Epidemiologists at the Universities of Exeter and Bristol found that the British strain of coronavirus B.1.1.7 is 30-100 percent more deadly than previous strains. This is reported in an article published in the British Medical Journal.
More than one hundred thousand people took part in the study. The researchers compared mortality rates within 28 days of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 between a group of 54,906 patients with the British strain of SARS-CoV-2 with an equally large group of patients with other variants of the infection. Participants from both groups were matched by age, gender, ethnicity, and other third-party factors to ensure maximum similarity between the two groups.
The researchers recorded 227 deaths associated with the British strain and 141 deaths due to earlier strains. Thus, the risk of death increased by an average of 1.64 times. This also means an increase in mortality from 2.5 to 4.1 per 1,000 identified cases.
According to the scientists, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be able to mutate rapidly, and there is a real risk that new variants with vaccine resistance will emerge.