The highly contagious variant first identified in the U.K. is now the most common Covid strain circulating in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
The variant, known as B.1.1.7, is “now the most common lineage circulating in the United States.” CDC Director Dr. Rachelle Walensky said during a White House briefing. “Testing remains an important strategy to rapidly identify and isolate infectious individuals, including those with variants of concern,” Walensky said.
The U.K. identified B.1.1.7, which appears to be more deadly and spread more easily than other strains, last fall. It has since spread to other parts of the globe, including the United States, which has identified 16,275 cases across 52 jurisdictions as of Tuesday, according to the CDC.