‘Double mutation’ Covid variant first discovered in Indian is detected in UK

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A “double mutation” coronavirus variant from India has been detected in the UK.

Public Health England has reported a 77 cases of the variant, known as B.1.617, were found in the UK before April 14.

The new variant is understood to be a concern for experts due to it carrying two mutations in the spike protein which is likely to help it evade the body’s immune system.

Public Health England has described B.1.617 as a “variant under investigation” with 73 cases of it recorded in England and four in Scotland.

Scientists expect the variant to infect the human body more easily than other variants of the virus that have previously swept through the UK, Evening Standard reports.

A professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia said the variant could be more “problematic” than those that originated in South Africa and Brazil.

Prof Paul Hunter, said: “These two escape mutations working together could be a lot more problematic than the South African and Brazilian variants who have only got one escape mutation.

“It might be even less controlled by vaccine than the Brazilian and South African variants.”

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