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  • Nurses and healthcare workers at Elmhurst Hospital Center, one of 11 hospitals that make up the New York City Health and Hospitals public system, gather for a rally calling for adequate funding of the city's safety net hospitals in Queens, New York, U.S.  September 9, 2020.

    Nurses and healthcare workers at Elmhurst Hospital Center, one of 11 hospitals that make up the New York City Health and Hospitals public system, gather for a rally calling for adequate funding of the city's safety net hospitals in Queens, New York, U.S. September 9, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 September 2020
Opinion

According to Johns Hopkins University, contagion toll increased by 5% in 20 states, confirming the hypothesis of a virus development to more transmissibility.

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) said on Thursday that COVID-19 is mutating to become more contagious, as new cases spike in the United States.

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After analyzing 5,000 COVID-19 genetic codes, the experts found that the virus has not become more lethal, although it has come to be more transmissible. Viruses tend to change as a response to different circumstances, but several of their variations are harmless.

NIH virologists said COVID-19 could be reacting to social distancing and other precautionary measures that compel the virus to be more contagious as it has less subject-to-subject interaction than on the initial outbreaks.

“All those things are barriers to transmissibility or contagion, but as the virus becomes more contagious, it statistically is better at getting around those barriers,” said NIH expert David Morens.

These mutations raise concerns among immunologists, as a vaccine could not tackle a constantly-changing virus. Worst case scenario, they preclude that the vaccine must frequently adjust to follow those variations of the virus.

According to Johns Hopkins University, contagion tolls increased by 5% in 20 states, confirming the hypothesis of a virus evolving to more transmissibility. As school and campuses reopened for fall semester activities, young people from 18 to 25 years old made up 26% of recent cases.

The U.S. registered 7,172,572 COVID-19 cases, 207,262 deaths, and 4,418,260 recoveries from the virus.

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