B117 variant doesn’t lead to severe illness, death: The Lancet


People infected with the B117 variant of the coronavirus did not experience more severe illness and were not more likely to die, according to a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

However, the strain, popularly called as the UK variant, remains more contagious than original strains of the virus, the npr.org reported.

It first emerged in England in September 2020, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is now the most common strain in the US.

For the study, the team collected samples from patients at the University College London Hospital and the North Middlesex University Hospital between November 9 to December 20, 2020.

Of the 341 patients, 58 per cent were positive for the B117 variant. The other 42 per cent were infected with a different strain, the report said.

Comparing the severity of symptoms between the two groups, the team found that patients who tested positive for the B117 variant also reportedly had higher “viral loads,” or greater amounts of the virus in their bodies, the report said.