British coronavirus strain up to 70% more deadly, UK study confirms
Share article:
Share article:

British coronavirus strain up to 70% more deadly, UK study confirms

Credit: Belga

The new variant of the coronavirus first detected in the UK last autumn is not only more infectious, but also 30-70% more deadly, based on a study by the UK government released on Friday.

The new research, which assessed a larger number of samples than previous studies, also found that patients who tested positive for the British mutation have a 40-60% greater chance of being hospitalised.

The mutation is “associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation and death compared to infection with other forms of the virus,” according to British virus advisory body Nervtag, which drew from multiple databases across the country for its study.

Previously, scientists had already determined that this particular strain of the virus, known as B.1.1.7. because of its molecular makeup, was probably between 30% and 70% more transmissible than earlier types.

Related News


The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed last month that it could be more deadly, based on data from mathematicians that compared death rates in people infected with either the new or the old variant.

Nervtag does recognise there are still uncertainties with regards to these figures: for example, these figures could be distorted, as B.1.1.7 struck more often in nursing homes. However, the various sub-analyses still all arrive at the same increased mortality rate per case.

The research produced no new findings on people’s response to this particular mutation, with most people developing no more than a flu or cold-like illness.

Since the variant was first reported, it has spread to 82 countries, and around one in three coronavirus infections in Belgium now involve the British strain, according to virologist Steven Van Gucht.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Increase in number of people ‘asking King for mercy’ through royal pardons
More and more people living in Belgium have been seeking royal pardons, mainly for fines, largely as a result of it now being possible to send in ...
England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...