According to a study carried out by the UK Office for National Statistics, people infected with the British strain of coronavirus show a more general symptom picture than those infected with the old strain and less loss of smell and taste.
Thus, cough, fatigue, sore throat and muscle pain are the main signs of this new variant of the virus. In addition, research has shown that fewer patients are asymptomatic.
Moreover, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has also stressed that the new strain could also be more deadly.
The UK Office for National Statistics has monitored 6,000 people who tested positive in England between November 15 and January 16 to conduct the study.
The agency has examined the symptoms that each patient presented up to a week before contracting the new variant of the disease and then compared them with those infected with the old one.
Of the 6,000 people, 3,500 were infected with the British strain of the virus. Of these individuals, 35% said they had a cough, 32% had fatigue, 25% had muscle aches and pains, and 21.8% had a sore throat.
The other 2,500 patients were infected with the older variant of coronavirus. 28% of them reported cough, 29% fatigue, 21% muscle aches and pains, and 19% sore throat.
The loss of smell and taste is a less common symptom in the British strain of the virus, according to data collected by the UK Office for National Statistics.
The first sign was present in 15% of patients infected with the new variant of coronavirus, while the second was present in 16%. This is a slight decrease compared to the old variant, which presented 18% in both cases. There is also a big difference in the presence of cough, 35% versus 28%, and in muscle pain, 25% versus 21%.
Furthermore, the study has also determined that there is practically no difference between the two strains in terms of headaches, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea or vomiting.
The new British strain, which was detected for the first time in southeast London at the beginning of last December, has become the predominant strain in Great Britain in just a few weeks and has already begun to spread throughout Europe and other continents.
The new variant has led the United Kingdom to significantly exceed the daily numbers for positives and deaths of last March. Thus, it is between 30% and 70% more contagious than the original strain.
Moreover, it is not only more contagious but could also be more virulent. "It seems clear that the virus is transmitted more, which will mean more cases, more hospital pressure, more ICU admissions, and, unfortunately, more deaths," explained José Antonio López Guerrero, director of the neurovirology research center at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Although as the new strain has progressed and transmission has increased, scientists have been able to discover the main characteristics and outline the behavior of this variant. However, it still remains unknown.