New coronavirus strain spreading in UK has key mutations, scientists say

The new mutation will certainly be a challenge. Will the new vaccine be effective against the new strain???

LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists are trying to establish whether the rapid spread in southern England of a new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is linked to key mutations they have detected in the strain, they said on Tuesday.

The mutations include changes to the important “spike” protein that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus uses to infect human cells, a group of scientists tracking the genetics of the virus said, but it is not yet clear whether these are making it more infectious.

“Efforts are under way to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission,” the scientists, from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium, said in a statement (

The new variant, which UK scientists have named “VUI – 202012/01” includes a mutation in the viral genome region encoding the spike protein, which - in theory - could result in COVID-19 spreading more easily between people.

The British government on Monday cited a rise in new infections, which it said may be partly linked to the new variant, as it moved its capital city and many other areas into the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions.

As of Dec. 13, 1,108 COVID-19 cases with the new variant had been identified, predominantly in the south and east of England, Public Health England said in a statement.

But there is currently no evidence that the variant is more likely to cause severe COVID-19 infections, the scientists said, or that it would render vaccines less effective.

“Both questions require further studies performed at pace,” the COG-UK scientists said.

Mutations, or genetic changes, arise naturally in all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, as they replicate and circulate in human populations.

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, these mutations are accumulating at a rate of around one to two mutations per month globally, according to the COG-UK genetics specialists.

“As a result of this on-going process, many thousands of mutations have already arisen in the SARS-CoV-2 genome since the virus emerged in 2019,” they said.

The majority of the mutations seen so far have had no apparent effect on the virus, and only a minority are likely to change the virus in any significant way - for example, making it more able to infect people, more likely to cause severe illness, or less sensitive to natural or vaccine-induced immune defences.

Susan Hopkins, a PHE medical advisor, said it is “not unexpected that the virus should evolve and it’s important that we spot any changes quickly to understand the potential risk.”

She said the new variant “is being detected in a wide geography, especially where there are increased cases being detected.”

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The new lockdowns begin in London.

London Under Lockdown as U.K. Struggles to Contain New Coronavirus Strain


December 19, 2020 12:37 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street, in London, England, October 14, 2020. (John Sibley/Reuters)

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed London and parts of southeast England under a full lockdown Saturday as the government struggled to stop the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus.

Johnson had planned to ease pandemic restrictions for five days around Christmas, but will now ban household mixing in London and southeast England and will restrict inter-household social gatherings in the rest of the country to just Christmas Day, according to Bloomberg News.

The prime minister urged citizens to “stay local” and avoid traveling and placed hot-spot areas around London under new “Tier 4” restrictions beginning Sunday. Under the restrictions, all non-essential business will close, millions will be required to stay home and all foreign travel is banned except for essential purposes.

The new rules will be reviewed on December 30.

Will this new virus reach the US in time for Joe to implement his new plan??

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I was just about to start a thread such as this one.

This is a very interesting development. The first thought I had was “how do they know it is Covid19 and not some other new virus”.

The sharp reaction from the British government is verging on panic. Just a few days ago, like about 3 days ago, BJ was describing Christmas curfew arrangements which allowed close family groups to meet as normal for the holiday period. There were a few calls from some other politicians saying that such measures were full of risk.

Then … yesterday, a new tier-4 was invented which is effectively lock-down. A lot of the service businesses which are affected were open until late last night to cram-in as much business as possible before what is likely to be another 4-week strangulation. Barbers and hairdressers, non-essential outlets for clothing and the like, were open until 11pm. From today they are shut until further notice.

By some accounts the measure of infectious transmission is even worse than last/this year’s variant. This appears to have worried a number of politicos including the UK’s near European neighbours.

The Netherlands (oft referred to as Holland) has issued a total ban on visitors from the UK.

The “new version” of Covid BJ says, is 70% more contagious than the original…:flushed:

It’s actually another mutation of the virus.

The dominant strain we are familiar with is the D614G originally appeared in Europe and was more infections the the original strain.

How infectious it is has yet to be determined by researchers. Politicians will say anything today as we all know to get pool to comply with their orders.

State health officials announced Colorado’s first case of the of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.

The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed and notified the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the case. The individual is a male in his 20s who is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history.

Public health officials are doing a thorough investigation. The individual is recovering in isolation and will remain there until cleared by public health officials. The individual has no close contacts identified so far, but public health officials are working to identify other potential cases and contacts through thorough contact tracing interviews.

The flowbee was ahead of its time :laughing:

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To late, it’s here…

Are you typing from under your bed??? :grin:

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It’s in Colorado now because Trump refused to screen passengers coming to the US from the UK.


Isn’t that racist? …

Trump did that personally???

It’s quite intriguing as he hasn’t traveled outside the US and knows no one that has traveled outside the US. Found in Elizabeth a small town outside Denver. How he got that strain if he did is unknown. If he does have it hundreds if not thousands already have it in the US.

As a side note, it’s a virus you can run but you cannot hide.

So … did he buy something from eBay or wherever?

Does he work at one of those DNA processing genealogy establishments … guess we shall find out eventually.

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i’m sure the story will come out some day. He lives in a little tow in Elbert county south east of Parker a burb of Denver. I suspect he went to the big city and caught it there. They only random sample for type of mutation on a very small number of tests. There probably is a large number of actual cars of this type, we just haven’t tested for the variation.

Again - if Trump had stopped travel to and from the UK this wouldn’t be an issue. Even if he had mandated screening it might not have been an issue…but he failed on both counts and now this more contagious strain will be tearing through the country.


You are delusional.

This country has no borders. People can walk across the south border without a problem.

People can enter the country via the northern border without a problem.

Sure ban travel from the UK and unless you ban all international travel the results are exactly the same.

I truly believe the left cannot rationally think before they make a stupid comment like banning travel from the UK accomplishing exactly nothing.

But in any case, this isn’t about the new Virus but about the continual saga of blame Trump .

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The fairy believes in fairy tales.

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Trump downplayed COVID from the very beginning because he cared more about corporate profits than the people living in this country. Most reasonable people are placing blame where it’s due.