New variant under investigation in England

New variant under investigation in England

New variant under investigation in England

A new variant of coronavirus has been designated as under investigation by Public Health England, according to the latest reports.

While it is on a watchlist, it isn’t considered an immediate concern.

The variant, VUI-202103/01, was first identified in two people in the south-east of England.

They had recently travelled to Antigua.

The new variant contains the spike mutations usually associated with variants of concern, such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil.

But according to Public Health England, it doesn’t feature the specific deletions which would lead to it being designated a concern.

Thorough investigations to identify and follow up any close contacts are also underway.

No other cases have been found thus far.

However, four more cases of the variant first identified in Brazil have been found in the UK.

This brings the total number to 10.

There are many thousands of different versions, or variants, of Covid circulating.

Some variants appear to be more contagious and there are concerns current vaccines may be less effective.
This is because they were designed around earlier versions of coronavirus.

Scientists believe they should still work, although perhaps not quite as well.

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