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The first study of a variant of the new coronavirus in the UK brings both good and bad news

via:cnBeta.COM     time:2020/12/26 9:12:16     readed:397

According to foreign media reports,The first study of a mutated strain of the new coronavirus in the UK, which is now spreading rapidly, warns that more stringent safety measures may be needed to prevent another large-scale outbreak.Computer models show that the virus may be 56% more infectious than other strains. However, the new mutation did not cause more serious disease. The researchers warn that schools may need to be closed in order to buy more time for the UK. They also said vaccination must be accelerated to reduce the spread of the virus.

When the British Prime Minister announced last weekend that the newly discovered variant of the coronavirus might be 70% more infectious than other strains, some experts questioned that estimate, saying more data was needed to determine the potential risk of the strain. Many European countries have imposed travel bans on the UK to reduce the risk of b.1.1.7 strains appearing in other countries in the EU region. Seventeen mutations were found in the spike protein of the new variant coronavirus, which was the first mutation of the new coronavirus. Although it may not lead to more severe cases of cowid-19, these mutations may make it more infectious. Some health experts have even warned that the changes could reduce the effectiveness of existing vaccines, although many others say there are no such concerns. The consensus is that more research is needed to determine the way forward. The new strain should be tested in the laboratory to determine how infectious it is and whether it can avoid neutralizing antibodies produced by the vaccine.


Now that scientists have published the first study of a variant of the new coronavirus in the UK, it tells the world that the threat can be serious. In order to prevent the b.1.1.7 epidemic from getting out of control, more stringent measures may be needed, including the closure of schools and universities, and the acceleration of vaccination campaigns.

The study is from the centre for mathematical modeling of infectious diseases at the London School of health and tropical medicine and is published online as a preprint. Scientists have found that the mutant strain in the UK is 56% more infectious than other versions circulating in the UK, and more measures need to be taken to curb it. As researchers are gathering more data, the estimate of 56% is still very rough. The study found no evidence that the virus was more lethal than other strains, which is at least some good news.

"There may be a need to significantly accelerate the promotion of vaccines," Nicholas Davies, lead author of the study, told the New York Times. "The preliminary results are very convincing. For any country that has to deal with this or similar variant, faster vaccination will be a very important thing."


Instead of studying the behavior of the virus in laboratory tests, scientists used computer models to predict the severity of the pathogen. Their tests ruled out the possibility that b.1.1.7 was prevalent in some parts of the UK, where people moved more than others and were likely to reach more people. The scientists also simulated what might happen in the next six months and built models using various levels of restriction. Without a large-scale vaccination campaign, "the number of cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths in 2021 may exceed those in 2020," the researchers noted So far, novel coronavirus pneumonia has been diagnosed in the UK by over 2 million 200 thousand cases, including nearly 70 thousand deaths.


Closing schools until February could buy the country some time, researchers say. Lifting the restrictions will lead to a huge increase in cases. The vaccination model, which has 200000 people vaccinated each week, shows that this rate will be too slow to affect the spread of the mutated virus. "This speed doesn't really support any significant relaxation of controls," Davies said. If the weekly vaccination reaches 2 million, the transmission of covid-19 will decrease. However, the supply of vaccines is still limited, and vaccination activities will take some time to increase. Even if there is enough supply, it is not clear whether the country will be able to increase the number of vaccinations to 2 million a week.

Like any other cowid-19 study, this study can benefit from additional data, which may have limitations that affect the model. Some experts who analyzed the study for the New York Times pointed out some potential problems, including the assumption that people under 20 have a 50% chance of transmitting the disease. But even the researchers made it clear that the mutation must be taken seriously, or it could lead to another serious outbreak.

A complete research report is available atThis linkCheck on.

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