COVID-19’s journey across the world mapped by scientists

The COVID-19 virus has mutated as it has spread, research has found, allowing scientists to track its origins and potentially predict future trends.

The study may also help to establish whether the divergence in severity of the illnesses suffered by different people may be linked to infection from different strains of the coronavirus.

What is believed to be the earliest known strain of the virus, most closely related to that found in pangolins and bats, is termed by the scientists as “Type A.” Outside China, this variation is commonly found in the U.S. and Australia. Type A appears to have mutated into “Type B,” which then evolved into a “Type C,” which is the predominant strain found in Europe.

The scientists have tracked COVID-19’s movement /Peter Forster, Lucy Forster, Colin Renfrew, and Michael Forster/PNAS

The scientists noticed that Type B was almost exclusively found in East Asia, leading them to question whether people living outside the region had some kind of resistance to it.

The study, conducted by scientists from the University of Cambridge, the University of Kiel, the German Institute of Forensic Genetics and Fluxus Technology and Lakeside Healthcare in the UK, can be used to create a map of the coronavirus’s journey around the world.

The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers reported they could not trace the virus to its roots because even the earliest cases they found seemed to have significant changes from what they believe the first human case would look like.

However, subsequent work, which has not been peer reviewed, allowed the researchers to conclude that the virus’s first transmission to humans was between the middle of September and early December 2019, according to a report on the University of Cambridge’s website.

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