Scientists Discover More Aggressive Strain Of Coronavirus Responsible For 70% Of Current Infections

Chinese scientists studying the new coronavirus have found two new primary strains of the disease - one of which appears to be far more aggressive.

The researchers, from Peking University's School of Life Sciences, discovered a milder "S-type" strain, and an "L-type" which is highly infectious and currently accounts for around 70% of cases, according to The Telegraph. The researchers cautioned that their preliminary findings looked at a limited number of cases (103), and that follow-up studies with larger data sets are needed to better understand the virus's evolution.

A genetic analysis of the coronavirus found in a man who tested positive in the United States on January 21 also showed that it's possible to be infected with both strains.

Via the Daily Mail

Coronavirus, which was first detected in December 2018 in Wuhan, China, has infected at least 94,000 people - officially, and killed more than 3,200 as of this writing.

And while there are now two major strains identified, scientist Trevor Bedford of Nextstrain has been tracking 161 strains of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in patients across the globe.

Bedford writes in a March 2 blog post that "The novel coronavirus which is responsible for the emerging COVID-19 pandemic mutates at an average of about two mutations per month."

Here is his latest situation report, and thread on the virus which provides a detailed analysis of what mutations have been found, and where (click the tweet to jump into the thread):