Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is mutating all the time. Recently some concerning mutations have emerged: the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom, which is thought to be approximately 50% more contagious, and the B.1.351 variant first seen in South Africa, which may also have potential to decrease the efficacy of vaccines. These variants are not believed to lead to more serious disease, but a more transmissible virus can put even more stress on an already overloaded health care system, and ultimately lead to more deaths.

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