A more contagious coronavirus variant is spreading across the US. Can vaccines stop it?

A new, more contagious and potentially more deadly variant of the coronavirus is spreading across the US, and health officials are worried.

The B.1.1.7 variant, first spotted in the UK, is not only more easily transmitted, but it also appears to be more deadly. Dr. Anthony Fauci warned about it Friday in a White House coronavirus update.
It was first spotted in Colorado at the end of December, said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden.
    “Since then it has been detected in 50 jurisdictions in the United States, and likely accounts now for about 20 to 30% of the infections in this country. And that number is growing,” Fauci said.
      “Of concern is that there are about 50% increase in transmission with this particular variant that has been documented in the UK and there’s likely an increase in severity of disease if infected with this variant,” he said.
      Fauci pointed to one study showing a 64% increased risk of death for people infected with B.1.1.7 compared to those infected with the older, so-called wild-type variant. He showed a second study that indicated a 61% higher risk of death with B.1.1.7.

       

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