New Kent strain of ‘super-COVID’ is nearly 50 percent more contagious than other varieties, Imperial study confirms

Graphs from the new study show how, over  eight weeks, the new variant became increasingly common (dots higher on each chart) in the UK and became more transmissible (dots further the right on each chart show rising  R numbers, or transmission rates
Pictured: A screen-grab from the Imperial College report showing case trends involving the new strain of coronavirus, where the % S- rate indicates carriage of the new variant

Meanwhile, on average in the US, each infected person currently leads to 1.15 more infections, according to daily calculations from  

By this measure of transmissibility the R number in the US ranges from about 0.86 in Alaska to 1.23 in Maine, which has emerged as a hotspot this week. 

The new variant was first detected in the UK in September, the study states, but at the beginning of December, it exploded and has driven a surge in infections among Britons. 

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