Public Health England investigating new 'Yorkshire variant' of Covid

PUBLIC Health England has confirmed they are investigating a new strain of Covid dubbed the 'Yorkshire variant'.

Health officials said 41 cases of the variant, named VUI-21MAY-01, had been detected across the country to date - mainly concentrated in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Public Health England revealed that they have been monitoring this variant strain since April. 

They added that there is currently no evidence to suggest this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective. 

PHE is carrying out increased laboratory testing to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus.

All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and targeted case finding will limit the spread of variants

Rotherham Council's director of public health, Ben Anderson, said that Rotherham is well prepared to deal with any variants of concern.

"We are working closely with Public Health England to track and trace all cases of Covid-19, and if there were any variants of concerns and variants under investigation here, we are positioned to react quickly.

"Our public health advice remains the same, whatever variant of Covid-19. Continue with the basics of hands, face, space and and fresh air - especially meeting people outside rather than inside, to help to protect against all Covid-19 variants.

"Get your vaccination when invited and if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, get a PCR test and isolate."