NBA Study Reveals The UK Variant May Last Longer In Human Hosts

As variants account for a more significant proportion of global Covid-19 day-by-day, we have to adjust our public health policy accordingly. SARS-CoV-2 variants possess a well-documented bag of tricks. Some are immune-evading, like the South African and Brazilian variants, and others are far more transmissible, like the United Kingdom variant (B.1.1.7). A recent study from the Harvard University School of Public Health suggests that B.1.1.7 may even remain in human hosts nearly twice as long as non-B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2, extending the potential contagious period from about eight days to thirteen days.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the National Basketball Association (NBA). In Summer 2020, the NBA restarted their season after it was paused by the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The players involved were isolated at Disneyworld resort and were administered daily Covid-19 testing. That practice expanded to the recently begun 2020-2021 season, and Harvard University took the opportunity to genome sequence the basketball players’ samples for research purposes.

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© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.