Visualizing the growth of B.1.1.7.

Some informative and frankly beautiful charts on B.1.1.7 aka 20B.501Y.V1 spreading in the UK.

(B.1.1.7 is a name from the ever-growing tree of known mutations, each major branch gets a new number. The 501 naming convention tracks the key mutations in each branch, i.e. position 501 going to amino acid Y (tyrosine).)


These charts use a LOGIT scale, useful for measuring the S-shaped curves that are limited early on by low concentrations, then limited later as saturation is approached.

The straight line is what was used to determine how much faster 501Y.V1 is spreading, roughly 56% faster than the previous version.

The US is currently around 0.16%, that would be just above the "0.1." line second from the bottom. It's about a 3 month trip from there to nearly total replacement with the new variant.

It's stunning how consistent the spread is across regions. Ireland is seeing a similar trend.


These charts show, by region, the spread of families of mutants in the UK COVID mix.

Magenta is the latest variant, look at how quickly it takes over. Roughly 3 months from "almost none" to "nothing else left".

Remember the news reports a few months ago about a Spanish strain spreading it the UK that looked to be about 25% more transmissible? That was 20A.EU1, the purple segments on the charts. It was growing rapidly, but nowhere near the speed of the newest variant.

The US is roughly where the UK was in October, they're about 3 months ahead of us.

The UK has been in a nationwide lockdown. Starting about a week from now, we'll have our first read on what effect a harsh lockdown has on the new strain. Irresistible force meets immovable object? My guess is that cases won't decline much at all (or only briefly), a plateau or continued rise seems more likely.

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12.01.2021 16:49