across the United States, U.S. media said.
Though the variant is "currently at a relatively low frequency" in the country, the study suggests that it is "doubling every week and a half, similar to what was observed in other countries," said a CNN report on Sunday.
Many U.S. cases of the virus variant did not report recent international travel, suggesting "significant community transmission of the B.1.1.7 variant is already ongoing across the U.S.," it said, citing the study.
The study also estimates that the variant is 35-45 percent more transmissible than strains that appeared earlier in the country, it added.
The study yet to be peer-reviewed was posted Sunday on MedRxiv, a preprint server for health sciences, and was co-authored by researchers from U.S. population genomics company Helix and several institutions.
James Lu, president and co-founder of Helix, was interviewed by CNN last week, and cited in the report as saying that it remains unclear whether the pace of vaccination in the country will prevent the strain from "gaining a foothold in places where it's not already circulating."
According to data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 690 infection cases of the virus variant have been reported in 33 states as of Sunday, accounting for a vast majority of all U.S. COVID-19 cases caused by variants. Enditem