1. How do Brits get 70%?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the boom would be 70 per cent more contagious than the alternative we already know. Johnson has this number Presentation by Eric Foles, a British epidemiologist at Imperial College London.
However, this number is only a starting point. There are researchers reporting an infection rate higher than the above 70 percent, but also researchers who now believe it is lower. Thus, the declared 70 percent is not certain, but a starting value.
The studies indicated are not yet public, and therefore cannot be verified yet. “It’s too early to say the exact percentage,” says Foles.
2. What do critics say?
So there is no certainty about the infection rate, not even in the UK. There are also virologists who are skeptical about the high infection rate. BBC spoke For example, Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham. He says there is not yet enough general evidence to conclude that the new mutation is actually accelerating the spread of the disease.
Dutch virologists also do not dare to say that the mutation actually causes a much greater spread. For example, the virus can now often be caused by a major event in which many people are infected. Virologist Wim van der Poel of Wageningen University states that 70 per cent of those who report are “extremely short-sighted”. “We lack the data to prove it.”
Van der Poel: “In order to identify this larger infection, you would actually have to do all kinds of experiments. In my opinion, it’s too early to prove that.”
In any case, the concern in the UK was reason enough to take action. It is now no longer possible for passengers to come to the Netherlands by plane, train or boat. Here is what Minister Hugo de Jong said yesterday after the flight ban came into effect:
3. How far has it really spread?
At least one person in the Netherlands has been affected by this mutation. It was the beginning of December, so it cannot be ruled out that the virus has already spread in the community. Marcel Levy, director of several hospitals in London, said yesterday that we should have no illusions. “This alternative has already appeared in the Netherlands. The virus respects neither borders nor a passport.”
Cases have also been reported in other countries. For example, Denmark and Australia have reported cases, according to Cabinet reports. But there is a possibility that it has already reached other countries.
4. What exactly do we know about this boom?
First analysis of The new variant has been published It will have many changes from the known variant. There are changes – and now technology – in the so-called spike protein, which the virus uses to penetrate our bodies.
The new variant will have such changes that get stuck more easily in our bodies and thus also infect us more easily. “This appears to be an important change,” Professor Nick Lowman of the Covid-19 Genomics UK consortium told the BBC.
5. How did the boom originate?
This is not clear, but it could be that the virus has mutated in a patient with a compromised immune system that cannot defeat the virus. Instead of dealing with the virus, the body becomes a place where the virus can mutate.
Virologist van der Poel agrees that this may have happened. “With a good immune system, the virus has less chance of settling in the patient. With a lowered immune system, this works, and as a result, more mutations occur spontaneously.
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