Source : Dailymail
TWO strains of the killer coronavirus are spreading around the world – and 70% of infected patients have caught the more aggressive and contagious type, study claims.
- Researchers from Beijing and Shanghai studied 103 samples of the coronavirus
- They found two strains of it, named them L and S and found L was most common
- L is also the most aggressive, but it has become less common since early January
- A virus which is too aggressive may burn itself out by landing patients in hospitals.
The coronavirus has mutated into at least two separate strains since the outbreak began in December, according to Chinese scientists.
Researchers say there are now two types of the same coronavirus infecting people – and most people seem to have caught the most aggressive form of it.
At least 94,000 people have been infected around the world and almost 3,200 have died, while 50,000 have recovered from the disease.
The team of experts from Beijing and Shanghai said 70 per cent of people have caught the most aggressive strain of the virus but that this causes such bad illness that it has struggled to spread since early January.
Now an older, milder strain seems to be becoming more common.
Knowing that the virus can mutate may make it harder to keep track of or to treat, and raises the prospect that recovered patients could become reinfected.
The experts cautioned that the study that discovered the mutation only used a tiny amount of data – 103 samples – so more research is needed, and another scientist added that it is normal for viruses to change when they jump from animals to humans.
Scientists say the virus has split into two noticeably different strains, and most people have caught the more aggressive version, but it is now fading out while the milder strain continues to infect people
Scientists in Beijing and Shanghai said ‘human intervention measures’ may have forced the most aggressive strain of the coronavirus into submission.
The research was done by experts at Peking University in Beijing, Shanghai University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In their study of genes in 103 samples of the coronavirus, which is named SARS-CoV-2 and causes a disease called COVID-19, they revealed they had discovered two distinct versions of it, which they named L and S.
They claimed that around 70 per cent of patients have caught the L strain, which is more aggressive and faster-spreading than S.
But L has become less common as the outbreak has gone on, with it apparently struggling to spread since early January, while S has become more common.
S is less aggressive but is thought to be the first strain of the virus which made the jump into humans and is continuing to infect new patients