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Why the U.K.'s Mutated Coronavirus Is Fanning Worries: QuickTake

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Most Pregnant Women With SARS-CoV-2 Infection Are Asymptomatic

The researchers examined the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester of pregnancy.

BioNTech's CEO Ugur Sahin spoke with press over the phone yesterday and said it was "highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine can also deal with this virus variant". This raises the question of whether similar transmission could occur in the hospital.

"We have already tested sera from animals and humans vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine against a number of previous variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that have emerged since the first outbreak of the pandemic and found our vaccine to remain equally effective", Moderna said.

The easier it is for the virus to latch on to a receptor, the more likely it is infection will follow. Thorough investigation is underway to understand the detailed effect of the new variant.

"There is an really unusual cluster of mutations associated with this variant - 22 coding changes across the whole virus genome", said Wendy Barclay, head of the department of infections disease at Imperial College London and a member of NERVTAG, a group of scientists advising the British government on the threat posed by emerging respiratory diseases.

In this study, the researchers show that whilst protective antibody responses were usually complemented by a T cell response, over half of the healthcare workers had mismatched antibody and T cell responses, and did not produce a T cell response specific to proteins found on the outer layer of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

- How much more infectious?

Cameron said identifying such trends is part of why genetic sequencing of the virus matters.

Equally confident about the vaccine's ability to prevent the new mutations is Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. It was characterized by a more than three-fold increase in the 14-day case notification rate from epidemiological week 41 to week 50 (5 October to 13 December 2020).

Since Johnson's shock announcement, which triggered commercial flight bans and border closings, scientists in Britain have crunched even more data.

The variant, detected mainly in London and the southeast of England in recent weeks, has sparked concern worldwide because of signs that it may spread more easily.

Anything above 1.0 means that a virus is continuing to find new hosts and is expanding across a community, county or country.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious diseases expert, said that the new coronavirus variant is most likely already circulating in the USA, given the heavy amount of travel from the U.K.to the states. On average, between 5 - 10% of all SARS-CoV-2 viruses have routinely been sequenced in the United Kingdom and 4% routinely sequenced in South East England since the beginning of the pandemic. Most patients (86%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the third trimester, but nine tested positive during the second trimester. This new variant or any other variant of SARS-CoV-2 will not spread if we avoid close contact, wear masks when in crowded places or where physical distancing is not possible, wash hands repeatedly, and isolate ourselves if we develop respiratory symptoms such fever, cough, or difficulty in breathing.

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