144 days ago • Posted by Charles-Henry Monchau
How much faster is the new coronavirus variant spreading?
The S Gene variant was first detected in September. In November around a quarter of cases in London were the new variant. This reached nearly two-thirds of cases in mid-December. You can see how the variant has come to dominate the results of testing in some centres such as the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Laboratory. There are three things which are attracting attention with regards to this Covid-19 variant: 1)It is rapidly replacing other versions of the virus; 2) It has mutations that affect part of the virus likely to be important; 3) Some of those mutations have already been shown in the lab to increase the ability of the virus to infect cells. All of these come together to build a case for a virus that can spread more easily. However, there is no absolute certainty. New strains can become more common simply by being in the right place at the right time - such as London, which had only tier two restrictions until recently. Source: BBC