British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Downing Street on January 15, 2021 in London, England.
Dominic Lipinski | Getty Images
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that there is „some evidence“ of a new type of Covid virus first identified in the UK that could be more deadly than the original strain.
“We were informed today that in addition to spreading more quickly, it now also appears that there is some evidence that the new variant – the alternative that was first discovered in London and the southeast (England) – may be related,” Johnson said at a press conference. Deaths. „
He added that all evidence indicates that vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford University, which are currently in use in the UK, are still effective against both old and new variants of the virus.
The evidence is still in a preliminary stage and is being evaluated by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, which is advising the British government.
The variant, known as B.1.1.7, contained an unusually large number of mutations and was already associated with a more efficient and rapid transmission.
Scientists first discovered this mutation in September. It has since been found in at least 44 countries, including the United States, which reported a presence in 12 states.
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned The typical trajectory of the variable in the United States „shows rapid growth in early 2021, becoming the dominant alternative in March.“
Speaking alongside Johnson on Friday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said there is now early evidence of an increased risk to those who have the new variant, compared to the old virus.
“If you take … a man in his 60s, the average risk is that for 1,000 people who contract the virus, roughly 10 people are expected to die from the virus. With the new variant, for 1,000 infected people roughly 13 or 14,” he said. Valance: „People are expected to die.“
He described the data as not yet strong, and highlighted further concern about other Covid variants found in Brazil and South Africa.
– Sam Meredith of CNBC contributed to this article.
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