The skeptics point to Covid-19 fatality rates that are lower than projected and cry “Fraud”.
But recent research indicates a less sinister explanation.
Not all Coronavirus strains are equal. Scientists have identified a genetic mutation within the virus that may make some strains more virulent.
The increasing number of deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic has raised serious global concerns. Increased testing capacity and ample intensive care availability could explain lower mortality in some countries compared to others. Nevertheless, it is also plausible that the SARS-CoV-2 mutations giving rise to different phylogenetic clades are responsible for the apparent death rate disparities around the world. Current research literature linking the genetic make-up of SARS-CoV-2 with fatalities is lacking. Here, we suggest that this disparity in fatality rates may be attributed to SARS-CoV-2 evolving mutations and urge the international community to begin addressing the phylogenetic clade classification of SARS-CoV-2 in relation to clinical outcomes.
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Strikingly, we observed that the variant S-D614G distinguishes the SARS-CoV-2 strains (Figure 1A) that may have caused fatal infections in European populations (Figure 1B). For example, a substantial number of strains with the S-D614G variant are from the countries Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, and Switzerland that top the death toll (Figure 1B) (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/; last accessed May 2, 2020); while Germany and Kuwait, with a lower death toll, constitute most strains with the wild-type 614D at S (Figure 1B). It is also important to note that this scenario in Germany and other European countries remains uncertain as the number of cases is increasing every day. Therefore, continuous assessment and follow-up will be crucial to contain the virus.
What that means is that maybe, so far, parts of the U.S. have been lucky. They’ve been exposed to strains of the Covid that aren’t as lethal as other genetic mutations.
Will these less lethal strains provide immunity to the deadlier strains?
Dunno. Remains to be seen. Immunity to any strain, and it’s duration, is an unresolved proposition.
But all those skeptics crying “Fraud” might want to check their science.
Oh, right. They’re not into science.