CBS NEWS – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now separately tracking several new COVID-19 variants, the agency announced Friday, adding more Omicron descendants to an increasingly complex list of new strains that are competing nationwide.
Among the new variants now being tracked by the CDC is EU.1.1, a strain first designated by scientists earlier this year over its rapid ascent in some European countries.
The variant is a more distant descendant of the XBB.1.5 variant that had surged earlier this year, with a handful of more mutations to its spike protein that may be driving its spread.
The CDC estimates that EU.1.1 is now 1.7% of U.S. cases nationwide, but may have already reached as much as 8.7% of cases in the region spanning Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
It is too early to know whether EU.1.1 will lead to new or different symptoms in the U.S.
Despite some anecdotal reports, health officials have said there’s little evidence of previous variants leading to changes in COVID-19’s effects.
Changes over time in the underlying immunity of those infected can have an impact on how people are affected by the virus, further muddying reports of shifts in symptoms.
Virtually all Americans are now estimated to have antibodies from a vaccination, at least one infection or some combination of the two. A growing share of hospitalizations and deaths are now from reinfections, the CDC reported Thursday.
Laboratories in Utah have sequenced the most EU.1.1 infections of any state, with nearly 100 cases of EU.1.1 reported by the state’s public health laboratory to global virus databases.
By contrast, labs in neighboring Nevada and Colorado have reported only single-digit numbers of EU.1.1 sequenced infections.
However, Utah’s overall COVID-19 trends currently look similar to the rest of the country … READ MORE.