FEBRUARY 16, 2021.

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA

Today the World Health Organization posted its weekly epidemiological update, with a special focus on SARS-CoV-2 variants, that contains a world map (below) showing the 37 nations verified to have the 501Y.V2 variant already dominant in South Africa and some neighboring nations. “Local transmission has been reported in at least 12 countries across four WHO regions” (p. 7).

In addition, maps showing the 17 nations verified to have the P.1 variant already dominant in Manaus, Brazil and the 88 nations verified to have the “Variant of Concern (VOC) 202012/01” dominant in the UK are also provided.

... All three of these variant viruses, more contagious than non-variants, have been reported in the United States. Recently, the 501Y.V2 variant has been reported in Washington, D.C., nearby Montgomery County, Maryland (site of the main National Institutes of Health campus), as well as Baltimore and two locations in South Carolina.