Washington, Jan 8–A total of 52 cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in Britain have been confirmed in the United States, according to data updated Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This includes 26 cases in California, 22 cases in Florida, two cases in Colorado, and one case each in Georgia and New York.
The cases identified are based on a sampling of SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens, and do not represent the total number of cases circulating in the United States, according to the CDC.
The agency cautions that its numbers, which are updated Tuesdays and Thursdays, may not immediately match those reported by states and local officials.
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating globally.
The variant first identified in Britain seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants. Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death, according to the CDC.
The agency is working to detect and characterize emerging viral variants and expand its ability to look for COVID-19 and new variants.
The country has reported record COVID-19 hospitalizations at over 132,400 cases as of Wednesday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
Hospitalizations in the South and West are now worse than the Midwest’s peak, with four states in the South seeing record COVID-19 hospitalizations this week, according to the project.
The United States has recorded nearly 21.4 million cases with over 362,800 related deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to the real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.