New study shows that UK variant has increased transmissibility, but not greater severity

The following article was written by Lori Uildriks and published on April 22, 2021 by Medical News Today summarizes the results of two studies which explores the differences between the original SARS-CoV-2 strain from the B.1.1.7 variant, more commonly known as the UK variant.

On the of the studies came from The Lancet Infectious Diseases which involved 341 patients admitted to the University College London Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital. The study found that 58% of the study participants had the B.1.1.7 variant. The researchers found that those with B.1.1.7 had a significantly greater viral load, which supports the theory that the UK variant is more transmissible. The researchers, however, found no association for increase severity of disease or death among those who had the B.1.1.7 variant.

The second study, which appeared in The Lancet Public Health looked at the relationship between the increases in infection rates with the B.1.1.7 variant as well as its differences in symptomatology, reinfection, and transmissibility compared to the non-B.1.1.7 variant. The study involved data from 36,920 users of the COVID Symptom Study app with positive COVID tests between September 28 and December 27, 2020. The study found no changes in the reported symptoms or disease duration among those with the B.1.1.7 variant. It also found no difference in the infection rate between the B.1.17 groups and the non-B.1.1.7 groups.

Editor’s Note: The two studies summarized by the article below shows us that the UK variant is not a variant of concern. It does not cause greater disease severity, nor does it evade natural immunity. With these studies, we expect countries that are still tallying the cases of UK variant (like the Philippines) to stop doing so, as it only wastes very limited resources.

We must stress, however, that the findings of the two researches were nothing surprising. Virologists have been saying this early on [see New York Times: The coronavirus is mutating, and that’s fine]. Viruses which are highly transmissible tends to be less lethal. Those viruses with high transmissibility and high lethality tends to disappear faster because they kill their host and essentially, their capacity to survive [viruses are not living things and will not be able to survive long without their hosts, see Our complicated relationship with viruses]. There is no abnormality in the human immune system, and nothing in the genetic makeup of the SARS-CoV-2 which suggests that our civilization will get wiped out because of this virus. All the societal damages we are experiencing today have everything to do with the panic and fear-based decision making done by our governments.

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