Covid-19: why the English variant risks making the epidemic uncontrollable in France
DECRYPTION – 19 cases have been detected to date in France, but the actual circulation is undoubtedly much higher.
Epidemiologists focus on a one-letter, three-digit code name: B.1.1.7. This is the name of the new English variant of the coronavirus, carrying mutations that make it more contagious, and which is replacing in Great Britain all the strains that circulated before. French epidemiologists have only one question in mind: in how long will the B.1.1.7 variant become dominant in our country, and with what consequences?
“To answer this question, you need to know two parameters, on the one hand the prevalence of the new variant, that is to say what is its level of circulation, and on the other hand its effect on the spread of the disease., explains Mircea Sofonea, epidemiologist and modeler at the University of Montpellier. The British measurements give us an idea of the second parameter, of the excess contagiousness of the new variant, but unfortunately we have to date no reliable data on the first parameter, the
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