UK government scientists now have increasing evidence that the fast-spreading gene variant B.1.1.7, first discovered in the UK, is arguably more deadly than the original strain.
The scientists published a new assessment on Friday, for which several studies on the variant were evaluated. The researchers estimate that B.1.1.7 could be between 30 and 70 percent more deadly than the original virus.
The scientists discovered early on that the gene variant is significantly more contagious than previous virus strains of the coronavirus. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said after initial assessments by experts in January that the gene variant could also be “linked to a higher degree of mortality.”
The analysis now published confirms this concern. But the scientists also say that even more extensive studies of deaths related to Covid-19. would have to be carried out.
The gene variant B.1.1.7 is already in circulation in 82 countries worldwide
The B.1.1.7 variant has been found in at least 82 countries, according to the New York Times. A study earlier this month found it was spreading so rapidly in the US that the number of cases with this strain doubled about every 10 days.
The study also showed that the B.1.1.7 variant is 35 to 45 percent more easily transmissible than other strains that are currently spreading. Scientists have also raised concerns that the variant gene could develop a mutation that could help it evade corona vaccines.
It is not yet clear why this variant could be more deadly. So far, scientists suspect that people who become infected with it could have a higher viral load than others – which could be linked to a more severe course of Covid-19
This text has been translated from English. You can find the original article here.