The new COVID-19 variant is likely already in the United States

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After a mutated COVID-19 variant was discovered in the United Kingdom, more than 40 countries banned flights coming from the island nation in northwestern Europe on Sunday. Despite the travel bans, the new coronavirus strain has probably traveled the world. It’s likely that it already reached the borders of the United States.

On Monday, Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner (FDA) Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC:  “I think this is already in the U.S. I don’t think a travel ban at this point is going to prevent this mutated strain from coming into the United States,”. According to Public Health England (PHE), the new COVID-19 variant originated in southeast England in September.

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) also suggested that it’s possible that the new COVID-19 strain is already in the U.S., according to multiple reports.

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Meanwhile, the University College London suggested that the mutated strain has higher chances of infecting children. Neil Ferguson an epidemiologist in the U.K. told the Daily Mail, “We haven’t established any sort of causality on that, but we can see it in the data.” 

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that the new COVID-19 strain has been found in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the reason behind the fast spread of the new COVID-19 variant is that it is 70% more transmissible.

Nevertheless, the CDC published a scientific brief stating that “ there is no evidence that the new variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.”

The agency also stated that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are already being tested for efficacy on the new COVID-19 variant. More data will be published regarding the matter.

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