OREANDA-NEWS. Scientists from the Universities of Bath and Edinburgh in the UK have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, mutates almost once a week. This is stated in a message on the website of the University.

Previously, they believed that the coronavirus mutates about once every two weeks. However, a new study by the Milner Center for Evolution at the University of Bath and the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Edinburgh shows that this assessment is not entirely correct. Thus, viruses mutate during errors when copying genomes, while most mutations reduce the chances of survival of the virus and are not taken into account when calculating the mutation rate. This means that mutations occur about one and a half to two times more often than previously reported.

The study confirmed that if a patient suffers from coronavirus for more than a few weeks, the virus can mutate, leading to the emergence of new strains. According to scientists, this is exactly what happened with the alpha variant, which is considered the result of the evolution of the virus inside a person who did not get rid of the infection.