TWO strains of the killer coronavirus are spreading around the world – and 70% of infected patients have caught the more aggressive and contagious type, study claims

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
By Paul Martin

Researchers from Beijing and Shanghai studied 103 samples of the coronavirus
They found two strains of it, named them L and S and found L was most common
L is also the most aggressive, but it has become less common since early January
A virus which is too aggressive may burn itself out by landing patients in hospital
More than 94,000 people have now caught the coronavirus and 3,200 have died

By SAM BLANCHARD SENIOR HEALTH REPORTER
DAILYMAIL.COM
4 March 2020

The coronavirus has mutated into at least two separate strains since the outbreak began in December, according to Chinese scientists.

Researchers say there are now two types of the same coronavirus infecting people – and most people seem to have caught the most aggressive form of it.

At least 94,000 people have been infected around the world and almost 3,200 have died, while 50,000 have recovered from the disease.

The team of experts from Beijing and Shanghai said 70 per cent of people have caught the most aggressive strain of the virus but that this causes such bad illness that it has struggled to spread since early January.

Now an older, milder strain seems to be becoming more common.

Knowing that the virus can mutate may make it harder to keep track of or to treat, and raises the prospect that recovered patients could become reinfected.

The experts cautioned that the study that discovered the mutation only used a tiny amount of data – 103 samples – so more research is needed, and another scientist added that it is normal for viruses to change when they jump from animals to humans.

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