UK Coronavirus Variant Currently Has No Significant Impact O
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According to WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated at a much slower rate than the influenza virus, the latter having required that its vaccine strains be reviewed and revised each year based on the circulating strains prevalent that year.

The WHO chief scientist emphasized that it's important to continuously monitor what's happening to this virus, with the focus on bringing transmission down and getting it as low as possible.

Meanwhile, according to Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, even with the latest UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus, there's zero evidence at this point that there's any increase in severity associated with this disease. He reiterated that no variants have yet established themselves as having any higher level of severity, or invading our diagnostics, or hiding from vaccines, or the effectiveness of vaccines.

Britain reported to WHO on Dec. 14 of a SARS-CoV-2 variant that has been associated with an increase in R0, which is the number of people that one infected individual transmits the virus to, from 1.1 to 1.5, R0 around 1.5 means the virus can be stopped.

The UK variant is currently not affecting most of the COVID-19 diagnostic tests either, according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on COVID-19 response at the WHO Health Emergencies Program, as most of the tests are looking at multiple targets within the genome.

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