Florida has most cases of the U.K. variant in country, doubling in cases every day

A new study shows the U.K. variant is doubling every day here in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the variant will likely be the most dominant strain here by late March.

Last week, a new study found the risk of dying from this variant is 35% higher than from other variants.

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Thanks in part to research at the Scripps Research Institute, researchers now know how fast it’s spreading in the country.

The study hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, but here’s what researchers found:

  • The UK variant likely arrived in the U.S. in November.
  • It appears to spread between 35% and 45% more easily than other variants.
  • It’s doubling in cases every 10 days.

In Florida, the rate of transmission is slightly higher at 38% to 49%.

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The state has the most cases of the U.K. variant at 201. California is second with 150 cases.

But why does Florida have a third of all our country’s U.K. variant cases?

The governor’s office said it’s because we’re looking for it more than other states.

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But according to the CDC, Florida ranks 25th in the nation when it comes to genetic sequencing for the variant.

“We’re probably going to be sequencing up to three or four more than we’re already sequencing. And I think once we have more sequencing that’s happening, we’ll have a better idea as to how many variants there are and what proportion are out there,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director.

Mike Farzan, director of immunology and microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute, said all should continue to wear masks, watch their distance and “get vaccinated.”

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“That will help drive down the number of cases,” Farzan said. “And if we drive down the number of cases, we drive down the rate of mutation.”

All leading vaccine makers are conducting studies about how the UK and other variants impact their vaccines.

Initial studies show the variants might make the vaccines a little less effective, but booster shots could fix that.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.