Great Britain

Covid is mutating and patients are dying QUICKER in second wave, Sage papers reveal

COVID-19 is "mutating" and patients are dying quicker, new SAGE papers have revealed.

The findings released today by the government offer scientific insights into the pandemic as the UK battles a resurgence in the killer coronavirus.

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One of the most startling admissions is that the virus is mutating and may become more infectious.

The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) believe most of these changes will be harmless and none so far have changed Covid's severity.

However, researchers at NERVTAG, which works with the government's advisory group SAGE, warns the mutations could increase Covid-19's ability to spread.

The paper says "…they may affect transmission."

Indeed, the scientists go onto explain that Britain is unable to properly assess the risks posed by the changes.

The paper adds: "In the UK, researchers are currently monitoring whether mutations are occurring, but are not systematically checking whether these mutations 'matter'. This is an important gap in our knowledge."

"We currently lack the capability in the UK to rapidly and systematically assess the biological significance of detected genetic change."

The data shows that coronavirus patients in the UK are dying quicker than in the first phase of the pandemic.

By August 1, patients were dying an average of 13 days after symptoms started.

However, the average figure has now dropped to 7.5 in men and six days in women.

The Covid-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN) collected the data from 76,700 across the UK.

It did offer an explanation but cautioned that the evidence was "not strong."

One explanation is that only severely ill people are dying as doctors have gained a better understanding of how to threat the virus.

Medics have learned to lie ICU patients on their stomachs in a "pruning" position without using invasive ventilation.

Steroids such as dexamethasone and hydrocortisone have also helped to treat severe cases.

As a result, less people are actually dying for from the respiratory disease.

Oxford university researchers found the death rate had fallen from 6 per cent on June 24 to 1.5 per cent on August 5.

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