'Super-Covid' will trigger US surge that will dwarf holiday spike, experts warn after deadliest day of pandemic

THE US suffered its deadliest day of coronavirus fatalities on Tuesday – with three Americans dying of the deadly disease each minute – as experts battle to control the spread of "super-Covid".

On Tuesday alone, 4,327 deaths were recorded – bringing the total death toll to over 380,000.

This is greater than the number of deaths from the past ten flu seasons combined – as the seven day rolling average hit 3,200 each day.

The country are fighting to stop the spread of the new strain that has been officially detected in ten states, which is similar to the mutation found in the UK, that is feared to cause a further spike in deaths.

The true extent of the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant is unclear due to the lack of monitoring of it – sparking outrage amongst Americans and experts alike

The new years figures offered no signs of hope, with 34,534 Americans succumbing to the virus in the first 12 days of January.

The alarming surge in cases is thought to be due to the family and friends gathering over Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year.

But health experts are being forced to look in other directions, such as fast-spreading variant, as the numbers continue to climb.

Among the states to detect the variant are New York, Texas and Minnesota, some of the hardest-hit areas throughout the pandemic.

The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci expressed his concerns that "we have our own mutant that's being more easily transmissable."

Across the nation, hospitalizations and case numbers continue to spike, with 131,000 patients currently receiving treatment and 230,000 new cases recorded on Tuesday.

Households in Los Angeles have even been urged to wear masks inside their homes, in a desperate bid to stop the virus spreading between family members.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis told The Los Angeles Time: "One of the more heartbreaking conversations that our healthcare workers share is about these last words when children apologize to their parents and grandparents for bringing COVID into their homes for getting them sick.

"Please, for your loved ones, stay home. Stay safe. Keep your loved ones alive."

The UK variant was first detected in Colorado at the end of December.

The country has come under fire regarding its ability to monitor the spread of the variant, as scientists claim the US is "playing catch-up" after unsuccessfully failing to track the genetic changes in the virus.

Monitoring the new strains involves the lengthy process of sequencing the genetic code of the virus.

Samples can cost anywhere between $10 to $100, depending on the technology.

Eric Topol, of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, said, "Surveillance is extremely poor."

He believes when the variant is well established across the US it will trigger "a major surge that makes the US holiday surges look minimal”.

The US has only sequenced around 60,000 samples, according to the GISAID Initiative, nearly half the amount the UK has completed.

The increase in cases and the inevitable fear of the new strain have raised concerns from medics that sick people may not seek medical care.

One doctor pleaded with the public, "'Even if hospitals are full, you have to go seek care or call your doctor. The longer you wait for this disease, the less chance we have to give you some of the therapies that can help you get through this.'

Los Angeles County recorded 932,908 cases on Monday, with ten residents testing positive every ten minutes.

Over 9 million people have now received their first dose of the vaccine after 27 million were distributed across the country.

The Trump administration freed up doses they had been keeping in reserve in a bid to accelerate the vaccine rollout, recommending states offer it to those aged 65 and over.

The government has received a large amount of criticism regarding their delay in delivering the vaccine.


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