U.K. coronavirus variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S.

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The U.K. variant of the coronavirus, known as B.1.1.7, is now the most dominant strain circulating in the United States, health officials said.
The U.K. variant of the coronavirus is now the most dominant strain circulating in the United States, health officials said Wednesday.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news briefing that the prevalence of "variants of concern" is increasing and that the U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, has taken hold across the country.

"Based on our most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the B.1.1.7 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the United States," Walensky said.

The spread of the U.K. variant, which scientists have found to be more contagious, adds to growing concerns that the country may be on the cusp of another surge. Both case numbers and hospitalizations are increasing, even as the U.S. is vaccinating an average of nearly 3 million people each day.

Walensky reported that some of the recent clusters of cases have been linked to day care centers and youth sports, adding that the uptick in infections seem to be driven by young people.

"Hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults — those in their 30s and 40s — admitted with severe…
Denise Chow
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