New strain of coronavirus discovered in Malaysia could be more infectious than COVID-19: Report – PennLive

There’s a newer strain of the coronavirus – it’s called D614G. Currently it’s making its way across southeast Asia, and the concern among Malaysian health officials is that it may be even more infectious than COVID-19.

KXAN Austin reported that “the strain has been seen in several countries across the continent and was originally found in a Malaysian cluster of 45 cases,” citing Bloomberg Quint, which follows international news out of India.

According to KXAN, health officials say “those 45 cases of D614G started after someone returned from India before completing his 14-day quarantine. Then, the strain was detected from several samples of COVID-19 in the Philippines.”

Philippines Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday that the mutation is said to have a “higher possibility of transmission or infectiousness, but we still don’t have enough solid evidence to say that that will happen,” KXAN quoted.

There is a lack of evidence.

According to the report, something health officials stress is the lack of evidence, with Benjamin Cowling, head of epidemiology and bio-statistics at the University of Hong Kong stating that “it might merely have a competitive advantage over other strains of COVID-19.”

The strain “might be a little bit more contagious,” Cowling told Bloomberg Quint. “We haven’t yet got enough evidence to evaluate that, but there’s no evidence that it’s a lot more contagious,” KXAN cited.

The report said that currently D614G is being studied in the Phillippines, where the outbreak of COVID-19 is highest in the region. According to the report, the World Health Organization says the mutation is the predominant strain in Europe and the U.S.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, said back in July that a new mutation of COVID-19 could help coronavirus replicate more easily.

Fauci said, “It does look like a particular mutation may make the virus more transmissible,” the report quoted.

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