More than a year after the first COVID-19 case was discovered, more than 2 million people have died from the highly transmissible virus

  • More than 2 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19 as of Friday. 
  • The world hit one million COVID-19 deaths just three months ago. 
  • The death toll is the equivalent to the entire country of Slovenia.
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More than a year after the first novel coronavirus case was discovered, more than two million people across the globe have died from COVID-19. 

That's roughly equivalent to the entire population of Slovenia or the state of New Mexico. It's more than the entire population of Bahrain or the state of Nebraska.

The US alone has accounted for more than 392,000 of those deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The world hit one million recorded deaths only three months ago, at the end of September. Public health experts are concerned as more transmissible variants of the virus emerge and spread in countries like the US where there's been a rapid growth in cases over the winter months.

Read more: I was offered a covid vaccine even though I'm young and healthy. Here's how I did it.

A new variant of the virus discovered in the UK last month was largely responsible for an uptick in cases in the south of England, and has since been found in several US states. Experts told Insider that the coronavirus running rampant likely helped it mutate.

"Virus mutations can only accumulate if the virus is allowed to be transmitted. So the longer that we allow uncontrolled transmission to occur, the more chances that the virus will have to adapt to human transmission," Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Medicine, told Insider's Aylin Woodward. 

While virologists have not found that this mutation and others, like one found in South Africa, cause more deadly illnesses, the ability to spread faster and infect more people could result in more deaths. 

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