Monday, January 25

New strain of coronavirus: why the new variant first detected in the UK is so contagious

  • Drafting
  • BBC World News


The variant is believed to have emerged in the UK in mid-September, but it wasn’t until December that cases began to increase dramatically.

New countries are added almost daily to the list of nations where the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has begun to circulate, which first appeared in mid-September in the United Kingdom.

Known as B117 (or also VUI-202012/01), this strain has caused an unprecedented increase in the number of cases in the country (58,784 on 1/4/21), and has become the predominant variant in just three months.

At the end of December, for example, it was estimated that 60% of new cases in London and surrounding regions corresponded to the new variant.

Many remains to be discovered about this strain that has 23 mutations (17 of which appeared abruptly) regarding the virus that appeared a year ago in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but what has become evident is that it is a lot more contagious and that is crowding out older versions of the virus.

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