COVID-19 Could Become More Infectious Due to Mutation

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We can’t possibly overlook the huge amount of infected people and deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it first started in 2019 in Wuhan, the virus killed over 430,000 people and infected more than 7.8 million. Luckily, over 4 million of the infected people had been recovered. But although the majority of the patients who get the illness are recovering, the virus can become even stronger.

Although it sounds too grim to be true, a new research made by a team from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida is pointing to such a scenario.

USA and Brazil are the most affected countries

While so many experts are wondering why the USA and Brazil are so heavily hit by the pandemic, there’s a strong hunch that the COVID-19 virus already suffered some mutation that made it stronger. The USA has reported over 2 million people infected, while Brazil has over 850,000 total infections.

The researchers involved said the mutation affects the spike protein, which is a structure located on the outside of the virus that is used for entering the human cells. Choe and colleagues made a series of experiments in lab dishes that reveal a mutation called D614G. This gives the virus more stable spikes.

One of the researchers’ statements claims:

“Sometime in the middle of January, there was a change that allowed the virus to become more infectious. It doesn’t mean it’s more lethal,”

“It makes it about 10 times more infectious.”

WHO spoke about mutations of COVID-19

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that mutations were discovered for the new coronavirus. However, they said that mutations had not made the disease more contagious, nor had they made it more likely to cause more significant illness.

Luckily for us or not, further research is needed to show whether the change has already altered the course of the pandemic.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.