Now-dominant strain of coronavirus appears more contagious than original, new study finds

A newer strain of the novel coronavirus appears to be even more contagious than the original, according to a study published April 30 on bioRxiv.

Scientists at Santa Fe, N.M.-based Los Alamos Research Laboratory analyzed data from real-time mutation tracking of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that can cause COVID-19. Fourteen different mutations of SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins were identified, with the mutation Spike D614G of "urgent concern," the researchers wrote. The strain emerged in February in Europe, and by mid-March had spread worldwide, according to the study.

The new strain spreads faster and may make people more vulnerable to reinfection, the study authors wrote.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.  

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