As with any flu virus, Covid-19 is continually mutating, but just how many variants of Covid-19 are there?
In recent weeks, certain parts of the UK have seen a surge in cases. The current infection rate in the UK stands at 4,522,476* which is almost 50% higher than in May when restrictions were eased sparking fears of a third wave.
The surge in cases has been linked to the new Indian variant, known to the World Health Organisation as ‘Delta’.
By reaching for our hand sanitiser gels, and taking a self-test kit, we are taking precautions to protect ourselves, but how many variants of Covid-19 are there? Should we be worried?
How many variants of Covid-19 are there?
Since the start of the pandemic, Covid-19 has mutated thousands of times around the world. Most changes to the virus are inconsequential, but others have made the disease more infectious or threatening.
The more concerning mutations are referred to as ‘variants’ and are kept under very close watch by health officials. Currently, there are four ‘variants of concern’ under close watch by health officials, these are:
India, or Delta variant (B.1.617.2)
At present, this is the most concerning variant of Covid-19 and more than 12,000 cases have been identified across the UK.
This variant is said to be up to 50% more transmittable and infectious than any other variant and in India, this variant is taking around 4,000 lives per day.
In the UK, over 12,000 cases of the Indian variant have been identified and the Prime Minister has warned that it is a cause for concern and could delay the easing in restrictions beyond 21st June.
The UK, Kent, or Alpha variant (B.1.1.7)
This variant was first detected in September 2020 in southeast England and its rapid spread plunged the country back into a strict national lockdown.
By far, this is the most prevalent variation in the UK with more than 200,000 cases identified. It has now spread to over 50 countries, and there have been signs that the variant is showing signs of mutating again.
South Africa or Beta variant (B.1.351)
This variant was first discovered in December 2020 in South Africa and has been linked to over 33,000 deaths worldwide. It has spread to over 20 countries, including the UK.
This variant is said to be more transmittable with more severe symptoms. It has also been said to pose a higher risk of reinfection.
Brazil or Gamma variant (P.1)
First detected in February 2020, the Gamma variant caused devastation with more than 200,000 deaths around Latin America.
Like the South African variant, the P.1 variant is more transmittable and has a higher rate of reinfection.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have been advised to use hand sanitiser gels and 3 ply face masks to protect ourselves. We are even eligible for a free self-test kit to restore our confidence, but should we be worried about the new variants?
Currently, data suggests that the Covid-19 vaccinations are effective in protecting us against the different variations of the virus, but we should still be utilising personal protection items.
Here at Multibrands International, we have manufacturing premium quality products since 1998. Our Panodyne range encompasses a complete range of PPE essentials, including surgical face coverings, fully certified and approved test kits, antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitiser gels.
For more information about any of our products and large quantity orders, please contact our sales team who will be happy to help.
Statistics current as of 08.06.2021: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/uk/