U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that there's "some evidence" a surging COVID-19 variant may be more deadly than the original strain. The B117 strain was first identified in London, and has since spread across the U.K. and arrived in other U.S. and other countries. "In addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant ... may be associated with a higher degree of mortality," Johnson said Friday. Previously, evidence suggested the variant was no more inherently deadly, but was more contagious. But evidence a U.K. advisory group assessed for the government shows that it could be up to 30 percent more deadly. The government's chief scientific advisor cautioned the data is "not yet strong." Research suggests both major COVID-19 vaccines currently in distribution will still be just as effective against the variant.

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