An increasingly common mutation of the novel coronavirus found in Europe, North America and parts of Asia may be more infectious but appears less deadly, according to a prominent infectious diseases doctor.
Paul Tambyah, senior consultant at Singapore’s National University Hospital and president-elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, said evidence suggests the proliferation of the D614G mutation in some parts of the world has coincided with a drop in death rates, suggesting it is less lethal.
“Maybe that’s a good thing to have a virus that is more infectious but less deadly,” Tambyah told Reuters.
Tambyah said most viruses tend to become less virulent as they mutate.
“It is in the virus’ interest to infect more people but not to kill them because a virus depends on the host for food and for shelter,” he said.
Scientists discovered the mutation as early as February and it has circulated in Europe and the Americas, the World Health Organization said. The WHO has also said there is no evidence the mutation has led to more severe disease.
On Sunday, Malaysia’s director-general of health Noor Hisham Abdullah urged greater public vigilance after authorities…
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