Covid is eight times more infectious than original virus in Wuhan, study finds
Covid-19 is now eight times more infectious than the original virus found in Wuhan, according to a study.
New strains of the virus which have been caused by mutations are now far more infectious, say experts.
A mutation dubbed D614G is thought to be the most dominant across the globe.
Last week top docs warned Brits to stay at home after a new strain was identified, known as B.1.525.
The variant contains a genetic change called E484K, also found in the Brazilian and South African variants which has the potential to defeat existing Covid-19 vaccines or natural antibodies.
A study which has been published in the journal eLife found the D614G mutation which is far more infectious.
Scientists compared the new mutation and introduced DG14G to the human lung, liver, and colon cells, while separately conducting the same research with the earlier virus.
The team, which is made up of researchers from at New York University, the New York Genome Centre, and Mount Sinai, found the new variant is eight times more transmissible.
This could account for the rapid increase in cases, says researcher Dr Neville Sanjana, reports The Sun.
He said: "In the months since we initially conducted this study, the importance of the D614G mutation has grown: the mutation has reached near universal prevalence and is included in all current variants of concern.
"Confirming that the mutation leads to more transmissibility may help explain, in part, why the virus has spread so rapidly over the past year."
On Wednesday it was reported Covid-19 vaccines are appearing to be working as new data suggests the jabs cut infections by two thirds.
The first "real world data" has been released which will be key in finalising the roadmap to easing lockdown in the UK.
Figures show a dose of the Oxford or Pfizer vaccine has an effect on all age groups and over 16 million people have been vaccinated so far in the UK.
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