Scientists Say They've Discovered Two Different Types of Coronavirus


Chinese scientists have found two different strains of the new coronavirus that could be causing worldwide infections, according to a new study.

The researchers at Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai published a preliminary study Tuesday that found a more aggressive type of COVID-19 accounted for about 70 percent of the analyzed strains and only 30 percent were linked to the less aggressive type.

The aggressive strain of the virus was prevalent in the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, but has decreased since early January, CNBC reported.

The study’s abstract said that the decrease in the aggressive strain could have been caused by selective pressure from “human intervention.”

“These findings strongly support an urgent need for further immediate, comprehensive studies that combine genomic data, epidemiological data, and chart records of the clinical symptoms of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the scientists said.

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The study found that the spike in cases worldwide was “likely caused by mutations and natural selection besides recombination.”

The researchers also said that because the data in the study was “very limited,” they will need to conduct further studies to gain a “better understanding” of the evolution of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday morning, there have been 95,064 cases of coronavirus and 3,249 fatalities.

One day after the study was released, Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom spoke at the mission briefing on COVID-19.

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Adhanom said that even though there are signs of community transmission in some countries, most cases can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases.

“Our view continues to be that containment of COVID-19 must be the top priority for all countries, but at the same time, countries should be preparing for sustained community transmission,” he said.

“That’s why we’re suggesting a comprehensive approach. With early, aggressive measures, countries can stop transmission and save lives.”

In a media release this week, the WHO warned that coronavirus could only be stopped if health workers are protected from the virus.

“WHO calls on industry and governments to increase manufacturing by 40 per cent to meet rising global demand,” the release read.

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“Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled. Supplies can take months to deliver and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder.”

Health care personnel who are not wearing recommended personal protective equipment and come in contact with a COVID-19 patient, through direct contact or being about 6 feet away from the patient, are at risk of infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith