U.K. Reports a New COVID-19 Strain and Higher Transmission Rates

December 22, 2020

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UK Reports a New Strain of Covid-19A CNBC article, written by Noah Higgins-Dunn, titled "The U.K. Has Identified a New COVID-19 Strain that Spreads More Quickly. Here's What They Know" reported that a new variant of the COVID-19 virus has been identified by the U.K. after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, revealed their findings during a press briefing last Saturday.

According to Johnson's statement and the data from the Public Health England (PHE) organization, this new variant could be 70% more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain and is the main cause of more than 1,100 COVID-19 cases recorded since last Sunday.

Following the reports of similar mutations in other parts of the continent, the newest strain of the virus was first revealed by the British government on December 14th, 2020. According to England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, it shows "a significant, substantial increase in transmissibility" to the point that it is possibly becoming the virus's dominant variant. While there is still no evidence linking the strain to higher death rates, everything indicates that it has been spreading around London and the Southeast of England since mid-September, having caused the surge in cases that was reported last week. As of now, the U.K. is facing an average of 24,061 new cases per day.

England Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces New Strain of COVID-19Whitty goes on to say that "…the vaccine response should be adequate for this virus." but clarifies that more conclusive results will likely have to wait for further evaluations.

As U.K. authorities continue analyzing the available data to understand this new variation of the COVID-19 virus, Johnson has ordered new restrictions to protect the public during the Christmas season.

You can read CNBC's original article here: "The U.K. Has Identified a New COVID-19 Strain that Spreads More Quickly. Here's What They Know"


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