The new COVID-19 mutation found in the UK could infect more children than previous strains, according to a government advisory group of scientists.
So far, COVID-19 has affected most adults, but children appear to be just as sensitive to the new strain, which is also thought to be more contagious, members of the advisory group on new and emerging respiratory virus threats told reporters. .
“There is an indication that he has a greater propensity to infect children,” NERVTAG member Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College London, said on Monday about the mutation that forced London to close.
Studies over the past few weeks show that “cases for the under-15 variant were statistically significantly higher than the non-variant virus,” he said, according to The Independent.
Wendy Barclay, another NERVTAG professor and virology specialist, said the mutations in the new variant include changes in the way they enter human cells, which may mean that “children are probably as sensitive to this virus as adults “.
“We’re not saying this is a virus that specifically targets children,” she said, saying it puts them “on a more level playing field” with adults in terms of infection, The Independent said.
The mutation – VUI 202012/01 – is accused of a huge increase in cases in the wider London area, forcing the government to “effectively cancel Christmas” there and leading to a multitude of nations closing their borders with Britain.
NERVTAG President Peter Horby, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University, confirmed that experts there “now have great confidence that this variant has a transmission advantage over other virus variants currently in the UK”.
Barclay, meanwhile, said they were not yet “completely confident” that the vaccines that had just been launched would be effective against the new variant.
This work is “underway in several laboratories in the UK at the moment”, she said of the urgent studies, others being carried out in the US, as well as by vaccine manufacturers.
With Post threads