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British PM says new variant may carry higher risk of death


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British PM says new variant may carry higher risk of death

By Andy Bruce and Alistair Smout

 

2021-01-22T193307Z_1_LYNXMPEH0L1FH_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN.JPG

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leads a coronavirus news conference at 10 Downing Street, London, Britain January 22, 2021. The prime minister announced that the new variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first discovered in the south of England, appears to be linked with an increase in the mortality rate. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS

 

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday the new English variant of COVID-19 may be associated with a higher level of mortality although he said evidence showed that both vaccines being used in the country are effective against it.

 

Johnson said that the impact of the new variant, which is already known to be more transmissable, was putting the health service under "intense pressure".

 

"We've been informed today that in addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant - the variant that was first discovered in London and the southeast (of England) - may be associated with a higher degree of mortality," he told a news briefing.

 

Johnson said however that all the current evidence showed both vaccines remained effective against old and new variants.

 

Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said the evidence about mortality levels was "not yet strong", and came from a "series of different bits of information", stressing there was great uncertainty around the data.

 

He said that once people reached hospital, there was no greater risk, but there were signs that people who had the UK variant were at more risk overall.

 

"There's no real evidence of an increase in mortality for those in hospital. However, when data are looked at in terms of those who've been tested positive... there is evidence that there's an increased risk for those who have the new variant, compared to the old virus," he said.

 

He said that for a man in his sixties, the average risk was that 10 in 1,000 people who got infected would be expected to die, but that this rose to roughly 13 or 14 people in 1,000 with the new variant.

 

"I want to stress that there's a lot of uncertainty around these numbers and we need more work to get a precise handle on it," he said.

 

"But it obviously is a concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility."

 

CAUTION

 

The warning about the higher risk of death from the new variant, which was identified in England late last year, came as a fresh blow after the country had earlier been buoyed by news the number of new COVID-19 infections was estimated to be shrinking by as much as 4% a day.

 

Data published earlier on Friday showed that 5.38 million people had been given their first dose of a vaccine, with 409,855 receiving it in the past 24 hours, a record high so far.

 

England and Scotland announced new restrictions on Jan. 4 to stem a surge in the disease fuelled by the highly transmissible new variant of the coronavirus, which has led to record numbers of daily deaths and infections this month.

 

The latest estimates from the health ministry suggest that the number of new infections was shrinking by between 1% and 4% a day. Last week, it was thought cases were growing by much as 5%, and the turnaround gave hope that the spread of the virus was being curbed, although the ministry urged caution.

 

But the Office for National Statistics estimated that the prevalence overall remained high, with about one in 55 people having the virus.

 

Britain has recorded more than 3.5 million infections and nearly 96,000 deaths - the world's fifth-highest toll - while the economy has been hammered. Figures on Friday showed public debt at its highest level as a proportion of GDP since 1962, and retailers had their worst year on record.

 

(Additional reporting by William James, Michael Holden, Andy Bruce, James Davey and Sarah Young; Editing by Alison Williams, William Maclean)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-01-23
 

 

 

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1st wave , 2nd one , 3rd one ... it is here to stay , despite all those vaccinations .

The good times are gone by now . bye bye .

It constantly mutates . When will a more lethal mutation appear ?

Waiting for the tsunami ...

Greetings from mother earth .

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5 hours ago, nobodysfriend said:

1st wave , 2nd one , 3rd one ... it is here to stay , despite all those vaccinations .

The good times are gone by now . bye bye .

It constantly mutates . When will a more lethal mutation appear ?

Waiting for the tsunami ...

Greetings from mother earth .

 

My understanding is that the mRNA vaccines can be altered relatively easily over a short time period to treat mutations. The AZ cannot. Neither can the China vaccines. Don't know about Russian and J&J.

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10 minutes ago, johnnytuc said:

Yet the UK has vaccinated more than the rest of EU combined ....fact

The UK will probably be the first country in Europe (brexit accepted) to have vaccinated all its population bar children by autumn this year. Pandemic there will then be over, as good as.

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And to think they won't consider locking down flights - people can still come and go and potentially spread this more lethal variant around the globe. Thanks Boris.

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5 hours ago, Bkk Brian said:

The UK will probably be the first country in Europe (brexit accepted) to have vaccinated all its population bar children by autumn this year. Pandemic there will then be over, as good as.

 

Enter the new,    pandemic mutation ...

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14 hours ago, rooster59 said:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday the new English variant of COVID-19 may be associated with a higher level of mortality

I suspect he might be on to something. Go Boris! The Sherlock Price is just around the corner.

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Looks like the party is over for the humans.

Mother nature has decided to take us to the cleaners...

I guess her patience ran out.

(at least after this, will we learn anything about living together?)

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18 minutes ago, ravip said:

Looks like the party is over for the humans.

Mother nature has decided to take us to the cleaners...

I guess her patience ran out.

(at least after this, will we learn anything about living together?)

 

         Look on the bright side.   Mother nature wins ,  naturally .

         Surely , must be better than a  man made nuke missile ..

         History will tell ,  hopefully ...

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I suspect it will take years to unravel all the mysteries with this virus.   Why do some people get so sick and die while others have almost no symptoms?   

 

As far as the variant being more deadly, I wonder if it is more deadly because it is more contagious, meaning more people get it, thus more people die or is it in fact more deadly?

 

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Johnson has been contradicted by his experts, who are saying his conclusion I had been drawn too early.

Looks like he is using this to suppress opposition against the covid measures.

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2 hours ago, ravip said:

Looks like the party is over for the humans.

Mother nature has decided to take us to the cleaners...

I guess her patience ran out.

(at least after this, will we learn anything about living together?)

 

Humans tend to forget pretty fast, and if the vaccines do the trick, we will return to normal within a reasonable amount of time. 

 

It's deadly and it's serious, and not to be joked about, but we will beat this thing, or at least learn to live with it. 

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On 1/23/2021 at 8:29 AM, nobodysfriend said:

1st wave , 2nd one , 3rd one ... it is here to stay , despite all those vaccinations .

The good times are gone by now . bye bye .

It constantly mutates . When will a more lethal mutation appear ?

Waiting for the tsunami ...

Greetings from mother earth .

Thats an interesting viewpoint:  The Earth is responding via nature to correct for the over burdening population crisis. 

 

If I ponder that further.... the next course in human evolution.  A mechanism of natural selection : Ergo survival of the fittest! 

 

Yes, I remember Darwin from grade school. 

 

Maybe you're on to something. 

 

Cheers

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