New Strain of COVID-19 Found in US


Edith DeRosa-Purcell, Staff Writer

A new strain of COVID-19 has been found in the US, the mutation has been labeled as B117 or more commonly known as the U.K variant. This new strain was first documented in the U.K in early December, there are similarly mutated B117  strains found in South Africa and Nigeria. Researchers have stated that the B117 variant is up to 70% more transmissible than the unmutated strain, this is most likely due to how the virus enters the human cells. While it is more contagious it is still spread through airborne particles and respiratory droplets. This means that the best line of defense against the B117 strain is wearing a face mask and social distancing.  

Even though the B117 strain is more transmissible, it doesn’t cause a more serious disease progression- as well as there being no increased risk of death found in B117 strain compared to other COVID strains. The CDC’s new modeling shows that the B117 strain would account for more than half of the COVID-19 cases in the US by March. Yet the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the B117 strain.  

COVID-19 cases are being constantly monitored in the Capital District (and across the country).  New cases are still being reported each day so it is important to stay at home and wear a face mask when out in public or socializing with people who do not live in your home. As a community we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by following CDC social distancing guidelines.