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New data shows UK COVID variant could be more deadly

New data analysis shows the variant is 30 to 70 percent more deadly. Hospitalization and death data was needed to understand it.

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida has reported 347 cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19, which is the most across the country. 

Now, new data analysis shows it's 30 to 70 percent more deadly than other variants, three of which have been found here in the U.S.

The director of the CDC says, by March, the mutation may become the dominant form of the strain in the U.S.

Originally, the variant was found to be more transmissible. Deaths and hospitalizations are two important pieces of data to understand the U.K. variant. With that data, Dr. Jill Roberts, a molecular epidemiologist with USF health, says it's showing a trend that this strain is more deadly. 

"So as more and more hospitalization data has become available and death data has become available and we have the genome sequencing because we have to know which strain the patient actually has, you can start comparing," Dr. Roberts said.

Dr. Roberts thinks this is a trend that continues, as more and more coronavirus spreads, it gets more opportunities to mutate. 

"This discussion of mutations is not ending, it's rolling on and on. We've been looking at many types of mutations so we're going to have to take a really close look at that South African mutant as well and make sure it's not doing the same thing because it actually has a higher capacity to escape the vaccines," she explained.

She says that's why it's important for all of us to help control the spread. 

And she says Pfizer and Moderna are aware of this variant, and they're adjusting the vaccine accordingly. So she says you should still get vaccinated. 

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