New, Mutant Stain of Coronavirus Spreads Much Faster But Isn’t More Deadly, Study Finds
The novel coronavirus strain tearing through the United States is a new mutation which is much better at spreading from person to person, an international team of researchers has found. “It is now the dominant form infecting people," Erica Ollmann Saphire of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium told CNN, adding: “This is now the virus.” However, although the mutant strain has become better at spreading itself, it doesn’t seem to be making people any sicker or more likely to die when compared to the original. “We do know that the new virus is fitter. It doesn't look at first glance as if it is worse,” Saphire told the network. The study was published in the journal Cell. The findings came as the U.S. hit a new daily high for new coronavirus infections Thursday, breaking a record set a day previously. Citing numbers from Johns Hopkins University, CNN reported that 52,291 new virus cases were confirmed in the U.S. in under 24 hours.