Friday, October 30, 2020

A mutated coronavirus strain causes most new COVID-19 infections in Europe and was spread within the continent by tourists, scientists say

Tourists and residents arriving at Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport in Malaga, Spain, on June 22 after the borders were opened. Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images

Grace Dean
Business Insider

The majority of new COVID-19 cases in Europe stem from a mutated strain of the coronavirus that has been traced back to Spain and was spread across the continent over the summer by tourists, scientists said in a report Thursday.

The variant most likely originated in farm workers in northeastern Spain, where it was first recorded in June, they said.

The team of scientists from the University of Basel, ETH Z├╝rich in Basel, and SeqCOVID in Spain said a suspected "superspreader" event accounted for early proliferation of the virus, which was then spread abroad by tourists and other travelers.

By October, the variant had been identified in 12 countries across the continent, as well as in Hong Kong and New Zealand, they said.  Read more >>