Coronavirus variant that spreads easily doesn’t do so by surviving in air better

Enlarge / People practice social distancing in white circles in Domino Park in Williamsburg during the coronavirus pandemic on May 17, 2020, in New York City. Getty | Noam Galai

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant is estimated to spread about 50 percent more than previous versions—but it doesn’t seem to manage that higher transmissibility by surviving in the air better than other versions of the virus, according to a new study.

In lab experiments looking at virus survival in artificially produced aerosolized particles, a B.1.1.7 lineage virus (first identified in the UK) had about the same survival rate as a strain of the virus that was circulating

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