How Contagious Is The Coronavirus Variant In India? : Goats and Soda - NPR
May 07, 2021 1 min, 2 secs
The numerals in the illustration show the main mutation sites of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the U.K., which is more transmissible than other variants.

The numerals in the illustration show the main mutation sites of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the U.K., which is more transmissible than other variants.

variant had a transmission advantage over the other types of the virus," says Wenseleers, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

The variant first detected in the U.K., called B.1.1.7, is indeed more transmissible and likely the most contagious version of the virus known.

"Based on this data, the new variant from India has a very big transmission or growth advantage," even over B.1.1.7, he says.

At the same time, the new variant that emerged in India, known as B.1.617, began to dominate the outbreak in several Indian states.

"If you take all these pieces of evidence together, I'm fairly confident that the variant from India has a growth advantage and that is a reason for the current epidemic in India," he says.

Still though, Gangavarapu says, there's no question the variant that emerged in India is worrisome — and something the whole world needs to try and stop together

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