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UK Covid strain not more severe than others- The Lancet

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2 studies by The Lancet say there is no evidence that the recent UK Covid-19 variant, B117, is not more severe than other strains. Despite the bit of good news, the study did say that the particular strain is more transmissible, meaning its viral load is higher and well as its reproduction rates.

The recent study, indeed, gives backing to the fact that B117 is now the dominant strain appearing across Europe. Thailand is now reporting infections featuring the strain, as a new cluster in Thong Lor district of Bangkok, is becoming Thailand’s 3rd wave epicentre.

Despite previous studies showing the strain was linked to a higher likelihood of death than the other Covid variants, the 2 new studies published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases and The Lancet Public Health journals found no evidence that people with B117 experience worse symptoms or a greater risk of developing long Covid than those infected with different variants.

Authors of the first study looked at data from 341 patients who tested positive for Covid-19. They found that 58% of those patients had B117, while 42% had non-B117 Covid-19. Of those infected with B117, 36% became severely ill or died, compared with 38% of those with non-B117, suggesting that there was no association between B117 and heightened risk of severe infection.

The study also noted that those patients who were infected with the variant were younger, and the variant occurred more often in minority groups.

A 2nd study analysed self-reported data from 36,920 British users of a Covid-19 symptom app. They found that the B117 variant had a reproduction rate 1.35 times higher than normal coronavirus variants, but also found no evidence of increased disease severity.

Thailand reported 985 new Covid infections yesterday, with the death toll remaining at 97. 28,248 have recovered from the virus, while 5, 265 are listed as still in care or under observation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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1 Comment

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    Simon Small

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    These were not “studies by the Lancet”.

    They were independent studies published by the Lancet with the very clear caveat that they were not peer reviewed, not conclusive, and only looked at a very small number of patients in one hospital with Covid who were already hospitalised (341 cases), while the previous study looked at 2,245,263 Covid cases and 17,452 deaths, concluding that those with the B.1.1.7 strain were 50% more likely to die than those with other strains.

    As the Lancet pointed out, since the 341 patients were all already serious and hospitalised no conclusions could be drawn on the relative severity of strains or variants because it only looked at severe, hospitalised cases, not at the key figure of how many cases with the B.1.1.7 variant were serious, hospitalised or fatal compared to other variants.

    The studies didn’t say what the author / Bangkok Post / Straits Times / Bloomberg says, neither did the the Lancet.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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