The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that at the moment no cases of the new British variant of coronavirus have been identified in the country, but that it could already be present “without having been detected.”
The information disclosed by the CDC in a statement corresponds to a scientific report published on its website, which is based on the sequencing of the virus genome of confirmed cases, with the aim of detecting variations in its genetic material,
However, so far only about 51,000 of the 17 million total cases reported in the United States have been sequenced, that is, less than 0.5%, so the variant could already be in the country “without being detected “the statement said.
According to the agency, “ongoing travel between the UK and the US, as well as the high prevalence of this variant among current UK infections, increase the likelihood of importation.”
For this reason, the CDC is working in conjunction with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and is monitoring the situation in the UK.
In addition, in conjunction with state and local health departments, the CDC “is continuously monitoring and studying the spread of the virus in the United States to quickly detect any changes,” the report added.
Also last month, the CDC launched a “strain surveillance program” that they hope will “be fully implemented” in January and will include states that submit at least 10 samples every two weeks for testing.
The United States has not yet joined the dozens of countries that have banned flights to and from the United Kingdom due to the new mutation of the virus.
But two states in the country announced restrictions on arrivals from the UK.
In New York, the mandatory negative test was applied to passengers on Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic flights between the United Kingdom and New York City, after the governor, Andrew Cuomo, called for a travel ban or conducting mandatory tests on passengers, reported the CNN network.
Meanwhile, the governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee, announced new travel restrictions last night for those arriving from the United Kingdom and South Africa, where an apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus, different from the British one, also circulates.
Inslee reported that it will order a 14-day quarantine for travelers coming from either of those two nations, and the order will cover passengers who have arrived from those countries also in recent days.