Scientists urge concern, not alarm over new virus strains

Scientists say there is reason for concern but not alarm about new strains of the coronavirus, especially the one currently spreading in England. Scientists from the World Health Organization and elsewhere said Monday that the new strains do not seem to cause more serious COVID-19 illness than previous versions of the virus. They also expect that current vaccines will remain protective against the new strains and that tests are underway to verify if that’s the case. British officials announced severe lockdown measures over the weekend, and many countries imposed new temporary travel restrictions to try to limit spread of the new strains.