As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to affect the world, a new strain of the virus has been discovered. The new strain, named B.1.1.7, was originally discovered in the United Kingdom, but has since spread to other countries, including the United States. The rising number of cases prompted the United Kingdom to enter a national lockdown, a third for the pandemic.
This new strain of Covid is even more contagious than the previous, despite having no increase in severity. The reason for the increase of contagiousness is that the new strain mutates itself to adapt and infect more people. The new strain is also able to attack the human immune system faster and more vigorously than the previous strains.
The symptoms of this new strain are very similar to that of Covid-19, including nausea, loss of taste, loss of smell, coughing, aches and pains, and a fever. No new symptoms have been discovered as of yet. Biologists keep discovering new information to form a better understanding of the different strains that will be found. However, they have been able to research that the Covid-19 vaccines appear to be effective against the B.1.1.7 Covid strain. The mutations of the strain have not been aggressive enough to overpower the antibodies thus far.
On January 12th, it was announced that two people in the state of Maryland had tested positive for the new UK based strain of Covid, and that they are currently quarantined in isolation. Governor Larry Hogan also announced during a press conference that “We are testing at five times the national average for this U.K. variant, so we might have found it faster than other people, but I think it’s pretty much everywhere across the country.”
If you have been going through any of the symptoms of the B.1.1.7 strain, it is best to get tested and self-isolate in order to protect your community. This strain of the virus is relatively unknown due to its recent discovery, so any information biologists receive can help the public find out more about the strain.