A new strain of the coronavirus, deemed by researchers to be “10 times” more infectious than the original strain of COVID-19 was detected in Malaysia, the country’s health officials reported Monday. The D614G mutation was detected in at least three of 45 positive cases stemming from a restaurant owner who broke his mandatory 14-day quarantine order after returning from India, Times of India reported.
While the outbreak is “under control,” it is important for the community to continue being careful about transmitting the coronavirus since D614G is “10 times easier to infect other individuals and easier to spread, if spread by ‘super spreader’ individuals,” health director-general Dr. Noor Hisham said in a statement, according to Malay Mail.
This particular strain of the coronavirus had been mentioned in a study published in Cell in July, and mutations have been emerging since the coronavirus began spreading around the world.
While researchers are not sure how the new outbreak of the mutation will affect the course of the pandemic, nor is it clear how it might affect the efficacy of a vaccine, researchers say this points to how little is known about COVID-19.