- Researchers in Shanghai and Beijing have discovered at least two strains of the coronavirus.
- They named the two strains as “L” and “S”.
- Strain “S” is the common virus while the strain “L” is more “aggressive and contagious”.
- Experts said that 70% of the coronavirus patients caught the “L” strain.
Chinese researchers from Beijing and Shanghai have discovered that the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) has mutated into two distinct strains. Based on the 103 samples they tested, there were two different strains that have been infecting people since December. They were the strains “S” and “L”.
Based on the preliminary research, there are around 70% of patients who caught the stronger, more aggressive “L” strain coronavirus. The remaining 30% infected patients caught the common flu-like “S” strain of the virus.
“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,” the Chinese scientists said.
The researchers further said that the L strain spread faster and it was the virus that infected the people in Wuhan since the start of the outbreak in December 2019. However, scientists also pointed out that the strain L now is becoming less felt, because of the aggressive efforts of most countries in containing the virus.
The most common strain now, on the other hand, they said, was the S strain, which is suspected as the strain in recovered patients who got infected again.
The researchers explained that the previous spike of the infeced cases in other countries outside China was “likely caused by mutations and natural selections besides recombination”.
The study was conducted separately in Peking University in Beijing and in Shanghai University. The journals were by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Researchers, however, warned that the data used to examine in the study remains “very limited” and that a follow-up research with a “larger set of data” would be needed to have a better understanding of the epidemiology, mutation or evolution of the virus.
The discovery came immediately after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that dreaded disease has already infected more than 93,000 people with about 3,100 fatalities around the globe. Majority of those cases are from China. The virus had also spread in other first world countries like the United States, Germany, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.
WHO also added that the virus outbreak has now spread to more than 70 countries. They likewise warned that it could reach most, “if not all,” countries around the globe.
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