Scientists have come forward saying they have discovered a mutated strain of the coronavirus, and they are warning that the new strain could be much worse than plain old COVID-19.
On Tuesday evening the Los Angeles Times reported that researchers have found a new "mutant" strain of the coronavirus.
According to the scientists who discovered it, the "mutant" strain is not only more contagious than the original coronavirus, but it also could make people more susceptible to getting the infection a second time.
More details on the study via The Blaze:
The study was published on Thursday in BioRxiv and has yet to be peer-reviewed, but researchers said they felt an "urgent need for an early warning" to advise people of the potential danger of the new strain.
The outlet reported, "Wherever the new strain appeared, it quickly infected far more people than the earlier strains that came out of Wuhan, China, and within weeks, it was the only strain that was more prevalent in some nations. ... The new strain's dominance over its predecessors demonstrates that it is more infectious."
"The report was based on a computational analysis of more than 6,000 coronavirus sequences from around the world, collected by the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data," the Times added. "Time and time again, the analysis found the new version was transitioning to become dominant."
The leader of the study, Bette Korber, is a computation biologist and posted about her findings online.
“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," Korber said. “When viruses with this mutation enter a population, they rapidly begin to take over the local epidemic, thus they are more transmissible."
“This is hard news, but please don't only be disheartened by it. Our team at LANL was able to document this mutation and its impact on transmission only because of a massive global effort of clinical people and experimental groups, who make new sequences of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) in their local communities available as quickly as they possibly can," Korber wrote.