Europe has once again swelled with new coronavirus cases, driving a worrisome global surge.

But this time, the rise in new cases is being propelled by a variant first seen in Britain, which swept that nation in December. 
As the variant surged in Britain, it was seeding outbreaks across the continent, many of them unnoticed behind an overall drop in cases. Those variant-heavy outbreaks have since ballooned, becoming dominant in more than a dozen European countries. 
The variant, known as B.1.1.7, is now spreading in at least 114 countries.

Its devastating effects are most prevalent in Europe, where thousands are dying each day and economies are again being hit by new restrictions on daily life. 
The variant is believed to be about 60% more contagious and 67% deadlier than the original version of the virus.

It has spread rapidly across the continent since early January and is the dominant strain in many European countries. 
Cases have increased in 20 European countries in the past 28 days.

“We need to make sure we unlock very slowly, and make sure vaccines increase and cover as many people as possible, including kids,” one virologist in Britain said.

See more here. 
You can follow @nytimes.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: