The SARS-CoV-2 strain recently identified in the UK appears to be more easily transmitted, but otherwise is fairly similar to other viral strains, the New York Times writes.
Last month, officials in the UK reported finding a new viral strain, called B.1.1.7, in southern England that appeared to be spreading more easily, and it has since been spotted across the world in Australia, Canada, South Korea, and the US.
As the Times notes, recent analyses suggest B.1.1.7 is more transmissible — one recent analysis has suggested that it may be 56 percent more transmissible. There are some hints, the Times writes, that the strain may lead to a higher viral load among infected people, which it says could fuel the strain's easier spread, but it adds more work is needed.
"We need to look at this evidence as preliminary and accumulating," the University of St. Andrews's Muge Cevik tells it.
The Times adds that B.1.1.7 doesn't lead to more severe disease or increased deaths than other SARS-CoV-2 strains