British coronavirus variant spreading 'rapidly' in US
A coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom is now spreading "rapidly" through the United States, according to a new study.
According to reports, the study showed that the more contagious strain from the UK is nearly doubling in the US every nine days.
The UK strain of the coronavirus is 35-45% more transmissible than other strains of the virus currently in the US, the report found.
Some studies suggest that UK coronavirus strain is not only more transmissible, but also more deadly compared to other variants from Brazil, South Africa and Denmark causing the COVID-19 disease.
There has been uncertain data suggesting that the UK strain may be associated with a 30% higher risk of mortality.
The study called for "immediate and decisive action to minimize COVID-19 morbidity and mortality."
The study, which was carried out by several researchers and scientists, was posted on the preprint server MedRxiv on Sunday,
In related news, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has predicted UK variant could be the predominant strain in the country by March.
The CDC report called for more preparatory measures and vaccinations.
Current vaccines being used in the US, which were made from earlier variants of the coronavirus, are expected to protect those who are vaccinated against the various strains of the virus.
Till now, the US has had the highest number of coronavirus cases among countries of the world.
Currently, there are more than 27 million cases in the US and the highest global death toll at 465,083, or about a fifth of the global total.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus infections rose to above 106.5 million on Tuesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The global death toll rose above 2.32 million.
In the meantime, international scientists studying the origins of the coronvirus pandemic said that it is improbable that the virus reported in Wuhan, China originated in a lab in the Chinese city.
An international team of researchers for the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday that it was "extremely unlikely" the novel coronavirus came from a laboratory incident in China.
Investigators believe the most likely cause of the initial outbreak was the virus jumping from an "intermediary host species" to humans.
Evidence so far suggests the novel coronavirus may have jumped from animals to humans, but the team told a news conference it is not yet sure exactly which animals it came from or where this occurred.