The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is not the same strain as what first emerged from China and Italy. A new study shows it has changed slightly in a way that makes it more contagious to humans.
Despite the virus’s slow moving mutation rate, researchers have catalogued more than 12,000 mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes.
European countries have started imposing travel bans as scientists probe if new strain spreads faster or causes more severe COVID-19.
Different SARS-CoV-2 strains haven’t yet had a major impact on the course of the coronavirus pandemic, but they might in future.