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Covid-19: New coronavirus variant is identified in UK





Driving infections in the south east

What do we know?

VUI-202012/01

Variant Under Investigation

Defined by a set of 17 mutations

Most significant is an N501Y mutation

Spike protein

More infectious

How was the variant detected?

Genomics UK

Public health agencies, Wellcome Sanger Institute, 12 academic institutions

Random genetic sequencing of positive samples around the UK

Set up in April 2020, sequenced 140,000 virus genomes

Uses the data to track outbreaks, identify variant viruses, publish old weekly report



How common is it?

As of 13 December

1,108, 60 different local authorities

Sunday, 20th 60% of new cases in London

South east of England, Scotland

Seeded every part of Wales

Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Belgium flight ban, Eurostar to Belgium

France and Germany expected soon

First spotted in late September

Now 20% of viruses sequenced in Norfolk

Essex 10%

Suffolk 3%

No data to suggest it’s imported

Does this variant spread more quickly?

Initially it was a correlation

Up to 70% more infectious

Raising R value by

Is the new variant more dangerous?

Porton Down

Will the vaccine still work?

May have an effect on neutralising antibodies
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