Health Care

Large genetic study finds novel coronavirus strain more contagious

Large genetic study finds novel coronavirus strain more contagious”

The new research did not find the mutations made the virus any more severe.

Mr Morens cautioned that it was only one study that had not yet been peer-reviewed and "you don't want to over-interpret what this means".

Coronavirus update, symptoms: Is COVID-19 becoming more potent and contagious?

Scientists in Houston released the results of a study that analyzed more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus, revealing that the deadly pathogen has mutated into a more contagious strain, raising questions about how quickly the virus has evolved as it spreads around the world.

This impaired interferon response may be a unsafe turning point in infections of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. The study, preprinted under the title "Molecular architecture of early dissemination and massive second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a major metropolitan area", provides the first molecular characterization of SARS-CoV-2 strains causing two distinct COVID-19 disease waves, a problem now occurring extensively in many European countries.

Patients infected with the Gly614 variant strains had significantly higher virus loads in the nose and throat, the study said.

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"But every mutation is a roll of the dice, and with the transmission so widespread in the USA - which continues to see tens of thousands of new, confirmed infections daily - the virus has had abundant opportunities to change, potentially with troublesome consequences", Musser said.

The more scientists can understand about this pandemic and put it in context with what they understand about other coronaviruses, Long adds, the more able they may be to discover treatments or vaccines that might protect us from not just COVID-19, but also future pandemics.

Scientists in a paper published on Wednesday identified a new strain of the coronavirus, which accounted for 99.9 per cent of cases during the second wave in America's Houston, Texas, area, The Washington Post reported. Even if a mutation could have a beneficial effect for a germ, it still has to become widely passed on, which is no sure bet.

David Morens, a virologist at the National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in clinical studies found D614G to be resistant to facial masks and hand-washing. Unfortunately, some media outlets took this quote and ran with it. Fox News' headline: "Coronavirus mutation emerges that may bypass mask-wearing, hand-washing protections".

The G614 mutation also affects the spike protein, but is not thought to cause COVID-19 to make people sicker. But so far, we haven't seen evidence of that happening.

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