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After 10 months of masks, social distancing, virtual school, fear for vulnerable loved ones, and loneliness, this is the news no one wanted to hear: The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed — once again — in ways that make it more contagious.

ATLANTA — After 10 months of masks, social distancing, virtual school, fear for vulnerable loved ones, and loneliness, this is the news no one wanted to hear: The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed — once again — in ways that make it more contagious.

At least one new “super strain” of the virus is already in the U.S. Another highly contagious strain from South Africa could be on its way.

Brenda Goodman is a senior news writer for WebMD. Andy Miller is editor of Georgia Health News.