Friday, January 22, 2021
British Coronavirus Mutations
Johnson again B.1.1.7: Evidence of high mortality
Britain’s Prime Minister Johnson announced the disturbing news: According to him, there is scientific evidence that coronavirus mutations found in his country could be even more deadly. Until now, it was believed that B.1.1.7 is predominantly more infectious.
The coronovirus mutant B.1.1.7, first detected in England, is apparently more lethal than previous virus variants according to British findings. At a news conference at the government seat of Downing Street, London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there are now signs that mutants are not only more contagious, but “may also be associated with higher mortality”. The virus variant first spread in London and southern England and, according to WHO information, has now been detected in about 60 countries including Germany.
Scientifically collected data on mutations are still at a very early stage, the BBC reported restrictively. Johnson was quoted as saying that the new virus variant is contributing significantly to the fact that the British health system is under such pressure right now. As a result, the number of Kovid patients treated at clinics is now 78 percent higher than the first wave of epidemics last spring.
With viruses, random changes in genetic material, called mutations, occur continuously. Some pathogens offer benefits – for example by making it easier to transmit. According to British experts, the version that appeared in Great Britain is 30 to 70 percent easier than the previous one. Regardless of how much more deadly the new version is still very uncertain, the government’s scientific advisor Patrick Valence warned. If one believes with the previous version that 10 out of 1000 people will die at the age of 60, then there will be about 13 or 14 deaths with the new version. This corresponds to a high mortality rate of about 30 percent.
Experts in Great Britain do not expect that the protective effect of vaccines used to date will be worse than the native virus variant. Valence said that for two other mutations discovered in Brazil and South Africa, it is still unclear. According to the government, 5.4 million people in the UK have already received their first dose of vaccine.
Sequencing is being expanded in Germany
Britain is one of the worst countries in Europe due to the epidemic. Every day there are tens of thousands of new infections and most recently more than 1000 deaths. The lockdown has been in place for weeks with extensive exits and travel restrictions, schools and non-essential businesses closed. The measures are to be reviewed in mid-February.
To detect the occurrence of British and other potentially more dangerous virus variants in the early stages, more samples of those who tested positive have to be sequenced in Germany. Mutations can be detected at an early stage by breaking the genetic makeup of the virus. Federal Health Minister Jens Spann signed an ordinance on Monday.
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