DR ANTHONY Fauci has warned the UK’s “super-Covid” strain is more deadly after viewing new data on mutations.
Dr Anthony Fauci said the new UK variant causes ‘an increase in the seriousness of infection’ Credit: Today show
But Moderna said its jabs would still protect peopleCredit: Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Dr Fauci’s warning came after he initially dismissed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s claim the UK variant was more deadly.
Johnson said at a press briefing in London last week the mutant strain was between 30 and 40 per cent more deadly.
Afterward, the global science community — including Dr Fauci — urged caution.
But since then scientists have said there is growing evidence the UK mutation, which emerged in Kent at the end of last year, is more dangerous.
There have been 159 confirmed cases of the UK strain in the US.
‘SOUTH AFRICAN STRAIN ALSO CONCERNING’
Speaking to Today, Dr Fauci, said: “The data has not come out officially but taking a look at the preliminary data that the UK scientists have analyzed,
“I’m pretty convinced that there is a degree of increase in the seriousness of the actual infection which we really have to keep an eye on.”
But he said he was more concerned about the South African variant because it could make antibodies and vaccines less effective.
Some experts in Britain believe this strain could be more dangerous than the original one as well as the Kent variant.
I’m pretty convinced that there is a degree of increase in the seriousness of the actual infection
Dr Anthony Fauci
Scientists on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), who feed into the UK government advisory group SAGE, said some analysis on data in South Africa revealed “a hint of increased mortality”.
Moderna said today its vaccine was effective against new variants of the coronavirus that have emerged in Britain.
But it said appears to be slightly less protective against the variant discovered in South Africa.
The company is now developing a new form of the vaccine that could be used as a booster shot against that virus.
Covid has so far killed nearly 419,228 Americans.
But the number of Americans who tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday fell once again compared to the previous 24 hours.
The latest data from The Covid Tracking Project also suggests the fewest hospitalized Covid-19 patients since before Christmas Day.
Meanwhile, concerns have been growing about the Brazilian strain because it appears to be causing re-infection.
The microscopic photograph of the Kent strain of the virus was pictured by scientists at Vector State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in SiberiaCredit: RosPotrebNadzor
Dr Anthony Fauci said he had concerns about the South African strain Credit: Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Last night, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) boss Scott Gottlieb, said he was “fairly confident” the Brazilian variant was already in the US.
He told CBS’ Face the Nation: “I think we have to assume it’s here. And I feel fairly confident that it is here and we’re just not detecting it yet.”
But scientists in California believe there is a homegrown coronavirus strain in the state that could be responsible for the dramatic rise in cases.
Two separate research groups have discovered the apparent California strain while hunting for the new variant that is believed to have come from the UK, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The supposed California strain is in the same “family tree” as the British strain and could be behind the state’s spread over the past few months, the paper said.