COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK now the most common strain in the US

The CDC reported 16,275 cases of the B.1.17 variant in the United States

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This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. According to research released in 2021, evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect against getting infected again with some of the new variants. People also can get second infections with earlier versions of the coronavirus if they mounted a weak defense the first time. (Hannah A. Bullock, Azaibi Tamin/CDC via AP)

The COVID-19 variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom is now the most dominant variant in the United States. 

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According to CNN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the announcement on Wednesday during the White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing. 

“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,” she said. 

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The variant was identified in the United States in December. 

There are other variants of COVID-19 circulating in the country, including B.1.351 initially detected in South Africa, P.1, detected in the United States in a traveler from Brazil and B.1.427 and B.1.429, which were identified in California in February. 

According to the CDC, mutations occur in the genetic code of a virus naturally. 

The organization reported 16,275 cases of the B.1.17 variant in the United States. 

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Florida, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts have seen more than 750 cases of this genetic mutation.