Lessons From the U.K. About a More-Contagious Covid-19 Variant – The Wall Street Journal

LONDON– The U.K. has become a testing room for how a more-contagious and potentially deadlier coronavirus alternative spreads through communities, displacing its less-transmissible forefathers and making complex vaccine rollouts and the lifting of lockdowns.
The version has now been determined in more than 70 countries and 40 U.S. states, and its advance in Britain might help researchers understand its likely trajectory in the U.S. These charts show the spread of the variant around the U.K. and what British researchers are discovering about it– including its higher transmissibility and lethality.
” Increasingly, considering that this variation of the infection was found weve really been running two different pandemics,” said Jason Leitch, nationwide clinical director for Scotland. “That is a cautioning to other countries.”
British researchers detected the brand-new version in November, and in early December traced its first appearance in the U.K. to the southern English county of Kent, in September. The nation remained in lockdown in November to reduce a fatal wave of infection that had been building given that the fall. British public health authorities were bewildered by the infections ongoing spread in southern England regardless of those restrictions.
When researchers analyzed the variations genome, they discovered an unusually a great deal of anomalies, some of which pointed to the possibility the new version might spread out more quickly than pre-existing versions. Further sequencing– and a testing quirk that worked as a dependable proxy for the variants presence– revealed how rapidly the version increased to dominance.

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