New 'More Contagious' Coronavirus Variant Found not to Cause More Severe Illness

Good news: The study found no significant differences in hospitalization or death rates.

While researchers have been concerned about the new more contagious coronavirus strain found in the United Kingdom, a new study suggests that it isn't any more deadly than other strains. 

Researchers from Public Health England, which is a government public-health agency, studied 1,769 people that were infected with the more contagious coronavirus strain, B.1.1.7. The group of people with the original coronavirus strain, made up of the same number of people, was collected to reference data. 

Notably, the study found that there was no statistically significant difference in hospitalization or death rates between the two groups. 

The "new" strain studied is the same one that has been found spreading across Europe and the US this week. The results of this new study point to good signs that there isn't a new more-deadly viral enemy lurking in the shadows

The new more-infectious variant was first found in the United Kingdom in September and is behind much of the surge in cases in the area. While the new strain now appears to not be more deadly, it is important to remember that it is still more contagious. 


As of today, the new viral strain has been found in 18 other countries, including many across the EU and Asia. The strain is also confirmed to be in the United States, but the extent of which isn't fully known

Of note, the study that made these new findings was a "matched" trial, meaning that individuals from both groups were matched up for age, sex, location, and other important factors to draw relevant conclusions between the two different strains. 


Reinfection of COVID-19 was also not found to be more likely in the new variant, per the study, which is also good news. 

A report of the study from Public Health England can be found here. 

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