New studies find British variant isn’t more deadly, but is more contagious
Share article:
Share article:

New studies find British variant isn’t more deadly, but is more contagious

Credit: Dirk Waem/Belga

The new so-called British variant of the coronavirus is more contagious but is not more deadly than the strain which emerged from China’s Wuhan, according to two new studies.

Previous studies, including one from the UK government, had found that the B.1.1.7 mutation led to a higher mortality rate, but two studies published on Monday have contradicted this.

In one study, published in The Lancet Public Health journal, researchers from University College London found that those infected with the British variant had a higher virus load, meaning it is more infectious, but compared with patients who did not have this variant, there were no more deaths.

Related News

 

To assess whether the symptoms of infections with the British variant differed from those of previous variants, the research investigated symptoms from cases reported between 28 September and 27 December 2020, when the proportion of cases with this variant grew most in Southern England.

“After examining the effect of the proportion of infections with the B.1.1.7 variant on Covid-19 symptoms, disease course, rates of reinfection, and transmissibility in the UK, we found no change in symptoms or their duration,” the report stated.

The second study looked at the symptoms of Covid-19 patients who became infected during the same period at the end of last year and saw no significant difference in the severity of the disease and the demonstrable long-term effects of infection with the British mutation.

The research evaluated the symptoms of patients and allowed them to report these via an app of the British NHS health service.

Both studies concluded that additional research is needed to confirm the results, and one study emphasised the importance of understanding how these mutations could affect the presentation and spread of the virus so that effective public health responses can be formulated.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Over 50,000 march against fascism in Rome
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against fascism in Rome on Saturday, one week after violent protests against the Covid certificate. Over ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Vaccinations: Belgium’s Health Minister currently not in favour of a general booster shot
The latest figures on new coronavirus cases are worrying, but rather than imposing new safety measures, what is needed is full compliance with ...
Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Belgium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Unfinished draft of new Astérix story discovered
The discovery of the unfinished draft of a cartoon album on the most famous of all Gauls, sketched by cartoonist René Goscinny, was announced by his ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...