Mutated coronavirus strain now dominates, scientists say

More contagious coronavirus strain now dominates Study

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

The study revealed that in nearly all the strains of the second wave had a mutation, known as D614G, which has increased the number of "spikes" present on Covid-19.

Studies have shown the mutation boosts the number of "spikes" on the crown-shaped virus. Mutations take place when a virus replicates and, after infecting more than 30 million people, coronavirus has had plenty of opportunities to mutate. D614G is a variant of the Gly614 amino acid replacement in the spike protein.

They said the severity of COVID-19 - the disease caused by the virus - was more strongly linked to patients' existing medical conditions and genetics. For that reason, as the virus changes, a vaccine might need to change along with it. These spikes are what allow the virus to attach to human cells. The revelation comes after scientists conducted a study of over 5,000 genetic sequences of coronavirus which reveals the virus' continuous accumulation of mutations.

Houston study results What is interesting about this study is that scientists can actually see what happened when the virus first entered the Houston population in March this year. The mutation did not make the virus more risky or change the outcome or course of the disease.

However, they did not find any evidence to support the fact that the mutated virus is deadlier than the previous strain.

According to researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital, a more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus now dominates recent samples collected for the study in Houston, Associated Press reported. And like the Houston study, scientists concluded a mutation that changes the "spike protein" on the surface of the virus may be driving the outsized spread of that particular strain.

David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), reviewed the new study and told the Washington Post the likely possibility that the virus has become more contagious has "implications for our ability to control it".

Viruses are constantly mutating, and those changes can influence the potential effectiveness of vaccines and treatments, researchers said.

The senior advisor to Anthony Fauci said that the virus could be reacting to human interventions, including masks and social distancing, that have been developed since the beginning of the pandemic to stem its spread.

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