UK's new Covid variant: Does it cause worse or different symptoms?

London, United Kingdom - The variant has thus far been reported in 1,000 individuals in England, WHO says.

By Reuters

Published: Mon 14 Dec 2020, 11:16 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 9:30 AM

There is no evidence that a new variant of the coronavirus identified in England causes worse or different symptoms, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Monday.

"There are many variants. It just happens that this one has quite a few more mutations than some of the other variants, so that's the reason why we've taken it particularly seriously," Whitty said.

"But there's nothing to suggest that the symptoms are different, that the testing is different, or that the clinical outcome is different for this variant," he said during a news conference.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is aware of a new variant of Covid-19 that has emerged in Britain, but there is no evidence the strain behaves differently to existing types of the virus, it said on Monday.

"We are aware of this genetic variant reported in 1,000 individuals in England," the WHO's top emergencies expert Mike Ryan told a news briefing in Geneva. "Authorities are looking at its significance. We have seen many variants, this virus evolves and changes over time."

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