Delta variant now accounts for about 58% of COVID-19 cases in US, CDC says

A highly contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that was initially identified in India now accounts for about 58% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Data updated by the CDC on Tuesday evening shows the so-called delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was estimated to be responsible for 57.6% of newly confirmed cases nationwide from June 20 through July 3. The proportion was estimated at just 31.1% for the two weeks prior.

In late May, the delta variant was estimated to account for approximately 3% of new cases in the U.S, according to CDC data.

After being initially identified in India in October, the delta variant has since been reported in at least 104 countries around the globe and is expected to soon be the dominant coronavirus variant circulating worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The variant was first detected in the U.S. in March and is now present in all 50 states.

“The delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in cases and death,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus said during a COVID-19 press briefing on Monday.

Last week marked the fourth consecutive week that the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased globally. Deaths are also on the rise again after 10 weeks of decline, according to Tedros, who noted that the WHO has received reports from all regions of the world about hospitals reaching capacity.

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