‘Real deal’ Covid variant is now in Britain: Patient is hospitalised in London with heavily-mutated BA.X strain – and experts think they caught it IN the UK
- The World Health Organization yesterday labelled it a ‘variant under monitoring’
- Experts believe the variant could have over 30 mutations in its spike protein
A new Covid variant dubbed the ‘real deal’ is already in the UK, health experts said today.
One case of the Omicron spin off — given the placeholder name as BA.X but yet to be officially designated — has reportedly been confirmed in London.
It comes less than a day the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed it was officially tracking the variant.
The strain is now classified as a ‘currently circulating variant under monitoring’ by the UN health agency.
Alarm bells over the strain were first rung earlier this week, after a prominent online virus-tracker spotted cases initially crop up in Denmark.
The discovery came just a day after the same lineage was detected in Israel.
One case of the Omicron spin off — given the placeholder name as BA.X but yet to be officially designated — has reportedly been confirmed in London
Yesterday variant trackers online also suggested a fourth case had been spotted in Michigan.
Some scientists have already called for the return of face masks because of the spin-off strain.
Others, however, buy online herbal testosterone usa no prescription have warned it is far too early to panic and stressed that lockdown-era restrictions won’t be needed.
UK Health chiefs have yet to make any formal announcement on the variant.
But Dr Luke Blagdon Snell, a physician specialising in infectious diseases and microbiology, in a tweet claimed a patient had reportedly been hospitalised at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital in London with the ‘highly mutated’ strain.
Read more: World Health Organization is now officially tracking ‘real deal’ Covid variant BA.X amid fears strain could explode and trigger fresh wave
Samples of the variant have been sent to School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences at King’s College London, he added.
The infection had been acquired ‘locally’ he said and later added there was no ‘immediately obvious’ connection between the cases reported in Denmark, Israel and the US.
A process called ‘sequencing’ allows scientists to find the exact genetic make-up of every virus sample.
Early tests show BA.X carries more than 30 mutations in its spike protein, the part of the virus that latches onto human cells and causes an infection.
This is the same piece of the virus that vaccines are designed to target.
Several have unknown functions but others are thought to help the virus evade the immune system.
Confirmation of the case also comes amid a surge in cases of the virus, triggering fears of a fresh wave as Britain heads into the autumn and winter when the NHS is busiest.
NHS hospital data also shows daily Covid admissions in England have increased by a third in a week, rising from 171 on July 28, to 229 on August 4, the latest figures available.
Hospitalizations had been freefalling nationally since March, from a peak of almost 1,200.
The beginning of July however, saw these numbers begin an uptick, rising slightly.
But, current admission levels are nowhere near levels seen earlier in the pandemic, when a high of 4,100 admissions were logged per day.
And, as time has worn on, fewer and fewer admissions are directly down to the virus. Instead, many patients are just coincidentally ill.
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