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October 27 2020
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Scientists say they've identified 2 strains of COVID-19

by Oregon Herald Staff

Scientists from China said they've identified two strains of COVID-19 linked to the recent outbreak.

Coronaviruses are a large family of RNA viruses, and when RNA viruses replicate quickly, they often mutate.

Researchers analyzed 103 sequenced genomes using strains from China, and found that 70% of strains were one type, which they called "L." The "L" strain was more aggressive than the remaining 30% of strains, which were dubbed "S."

A man wearing a face mask uses an escalator in the financial district of Lujiazui in Shanghai, March 4, 2020.A man wearing a face mask uses an escalator in the financial district of Lujiazui in Shanghai, March 4, 2020.

The new paper, published Tuesday in the National Science Review from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is preliminary, the paper's authors cautioned.

The scientists only analyzed strains from China, so more information is needed about strains from other countries to determine whether the same viruses have spread worldwide.

"For now, it looks like there are two strains, but we do not know exactly what this means," said Perlman, who is not connected to the new paper.


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