(WXYZ) — One of Michigan's biggest hurdles in the battle against surging COVID-19 cases is the highly contagious variants, specifically B.1.1.7 or the UK variant. It's growing quickly around the country and in Michigan.
The state trails only Florida in having the most variant cases with 2,262.
As it's getting warmer, people are starting to travel and the variant keeps growing, creating a recipe for a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the state. It's also made more complicated by the fact that the U.K. variant spreads faster, and health experts believe it would be more deadly.
"We felt very strong that we had this disease under attack but then we get thrown a curveball," Dr. Lynda Misra, the medical director of the COVID-19 unit at Beaumont Health said.
In the city of Detroit, there are 100 confirmed cases of the variant. In Oakland County, there are 157. In Macomb County, there are 203 and in Wayne County, 232 cases of the variant.
The Midwest and Northeast are hot spots for this growing variant, which the CDC said is now the most dominant variant of the virus in the country.
From February to March, we really saw a 118% increase in cases in March, and we saw an increase in the beginning of April," Macomb County Health Director Andrew Cox said.
It's a spike that Macomb County says is drastic, and that everyone should be taking seriously.
“The vaccines are coming out. We're getting more and more people vaccinated. We're hearing great things about that," Cox added.
Hospitalizations are continuing to rise, especially in younger adults.
Health experts warn it's not only a race to vaccinate, and a race to do it quicker than the variants spread.
"Now's not the time, as I've said so many times, to declare victory," Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Shots in arms are still the best line of defense, and proven effective against this variant. In Macomb County, around 30% of the population has gotten at least one dose.
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