On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the new U.K. variant of the coronavirus might be deadlier than the original in addition to being more contagious.
During a press conference, Johnson said that it “now appears there is some evidence that the new variant… may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.” Sir Patrick Vallance, Britain’s Chief Medical Officer, said that more research was needed but did confirm that there was an increased risk in those who have the new variant of the virus.
For example, with the old coronavirus variant, someone in their 60’s had a 10 out of 1,000 chance of dying. With the new variant, that number jumps to 13 or 14 people out of 1,000.
The newer strain of the virus began to circulate in the United Kingdom during the fall. It soon made its way to the United States. Luckily, the current COVID-19 vaccine is said to be effective against this more potent strain.