CORONAVIRUS mutation that has become the worldwide dominant strain may be even MORE infectious than the original
Doctors in Houston, Texas studied more than 5’000 coronavirus patients and found that 99.9% of cases were caused by the new virus mutation, called D614G. This D614G strain of SARS-CoV-2 is the most common version worldwide, accounting for 85% of cases, and first appeared in Europe in February.
Scientists are still trying to determine why the D614G strain has become the principle form of SARS-CoV-2, and think it may be due to the mutation increasing the amount of virus in the upper respiratory tract.
This makes it more likely to spread when the infected person talk, coughs or sneezes.
The latest study, led by the Houston Methodist Hospital, was published in the peer-reviewed journal mBIO It found that, during the initial wave of the pandemic in the spring, 71% of cases were D614G.
By the time the second wave of the outbreak hit Houston during the summer, this variant had leaped to 99.9% prevalence.
‘The virus continues to mutate as it rips through the world,’ says co-author of the Houston study Dr Ilya Finkelstein from the University of Texas.
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