New Covid strain which has infected hundreds has already rapidly spread across Britain

THE NEW super-contagious mutation of COVID-19 has already rapidly spread across Britain, according to experts.

The new variant of coronavirus, which has already infected hundreds across the south and southeast of the UK, has reached Scotland and Wales. Scientists have warned the new strain, called VUI – 202012/01, appears to be spreading faster than other forms of the virus and is cropping up in areas of the country where infection rates are rising the quickest. The UK has already informed the World Health Organisation of the new variant spreading across the country.

Experts analysing the genetic code of the variant say it is believed to have originated in South East England and was not imported from abroad.

Their comments at a press briefing today suggested it has quickly spread across Britain.

There is currently no evidence to suggest the new variant causes more severe symptoms or will be resistant to the vaccine.

But there is evidence the strain is spreading much quicker than the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

Professor Tom Connor, of Cardiff University, said: “In terms of in terms of geographic spread within the UK I mean, this virus spreads.

“It’s what it does and one of the reasons why we have lockdowns and why we have social distancing is because when people move around they you know you can take the virus with them.

He added: “It’s quite clear that it has spread beyond that and it is it is spreading into other parts of the country.”

The experts are concerned about the new strain because it displays 17 changes to the original virus – many more than previous variants detected by their surveillance.

Professor Nick Loman, of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at Birmingham University, said: “It is a it is a quite a striking growth in that variant, much more than we would expect to see.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced five cases of the new strain had already reached Scotland.

She told MSPs all of the cases of the new strain, which has been linked to faster spread in certain areas of the country, were found in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area.

Ms Sturgeon said: “While the initial analysis of it suggests that it may be more transmissible, with a faster growth rate than existing variants, that is not yet certain.

“It may instead be the case that it has been identified in areas where the virus is already spreading more rapidly.”

Courtesy of express.co.uk

https://tinyurl.com/yasjcd24

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