October 23, 2021

ACN News

Area Control Network News | Breaking News

New viral strain spreads through UK

2 min read

Variant of Concern (VOC), 202012/01


Two week delay on full genome sequencing

Absence of amino acids 69 and 70 (Δ69-70)

Shows up on PCR test

S gene target failure (SGTF)

Cohort studies

Is there a greater risk of reinfections with the new variant compared to the wild-type virus?

20 September and 15 December 2020

Defined by a 90 day gap

New Variant case group

Two reinfections

1.13 per 1000 cases

Wild-type comparator cases

Three reinfections

1.70 per 1000 cases

Rate of detected re-infections

Reinfected with wild-type comparator

0.60 per 1000

Reinfected with new variant

0.61 per 1000

Does this non-difference have implications for vaccine efficacy?

Yes, the same immune response generates immunity to both new variant AND wild viral strains

Does the new variant lead to more severe illness and deaths than the wild-type virus?

Illness severity

No statistically significant difference in hospitalisation

or 28-day case fatality

Does the new variant lead to more hospitalisations than the wild-type virus?

Data from positive 3,538 cases

20 September to 15 December 2020

42 admitted

New variant group

16 admissions (0.9%)

Wild-type comparator cases

26 admissions, (1.5%)

Difference was not significant

Numbers likely rise in both groups with time

Is the new variant more deadly than the wild-type virus?

The 28-day case fatality

Only 2,700 cases with a full 28 days elapsed since the specimen date

New variant cases

12 of 1,340 (0.89%) died

Wild-type comparator cases

10 of 1,360 (0.73%) died

Odds ratio:1.21, p=0.65

Difference was not significant

Is the new variant more transmissible than the wild-type virus?

Secondary attack rates

5 October and 6 December 2020

1,105,388 cases reported to Test and Trace

46,237 (4.2%) had genomic sequencing data

1,978 had the variant (VOC 202012/01), 4.3% of those with sequencing data.

A total of 228,361 of all contacts notified by cases in this period became cases

15.1% among those whose index case was confirmed to have the VOC 202012/01

9.8% among those whose index case was sequenced and confirmed with other variants

Is this increased transmissibility consistent with previous data?

Estimated transmissibility and severity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01 in England

Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


VOC 202012/01 is 56% more transmissible

95% credible interval across three regions 50-74%

Source: Dr. John Campbell

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