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What we know about the new SARS strain that?s shutting down the UK

World Health Organization
the Ars Orbital Transmission
CNMN Collection WIRED Media Group
Condé Nast

John Timmer
Beth Mole
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Maria Van Kerkhove
Mike Ryan

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the United Kingdom

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Positivity     32.00%   
   Negativity   68.00%
The New York Times
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But other researchers are now rapidly working to collect data on the variant's interactions with human cells and immune responses to see if those interactions differ from those seen by other SARS-CoV-2 strains.While much remains to be known about the variant, dubbed B.1.1.7, there are some reassuring aspects. It's here where the strain was first identified, and most people infected with it are in the UK.Details on the new strain became apparent because of ongoing surveillance work within the UK, where researchers randomly sequence the genomes of dozens of virus samples every month. Over the course of the pandemic, circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2 have typically picked up an average of one or two mutations a month, so this level of surveillance has been sufficient to follow the origin and spread of new strains. But by this weekend, B.1.1.7 was accounting for about 60 percent of the new cases in London, prompting government officials there to claim that the strain can spread more rapidly.To know this for sure, however, we'll have to engineer the mutations found in B.1.1.7 into a lab strain and then test its infectivity. In the mean time, scientists have looked over the mutations present in the new viral strain and speculated on which ones could potentially be providing it with enhanced infectivity or altering the course of infections.While B.1.1.7 represents a new strain of the coronavirus, we know a fair amount about coronavirus biology, allowing us to determine when mutations alter a critical region. But due to Singapore's successful control of the pandemic, there are no longer any active infections with that strain, so we have no further data there.There's also some suggestive information that can be gathered from the collection of mutations found in B.1.1.7 as a whole.

As said here by John Timmer and Beth Mole