New coronavirus version spreads faster but does not make people sicker, finds study

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 03, 2020, 03.26 PM(IST)

Coronavirus patients Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

According to the study, even though the sequence diversity is very low, the natural selection can act upon certain rare favorable mutations.

A new strain of coronavirus, which is a mutation of the original, is three to six times more infectious in comparison but doesn't make people sicker, according to a recent study.

Also Read: Hydroxychloroquine helped coronavirus patients to survive better, finds new study

The study was published on Thursday in the scientific journal called "Cell".

Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina and Las Alamos National laboratory in New Mexico partnered to conduct the study.

Results of lab-based research in the journal suggests that the new form of the virus had spread from Europe to US.

According to Erica Ollmann Saphire of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium, a part of the team that did the study, said "It is now the dominant form infecting people."

"We do know that the new virus is fitter. It doesn't look at first glance as if it is worse," Saphire said.

Experiments of genetic sequencing for the study were conducted on people, animals and lab dishes.

According to the study, even though the sequence diversity is very low, the natural selection can act upon certain rare favorable mutations.

The earlier version of the virus called D614 identified in Wuhan was completely replaced by the new strain of mutation called G614 which first emerged in Europe in February.