CDC: New more infectious strain of the coronavirus likely to become dominant in the U.S. by March


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a new more infectious strain of SARS-CoV-2 will likely become the most dominant form of the virus in the U.S. by March. The strain, B.1.1.7, was first identified by health officials in the United Kingdom in December. The CDC said in a new report that enhanced genomic sequencing, in addition to vaccination and standard mitigation practices like mask-wearing and social distancing, will be needed to stem the spread of the new strain. President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he plans to boost funding for a national genomic sequencing surveillance system, given that the U.S. is trailing other developing countries using this technology in their pandemic responses. “CDC’s modeling data show that universal use of and increased compliance with mitigation measures and vaccination are crucial to reduce the number of new cases and deaths substantially in the coming months,” the agency said. It also said the U.S. should conduct “strategic testing” of people without symptoms but who are at high-risk for contracting the virus. More than 70 people in 12 states are confirmed to have been infected with the new strain, as of Jan. 13,according to the CDC.


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