Why is the new variant more transmissible?

Why is the new variant more transmissible?

Raj Bhopal: The honest answer to that is no, because no one knows. Everyone is still discussing it. Firstly, the old variant has been around a little while. 15-20% of people have already estimated have had the infection, so a little bit of population immunity has been built up on the old variant. If the immune system that has been built up does not work so very well with the second variant, it is going to spread a bit faster. There will be hundreds, if not thousands of variants over the next few years, just like the flu virus, there are many variants every year. We are evolving all the time, there are mutations occurring in all of us as human beings. There are mutations occurring in everything that is living and there will be numerous mutations. At the moment, we don’t really understand why the new variant is more transmissible and even whether it is, one study has estimated that it is only 6% more transmissible, another study has estimated 30%. Firstly, it was 70%, but that number has been coming down. So, yes, it is a little bit more transmissible, but we don’t know why.


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