advertisement advertisement advertisement A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 20 states, and people are wondering: How do I protect myself now? advertisement advertisement We saw what the new variant, known as B.1.1.7, can do as it spread quickly through southeastern England in December, causing case numbers to spike and triggering stricter lockdown measures. The new variant has been estimated to be 50% more easily transmitted than common variants, though it appears to affect people’s health in the same way. The increased transmissibility is believed to arise from a change in the virus’s spike protein that can allow the virus to more easily enter cells. These and other studies on the new variant were released before peer review to share their findings quickly. Additionally, there is some evidence that patients infected with the new B.1.1.7 variant may have a higher viral load. That means they may expel more virus-containing particles when they breathe, talk, or sneeze. As professors who study fluid dynamics and aerosols, we investigate how airborne particles carrying viruses spread. There is still a lot that scientists and doctors don’t know about the coronavirus and its mutations, but there are… Read full this story
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