Coronavirus is mutating and now has eight strains: doctors – By Theresa Braine (New York Daily News) / March 30 2020
The novel coronavirus is mutating, as viruses do, and eight strains are now making the rounds globally, medical experts say.
The good news is that the mutations are not more lethal, said Trevor Bedford, whose website, NextStrain.org, is tracking the virus’s genome from samples provided to him from throughout the world. But they are informative.
Researchers are dissecting the genomes of coronavirus and discovering the strains that have emerged since the virus first jumped from animals to humans in a Hunan, China wildlife market late last year. The work “shows how the virus is migrating and splitting into similar but new subtypes,” as USA Today explained.
“In the literal sense of ‘is it changing genetically,’ the answer is absolutely yes,” Harvard University infectious disease epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch told NPR. “What is in question is whether there’s been any change that’s important to the course of disease or the transmissibility or other things that we as humans care about.”