Politics

Mutant strains are largely the same, but the spread of COVID-19 in Europe is alarming

The northern hemisphere is facing a COVID Christmas holiday as the virus continues to grow.

(Image: SOPA / Pietro Recchia / Sipa USA)

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned this morning that a new variant of the coronavirus “may be linked to the faster spread of the virus in south-east England”.

It is not the first time that politicians have warned of a virus mutation. Last month, South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall warned of a “very sneaky” COVID-19 strain in the state (although there is no evidence that Adelaide’s strain was worse than anyone).

The virus always mutates

Viruses are constantly mutating into new variants, with each person infected with coronavirus likely having a slightly different version of it, Paul Griffin, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Queensland, told Crikey.

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