LONDON – British authorities warned on Friday that a variant of the coronavirus first identified in the UK could be more deadly as well as more transmissible than previous versions of the pathogen.
The conclusions of scientists advising the British government are still very uncertain. But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised address that the option, which has caused an increase in Covid-19 infections in the United Kingdom and is spreading rapidly in the United States, could lead to higher mortality rates.
U.S. federal health officials say it is likely to become the dominant option in the United States by March.
“Today we were informed that in addition to the faster spread, it now also seems that there is some evidence that the new option ̵
Preliminary findings come as British hospitals deal with more Covid-19 patients than at any time during the pandemic. The death toll from Covid-19 in the UK is expected to exceed 100,000 next week.