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Genome tracing tells the story of the rise of COVID-19 Delta in the UK

07.09.2022 20:00

In a paper for the journal Nature a team of researchers including Branco Weiss Fellow Moritz Kraemer have revealed how the Delta variant of COVID-19 became the dominant variant across the United Kingdom in 2021. The researchers used extensive data across virus genomics, human mobility and contact tracing to show how Delta expanded. The study describes in detail the rise of the Delta variant in March 2021, including several sub-lineages, which drove a rising number of overall COVID-19 cases across India. The variant was then imported into the UK a minimum of 1,458 times. At the same time, the UK was gradually removing its social restrictions. By June 2021, the UK was one of the four main exporters of the Delta variant alongside the USA, Russia, and Mexico.

“The results of this study tell us a lot about what non-pharmaceutical measures to control disease spread can and can’t do” says Moritz Kraemer. “By understanding how the Delta epidemic played out we hope public health officials and policymakers can better respond to future COVID-19 variants, communicable disease outbreaks and pandemics.”

Read the news on the University of Oxford’s website

Read the paper in Nature magazine