Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 Lineage

January 22, 2021

Summer E. Galloway; Prabasaj Paul; Duncan R. MacCannell; Michael A. Johansson; John T. Brooks; Adam MacNeil; Rachel B. Slayton; Suxiang Tong; Benjamin J. Silk; Gregory L. Armstrong; Matthew Biggerstaff; Vivien G. Dugan.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A more transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.7, has been detected in 12 US states. Studies and simulations were conducted based on the experience of the UK cases, data from Models indicate that B.1.1.7 has the potential to increase the trajectory of the pandemic in the US, they specify that no evidence has been found that it has a higher mortality than the first variants, however, the worrying thing is that if it has a higher index transmission, so it could reach more people and thereby increase the number of cases that will require hospitalization in a health system which is already collapsed due to the pandemic situation. In the coming months, the CDC will increase the availability of timely genomic surveillance data in the US for closer epidemiological surveillance of cases and variants that may emerge. The increased transmissibility of variant B.1.1.7 justifies a greater adherence to mitigation strategies, including distancing and the use of a mask. Greater vaccination coverage may be necessary to protect the public.

Reference: Galloway SE, Paul P, MacCannell DR, et al. Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 Lineage — United States, December 29, 2020–January 12, 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:95–99. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7003e2external icon

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