UK scientists: Future COVID-19 variants could have 35 percent fatality rates
The nation press services
2021-08-01 | Since 2 Month
Future COVID-19 variants could have fatality rates of up to 35 percent, top UK government scientists have warned in a new report. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said it is a “realistic possibility” that future variants could prove as fatal as MERS, which has a death rate of 35 percent. The chance of deadly COVID-19 mutations increases depending on the prevalence of the virus, the report said, adding that rapid vaccine rollouts worldwide will increase immunity levels, thereby forcing variants to mutate at a faster and more deadly pace. The advisory body warned that future strains could become resistant to vaccines if they originate from the beta variant and combine with the alpha or delta variants, in a process called recombination. And even with vaccines being expected to neutralize serious disease among COVID-19 patients, the report said a higher death rate is to be expected in the case of new deadly variants given that vaccines “do not provide total sterilizing immunity.” SAGE also warned that COVID-19 can infect common animal species including minks, which some countries have taken to culling. In response to the potential threat from animals — including dogs, cats, mice, rats and ferrets — becoming a host for future deadly variants, the group suggested that mass culling or animal vaccination programs should be considered by governments.