New Coronavirus Strain May Be More Deadly Than Original

While most indications hint the coronavirus pandemic has already reached its peak, a new study has more grim results. According to a study conducted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a deadlier strain of the virus could be coming.

The Los Angeles Times reports there is a new strain of the virus is more contagious than the current COVID-19 strain that sparked the pandemic.

The new strain is called called D614G.

“The story is worrying, as we see a mutated form of the virus very rapidly emerging, and over the month of March becoming the dominant pandemic form,” study leader Bette Korber wrote in a Facebook post. “When viruses with this mutation enter a population, they rapidly begin to take over the local epidemic, thus they are more transmissible.”

The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.

While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 69,700 deaths in the United States and more than 1 million confirmed cases — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.

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