Coronavirus News: What we know about the latest mutations in the UK


Viruses are mutated all the time, including the novel coronavirus that is the cause of global epidemics. But a version that emerged in southeast England in September is causing particular concern, creating an emergency Christmas was closed in London and included countries Canada, France and Germany Halt flights and rail links suspended.

1. Why is this mutation dangerous?

Dubbed the “B.1.1.7 lineage”, the strain has undergone about a dozen genetic changes from the virus that emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019 – commonly seen. This includes changes in key areas of the virus involved in the ability to infect people. Preliminary analysis in the UK suggests that it may be 70% more variable than other circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains and may contribute to spike in cases in the country. Maria van Kerkhov, Technical Leadership in the World Health Organization’s Kovid-19, On 20 December told the BBC that the WHO is working to understand the extent to which the virus can spread, as well as other human behavioral factors that may be driving transmission. It is also looking at whether the mutation causes more severe disease and can avoid antibodies generated by vaccination.

2. When it emerged, what is known about it?

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