Information about the characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging. Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them.

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What We know

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a vi khuẩn are expected khổng lồ occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Multiple variants of the vi khuẩn that causes COVID-19 have sầu been documented in the United States & globally during this pandemic.


Viruses constantly change and become more diverse. Scientists monitor these changes, including changes to the spikes on the surface of the virut. By carefully studying viruses, scientists can learn how changes to the virus might affect how it spreads & how sick people will get from it.

If you think about a virut lượt thích a tree growing and branching out; each branch on the tree is slightly different than the others. By comparing the branches, scientists can label them according lớn the differences. These small differences, or variants, have been studied and identified since the beginning of the pandemic.

Some variations allow the vi khuẩn to lớn spread more easily or make it resistant khổng lồ treatments or vaccines. Those variants must be monitored more carefully.

Learn more about how scientists monitor viruses.

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Variants in the United States

We are monitoring multiple variants; currently there are four notable variants in the United States:

B.1.1.7 (Alpha): This variant was first detected in the United States in December 20trăng tròn. It was initially detected in the United Kingdom.

B.1.351 (Beta): This variant was first detected in the United States at the end of January 2021. It was initially detected in South Africa in December 20đôi mươi.

P..1 (Gamma):This variant was first detected in the United States in January 2021. Phường.1 was initially identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in nhật bản, in early January.

B.1.617.2 (Delta): This variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021. It was initially identified in India in December 20đôi mươi.

These variants seem to lớn spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to lớn more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead lớn more hospitalizations, và potentially more deaths.

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So far, studies suggest that the current authorized vaccines work on the circulating variants. Scientists will continue to study these và other variants.