“New strain of coronavirus” is spreading in Europe



A new strain of coronavirus first detected in Spanish farmers is spreading rapidly across much of Europe and now accounts for the majority of new Covid-19 cases in several countries, and more than 80% in the United Kingdom. So far there is no evidence that the mutation increases the pathogenicity of the virus. An international team monitoring the genetic mutations of the virus described the remarkable spread of the new strain, called 20A.EU1, in a study published on Thursday, according to the Financial The study has not yet been submitted for review and publication in the scientific press, but is presented as a pre-publication in the medRhiv repository. The findings suggest that people returning from a holiday in Spain brought the coronavirus to the country and played a key role in its spread. Europe, raising questions about whether the second wave sweeping Europe could have been reduced by better monitoring at airports and other transport hubs. Each variant of the virus has its own genetic signature, so its origins can therefore be traced. “From the spread of 20A.EU1 it is clear that the anti-virus measures that were often in place were not enough to stop the further transmission of diversity this summer,” said Emma Hodcroft, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Basel and one of them. Researchers in Switzerland and Spain are now rushing to look at the behavior of the Spanish strain to see if the mutated virus is more deadly or more contagious than other strains. The new strain differs from others in six parts of its genome. Hodcroft stressed, however, that “there is no evidence that the rapid spread of the variant is due to a mutation that increases transmission or affects the clinical outcome.” But he also stressed that 20A.EU1 does not look like any version of Sars-Cov-2 – he has encountered so far. “I have not seen another strain with this kind of dynamics as long as I look at coronavirus genomic sequences in Europe,” said Joseph Fower, a geneticist at Yale University who did not attend the study. to find mutations that occur frequently in the population, and then to reverse them, to see if they make the virus more contagious. ” Researchers conclude that the “risky behavior” of Spanish tourists – such as ignoring distance instructions – helped spread the new strain. Research has shown that the strain accounts for more than eight out of ten cases in the United States. Kingdom, 80% of cases in Spain, 60% in Ireland and up to 40% in Switzerland and France. Follow the Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest news from Greece and the world, at



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