Covid new strain symptoms: Global Public Health warns the world is ‘virus’s playground

Boris Johnson warns of threat of coronavirus to younger people

Viruses evolve continuously, including the coronavirus – so why are three variants raising alarm? For Sir Patrick Vallance, one variant from Brazil “is particularly important”. Speaking at the Downing Street conference, Vallance said the Brazilian covid mutant will be monitored “carefully”. At present, there is no evidence that any of the newly-discovered strains – including the Brazilian covid mutant – leads to more serious disease outcomes.

However, they are believed to be more contagious than the original strain that started the pandemic.

A higher infection rate inevitably means more vulnerable people are likely to need hospital care – when the NHS is already reaching full capacity.

Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said the world has become the “virus’s playground”.

Symptoms of new covid strain

Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) detected the new covid variant in four travellers from Brazil’s Amazonas state on January 2.

One male in his 40s, who was asymptomatic on his arrival in Japan, was later hospitalised as the virus attacked his respiratory system.

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Furthermore, one female in her 30s reported a sore throat and a headache while a young male recorded a fever; the fourth traveller remains asymptomatic.

The NIID stated the B11248 covid variant has 12 mutations in the spike protein.

Spike proteins are the instruments used by viruses to gain entry in host cells.

The NIID said it was still investigating how contagious the B11248 variant is, and whether the vaccine will be effective against it.

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In response to Brazil’s new variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Britain’s travel corridor will close.

At 5pm on Friday, January 15 the PM stated anyone travelling into the UK will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

In addition, anyone trying to travel into England must have a negative Covid test within the previous 72 hours.

These tighter restrictions will take place from 4am on Monday, January 18.

Both the B117 variant first identified in the UK, and the 501YV2 discovered in South Africa, share a genetic mutation of the spike protein.

Virologist Dr Trevor Bedford Tweeted there has been a “striking evolution of SARS-CoV-2”.

“[There’s] a repeated evolutionary pattern in the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern emerging from the UK, South Africa and Brazil,” he added.

Researchers are continuing to investigate their potential impact on vaccines.

The nation’s biggest vaccination roll-out continues as Health Secretary Matt Hancock asserted around two million people have already received the first jab.

All those eligible for a covid jab – whether it’s a the GP’s clinic or a high street pharmacy – will receive an invitation from the NHS via a letter.

The NHS letter will detail how to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment, which can be found on the NHS website.

Three vaccines have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). These are:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Moderna

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