With Limited Surveillance of Covid-19 Variant, It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

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The new variant to COVID-19 sports an unusual number of mutations, including some that appear to change the virus’ behavior. It seems to be significantly more transmissible, increasing the rate at which infected people infect others, although there is no evidence to date that the variant triggers more severe disease. There are efforts afoot to try to figure out how widely the new variant is spreading — one of them led by the lab of Dr. Michael Worobey, whose team is developing a test for variant viruses in wastewater from community sewage systems.