Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Health https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Lessons from the UK for a more contagious version of Covid-19

Lessons from the UK for a more contagious version of Covid-19



LONDON – The United Kingdom has become a testing ground for how a more contagious and possibly deadly variant of the coronavirus is spreading in communities, displacing its less transmissible ancestors and complicating the spread of vaccines and the removal of blockages.

The variant has now been identified in more than 70 countries and 40 US states, and its progress in the UK could help scientists understand its likely trajectory in the US. These charts show the prevalence of the variant around the United Kingdom and what British scientists are learning about it – including its higher transmissibility and lethality.

“Increasingly, since this version of the virus was discovered, we are indeed conducting two separate pandemics,”

; said Jason Leach, Scotland’s national clinical director. “This is a warning to other countries.”

Seven-day incidence of new Covid-19 cases in the UKLondonLondonBirminghamBirminghamSheffieldSheffieldBelfastBelfastEdinburghEdinburghCardiffCardiff

Seven-day frequency of new cases

Per 100,000 population

100175250325

British version of the new cases in England

September 3October 1November 5December 31February 4050100%

Source: Public Health England (map); Second generation monitoring system (diagram)

British scientists discovered the new variant in November and in early December traced its first appearance in the United Kingdom in the southern English county of Kent in September. In November, the country was blocked to quell a deadly wave of contagion that has been building up since the fall. British public health officials were puzzled by the continued spread of the virus in southern England despite these restrictions.

When researchers studied the genome of the variant, they found an unusually large number of mutations, some of which indicated the possibility of the new variant spreading faster than existing versions. Further sequencing – and the test oddity that serves as a reliable proxy for the presence of the variant – revealed how quickly the variant rose to dominance.

Total number of

contacts that

there were cases

Percentage of all contacts that occurred, by region

Total number of

contacts that

there were cases

Percentage of all contacts that occurred, by region

Total number of

contacts that

there were cases

Percentage of all contacts that occurred, by region

Percentage of all contacts made

cases, by region

Total number of

contacts that

there were cases

When the block was lifted in early December, the new version became national. The total number of cases per 100,000 people has quadrupled in London and soon the new option has been discovered in almost all parts of the UK. On January 4th, another, stricter block was imposed across the country to stop its spread. Since then, the backlog has shrunk and the government has announced plans for a phased opening in the coming months.

Public health officials have begun researching patterns of contact with people known to be infected with the new variant, now widely known as B.1.1.7. They found evidence that people infected with the variant had infected more people than those infected with the previous dominant strain. This finding enhanced genetic analysis, pointing to a more transmissible version of the pathogen.

“We haven’t seen anything like this in the UK in terms of its growth rate, in terms of its portability,” said Nick Lohmann, a professor of microbial genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham.

It is even more worrying that when public health officials and teams from UK universities began to study clinical data on those known to be infected with B.1.1.7, they found signs that the option could to be associated with a higher risk of death.

Findings from various studies have increased or decreased the likelihood of death from Covid-19 if

infected with the British variant compared to the previous variant

Findings from various studies on the increased or decreased probability of dying from

Covid-19, if infected with the British version compared to the previous version

Findings from various studies on the increased or decreased likelihood of

dies of Covid-19 if infected with the British variant compared to the previous variant

Findings from various studies on

increased or decreased probability of death

from Covid-19 if infected with the United Kingdom

variant compared to the previous variant

A preliminary analysis from Scotland suggests that infection with the variant may be 65% more likely to lead to hospitalization and 37% more likely to result in death than infection with the older version of the virus. Scientists say these findings are not definitive, and some studies suggest that the link with higher mortality is weak or the option may even be associated with a lower risk of death.

Still, the evidence was enough for a group of scientists advising the UK government to say this month that B.1.1.7 may be at greater risk of both hospitalization and death than the established versions.

Surveys of patients conducted by the UK National Statistics Office between November and January made another finding: B.1.1.7 infection can lead to slightly different symptoms, which can help doctors identify possible cases. .

Percentage of patients with Covid-19 in England reporting each symptom, depending on which variant they are

infected with

Percentage of patients with Covid-19 in England reporting any symptom based on which

variant with which they are infected

Percentage of patients with Covid-19 in England reporting any symptom based on

with which variant they are infected

Percentage of patients with Covid-19 in England

reporting each symptom on the basis of which

variant with which they are infected

The classic symptoms of Covid-19 – fever, cough and shortness of breath – are slightly more common among those with the new version than the old ones. Patients reporting loss of taste or smell are less common. And gastrointestinal complaints were more common in the case of the new option.

One cold comfort for the UK, according to public health officials, is that the new option is now so dominant and so transmissible that other options of concern to epidemiologists, such as those identified in South Africa and Brazil, have not won much. force. Another reason for optimism is that laboratory tests and some clinical trials, as well as actual vaccination in the United Kingdom, suggest that the option could be offset by the current range of vaccines.

As highly transmissible variants of the coronavirus spread around the world, scientists are vying to understand why these new versions of the virus are spreading faster and what it could mean for vaccination efforts. A new study says the key may be the protein that gives the coronavirus its flawless shape. Illustration: Nick Collingwood / WSJ

Dr. Philip Dormitzer, Pfizer Inc.

The chief scientific officer of the virus vaccines told UK lawmakers on Wednesday that the company sees protection against the UK option in real data from Israel and the UK, “equivalent to the protection we saw in controlled studies before the circulation of this option. . “

However, the rapid progress and unusual characteristics of the variant mean that it continues to worry, say disease experts, especially if vaccines do not work.

Cumulative number of US samples of Covid-19 that are positive for a variant in the United Kingdom

Cumulative number of US samples of Covid-19 that are positive for a variant in the United Kingdom

Cumulative number of American Covid-19 samples that are positive for the British version

Cumulative number of American Covid-19 samples

the test is positive for the UK variant

“This is a new beast,” said Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in California. He said he did not think it was widely believed that the new option could create a new pandemic, “driven by a tougher fighting virus”.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How should we prepare for new strains of coronavirus? Join the conversation below.

Write to Jason Douglas at jason.douglas@wsj.com and Joanna Sagden at joanna.sugden@wsj.com

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


Source link