UK secure CureVac deal to develop new coronavirus vaccines
Not only is the Covid E484K virus more easily infectious, it’s known as an “escape mutation”, meaning it has the ability to slip past the body’s immune defences. This new development has opened the floodgates of testing. More than 100 cases go the mutated strain has been reported across Liverpool, Preston and Lancashire. “If you live in Preston or West Lancashire and you’re feeling under the weather, please get a Covid test,” urged Dr Sakthi Karunanithi.
The Director of Public Health and Wellbeing at Lancashire County Council said “it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the three classic symptoms”, which are:
- A new continuous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
“Even a headache could be an indication you may have this mutation,” continued Dr Karunanithi.
“While Covid has been here for a while now, [it] reminds us that we all need to keep doing what we can to stay safe and avoid spreading Covid to each other.”
Public Health Officials have listed nine symptoms that would enable someone to qualify for a PCR test. These include:
- A persistent headache
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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The Liverpool Public Health boss Matthew Ashton commented on the situation.
“We are concerned that people may not think they have Covid because they are not displaying the classic symptoms,” Ashton told the Liverpool Echo.
“As a result, [people] could be unwittingly spreading the infection to others.
“Testing has a key role to play in helping us keep the virus under control until we have a large proportion of the population immunised.”
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Coronavirus cases of the E484K mutant strain has also been detected in Bristol.
Dr Julian Tang, a virus expert at the University of Leicester, described the finding as “a worrying development, though not entirely unexpected”.
Fears mount that if people don’t follow lockdown rules, the virus not only continues to spread, “it can also evolve”.
Early results from the Moderna vaccine suggests it’s still effective against Covid mutations, although the body’s immune response may not be as strong.
Three coronavirus vaccines have been approved in the UK so far – the Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.
Two further vaccines – one from Novavax and another from Janssen – could be approved in the near future.
The Herculean vaccination programme has been going full-speed ahead with more than 10,971,047 people having received their first Covid jab.
The latest statistics from the government show that 505,993 people have now had their second Covid jab.
On Friday, February 5 there were 19,114 positive coronavirus cases across the UK.
The estimated “R” number (i.e. rate of infection) sits between 0.7 to one, meaning the daily infection rate is shrinking.
During this catastrophic pandemic 112,660 people have passed away from the deadly disease.
England continues to endure lockdown, with a plan for easing restrictions to be delivered on February 22.
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