12/22/2020 Journalists briefing on latest findings, scientists from the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) who track the variant said it has quickly become the dominant strain in the south of Great Britain and that it might soon be doing the same across the country. “We are now very confident that this variant has a transmission advantage over other virus variants that are currently in the UK,” said Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Oxford and Chairman of NERVTAG. “There is a hint that he has a greater propensity to infect children,” said Neil Ferguson, professor and infectious disease epidemiologist at Imperial College London and also a member of NERVTAG. The emergence of the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2, which scientists say is up to 70% more transmissible than previous strains in the UK, has prompted some countries to close their borders with Britain and pushed large areas of the country to severe restrictions on the Christmas season.
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