June 1, 2021 ~ New York Post ~ by Jackie Salo

Highly contagious India COVID variant spreading rapidly in the US

The highly contagious COVID-19 variant that first emerged in India is spreading at a rapid rate in the US — and now makes up 7 percent of new cases, data shows.

The dramatic rise of the B.1.617.2 variant comes after it accounted for only 1 percent of new cases stateside at the start of May, according to a report from Outbreak.info.

The data revealed that the variant, which experts suspect is 60 percent more transmissible, reached its high of 7 percent of samples sequenced on May 26.

The World Health Organization last week classified the variant as being one of global concern and requiring heightened tracking and analysis.

“There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility,” Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, told reporters.

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