The so-called Antigua variant was confirmed by Public Health England on Thursday but it is not yet known if it is a mutation of concern

Yet another coronavirus variant has been confirmed in the UK, believed to be linked to two people who returned from the Caribbean.
Public Health England confirmed that the cases were discovered in the South East of England on Thursday.
An investigation into the covid variant is under way but the variant – from Antigua – has not yet been classified as concerning.
However, PHE said the strain – known as known as VUI-202103/01 – contains “spike mutations usually associated with Variants of Concern”, the Mirror reports.
Scientists have stressed throughout the pandemic that mutations in viruses are inevitable but that the nation should not obsess.
Researchers have previously said a variant resistant to the current crop of vaccines is likely to emerge at some point
But they have stressed that vaccines can also be adapted quickly.
There are now a total of four variants of concern (VOC) and five variants under investigation (VUI) being tracked in the UK.
To date, more than 2.6million people have lost their lives to the virus across the world.
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Check out everything you need to know about the nine variants below:
UK -B.1.1.7 or VOC-202012/01
This strain first emerged in Kent in September and prompted a surge in cases during the lockdown late last year.
It ripped through the UK in November, ramping up shortly before Christmas as deaths and infection rates began to surge again.
The variant carries the N501Y mutation, which means it is more contagious, and is thought to cause more serious disease.
It has since spread worldwide.
Unknown – B.1.1.318 or VUI-202102/04
The location of this variant’s first detection is yet to be confirmed, although it is thought to have originated in the UK.
PHE said last week that multiple cases were spread across the nation and mass testing will not be use, as this is only done for VOCs.
This strain is thought to contain the E484K mutation, which helps the virus slip past the body’s immune defences.
But it doesn’t feature the N501Y mutation.
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South Africa – B.1.351 or VOC-202012/02
This strain was announced by officials in South Africa on December 18.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock then revealed it had entered Britain on December 23.
This strain carries both the E484K mutation and N501Y mutation, which makes it more contagious.
Testers have been going door-to-door in key postcodes in England where the variant had been detected.
The surge testing targeted areas including Ealing in west London and Walsall in the West Midlands.
Bristol – B.1.1.7 with E484K or VOC-202102/02
The strain found in Kent mutated at the start of this year, mimicking the South African variant.
It has a mutation known as E484K, which is already present in both South African and Brazilian coronavirus variants.
It was first discovered in Bristol, where surge testing was carried out, before spreading.
It has since reached the US, health chiefs have said.
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Brazil – P1 or VOC-202101/02
The P1 strain emerged in the Brazilian city of Manaus in December 2020, prompting a second wave of coronavirus.
This worried officials, who believed the area had a high level of herd immunity after the first wave.
Scientists have estimated the variant is 1.4 to 2.2 times more transmissible than previous versions of the virus.
The variant has been identified in 10 people in the UK so far, with four more announced today.
Brazil – P2 or VUI-202101/01
A second Brazilian variant has been detected in the UK, although it is only designated as a VUI currently.
Experts say it is not a cause for concern as, although it has the E484K mutation, it does not have the concerning characteristics of P1.
This means it is likely to be less transmissible.
More than 40 probable or confirmed cases have been found in the UK.
Liverpool – A.23.1 with E484K or VUI-202102/01
This is the original strain of the Wuhan coronavirus with the addition of the E484K mutation.
t was first detected it in the city among staff at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
Experts said they did not think this mutation would be more transmissible or cause more severe illness.
Unknown – B.1.525 or VUI-202102/03
This variant was found in the UK in February and appears to be similar to the South African variant, experts have said.
Roots of the strain were discovered in Nigeria and the UK in December, and it has also been seen in Denmark and the US.
It has similarities to the Kent strain, but with several additional mutations – such as the E484K mutation.
Antigua -B.1.324.1 orVUI-202103/01
PHE said today that the variant was designated a variant under investigation on March 4.
Two cases have been found in the South East of England, after people returned from Antigua, in the Caribbean.
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