UK News

COVID-19: Kent B117 Coronavirus Variant Spreads Easier But Doesn’t Make You Sicker, Researchers Find | UK News

The COVID variant first detected in Kent spreads more easily but does not increase the severity of the disease, according to two studies.

Known as B117, it is now dominant in the United States, the UK and a number of other countries.

The studies concluded that there is no evidence that infected people have more severe symptoms or are at a higher risk of developing COVID.

The viral load and reproduction number (R) were, however, higher, proving that it is more transmissible.

The authors of both studies said their findings differed from some other research exploring the severity of the variant and called for more work on the topic.

The first article – a whole genome and cohort sequencing study – looked at 341 people with COVID admitted to two London hospitals in November and December of last year.

The Kent variant was present in 198 (58%) and 143 (42%) had another variant.

But there was no evidence of a link between B117 and more serious disease, with 72 of 198 (36%) becoming extremely ill or dying with Kent’s variant, compared with 38% in those with another type.

Sixteen percent died with B117 within 28 days, compared to 17% for the other group.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

104-year-old woman who caught COVID twice clapped outside hospital

“Analyzing the variant before peak hospital admissions and all the associated strains on the health service gave us a crucial window of time to gain vital insight into how B117 differs in terms of severity or death in hospitalized patients from the strain of the first wave, “said virologist Dr Eleni Nastouli.

A second study analyzed self-reported data from nearly 37,000 users of the COVID Symptom Study app who tested positive between September and December, when the proportion of Kent variant cases increased in London and …

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2021-04-13 00:48:00

UK News

COVID-19: Areas where infections are at least three times the average | UK News

COVID rules have been relaxed across the UK, but infection rates vary widely, with seven local authority regions reporting rates at least three times the national average in the week ending April 4.

Clackmannanshire in Scotland has the highest weekly rate in the UK with 211.5 cases per 100,000 population. Corby in Northamptonshire and Barnsley in Yorkshire are also above 100 cases per 100,000 population.

This compares to a UK average of 32.5 per 100,000 population. In total, a third of local communities reported an above average infection rate in the most recent week for which data are available.

Explore the map below to find out the case rate in your area.

Cases have declined dramatically in most areas since the January lockdown began, even in the hardest hit. The graph below shows the trend in the areas with the highest rates, compared to the UK average.

Luton, Corby and Mansfield had particularly high rates when the UK went into lockdown and therefore had to drop further. While it is clear that cases have declined in these areas, progress has been slightly slower in recent weeks.

Overall, only 14 of 127 local authorities with above-average rates saw an increase in cases last week.

Last summer, some scientists and politicians questioned the decision to ease restrictions nationwide, saying rates were still too high to increase social contact in parts of England.

This time, the rollout of vaccination means there is a higher degree of immunity in the community. Older and more vulnerable populations are less likely to need hospital treatment or die.

More than 60% of UK adults have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Over 90% of those over 50 have received a blow in all of England’s 314 local authorities except 29.

While the vaccines offer hope, they are not 100% effective, and the jury is still out on how well they can prevent transmission or combat new variants.

Each relaxation of the rules has a …

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2021-04-12 15:05:00