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Second Infection Warning : Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus

by on May 6, 2020 in Lead Article, News you can use, Research

Second Infection Warning : Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus
  • The coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, has mutated and the new, dominant strain spreading across the U.S. appears to be even more contagious, according to a new study.

  • The new strain began spreading in Europe in early February before migrating to other parts of the world, including the U.S., becoming the dominant form of the virus across the globe by the end of March, researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory wrote.

  • If the coronavirus doesn’t subside in the summer like the seasonal flu, it could mutate further and potentially limit the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines being developed by scientists, the researchers warned.

Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory

The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.

In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

The 33-page report was posted Thursday on BioRxiv, a website that researchers use to share their work before it is peer reviewed, an effort to speed up collaborations with scientists working on COVID-19 vaccines or treatments.

That research has been largely based on the genetic sequence of earlier strains and might not be effective against the new one.

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