Arcturus: Five covid-19 patients die in the UK as the strain spreads globally

Five people infected with the Arcturus virus strain have died in the UK, according to the latest data from the chiefs of public health.

As of 17 April, there have been 105 cases of XBB.1.16, also known as Arcturus, in England, with localized infections in all but the North East.

Health chiefs said there was no evidence to suggest the new variant was any more dangerous than the previous one.

Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, who is also an advisor to the Joint Government Committee on Vaccination, said: Freelancer: “There is no clear evidence that it is a more dangerous variable in terms of case fatality rates or hospitalization rates than the previous and currently circulating sub-variants.

The deaths we see [son] Almost all of them are old, and of course they are caused by everything that is happening at the moment.

He added, “Since then [la variante] exists, and then the deaths we will witness will be associated with it because it is what is there.”

Data from the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHAS) shows Arcturus accounts for around 2.3% of all new cases.

Arcturus is closely related to another XBB1.5 variant, which is currently the dominant variant in the UK, said Professor François Balloux, Professor of Computational Systems Biology and Director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London.

He said: “In places where there has not been a wave of XBB.1.5 (such as India or China), the impact of the variant is expected to be felt, just as it is with XBB.1.5. By contrast, in places like the UK, it is not Expected to have a significant impact on the number of cases, not to mention hospitalizations and deaths.XBB.1.16 is still at low frequency here in the UK, but may become the next mainstream variant in the future.

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The UK’s Occupational Safety and Health Services Authority (UKHSA) said there was “insufficient data” to estimate the vaccine’s severity or effectiveness against other variants being circulated.

However, he said that “sample numbers are very low and results may change as more data become available.”

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated XBB.1.16 to an “interesting variant,” meaning it contains mutations that are suspected or known to cause significant changes and is widely circulated in many countries.

This comes after the eminent scientists said The Independent That the UK is not ready to deal with the next pandemic after the dismantling of coronavirus surveillance systems, cuts to research funding and because the NHS is already under pressure.

last week, The Independent Experts feared that Arcturus could become the dominant variant in the UK after the strain caused a new wave of infections in India, growing faster than other variants and “rapidly outpacing” the others.

The UKHSA report, released last Thursday, said India, which accounts for 61% of reported cases globally, was still seeing a rise in cases associated with the new variant. Between March 20 and April 3, the country saw an increase in the number of cases, nearly doubling in four weeks, to 11,109 on April 14.

However, UKHSA bosses said it was unclear based on epidemiological and laboratory data whether the growth would be repeated in the UK.

“XBB.1.16 is currently at low prevalence in the UK, showing some early evidence of growth advantage (low confidence due to low sample numbers), and will be monitored,” they said.

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