CDC warns more infectious Covid-19 variant could dominate US by March

CDC warns more infectious Covid-19 variant could dominate US by March

Health officials urge more precautions to curb spread as Biden lays out plans for vaccine push

The new coronavirus variant first discovered in the UK could become the predominant strain in the US by March, according to a new model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC warned on Friday the B.1.1.7 variant was likely to spread rapidly across the US in the coming months. So far, 76 cases were identified in 10 US states, but scientists warn the actual number of B.1.1.7 cases is likely to be higher, as the US lags behind many other countries with its genomic sequencing to identify the variants.

The CDC is now trying to expand sequencing to track the variant and other possible mutations.

According to the CDC model, the new strain is likely to overtake other variants of the disease and dominate by March — though the trajectory of cases will depend on the pace of vaccinations and what other mitigation measures people follow, such as wearing masks.