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The new COVID-19 variant could bring ‘another spring wave,’ expert says

The U.S. reported its first case of the new COVID-19 variant. It’s possible it could lead to another spike.

A Regional Transportation District bus moves along a lightly-traveled 15th Street Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in downtown Denver.
A Regional Transportation District bus moves along a lightly-traveled 15th Street Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in downtown Denver.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

The new coronavirus mutation — originally discovered in the United Kingdom — has made its way into the United States, and it could lead to another wave of cases, an expert recently told The Associated Press.

What happened?

On Tuesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the new coronavirus mutation had been found in a patient in Colorado. A second patient was later discovered.

  • The first man had no travel history, suggesting the virus could be moving through the community already, according to The Associated Press.
  • A second suspected case has also been announced in Colorado. The second case doesn’t live in the county where they work, which suggests the variant might be moving through Colorado.

A second wave:

Scientist Trevor Bedford, who studies the spread of COVID-19 at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told The Associated Press the new variant could create another wave, stunting the progress the United States has made so far in its race against the virus.

  • “Now I’m worried there will be another spring wave due to the variant,” Bedford said. “It’s a race with the vaccine, but now the virus has just gotten a little bit faster.”

Take it seriously

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told CNN that Americans should take the new coronavirus strain “very seriously” because it could create another spike in cases.

  • “We’re getting isolates of it, making combination of viruses, to be able to directly test, getting sera from people who we have vaccinated, and see if it still neutralizes this new strain, this mutant strain that’s coming from the U.K., as well as from South Africa,” he added. “There’s a similar, but not entirely the same type of mutation that we’re seeing in South Africa.”