Covid-19 has 7 Key Strains: Here's what you need to know
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We currently know that there are seven key strains – or “clades” – of the virus which are in circulation around the globe. These are GR, G, GH, O, S, L, and V.

Covid-19 strains, briefly EXPLAINED:

• University of Bologna researchers suggested the original version of the virus is the L strain, which appeared in Wuhan back in December.

• Its first mutation – the S strain – appeared at the beginning of 2020, according to the study, and since mid-January, there have been two predominant strains: V and G.

• Worldwide, strain G appears to be the most widespread, with researchers identifying that it mutated into strains GR and GH at the end of February.

• The O strain refers to ‘other’ strains of the virus which researchers are also keeping their eye on.

Why do we need to MONITOR MUTATIONS?

• Dr Julian Tang, honorary associate professor and clinical virologist at the University of Leicester, said: firstly, we need to monitor how any mutations of the virus might impact on the effectiveness of antiviral drugs, such as remdesivir, which are being trialled as treatments.

• We also need to keep an eye out for any mutations that might impact on the clinical severity of the illness, or its transmissibility, as well as how mutations could impact the effectiveness of vaccines.

• Federico Giorgi, co-author of the study on virus strains, suggested the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is “already optimised to affect human beings”, which might explain why it’s not really evolving much.

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