You thought that we might get a let up on the Coronavirus panic over the Easter weekend – don’t really know why anyone would think that, but it’s a nice thought isn’t it – but we have had no such luck as it’s now been revealed that the virus has mutated into three distinct strains as it’s infected the world.
Researchers have mapped the original spread from Wuhan and discovered all kinds of weirdness with it. Here’s what Dr Peter Forster, geneticist and lead author from the University of Cambridge, said: about it:
There are too many rapid mutations to neatly trace a Covid-19 family tree. We used a mathematical network algorithm to visualise all the plausible trees simultaneously.
These techniques are mostly known for mapping the movements of prehistoric human populations through DNA.
We think this is one of the first times they have been used to trace the infection routes of a coronavirus like Covid-19.
The team used samples taken from infected patients all over the world from December 24th 2019 – March 4th 2020. They determined that Type A was the one most closely resembling that found in bats and originated in Americans living in Wuhan before travelling to the United States and Australia.
However, Type B was the predominant form of the virus found in Wuhan and subsequently travelled all around Eastern Asia as well but not much further. Type C is the major European type and was found in early patients in France, Italy, Sweden and England.
Not really sure what the difference in the type of virus and mutation actually means and if there are different symptoms associated with any of them, but scientists think that they can use this model to identify future virus hotspots in the future. Otherwise I think the fact that it’s mutated is just gonna scare the shit out of everyone even more. Oh well.
For more of the same, check out people showing how little they can taste due to Coronavirus. Yikes.