CoronaVirus New variant
The new variant of coronavirus discovered over the last few days by the Uk government seems to have rapid infection rate in children. As investigation continues it is not certain whether schools will be allowed to open in january according to bbc report. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is working hard to ascertain the infection rate in children and then decide if children will be allowed back to classes.
Prof Wendy Barclay, from Nervtag and Imperial College London, said the mutations to the virus appeared to be making it easier to walk through the doorways that were there.
She said this could be putting children on a “more level playing field” with adults as the virus was “less inhibited” in children.
Prof Barclay said: “Therefore children are equally susceptible, perhaps, to this virus as adults, and therefore given their mixing patterns, you would expect to see more children being infected.”
Work to understand the new variant is taking place at lightning speed and there is still much uncertainty.
It is now thought the new variant spreads 50% to 70% faster than other forms of the virus.
Early analysis of how and where it is spreading have also given “hints that it has a higher propensity to infect children”, according to Prof Neil Ferguson from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, who also sits on Nervtag.
He stressed the link was still being investigated and was not yet proven.
“If it were true, then this might explain a significant proportion, maybe even the majority, of the transmission increase seen,” he added.
But Prof Julian Hiscox, chair in infection and global health, from the University of Liverpool, told the BBC there wasn’t any evidence “at the moment” that the new variant is able to infect kids more efficiently.
He said this would be looked at closely by scientists over Christmas.