Nearly 1,000 infection cases of coronavirus variants have been reported in a total of 44 U.S. states, according to the latest data of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The vast majority of these cases, 981, were caused by the variant known as B.1.1.7, which was originally detected in Britain, reports Xinhua.
There were 13 cases of a new strain initially discovered in South Africa, called B.1.351, and three cases of the P.1 strain first discovered in Brazil.
These are the three dominant coronavirus variants currently spreading in the United States, according to the CDC.
Numerous SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged over the last several months, attracting the attention of health and science experts worldwide.
The B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 concern scientists because of emerging data suggesting their increased transmissibility, according to an article published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Variants can carry several different mutations, but changes in the spike protein of the virus, used to enter cells and infect them, are especially concerning. Changes to this protein may cause a vaccine to be less effective against a particular variant, according to the study written by Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and other researchers.