The highly contagious variant of COVID-19, first detected in the United Kingdom, is now tearing across the United States. That is the conclusion of a new report led by members of the Scripps Research Institute. Their study finds this rapidly spreading version of coronavirus may become the dominant strain of the illness by the spring.
Dubbed B.1.1.7, researchers say the variant may already be moving through at least 30 states as of January 2021. Although previous studies have determined B.1.1.7 is no more deadly than other strains of COVID-19, its ability to spread exponentially is the major concern. According to the findings of this pre-print study — meaning they have not been peer-reviewed yet — cases of the U.K. strain are doubling roughly every 10 days.