New COVID strain discovered in the UK

A new strain of the coronavirus has been identified in the UK.

New COVID strain discovered in the UK: Public Health England (PHE) have designated it a “variant under investigation” (VUI). It is named VUI-202102/04 (lineage B.1.1.318) and it’s thought to have originated in the UK. So far 16 cases have been identified. Through genomic horizon scanning the cases were discovered on 15th February.

All those with the cases and those that were in contact with them have been traced. The advice to them is to self-isolate. It has been identified as a more serious variant and tagged as a “variant of concern” (VOC). Concerning variants in the UK include the Manaus variant, the South Africa variant and the Bristol variant. There is now confirmation from PHE that 59 cases of the South African variant are in England.

With the addition of the new strain there are four VOC’s and four VUI’s being tracked so far. Scientists are continually working on new vaccines to handle the variants. Some of these will hopefully be available by the Autumn.

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