The new UK variant of the coronavirus is up to 100% more deadly than the original strains of the virus, claims a study published by the British Medical Journal on Wednesday.
Variant B.1.1.7, first identified in Kent, England in September, resulted in 227 deaths in 54,906 infected patients, the data shows.
By comparison, 141 out of a similar population of people with previous strains of the virus have died, the researchers said.
According to UPI, “In the community, death from COVID-19 is still a rare event, but the B.1.1.7 variant raises the risk,” study co-author Robert Challen said in a press release.
“Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly this makes B.1.1.7 a threat that should be taken seriously,” said Challen, an epidemiologist at the University of Exeter in England.
The variant is claimed to be more contagious than previous strains and was the main driver of the recent round of bans in the UK, the researchers said.
It has already been detected in more than 50 countries around the world, including the United States, the researchers said.
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