A new and more infectious strain of coronavirus that was first found in the United Kingdom will likely become the dominant strain in the United States by March, health officials said.
The U.K. variant is in 12 states but it has been diagnosed in only 76 of the 23 million U.S. cases reported to date. However, the virus variant is likely more widespread in the United States, according to scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While it’s considered more infectious than the virus that’s been causing the bulk of U.S. cases so far, there’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or is transmitted differently. Therefore, mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing and other prevention strategies can still work, according to the CDC.