The new variant of COVID has brought to us new reasons to worry. The death toll is rising so is the mortality rate.
People are worried and are keeping themselves updated with critical health news to predict lock-down and similar situations in their countries. Considering the new variant, new ways of precaution and immunity development are being devised.
One question that remains paramount among all the COVID-related health is about the mortality of the new variant.
Is it as deadly as its predecessor?
Is it worse?
What is the infection rate?
The first worrisome fact that relates to the UK variant is its infection rate. According to the research, this variant is easier to spread from one person to another. Its speed of spreading is 30% to 70% higher than the original strain. On average, the strain affects 50% more people with direct contact than the original virus.
If you are hearing more reports of death because of the novel version, you can attribute this higher number to its higher infection rate. However, other factors make B.1.1.7 more problematic than the previous strain.
Symptoms and Complications
One noteworthy trait of the new version of the virus is the lack of difference in its symptoms and that of its predecessor’s. Patients who are affected by B.1.17 show similar symptoms and problems as those patients who suffer from original COVID-19.
Difficulty with Diagnosis
One of the complications with the new variant is the difficulty in diagnosing it. As its symptoms are similar to the previous version, doctors fail to recognize the variant present in a particular patient. In other words, the prevalent swab test that detects COVID-19 doesn’t tell if the virus relates to the original strain or it is the newer version.
This difficulty in diagnosis doesn’t harm most young people. However, older people may encounter severe complications owing to this virus than its predecessor.
Another impact of this failure in diagnostics creates delays in the alert system of a particular area. As the new variant enters a new country or city, people there may not recognize its presence until the virus is too spread to be contained.
So, one factor that can impact the mortality rate of this virus is confirmed – that’s infection rate. The other factor, however, is still open for debate. Is this virus more complicated to deal with than the previous one?
For starters, this virus doesn’t bring more complications than the original version. Its symptoms and effects are similar to those of COVID-19. And its response to COVID’s treatment and medications isn’t much different from COVID’s response to these interventions.
The same is the case with vaccination. Luckily, the vaccines that are effective against COVID-19 are also helpful in preventing infection of B.1.1.7.
We can safely assume that we are better equipped to deal with the UK variant of this virus than we were when we faced COVID-19.
There are a few pieces of good news that are unearthed by the studies on this virus. First, we shouldn’t worry that the new virus is more complicated to treat.
The second breath of relief is hidden in its response to recently developed vaccines. COVID vaccines are just as effective for the new virus as it was for the previous version. We are more prepared to fight against B.1.1.7.
Thirdly, the mortality rate is still open for debate. There are a few studies that indicate that the new version is 30% deadlier. However, scientists claim that such studies need more evidence to be taken seriously.
There is no doubt that the new variant is more complicated for some patients. However, we yet have to learn how this increase in complication affects the general population. For now, we only have to bank on the fact that the fear of a higher mortality rate that is associated with this virus is not yet confirmed.
With this critical health news, we have learned that the new New B.1.1.7 virus is more lethal than its predecessor. However, this increase in mortality rate has more to do with its higher infection rate than its severity.
Studies are being conducted to learn the change in the complexity of the disease that accompanies this virus. However, this impact is yet to be discovered.