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Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

Matt Hancock announced that a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been identified in his speech to the House of Commons.

Prof Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said:

“The genetic information in many viruses can change very rapidly and sometimes these changes can benefit the virus – by allowing it to transmit more efficiently or to escape from vaccines or treatments – but many changes have no effect at all.

“Even though a new genetic variant of the virus has emerged and is spreading in many parts of the UK and across the world, this can happen purely by chance. Therefore, it is important that we study any genetic changes as they occur, to work out if they are affecting how the virus behaves, and until we have done that important work it is premature to make any claims about the potential impacts of virus mutation.”


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