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The new COVID-19 variant reported in the U.K is considered 70% more transmissible than the original strain.

Preliminary reports by the UK show that the new virus variant is estimated to be 40-70% more transmissible.

Preliminary reports by the UK show that the new virus variant is estimated to be 40-70% more transmissible. A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in England in September appears to be spreading far more rapidly than earlier variants. British scientists have identified 23 genetic changes on the new variant, some of which are associated with changes in the proteins the virus makes. This variant is referred to as SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation, the year 2020, month 12, variant 01).

In a press release on Dec. 14, 2020, the World Health Organization stated that a total of 1108 people were infected with SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01 in the United Kingdom as of Dec 13, 2020. The variant was detected as part of an epidemiological and virological investigation started earlier in Dec. 2020 following a rise in COVID-19 cases in South East England. Further, the UK's preliminary reports explain that this variant is more transmissible than earlier circulating viruses.

As per the statements by the UK, infection rates in areas where this particular variant is circulating have increased faster than expected. Also, the evidence indicates that the new variant has a higher transmission rate than other circulation variants.

Lab studies are ongoing, whether these variant viruses have different biological properties or alter vaccine ability. Also, there is no evidence to validate if the variant is linked to any change in the severity of the clinical disease or mortality.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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