Friday, August 14, 2020

Top virologist says Covid-19 likely to mutate, making current tests useless

Thiravat Hemachudha

By Jack Burton

A prominent Thai virologist is warning that the Covid-19 coronavirus is mutating and could return in a different, more contagious, or potentially, more dangerous or less dangerous, form. Thiravat Hemachudha, director of the Health Science Centre of Emerging Diseases at Chulalongkorn University, says that Thailand “should begin preparing for possible ‘genetic code alterations’ of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.” He cited recent findings from studies in Vietnam and China on coronavirus strains in horseshoe bats, which inhabit Southeast Asia, including Thailand.

“So we have to prepare to deal also with other possible new strains of the coronavirus that include the 2019 novel coronavirus, which is likely to undergo multiple genetic code alterations.”

Radical changes in the genetic code of the coronavirus may result in current screening techniques becoming ineffective, according to Thiravat.  Read more >>