BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A new study out of Houston shows COVID-19 is mutating.
The study has not been through peer review yet, but local doctors said they aren’t surprised.
They said that’s because all viruses are known to replicate themselves and mutate.
In this latest study out of Houston, scientists released data of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus, one of which suggest the virus can become even more contagious, but not necessarily more deadly.
UAB Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Michael Saag, said this isn’t the first time studies have shown that the virus is mutating.
He said the virus that came to the U.S. from Europe was reported to be more infectious.
Dr. Saag added that the study out of Houston is more of a continuation of the theme, and is not surprising at all.
“So, should that scare people? No, because this is what we expect to happen,” said Dr. Saag.
“And what we need to do to stop this is prevent the transmission of the infection from person-to-person, and we know how to do that. We can wear a mask, we keep our distance, we avoid large crowds, we wash our hands and ultimately, hopefully, we’ll have a vaccine,” Dr. Saag explained.
He said one reason why all of this matters is because, like the flu vaccine, which has to be redeveloped each year, scientists and researchers who are trying to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine, are shooting at a moving target, as the virus changes.