An international team of researchers says it has discovered a new variant of the coronavirus that is believed to have greatly accelerated the second wave of the epidemic in Europe.
However, there is no direct evidence from researchers that the variant would infect faster, be more lethal, or cause more serious disease.
It may have become more common for epidemiological rather than biological reasons.
Researchers believe the variant designated 20A.EU1 has caused a majority in some European countries and up to 80% of new cases of covid-19 in Britain.
The Financial Times, among others, reports on the matter.
The variant has six distinct mutations.
The birth of the transformation has been traced by scientists to Spanish farms.
According to a study published by a group of researchers on MedRxiv on Thursday, the variant spread to Europe during the summer when tourists on holiday in Spain returned to their home countries.
“It seems clear that, in many cases, the mechanisms that prevented the spread of the virus were not enough to stop the spread of new mutations this summer,” said Emma Hodcroft, a research team at the University of Basel, according to the Financial Times.
According to the Financial Times, teams of researchers are currently investigating the behavior of the mutation in Switzerland and Spain and whether it is more contagious or deadly than other variants of the virus found.
Hodcroft, who analyzed coronavirus variants in Europe, says he has never come across a similar variant before.
According to the researcher, 20A.EU1 is the most effective he has seen.
According to the business magazine Business Insider, the conversion has been found by October in 12 European countries as well as in Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Scientists believe the transformation has focused mainly on Europe because air traffic outside the continent is limited.
Researchers believe that governments in different countries should take the findings into account when considering lifting travel restrictions.
The release of the new information coincided with the same week when the European powers France and Germany announced that they would once again take drastic containment measures to curb the epidemic.