This country’s leading Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Jerrol Thompson, while appearing as a guest on VC3’s Roundtable Talk last week, discussed the new variant of the coronavirus that has been on the rise in Southern England.
Why is this variant causing concern?
- It is rapidly replacing other versions of the virus
- It has mutations that affect part of the virus likely to be important
- Some of those mutations have already been shown in the lab to increase the ability of the virus to infect cells
Thompson says this new variant, it’s purported to be probably spread a little bit more easily, but it hasn’t given any indication that it causes more severe illness or so.
He went on to discuss the differences between this new variant of the virus and the coronavirus that we are familiar with.
“How different it is to the coronavirus that we’ve been seeing all the time? We know that there have been a number of mutations and so there are always mild, small mutations taking place. The degree of this mutation is something that is still being looked at, but they have been able to recognise that it is a mutation.”
How much faster is it spreading?
You can see how the variant has come to dominate the results of testing in some centres such as the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Laboratory.
But there remain questions about whether it is any more infectious at all.
How far has it spread?
Data from Nextstrain, which has been monitoring the genetic codes of the viral samples around the world, suggest cases in Denmark and Australia have come from the UK. The Netherlands has also reported cases.
Has this happened before?
Another, called A222V, spread across Europe and was linked to people’s summer holidays in Spain.
SOURCES – WEFM – BBC EDITED BY 784NEWS