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4 Things to Know About the More Contagious UK COVID-19 Variant

A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has led to a major spike in cases in the U.K. The reason? A combination of mutations in this strain of the coronavirus makes it more contagious.

Referred to as B.1.1.7 or B-117, the new variant surfaced in the U.K. in September 2020. Though B-117 doesn’t seem to be more deadly, a faster-spreading version of the coronavirus isn’t good news.

The U.S. is the largest COVID-19 hotspot in the world. As of Friday, the U.S. had more than 23.4 million confirmed cases of the disease and nearly 400,000 deaths.

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