New variant of coronavirus arrives in the US and threatens to push its hospital capacity to the limit


December 31, 2020

Experts believe that things will get even worse in the coming weeks due to the fact that the first person infected in the United States with this strain had not traveled abroad “suggests that this variant is being transmitted from person to person”

The United States health authorities expressed this Wednesday, December 30, their fear that the arrival of the British strain of COVID-19 will overwhelm the hospital response that is already under a lot of pressure in the country.

In addition, they recognized that the vaccination campaign is being slower than expected.

The first case of infection with the new British strain of coronavirus was detected in Colorado and now the authorities of that state are investigating a possible second contagion.

“We are aware of a confirmed case and another possible case with the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus,” Colorado’s leading epidemiologist, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, said at a news conference.

Both cases have been registered in Colorado National Guard soldiers who were sent on December 23 to a nursing home that registered an outbreak of COVID-19 that infected 20 of the 24 employees and 26 elderly residents.

The two soldiers tested positive the day after arriving at the residence, but “most of the cases associated with the outbreak had already occurred a long time ago” and they did not travel abroad recently, which is why it is not clear where they contracted the virus. .

This fact would be an indicator that these cases are not the first, although they were the “first detected” according to the governor of Colorado, the democrat Jared Polis.

“This is unlikely to be the first person with the variant here in the United States. There are probably many, particularly in the northeast ”of the country, said Polis.

Dr. Henry Walke, COVID-19 related incident manager at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the arrival of the British strain “was to be expected”, but it is worrying because being more contagious could overwhelm hospitals.

“Because this variant spreads more quickly, it could lead to more cases and further strain our health care systems, which already face a huge burden,” Walke warned.

US hospitals are already in a critical situation and this Tuesday, December 29, they registered a new record of hospitalizations for COVID-19, with 124,686 patients admitted for the disease, according to the Covid Tracking Project platform.

The North American country reached a new record for daily deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 3,725 in a single day, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University.

The only hope for many Americans is vaccination in the country, however, so far only 2.1 million people received the vaccine, just 10% of the 20 million people that the Government had planned for this month.

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