Covid: Public Health England declares more cases of ‘variant of concern’ in UK

Coronavirus: Third wave 'inevitable' claims epidemiologist

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.

As a third wave crushes over South America – and the EU is seeing a resurgence of Covid cases – the Brazilian variant of concern, P1, is rising in numbers across the UK. Public Health England (PHE) has sourced the worrying strain in the West Midlands and Haringey, north London. Amidst travel restrictions, both Covid cases have been linked to international travel to Brazil.

The case in West Midlands follows the infected person’s arrival at Birmingham Airport.

As part of the managed hotel quarantine, when the person tested positive for the virus, they had to self isolate.

“The London case was picked up through surge testing,” added PHE, and as a response, surge testing will be stepped up in the affected area.

“Contact tracing teams have undertaken a comprehensive investigation to identify any further contacts,” PHE said.

This brings the total number of P1 Covid variants up to 12 across the UK – nine in England, and three in Scotland.

Meanwhile, another coronavirus strain has been designated as a “Variant Under Investigation” (VUI).

The variant (P3) includes a number of notable mutations, such as the E484K and N501Y, which have proven to be more contagious.

Around 33 cases of this VUI variant has been identified in the Philippines, and two in the UK.

Fatty liver disease: The three most common symptoms [INSIGHT]
Bowel cancer symptoms: Narrow poo is a sign [TIPS]
Diabetes type 2: How to spot diabetic diarrhoea [ADVICE]

“PHE and international partners continue to monitor the situation closely,” the organisation emphasised.

What does this mean for the UK vaccination programmme?

Researchers from the University of Oxford have said that “the P1 ‘Brazilian’ strain may be less resistant” to the vaccine than first feared.

This conclusion arises from a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study from the team at Oxford University, as reported by The Independent.

The research team examined the impact of natural and vaccine-induced antibodies on different coronavirus strains, including P1.

Although the vaccine didn’t work as well against the variants as the original coronavirus strain, it was still effective.

The university commented: “[This] data suggest that natural and vaccine-induced antibodies can still neutralise these variants, but at lower levels.

“Importantly, the P1 ‘Brazilian’ strain may be less resistant to these antibodies than first feared.”

Other strains tested were the Kent and South Africa strain – two other variants of concern.

All three coronavirus strains were mainly neutralised by the Oxford or Pfizer vaccines.

While there may be a hiccup in the supply of Covid vaccines come April, the UK Government has said we are still on target.

Meanwhile, there has been international concern over the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab due to blood clots.

However, European countries have now resumed vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine after the European Medicines Agency said it was safe.

Source: Read Full Article