Coronavirus outbreak has been declared as a global health emergency by WHO. While patients and healthcare officials are battling with the virus, Chinese scientists have found a mutation in Coronavirus and there are at least two strains of the virus now.
The preliminary research conducted by researchers shows that COVID-19 has one strain that’s more aggressive. This aggressive strain has infected 70% of the people tested, whereas the other one is a less aggressive strain that was found in the rest of the 30% of patients.
Doctors conducted this research at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institute Pasteur of Shanghai. The more aggressive strain is being referred to as “L type by the scientists, whereas the less prevalent version has been dubbed the “S type.”
The L type strain was observed more frequently in Wuhan — the place where Coronavirus originated.
Apparently, the L type was more widespread in the early stages of the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. But the frequency of L type decreased after early January 2020. “Human intervention may have placed more severe selective pressure on the L type, which might be more aggressive and spread more quickly,” they wrote.
The Silver Lining
Amongst several deaths and fear due to coronavirus, the good news is that researchers have seen a drop in the frequency of infection caused by the aggressive L type strain of COVID-19.
However, they also noted that the data available for this study was “very limited,” and multiple follow-ups would be required to understand the evolution of the COVID-19.
According to scientists, different strains of COVID-19 were most likely created via mutation of the ancestral version of Coronavirus. It means that we could see more Coronavirus mutations in the future (okay, that’s the bad news).
So the team has urged the scientific community to join hands to battle and contain coronavirus outbreak.
They said that there is an “urgent need for further immediate, comprehensive studies that combine genomic data, epidemiological data, and chart records of the clinical symptoms of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” to come up with an effective vaccine.
Impact Of Coronavirus Outbreak
More than 100,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been detected so far. And the death toll (at the time of writing) is 3,406. There is a fear among the masses due to COVID-19. Several rumors and conspiracy theories related to the virus are currently floating on social media platforms like Twitter.
China, where the Coronavirus first appeared, has taken several extreme steps to contain the virus. In fact, the authorities there are tracking users who share any negative Coronavirus related information on social media. Around 2 million posts with Coronavirus hashtag has been removed from online platforms in China. The Chinese government is also warning people from taking such actions.
Meanwhile, the entire tech industry has been affected by the outbreak. Manufacturing and production rate, of companies like Apple, Samsung and Tesla that have factories in China, have been slowed down due to the outbreak.