Two Strains Of Coronavirus Found By Chinese Scientists Suggesting Mutation Of The Virus

Two different types of the new coronavirus could be behind the infections of the virus worldwide, researchers in China have found.

A more aggressive type of the new coronavirus had been responsible for about 70% of the analyzed strains while a less aggressive type was found to cause the rest 30% infections, found a preliminary study published Tuesday by scientists at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai.

The researchers found that the more aggressive type of the virus was dominant during the early stages of the virus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan which was at the epicenter of the origin of the outbreak that had first emerged in late December last year.

However researchers also found that there was a decrease in the frequency of this type of virus since early January.

The developing of the new variations in the increase in the coronavirus cases was “likely caused by mutations and natural selection besides recombination” which has been indicated in the research, scientists said.

“These findings strongly support an urgent need for further immediate, comprehensive studies that combine genomic data, epidemiological data, and chart records of the clinical symptoms of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” they said.

The researchers however warned that a “very limited” data was examined in the study and laid emphasis on the need for follow-up studies including a larger set of data in order to gain a “better understanding” of the evolution and epidemiology of COVID-19.

The findings of the study were published in the National Science Review, the journal of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The latest figures from the World Health Organization show that at least 93,000 people worldwide have been infected by the disease while at least 3,100 people have died because of the coronavirus infection.

However till now, the largest number of cases of infection and deaths has been reported from China. But in recent days, the number of new infections of the virus that is being reported is more from other parts of the world than those being reported from China.

Sharp rise in incidents of positive cases of the flu like virus are being reported from South Korea, Italy, Iran and Germany even as more travel restrictions are being imposed by more countries worldwide.

More than 70 countries have already reported incidents of infection of their residents form coronavirus which has forced the WHO to issue a warning that the virus outbreak could soon reach most, “if not all,” countries across the world.

(Adapted from CNBC.com)



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