With new variants of the coronavirus circulating in the United States after originating in the U.K. and South Africa, there is cause for concern: These variants may not be more fatal, but they do transmit faster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concerned enough to have just issued a warning. “New virus variants that spread more easily could lead to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases,” says the CDC. “NOW”—the capitalization is theirs—”more than ever, it is important to slow the spread.” “I want to stress that we are deeply concerned that this strain is more transmissible and can accelerate outbreaks in the U.S. in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the CDC. “We’re sounding the alarm and urging people to realize the pandemic is not over and in no way is it time to throw in the towel.” Read on to see how you can stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
The New COVID Variant is Dangerous Due to “Increased Transmissibility”
The CDC’s report said: “The increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant warrants universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking. Higher vaccination coverage might need to be achieved to protect the public.”
“We know what works and we know what to do,” Butler said. He was referring to the public health measures you’ve no doubt heard about—but now must follow more than ever.
“These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Currently, there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death. However, an increase in the number of cases will put more strain on health care resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths,” says the agency. “Rigorous and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and protecting public health.”
Or, in the words of the study: “Collectively, enhanced genomic surveillance combined with continued compliance with effective public health measures, including vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, will be essential to limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” says the report. “Strategic testing of persons without symptoms but at higher risk of infection, such as those exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who have frequent unavoidable contact with the public, provides another opportunity to limit ongoing spread.”
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci‘s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.