Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that it has begun studying the B.1.621 coronavirus variant, which was first detected in Colombia in January of this year. On July 21, the strain was listed as a “variant under investigation.”
So far, they have recorded in the European country a total of 16 infections with B.1.621, most of them linked to trips abroad. At the moment, there is no indication that in the UK, where around 99% of COVID-19 cases are due to the Delta strain, there is community transmission.
There is also no evidence that variant B 1.621 causes a more severe course of the disease or that existing vaccines are less effective against it. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not consider it a variable of concern and only includes it in its existing list of alerts to improve monitoring.
The variant being on this list along with 11 others means it has modifications to the genome that may pose risks in the future. However, there is no clear evidence of the changes it might cause in the phenotype or in the epidemiological characteristics of the virus, for which it is necessary to maintain follow-up and continue studies.
Currently, the World Health Organization recognizes only four variants of concern, all of which were identified last year: alpha, which was discovered in the UK in September; betta, found in South Africa in May; Gamma, discovered in Brazil in November; And Delta, it was first registered in India in October.
(taken from Russia Today)
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