New Covid Mutation Is ‘Out of Control’ in the UK

Mish

Belgium and the Netherlands suspend travel from the UK as authorities assess impact of fast-spreading new virus variant.

Out of Control 

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock  warns a new strain of the coronavirus is “Out of Control”.

More than 16 million Britons are now required to stay at home after a lockdown came into force Sunday in London and southeast England and the government scrapped plans to relax rules on socializing at Christmas.

The measures to control the fast-spreading new variant of the virus forbid household mixing in those areas and restrict socializing to just Christmas Day across the rest of England. Residents across the country were told to keep to their local areas, and extra police were being deployed at rail stations to stop people traveling out of London.

“Cases have absolutely rocketed, so we’ve got a long way to go,” Hancock told Sky News. “I think it will be very difficult to keep it under control until the vaccine has rolled out.” People in the new Tier 4 areas “should behave as though they have it,” he said.

Race to Block the New Strain

In a race to block the new Covid-19 strain, Countries Ban Travel From U.K.

Countries across Europe and beyond raced Sunday to stem a more-infectious strain of Covid-19 by banning travel from the U.K., following a British announcement Saturday that it is imposing fresh lockdowns.

Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Israel on Sunday were preparing to join the Netherlands and Belgium, which hours earlier had banned passenger air travel from the U.K., while other countries considered similar moves in an effort to prevent a worsening of the pandemic before Christmas.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a press conference Saturday that scientists believe the new variant could be as much as 70% more transmissible than more established strains. He said there is no evidence it is any more deadly or resistant to vaccines, despite its faster transmission from person to person.

In response to the discovery, Mr. Johnson imposed a fresh lockdown on London and nearby areas of southeastern and eastern England. The new measures include a ban on households mixing at Christmas.

Travel Bans

  • The Netherlands moved first, banning all passenger flights from the U.K. until Jan. 1. 
  • Belgium quickly followed, banning flights and rail arrivals of the Eurostar train line, beginning midnight Sunday, initially for 24 hours.
  • The German government later Sunday said it would restrict travel to and from the U.K. and South Africa, where the new strain has also been found.
  • France will suspend both travel and imports from the U.K. to France for at least 48 hours, beginning at midnight Sunday, French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said on French television.
  •  Israel barred travelers from the U.K., Denmark and South Africa, and said it could add more countries to that list. Israelis may return from those countries but must quarantine in a hotel, the government said.

Daily New Confirmed Covid-19 Cases 

Daily New Confirmed Covid-19 Cases 2020-12-20

The US and UK are the global Covid case leaders but also leaders in the race to vaccinate.

My concern always has been the vaccine would not work against rapidly mutating viruses.

Mish

Comments (123)
No. 1-31
Sechel
Sechel

Another reason why herd immunity fails. More spread = More mutation

Sechel
Sechel

So far the strains all respond to the vaccine but that could change. Just more reason to limit spread and reduce new strains popping up

goldguy
goldguy

Start treating the virus with Ivermectin, just like Africa, India, and a host of other third world countries did who have WAY less problems than the USA. OH, that's right we have a cure in the new vaccine. Good luck with that. I would rather take a drug with a history behind it than something that is for the most part unknown.

Webej
Webej

The Curious Case of the Nidovirus Exoribonuclease: Its Role in RNA Synthesis and Replication Fidelity. Among RNA viruses, the order Nidovirales stands out for including viruses with the largest RNA genomes currently known. Nidoviruses employ a complex RNA-synthesizing machinery comprising a variety of non-structural proteins (nsps). One of the postulated drivers of the expansion of nidovirus genomes is the presence of a proofreading exoribonuclease (ExoN) ... enhance[s] the fidelity of RNA synthesis by correcting nucleotide incorporation errors made by the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.

njbr
njbr

There is also a set of mutations in South Africa that increases ease of spread and attacks younger people more seriously...

One of these mutations increases binding to the human cell receptor, which could make it easier for the virus to infect.

Two of these mutations reduce virus sensitivity to some antibodies, meaning that these antibodies may not be as effective against this new mutated lineage, compared to the original (un-mutated) lineage.

We are really in a race now--herd immunity through death and disease or herd immunity through vaccine.

I have read that these mutations are to be generated in people with "long-covid" or have deficient immune systems.

By the way WTF is going on in Tennessee? Is it possble we are seeing the effects of similar mutations in the US?

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Do you ever get the feeling this could go to a much darker place?

The talk of a quick bounce back, pent-up demand etc, in 2021, is speculation. If this can mutate to more transmissible what the chance of mutation to higher lethality in so far less susceptible groups - young & healthy?

Jojo
Jojo

Does the UK travel ban include Ireland?

njbr
njbr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday called it “reprehensible” and “grossly negligent” to allow UK travelers to fly into JFK Airport without being tested despite a contagious new mutation of the coronavirus shutting down London.

“Right now, this variant in the UK is getting on a plane and flying to JFK,” Cuomo said in a call to reporters Sunday of the mutation UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned could be 70 percent more transmittable.

“Right now. Today,” the governor stressed, calling for the feds to impose coronavirus testing of UK travelers at a “minimum,” if not an outright ban.

“Literally six flights a day. And all it takes is one person,” he said of the possible seed for the new strain’s spread.

njbr
njbr

South Africa

Dr Zweli Mkhize
@DrZweliMkhize
Replying to
@DrZweliMkhize
Clinicians have been providing anecdotal evidence of a shift in the clinical epidemiological picture- in particular noting that they are seeing a larger proportion of younger patients with no co-morbidities presenting with critical illness. #SARSCOV2MediaBriefing

njbr
njbr

BREAKING: Coronavirus mutation first found in the UK also found in Italy, health minister says

Jojo
Jojo

The Coronavirus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Us?
Officials in Britain and South Africa claim new variants are more easily transmitted. There’s a lot more to the story, scientists say.
By Apoorva Mandavilli
Dec. 20, 2020

Just as vaccines begin to offer hope for a path out of the pandemic, officials in Britain on Saturday sounded an urgent alarm about what they called a highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus circulating in England.

njbr
njbr

Wow, this is shaping up to be a very bad first quarter in the world...

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

Freedom is worth anything. Freedom is a universal value. The British have the freedom to infect other people.

The only problem is the the virus also has the freedom.

Doug78
Doug78

Means that we will get to herd immunity faster. If we get there with more or less deaths than the old strain is something we can't determine until afterwards. Will be interesting to see if this strain attacks the 20 to 40 group. In 1919 there was a big bulge in that age group that dwarfed the deaths in the oldsters group.

Zardoz
Zardoz

Verily, the Stupocolypse is upon us!

William Janes
William Janes

No reason to hit the "panic button." Viruses are always mutating. The best professional opinion is that the Vaccine will be effective against these mutations.

njbr
njbr

The new strain...has acquired 17 mutations all at once, a feat never seen before.

If I could underline that, I would

....Scientists, meanwhile, are hard at work trying to figure out whether B.1.1.7 is really more adept at human-to-human transmission—not everyone is convinced yet—and if so, why. They’re also wondering how it evolved so fast. B.1.1.7 has acquired 17 mutations all at once, a feat never seen before. “There's now a frantic push to try and characterize some of these mutations in the lab,” says Andrew Rambaut, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh.

Researchers have watched SARS-CoV-2 evolve in real time more closely than any other virus in history. So far, it has accumulated mutations at a rate of about 1 to 2 changes per month. That means many of the genomes sequenced today differ at around 20 points from the earliest genomes sequenced in China in January, but many variants with fewer changes are also circulating. “Because we have very dense surveillance of genomes, you can almost see every step,” Loman says.

But scientists have never seen the virus acquire more than a dozen mutations seemingly at once. They think it happened during a long infection of a single patient that allowed SARS-CoV-2 to go through an extended period of fast evolution, with multiple variants competing for advantage.

One reason to be concerned, Rambaut says, is that among the 17 are two worrisome mutations in the gene that encodes the spike protein on the viral surface. One, called N501Y, has previously been shown to increase how tightly the protein binds to the ACE2 receptor, its entry point into human cells. The other, named 69-70del, leads to the loss of two amino acids in the spike protein and has been found in viruses that eluded the immune response in some immunocompromised patients.

LostNOregon
LostNOregon

Man. It's like the other countries aren't even trying to keep up with us.

goldguy
goldguy

With all the talk about this virus, which started in China, why have we not heard one word about any kind of retribution to the one who caused it? NOT ONE WORD from the MSN. China is responsible for ALL these deaths.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

I wonder what the US government would do, you know, if we actually had a US government.

Phaedrus_of_Bangkok
Phaedrus_of_Bangkok

@njbr .... you post constantly about the doom of Covid almost as regularly as a bot.
If anyone mentions good therapy and treatment you jump on them as if you are some kind of expert.
I'm guessing that you are not an actual doctor who treats Covid patients on a daily basis.
If you were - and assuming you were a good doctor - you would know that Covid patients recover very quickly when treated early with Ivermectin or even HCQ and Zinc. Although Ivermectin seems to work better and can be used later in the disease as well.
People like you cause real harm by spreading garbage all over the Internet. You really need to do more research before preaching nonsense.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

Wikipedia:

Ivermectin inhibits replication of SARS-CoV-2 in monkey kidney cell culture with an IC50 of 2.2 - 2.8 µM, making it a possible candidate for COVID-19 drug repurposing research.[82][83] The doses used in cell culture would require 10^4 larger doses in humans based on this data, which does not look promising as an effective treatment for COVID-19.[84][85] Such high doses of ivermectin are not covered by the current human-use approvals of the drug and could be dangerous, as the likely antiviral mechanism of action is the suppression of a host cellular process,[85] specifically the inhibition of nuclear transport by importin α/β1.[86]

A preprint published in April 2020 claimed benefits of ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19, but it was a retrospective study based on questionable hospital data from Surgisphere and was withdrawn at the end of May. The preprint led to several government agencies in Latin America recommending ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment; these recommendations were later denounced by the regional WHO office.[87] On October 12, 2020 Peru withdrew its authorization to use ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19.[88]

In November 2020 a meta-analysis found only weak evidence of benefit.[89]

nightrite
nightrite

You're all going to die.

Dhgerlach
Dhgerlach

As long as the viral surface spike proteins are similar, the mRNA vaccines should be effective.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Scary, and we aren’t even trying to keep it out? Is that what I understand? Stupid.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

I guess the UK got their Brexit finally, no visitors in or out of UK.

Betweentwoages
Betweentwoages

Lol. The mutated strain has almost zero scientific evidence of “how much more transmissible it is “ , it has also already been dated back 2 months and is already everywhere .

Covid will continually be leveraged to keep the emergency control button pressed and used as a mechanism for the wealthy to keep their wealth as the system slowly stumbles and quakes to try and maintain insane asset levels . Should Covid EVER die down to the point that resembles normalcy climate change will be next up to cause a emergency that will provide the political capital to instill new controls (perhaps on Travel / movement and even crop growth ) the latter is the biggest consumer of carbon . People’s desired opinions will be crafted and passed down via media and “wait a moment , these are issues but the response is worse “ folks will be ridiculed . People will be steered into morally accepting greater sacrifices as the financial / economic system no longer supports them and they need to accept their new lot happily . So these pillars of emergency will be leveraged in most media . We are being steered into a new social economic and eventually financial system over control . Emergency’s are amazing opportunities for politicians to make this transition smoother and not pointing fingers as the public must be confused and not angered .

David Puddy
David Puddy

Perhaps this is the "new strain" that Bill Gates was referring to when he said, "they need to prepare for the next one. And that one will get attention this time." And then he and his wife laughed. Coronavirus was bioengineered in a lab in or near Wuhan, China.

David Puddy
David Puddy

Create the "crisis." Solve the "crisis." Solving the "crisis" always means giving up freedom and our hard earned money. The Globalists that run everything are very smart and very good at convincing those who cannot think for themselves to part with their freedom and money in the name of "the greater good." Unfortunately, the "greater good" is a scam to line the pockets of Globalists and corrupt, swamp politicians.

Mattbeau
Mattbeau

Mish AGAIN falls for Covid nonsense. Too proud to read the facts stoicly and too invested in doom to admit he's wrong. Oh, how this site has plummeted in value.

inonothing
inonothing

Why not blame Wall Street? They closed factories here, opened factories there, transferred know-how and technology to China, enriched the middle class, stimulated the appetite for rare, exotic animals central to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and as a status symbol, increasing the black market for bats, pangolins, rhino horns, and virtually every other nearly extinct species. They were the force behind flourishing wet markets which allowed odd viruses to spread. They made a killing in China in more ways than one.

Drag them out of their mansions and make them pay.


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