B.1.1.7 variant 45% more contagious than original virus – Study

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A recent study has concluded that the B.1.1.7 variant of the Covid-19 that was first identified in the United States is 45% more contagious than original virus.

A recent study analyzed data from 300,000 polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests taken throughout Israel.

The scientists were able to chart the rapid spread of the new variant. They found that on December 24, 2020, only 5% of cases were attributable to the B.1.1.7 variant.

By January 2021, the variant was responsible for 90% of cases while currently, the figure is around 99.5%.

Speaking about the results of the study, one of the authors, Prof. Ariel Munitz, says: “To explain this dramatic increase, we compared the R number of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with the R of the [B.1.1.7] variant. In other words, we posed the question: How many people, on the average, contract the disease from every person who has either variant? We found that the British variant is 45% — almost 1.5 times more contagious.”

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