More Contagious Virus Variant Is Now Dominant in U.S., C.D.C. Chief Says

WASHINGTON – A highly contagious version of the first identified coronavirus in the UK has become the most common source of new infections in the United States, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Anxious development comes as a possible warning to officials and scientists Fourth boom Of infection.

Federal health officials said In January B.1.1.7 version, Which started Growing up in the uk in December And Europe has since been slammed, becoming a major source of coronavirus infection in the United States, leading to a huge increase in cases and deaths.

At the time, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths were at an all-time high. From that peak, all numbers declined by the end of February, According to a New York Times database. After several weeks on a plateau, new cases and hospitals are rising again. By Tuesday, the average number of new cases in the country has exceeded 62,000. Michigan is concentrated in most metro areas Also in the New York City area. Is the growth of 19 percent Compared to two weeks ago.

Dr. Rochelle Wallenski, CDC director, who warned last week that she felt “a recurring feeling”.impending doom, ”Said on Wednesday that 52 of the agency’s 64 courts – including states, some major cities and regions – are reporting These so-called “types of anxiety” cases Including B.1.1.7.

However, the number of deaths continues to decline – potentially a sign that mass vaccinations are beginning to protect older Americans and other highly vulnerable populations.

“These trends are pointing to two obvious truths,” Dr. Said Valensky. “One, the virus is still on us, infecting people and putting them in harm’s way, and we need to be vigilant. And two, we need to take personal responsibility to accelerate our vaccination efforts and to get vaccinated when we can. “

B.1.1.7 is the first version to gain widespread attention 60 percent more contagious And 67 percent more Deadly Originally of coronovirus, according to the most recent estimates. The CDC also monitors the spread of other variants, such as B.1.351, first found in South Africa, and P1, first identified in Brazil.

The percentage of cases caused by variants is clearly increasing. Lab testing company Helix has tracked a sustained growth of B.1.7 since the beginning of the year. As of April 3, it an estimate The variant made up 58.9 percent of all new tests.

This version has been found to be most prevalent in Michigan, Florida, Colorado, California, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, According to cdc Until recently, Increase of version The fall was somewhat deflated by falling infection rates, which led some political leaders to relax restrictions on indoor food, social discrimination, and other measures.

As matters fell, resting Americans went back to school and work, Against warnings Of some scientists.

Federal health officials are tracking reports of cases involving day care centers and youth sports, and hospitals are looking at more young adults in their 30s and 40s who are admitted with “critical illness”, Dr. . Said Valensky.

Due to the increasing frequency of B.1.1.7, it is difficult for scientists to say how much of the current pattern of infection.

Dr. a virologist at the University of Michigan. Adam Loring said, “It’s messed up by resumes and behavior changes.”

But he said that people were becoming less cautious at a time when they should raise their guards more contagiously. “It’s worrying,” he said.

At the same time, the United States is currently Vaccinating an average of three million people a day, And states have run to make all adults eligible. The CDC reported on Tuesday that about 108.3 million people had received at least one dose of the Kovid-19 vaccine, including about 63 million who have been fully vaccinated. The states of New Mexico, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Alaska are headed, with about 25 percent of their total population fully immunized.

Scientists expect vaccination to blunt any possible fourth surge.

on Tuesday, President Biden advances his vaccination schedule Within two weeks, by April 19, every American is calling on states to qualify. In almost all states Initially hoping to meet or beat this goal, they initially asked that they do so by 1 May.

The B.1.1.7 version first arrived in the United States last year. In February, a study that analyzed half a million coronavirus tests and Hundreds of genomes It was predicted that this version could become a staple in the country in a month. At the time, the CDC was struggling Index new variants, Making them difficult to track.

But those efforts have improved a lot in recent weeks and will continue to grow in large part due to $ 1.75 billion Funding for genomic sequencing in stimulus package Mr Biden signed into law last month. In contrast, the UK, which has a more centralized health care system, launched a highly promoted sequencing program last year that allowed it to track the spread of type B.1.1.7.

“We knew this was going to happen: This version is a lot more contagious, a lot more contagious than the parental strain, and obviously has implications,” Dr. Said Carlos Del Rio, a professor and an infectious disease specialist for Emory. University. In addition to spreading more efficiently, he said, B.1.1.7 stress causes more serious illness, “which will double you.”

Perhaps even more disturbing is the emergence of the masculine P.1 version in North America. First identified in Brazil, it became the dominant version of the country that helped it run To hospital breaking point. In Canada, P.1 version Emerged as a cluster in Ontario, Then close Whistler Ski Resort in British Columbia. National Hockey League on Wednesday Vancouver Canucks said at least 21 players And four staff members were infected with the coronavirus.

“It is a reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and can have serious effects even among healthy, young athletes,” team doctor Jim Boward said in a statement.

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