New research released today show that the Kent variant of the virus could be twice as deadly compared to other Covid variants.
Epidemiologists from Exeter and Bristol Universities analysed the strain and found it has a higher mortality rate amongst adults.
Scientists published their research in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which suggests the Kent variant raises the likelihood an adult will die by 30% to 100%.
The mutation led to 227 deaths when scientists sampled some 55,000 hospital patients, compared with 141 deaths of a similar sample of those who had other variants.
Dr Robert Challen who was the lead author said, “In the community, death from Covid-19 is still a rare event, but the B.1.1.7 variant raises the risk.
“Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly this makes B.1.1.7 a threat that should be taken seriously.”
Leon Danon, from the University of Bristol, senior author of the research said, “This meant we were able to maximise the number of ‘matches’ and reduce the impact of other biases.
“Subsequent analyses have confirmed our results. Sars-CoV-2 appears able to mutate quickly, and there is a real concern that other variants will arise with resistance to rapidly rolled out vaccines.
“Monitoring for new variants as they arise, measuring their characteristics and acting appropriately needs to be a key part of the public health response in the future.”
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