There are now two new mysterious “extremely evasive” strains of Coronavirus running riot in the UK – just 24 hours after it was confirmed that one had already hit the country.
Yesterday, (November 6) it was revealed that the strain named as JN.1 by a medical journal was already making its way through most of the western world, including the UK, Iceland and the United States. Experts believed a rapid spread was already occurring in France. And now it has been revealed that alongside JN.1, there is now another new mystery strain popping up called HV.1 – and that too is already in the UK.
The strain became the new dominant strain last week, with an expert claiming that it could cause more hospitalisations due to the fact it is even more immune evasive than previous strains, and is also very transmissable. Professor William Schaffner, head of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, United States, said: “What we do know is that both these variants appear to be highly transmissible but not the cause of more severe illness.
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“My general sense is that the Omicron progeny – the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Omicron – are, in general, pretty darn transmissible. We can expect continuous mutation and a succession of variants coming up, each one succeeding others, creating a mix of sub-variants.”
And while experts are worrying about HV.1, JN.1 is still circulating. However, exact numbers are not easy to come by, as the official UK Government Covid tracker hasn't been updated properly since mid-October.
New 'evasive' mystery coronavirus strain found – and it's already in the UK
The professor who discovered that new variant, Thomas Russo, has warned the virus is “more transmissible” than other variants already circulating in several countries, and is believed to be a descendant of the Pirola strain, which came from the Omicron variant. The UK Health Security Agency is currently warning people to “get winter strong” ahead of an expectedly harsh period.
Professor Thomas Russo, speaking on the new virus, said: "There is some data that suggest JN.1’s parent BA.2.86 may be more transmissible than previous variants. Since JN.1 is a derivative of BA.2.86, there is a concern that it may be more transmissible.
"The updated vaccine is closer to JN.1 than our old vaccine, the hope is that, even if we see more cases with JN.1, the updated vaccine will protect against severe disease."
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