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Scientists are saying it is!
Researchers in Florida say they believe they have shown that the new coronavirus has mutated in a way that makes it more easily infect human cells.
They say more research is needed to show whether the change has altered the course of the pandemic, but at least one researcher not involved in the study says it likely has, and the changes may explain why the virus has caused so many infections in the United States and Latin America.
“Viruses with this mutation were much more infectious than those without the mutation in the cell culture system we used,” Scripps Research virologist Hyeryun Choe, who helped lead the study, said in a statement.
Just this week, the World Health Organization said the mutations seen so far in the new coronavirus would not affect the efficacy of vaccines under development. Last week, WHO said mutations had not made it more easily transmissible, nor had they made the virus more likely to cause serious illness.
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