Scientists have recognized a new variation of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and happening to be more contagious than the original that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States, and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.
The most important factor is that it causes a second infection by making people more vulnerable.
The mutation identified in the new report affects the now-infamous spikes on the exterior of the coronavirus, which allow it to enter human respiratory cells. The report’s authors said they felt an “urgent need for an early warning” so that vaccines and drugs under development around the world will be effective against the mutated strain.
There is at least one additional strain of coronavirus, according to a new computational analysis of more than 6,000 sequences. This complicates the suggestion that researchers should identify a one-size-fits-all vaccination.
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