In accordance with the CDC director, the US should include Covid earlier than variants discover their means and worsen the pandemic

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, selected as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during an event at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AP

The United States needs to deploy Covid-19 vaccines quickly and step up its surveillance before highly contagious variants catch in or the virus mutates again and makes the pandemic worse, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday.

Three variants, first identified in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, have caused researchers some concern, according to a research suggestion shared with White House Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anthony Fauci, wrote. A CDC study published in January warned that variant B.1.1.7 found in the UK is expected to be the dominant strain in the US by March.

Variant B.1.1.7 has been shown to be highly transmissible, and “preliminary data suggest the possibility of increased disease severity with infection,” wrote Walensky, Fauci and Dr. Henry Walke, CDC’s Covid Incident Manager, in the position published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA.

Walensky told JAMA in a separate interview on Wednesday that the variant is believed to be about 50% more transmissible than previous strains, and early data suggests it could be up to 50% more deadly.

“Model data has shown how a more contagious variant like B.1.1.7 has the potential to exacerbate the course of the US pandemic and reverse the current downward trend in new infections and further delay control of the pandemic,” Walensky said in the newspaper .

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