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US Response Is Key to Tamping Down SARS-CoV-2 Variants

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Two more contagious strains of the novel coronavirus have been identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, but the United States has a chance to reduce their transmission here. While the strains (B117 from the UK, and 501Y.V2 or B1351 from South Africa) are more contagious, they do not cause more severe illness. The UK variant has been found so far in California, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Georgia. The South African strain has not yet emerged in the US thus far.

In order to contain the spread of such fast-moving strains, public health officials recommend expanding testing and genomic sequencing to geographically note where the strains are spreading from and supporting contract tracing and quarantining efforts to limit transmission. The traditional methods of reducing the spread of COVID-19—including mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing—remain vital. Click here to read more.

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