This New COVID Strain Is Up to 70 Percent Deadlier, Study Finds

Researchers say this new variant may be leading to more deaths than previous strains.

It seemed we were hearing mostly good news about COVID in 2021, with the rollout of two effective vaccines and the trajectory of new cases headed downward for the first time in months. But then, new variants of the virus emerged and soon, the optimistic tone from doctors and public health officials started to shift. These new strains from the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil created serious concern, with experts initially unsure how transmissible they were, how deadly they were, and how they would respond to the newly created coronavirus vaccines and existing treatments. Unfortunately, new research just confirmed that those concerns were warranted: A study from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) has found that one COVID strain may be up to 70 percent deadlier than previous coronavirus variants. Read on to find out which variant could lead to more pandemic deaths and for more news about the virus, see why Dr. Fauci Says These Are the COVID Symptoms That Don't Go Away.

A new study has found that the U.K. strain could be 70 percent deadlier than previous strains.

Male and female doctors discussing while standing in ICU. Healthcare workers are protective workwear. They are at hospital.

A new study just confirmed that the COVID strain that originated in the U.K., called B.1.1.7, could be far deadlier for those infected by it, The Washington Post reports. According to NERVTAG researchers, this variant is 30 to 70 percent deadlier than previous virus strains. The study's authors concluded that there is significant evidence that B.1.1.7 is "associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and death compared to infection" from other strains of the coronavirus. And for more coronavirus concerns, read up on how The U.K.'s Top Scientist Has a Chilling COVID Warning for Americans.

It's also confirmed to be more transmissible.

three friends in brightly colored shirts standing in school building wearing masks and holding notebooks

While it was just recently confirmed that the U.K. variant is deadlier—a fear Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared a month ago—experts have long suspected that the U.K. strain is more contagious than others, as well. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimate that the variant is 43 to 82 percent more transmissible than previous variants.

A Jan. 15 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the strain is spreading so quickly that it is projected to become the dominant variant in the U.S. by March. And for more from the leading U.S. health agency, beware that If You're Layering These Masks, the CDC Says to Stop Immediately.

The U.K. strain has already spread across the majority of states.

Person administering COVID test

The CDC has reported three new variants in the U.S., with B.1.1.7 being the most prevalent. As of Feb. 14, the variant has already resulted in 1,173 COVID cases in 40 states across the country. The only states that have not reported cases of the U.K. variant are Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia. According to the CDC, Florida has the most cases of the U.K. strain with 379. And for more up-to-date COVID news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

There are four main symptoms associated with this particular strain.

Senior Man Suffering From a headache While Sitting on the sofa in the Living Room

If you're worried you may have come down with COVID due to the U.K. variant, you should pay extra attention to your symptoms. A January study from the U.K. government's Office for National Statistics (ONS) analyzed 6,000 COVID patients, discovering that the 3,500 patients who tested positive for B.1.1.7 were more likely to experience four particular symptoms when compared to those infected by other variants: cough, fatigue, muscles aches, and sore throat. And for more COVID red flags to be aware of, know that If You're Over 65, You Could Be Missing This COVID Symptom, Study Says.

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