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Coronavirus variant first identified in UK appears to be more deadly, study suggests – CNN

The study showed that the new variant was associated with 227 deaths in a sample of 54,906 patients — compared with 141 deaths among the same number of patients infected with previous strains.

“In the community, death from COVID-19 is still a rare event, but the B.1.1.7 variant raises the risk. Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly this makes B.1.1.7 a threat that should be taken seriously,” Robert Challen, lead author of the study from the University of Exeter in the UK, said in a news release on Wednesday.

“There is a clear separation that occurs two weeks into that — so I would want more understanding of what the authors think that might be caused from,” said Adalja, who was not involved in the new study.

“Could it be that they’re getting bacterial infections, because they’re in the hospital longer? Could it be they’re more likely to have blood clots? What complication is causing that delay in death?” Adalja said. “That’s what I thought was most interesting.”

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