October 19, 2021

The Tampa Herald

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Israeli Study, British Variant of COVID Spread More Than Original Virus

2 min read

Study from Tel Aviv University, revealed that the British variant of the coronavirus is 45% more contagious than the original virus.

The study, published in the journal “Cell Reports Medicine”, compared the reproduction rate and concluded that a carrier of the original strain infects an average of one person, while the one infected with the British variant transmits the virus at 1.5.

“The importance of this study is that it is one of the first that is based on real information on infections and shows that, as suspected, the British variant is highly contagious,” said Professor Moti Gerlitz, author of the research , which anticipates that this strain will become the predominant worldwide.

The researchers studied a sample of 300,000 coronavirus tests carried out in Israel and analyzed the evolution of both strains between the months of December 2020 and January 2021.

The tests analyzed showed that in six weeks the British variant went from representing 5% of the positive results identified to 90%.

“To explain this dramatic increase, we compared the reproduction rate of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with that of the British variant. We found that the British variant is 45%, almost 1.5 times, more contagious,” explained Professor Ariel Munitz, of the Department of Immunology and Clinical Microbiology at Tel Aviv University.

COVID-19 continues its vertiginous advance mainly in America, a continent that, after the week with more global infections of the pandemic, is experiencing a rebound in cases attributed to the expansion of highly communicable variants and the relaxation of restrictions.

Experts have attributed this situation both to the increase in social contacts, especially among young people, and to the spread of more contagious and in certain cases more aggressive variants of the coronavirus, such as the British and the Brazilian.


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