Britain will take additional restrictions after the discovery of a new, highly contagious strain of the coronavirus. In France, only about fifteen patients would have been affected by this English variant. But, it is already causing great concern.
By By Géraldine Zamansky, journalist at Allodocteurs.fr
- What do we know about this new variant of SARS-CoV-2?
According to Professor Bruno Lina, virologist in Lyon and member of the scientific council, it is fairer to talk about “Clone” that of “Variant” for the new mutation discovered in Great Britain. Indeed, the antibodies developed by patients infected with the first virus would also work against its English cousin. But, what worries is that the changes have occurred in the famous spicules of the virus. These are the small peaks through which it attaches itself to cells to infect them. One of the hypotheses is that the small modified peaks of the clone would cling even more easily to our cells.
- This “Clone” of the virus more contagious?
The modification of the spicules could therefore explain that the new variant is transmitted more easily. An English study has shown that people infected with the clone had more virus in their ENT sphere than those affected by the classic virus. However, the more virus you have in your saliva, the more you transmit it by speaking. According to British researchers, this would translate into a 56% increase in contagiousness. Where a person carrying the “initial” virus infected two, with this “English” clone, she would infect three.
- Are children more affected by this new mutation?
It was initially believed that children were more concerned. But, this is actually explained by the period when this virus clone was studied. Indeed, in November, schools were open when social restrictions were much more important for the adult population! With more hindsight, English researchers conclude that there is more contagion at all ages. But, there is no particular concern for the children.