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The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC) is increasing in prevalence across Europe. Accurate estimation of disease severity associated with this VOC is critical for pandemic planning. We found increased risk of death for VOC compared with non-VOC cases in England (hazard ratio: 1.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.34–2.09; p < 0.0001). Absolute risk of death by 28 days increased with age and comorbidities. This VOC has potential to spread faster with higher mortality than the pandemic to date.


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