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New Covid variant sends UK cases soaring – new Delta sub variant explained

Covid: Dr Hilary sends warning over threat of a new variant

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Alarm has been sparked across Europe as Covid cases continue to soar. Some countries have taken the drastic action of imposing full lockdowns in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. Many fear cases could spike in the UK this winter. Should Britons be concerned about the new Delta variant sweeping the nation?

A Delta sub-variant recently identified in the UK is now twice as prevalent in England than it was two months ago.

A study commissioned by the Department of Health and Social care found the new mutation made up 12 percent of all new cases between October 19 to November 5.

The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, will give an update in the House of Commons today as the new strain sweeping across the UK causes Covid cases to soar.

It comes after the UK recorded a further 44,917 daily cases and 45 deaths on Monday November 22.

What is the new variant?

The new variant is a mutation of the Delta strain of the virus. It has officially been called AY.4.2.

This new variant is causing concern in Downing Street because of its transmissibility.

It’s thought to be 15 percent more infectious than other strains of the virus.

Why is this variant spreading so fast?

The study commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care was published on November 18 – it looked at swab samples from 100,000 people in England.

The research was conducted by scientists at Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI – they found those with AY.4.2 had fewer symptoms than those infected with other Covid strains.

They found that 66.7 percent of AY.4.2 cases were symptomatic, compared with 76.4 percent of cases of the main Delta variant AY.4.

According to this study, cases of AY.4.2. have been growing at a rapid rate of 2.8 percent a day every 10 days since late September.

This makes it the second most dominant strain of Covid after its predecessor, AY.4.

The lack of symptoms shown in those who contracted AY.4.2 might be a major reason behind its fast spread.

As this strain is thought to cause fewer symptoms, those infected with AY.4.2. are more likely to spread it unknowingly.

How dangerous is AY.4.2?

Although the fast spread of this new variant is concerning, the study also found that this mutation is likely to cause a “milder disease”.

It found those infected with AY.4.2 were more likely to report fewer severe symptoms or no symptoms at all.

This means if you are infected with the new subvariant, you might not feel as ill in contrast to other strains.

Just one-third of those with the AY.4.2. mutation had “classic COVID-19 symptoms” the study found, compared with almost half of the people with AY.4.

These “classic symptoms” include coughs, high temperatures, and a loss of smell and taste.

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