Kent Covid-19 variant 'most common lineage' in US

8 April 2021, 10:29

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The highly infectious Kent variant of Covid-19 is the most dominant "lineage" of the virus in the US, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of CDC, said hospitals are seeing more younger adults being admitted with severe disease, which can be attributed to increasing prevalence of variants.

The Kent variant, known as B117, was first identified in the US in December after it swept across the UK at the end of last year before spreading across the world.

During a White House coronavirus response team's briefing on Wednesday, she said: "Based on our most recent estimates from CDC surveillance, the B117 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the United States.

"So there are many different lineages.

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"There are several different kinds of, sort of, wild-type variants, and this is, in fact, the most common lineage right now."

According to data by the CDC, there are 16,275 reported cases of the Kent variant in the US.

Data from the World Health Organisation shows more than 62,000 new infections of Covid-19 were reported in the US on Wednesday.

Dr Walensky said an average of nearly three million vaccinations were being delivered per day, adding: "While these rates of vaccination are incredible and so encouraging for all of us, trends are increasing in both case numbers and hospitalisations.

"Across the country, we are hearing reports of clusters of cases associated with daycare centres and youth sports.

"Hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults - those in their 30s and 40s - admitted with severe disease.

"Data suggests this is all happening as we are seeing increasing prevalence of (Covid-19) variants."