The virus variant B.1.1.7, often called the “British variant”, was discovered in the fall and is now common in Sweden. The variant is considered the most contagious, but it is unclear how much. However, some studies have shown, despite criticism, that the alternative could be more lethal. The two new studies now show the opposite.
I the first From the new studies, researchers analyzed data from 341 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 in southeast England at the end of last year.
During this period, the mutant variant spread rapidly and the researchers can well see that more than half of those infected with the variable B.1.1.7 carried.
The researchers noted that those infected with the virus appeared to be younger, and that some ethnic minorities were overrepresented. They can also see that the amount of virus in samples containing the B.1.1.7 variant was higher than that of other virus samples.
However, when they looked at the percentage of those who had contracted a severe course of the disease, and in some cases the result was fatal, this was on par with those carrying the “usual” variant of the virus.
The other The study used data from more than 36,000 users of the Symptom Tracker app to track infection in the UK, all of whom tested positive for covid-19 in late fall.
Even in this study, the researchers couldn’t see any signs that those who had the mutated variant became seriously ill or died to a greater degree.
However, they could see that it was slightly more infectious as the r number (reproduction number) was 1.35 times higher in the virus variant than in the other form of the virus. The number R shows the number of other people on average each infected person carries the virus.
Ida Vanhainen / TT