Virus may have mutated to resist masks
A new COVID-19 mutation appears to be even more contagious, according to a study - and experts say it could be a response by the virus to defeat masks and other social-distancing efforts.
Scientists in a paper published on Wednesday identified a new strain of the coronavirus, which accounted for 99.9 per cent of cases during the second wave in America's Houston, Texas, area, The Washington Post reported.
The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, said people with the strain, known as the D614G mutation, had higher loads of virus - suggesting it is more contagious.
Though the strain isn't more deadly, researchers said it appeared to have adapted better to spread among humans.
David Morens, a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the findings suggest the virus may become more contagious and this "may have implications for our ability to control it".
He said it's possible the virus had evolved to resist efforts such as handwashing and social distancing.
"Wearing masks, washing our hands, all those things are barriers to transmissibility, or contagion, but as the virus becomes more contagious, it statistically is better at getting around those barriers," Dr Morens told the Post.
Originally published as Virus may have mutated to resist masks