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Coronavirus Mutation Found in US May be Less Deadly, Expert Says

8/19/2020

A coronavirus mutation that has been found in the U.S. may be less deadly but more infectious than the original virus, an expert from Singapore said this week.  Paul Tambyah, the senior consultant at the National University of Singapore, said the D614G mutation has been associated with lower death rates, which implies it is less deadly, Reuters reported Monday. This mutation has been located in Europe and North America as early as in February and has since been confirmed in parts of Asia.  “Maybe that’s a good thing to have a virus that is more infectious but less deadly,” Tambyah, the president-elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, told the news service.  The infectious disease expert said most viruses become less deadly over time as they mutate to allow the virus to keep living off the individuals.  “It is in the virus’s interest to infect more people but not to kill them because a virus depends on the host for food and for shelter,” he said, according to Reuters.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has said there is no evidence the D614G mutation causes more serious illness.



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