The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) stated that the new COVID-19 strain detected in the UK could already be in the US. While no cases involving the new strain have been reported in yet, the CDC pointed out that “viruses have only been sequenced from about 51,000 of the 17 million US cases.” The low number of COVID-19 virus analyses compared to the number of cases means that it is likely the new strain os already in the US.
Travel Between the UK and US a Risk Factor
The new COVID-19 strain, which is being referred to as “SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01,” was found in southeast England last month, and has been observed in 60% of the latest coronavirus cases in London. At this point, the origin of the strain is unknown, although there’s a possibility it could have emerged “by chance alone.”
According to the CDC, the “travel between the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the high prevalence of this variant among current UK infections, increase the likelihood of importation.”