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Live Update: Where have the Mutated COVID-19 Variants Spread?

Live Update: Where have the Mutated COVID-19 Variants Spread?

We are tracking which countries have detected the mutated coronavirus variants from the UK, South Africa, and Nigeria. View and download our data and see how accurate our prediction was.

Interactive Data Visualization

A data presentation covering the spread of the mutated UK COVID-19 variant (also including data on the South African and Nigerian variants) | Last Updated: 3:20pm MT 01/18/21

As of 01/18/21, 58 countries have detected the United Kingdom COVID-19 B.1.1.7 mutated variant:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam

And 22 countries have detected the South African variant (501.v2):

Australia, Austria, Botswana, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Zambia.


Countries qualify for having detected the mutated variant should any of the following apply (updated on Monday, 01/04):

  1. A public health official declares the mutated virus is within the borders of the country.
  2. A case of local transmission has been reported.
  3. A traveling passenger from the U.K. tested positive for the virus within the borders of the country.

We are open to additional suggestions on how to refine this criteria. If you have any thoughts, please contact us through email, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

What we know

Since our initial prediction, more information about the new UK variant (B.1.1.7) has come out.

  • According to research published yesterday by NERVTAG, there is no evidence, based on a matched cohort study, that the UK variant (VOC 202012/01) leads to more hospitalizations or deaths per infection.
  • Further research by British scientists found that the UK variant is 56% more transmissible than previous dominant variants of COVID. Additional research has put the increased transmissibility of the B117 variant at 30-50%.

We are still waiting to learn more about other mutated variant found in South Africa (we are also tracking a potential new variant in Nigeria, although little new has come out about it). Based on preliminary statements and findings by scientists, the South African variant appears to be more infectious, with a growing number of experts becoming increasingly convinced of its seriousness, and may also lead to more infections and severe illness in younger people.

Variant Detection by Country

Table depicting whether a country has detected the UK, Nigerian, and South African COVID-19 variants.

Detection by Variant

Interactive pie chart depicting how many countries have detected each of the UK, Nigerian, and South African COVID-19 variants.


COVID-19 Variants Tracker - Google Drive
Access our COVID-19 variant data


Feel free to use and edit our visualizations! If you happen to use or edit any them (or our data), please give us attribution with a link to this article.

UK Variant Spread (Map):

3 Variant Spread by Country (Table):

3 Variant SPread by Country (Longer Table):

The Original Visualization:

Clay Graubard
Clay majored in Economics and International Relations (IR) at the University of Pennsylvania, and is pursuing a master's in IR at Oxford.

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