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A new study has confirmed that there is a new version of coronavirus that spreads faster than ever before.
This new mutation of the coronavirus reportedly spread from Europe to the US and it is now the dominant form of the virus that is infecting individuals.
The “good” news is that it does not seem to make people sicker than earlier variations of the virus.
The research on this new strain of the virus came from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium.
There had been indications earlier in the year on genetic sequences that indicated a mutant version of the virus was developing.
The team working on the study have ran experiments involving people, animals, and also cells in lab dishes.
These have shown that the mutated version is not only more common but also more infectious than other versions.
“We do know that the new virus is fitter. It doesn’t look at first glance as if it is worse,” Saphire said.
The mutation works by affecting something called the spike protein which is the structure that the virus uses to get inside of the cells it infects.
The next stage of research is going to look at whether or not this can be controlled by a vaccine.
According to CNN, “The researchers call the new mutation G614, and they show that it has almost completely replaced the first version to spread in Europe and the US, one called D614.”
So it seems that the new virus is more contagious but not more deadly.
Apparently, this could potentially be good news because there is a possibility that as the virus becomes more infectious, it could become less pathogenic.
So just how much more infectious is this new strain?
It’s possible that the G form is 3 to 9 times more infectious than the D form.
David Montefiore, director of the Laboratory for AIDS Vaccine Research and Development told CNN, “All the results agreed that the G form was three to nine times more infectious than the D form.”
One has to wonder if this could be one reason why the US has had a harder time controlling the virus than Europe?
It sounds like scientists are still learning more about this mutation but it is yet just another reason why we need to be extra careful about the spread of the virus.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.