New studies have revealed that there are two separate strains of the Wuhan coronavirus that are spreading across the world.
The team of experts from Peking University in Beijing, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Shanghai University have confirmed this new finding. According to the experts, 70% of the 94,000 people infected have caught the most aggressive strain of the coronavirus.
They made the discovery by analyzing 103 samples but insist that more research needs to be done as the virus can mutate with time.
They named the two strains L and S. 70% of patients have been infected with the L strain which is more aggressive and spreads faster than S.
S is believed to be the first strain of the virus which made the jump into humans and is continuing to infect new patients.
It has been discovered that the L has become less common over time while the S has become more common. This means that the disease it causes is less severe and people could carry it for longer before being admitted to a hospital. The delayed time for symptoms to show poses a risk to more people being more infected.
University of Leeds scientist Dr Stephen Griffin says that it is too early to say how accurate the claim of the virus splitting into two.
However, as this study hasn’t tested the relative “fitness” of these viruses when they replicate in human cells or an animal model, it isn’t really possible to say whether this is what’s happened to SARS-CoV2.
It is also difficult to say how/why human interference may have impacted upon one strain relative to the other for similar reasons.Dr Stephen Griffin
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