There are now 16 Covid-19 variants – heres the full list and what it means for you – Leicestershire Live

There have now been 53 cases of the new mu variant of Covid-19 confirmed in the UK – making it the sixteenth different strain of the disease recognised by the Government.

And while there have not yet been any cases of the latest variant detected in Leicester, cases in both the city and county remain stubbornly high, with 4,712 people testing positive in the last seven days.

Of those, 1,354 were found in Leicester, with the remaining 3,358 confirmed around the county.

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But hospitalisations remain some way short of the peak of the pandemic, with 127 patients in Leicestershire’s hospital at the last count – 20 of whom are in ventilation beds.

There have been more cases of the Delta variant across the UK than any other, with 669,401 infections confirmed, followed by the Alpha variant, with 277,951.

Here are the full list of Covid variants of concern – kept under closest watch – and how many cases there have been so far.

Alpha

The Alpha variant was first detected in the UK and became recognised as a strain after it was first sequenced in the UK in September 2020.

A total of 277, 951 people have contracted the Alpha variant, with 227,217 of the total cases being recorded in England. Cases have been detected in more than 50 countries so far.

The N501Y mutation, seen in the Alpha variant may help the virus spread more easily.

Beta

The Beta variant was first detected in South Africa, but has since been found in 20 other countries.

It shares the N501Y mutation with the Alpha Variant, which means its spreads more easily than other strains.

But it has not been anywhere near as widespread, with 1,110 cases of the Beta variant recognised in the UK according the latest available figures.

Beta also has a key mutation, called E484K that could help the virus sidestep some of the body’s immune defences.

Delta

The Delta variant, which was previously known as the Indian variant, began to sweep the country this summer.

In total, there has been 669,401 cases of the Delta variant in the UK.

England accounts for 556,542 of those, Northern Ireland, 33,552, Scotland, 58,022 and Wales 21,285.

There is no evidence that the Delta variant causes more serious illness than any of the other stain. It has some undergone some changes to its spike protein, the part of the virus that attaches to human cells, which means it could spread more easily, report Chronicle Live, although there is no evidence to show it might make current vaccines less effective.

Public Health England analysis found that two doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines was more than 90 per cent more effective against hospitalisations for Covid-19 caused by the Delta variant.

A single dose was less effective at preventing illness from Delta, compared to how well it worked against Alpha.

The latest Covid map of the UK shows cases are remaining high in a number of districts. Purple denotes areas with a rate of 400-799 cases per 100,000 people. Maroon areas have more than 800 cases per 100,000 people
The latest Covid map of the UK shows cases are remaining high in a number of districts. Purple denotes areas with a rate of 400-799 cases per 100,000 people. Maroon areas have more than 800 cases per 100,000 people

VOC-21FEB-02

This variant was first detected in the UK in December 2020 and there has so far been just 46 cases in total in the UK, with England accounting for 45 cases and Northern Ireland for one.

Gamma

The Gamma variant was first detected in Japan in travellers from Brazil in January 2021. Cases were then identified in the UK in February.

So far, there has been a total of 278 cases detected in the UK, with 253 recorded in England and 23 in Scotland. Wales recorded two cases.

The Gamma variant also shares the mutation, N501Y which makes the virus better at infecting cells and spreading.

It also has the E484K mutation that could help the virus sidestep some of the body’s immune defences.

Kappa

The Kappa variant has seen a total of 517 cases in the UK.

It was first detected in India.

England has recorded 471 cases of this variant, Northern Ireland, four, Scotland, 27, and Wales, 15.

VUI – 21APR-03

This variant was also first detected in India. It is responsible for 18 cases in the UK, 15 of which were recorded in England and the other three in Wales.

Little is known about this rare variant.

VUI -21FEB-01

Seventy-nine cases have been recorded in total in the UK, all were recorded in England.

Again, little is known about this mutation due to the small number of people who have been recognised as suffering with it.

Eta

The Eta variant was first detected in the UK in December last year.

A total of 512 cases have been recorded in the UK, with 460 of them in England.

Northern Ireland recorded a total of two cases, Scotland, 40 and Wales, 10.

It has been detected in over 23 countries.

VUI-21FEB-04

This variant is responsible for 368 UK cases. 314 of those cases were recorded in England, 43 of them were recorded in Northern Ireland and 11 of them were recorded in Scotland.

It was first detected in the UK and declared a Virus Under Investigation in February this year. It also shares the E484k mutation that could help the virus sidestep some of the body’s immune defences.

Zeta

The Zeta variant was first detected in Brazil and was first sequenced in the UK in November last year.

The UK has recorded a total of 60 cases of this variant.

England has recorded 54 cases, Scotland, five and Wales, one.

Theta

Ten cases of this variant have been detected in the UK, with seven in England and three in Scotland.

It was originally detected in the Philippines and was declared a VUI in March this year after two cases linked to travel tested positive in the UK. It contains the mutations E484k and N501Y.

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VUI-21MAY-01

This variant was one that was found much later than the earlier ones. It was first detected in the UK in May this year but England has already recorded 184 of the UK’s total of 185 cases for it, wit one case found in Wales

It was first detected in Yorkshire and the Humber.

VUI-21MAY-02

This variant was first detected in Thailand in travellers that had gone there from Egypt.

158 cases have been detected in the UK, with 147 of them being detected in England, three in Nothern Ireland, four in Scotland and four in Wales.

The variant is based on an “unusual mutation profile” and increased importation from a widening international area.

Lambda

First detected in Peru, the Lambda variant is the rarest strain in the UK, with eight cases detected in England which have all been linked to overseas travel, and one case in Northern Ireland.

VUI-21JUL-01

More commonly known as the mu variant, there have been 53 cases of VUI-21JUL-01 recorded in the UK, with 47 recorded in England, two in Northern Ireland, three in Scotland and one in Wales.

It was escalated to a VUI on July 21 this year. There is currently no evidence that it causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective.

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