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New, Highly Contagious Mutation Arises but Some Remain Skeptical


A new strain of the novel coronavirus—which initially appeared in February in Europe—is now the dominant source of infections, according to research from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The scientists note the new strain may be more contagious than the first versions that surfaced at the start of the pandemic, and it may leave those who recover with an increased risk of developing a secondary COVID-19 infection. As researchers across the globe diligently work on a vaccine, the suggestion that the virus is mutating is not good news. Initially, scientists believed the coronavirus to be quite stable, making the creation of an effective vaccine with lasting immunity more plausible.

The results of the Los Alamos research have not yet undergone peer review, but they have been posted to a shared online information center, so all researchers can review and evaluate. Initial responses from the scientific community have been mixed. Some scientists note that conclusions drawn are rather grandiose and that it is unclear whether this new strain is actually more contagious than its predecessors. Read more here.

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