Current dominant strain of COVID-19 more infectious than original – study

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The genetic variation of the novel coronavirus that dominates the world today infects human cells more readily than the original that emerged in China, a new study says.

Philippines News, Philippines Headlines

MESSAGE. People wearing protective mask walks in front of a tarpaulin with an image of a surgical mask with inspirational message at a mall in Makati City on June 2, 2020. Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Rappler

"I think the data is showing that there is a single mutation that actually makes the virus be able to replicate better, and maybe have high viral loads," Anthony Fauci, the United States's top infectious disease specialist, who wasn't involved in the research, commented to Journal of the American Medical Association. (READ:"We don't have a connection to whether an individual does worse with this or not.

The scientists first posted their paper to the medical preprint site bioRxiv in April, where it received 200,000 hits, a record. "It seems likely that it's a fitter virus," said Erica Ollmann Saphire, who carried out one of the experiments at La Jolla Institute for Immunology.But everything at this stage can only be said to be"probable": in vitro experiments often do not replicate the dynamics of a pandemic.

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