A study of more than 5,000 genetic sequences of the coronavirus conducted in Houston has revealed the virus is mutating in a way that will make it more contagious.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, MutationGeorge Frey / Getty Images

David Morens, senior adviser to Anthony S. Fauci, and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that COVID-19 could find a way around our immunity: “Although we don’t know yet, it is well within the realm of possibility that this coronavirus, when our population-level immunity gets high enough, this coronavirus will find a way to get around our immunity,” Morens said. “If that happened, we’d be in the same situation as with flu. We’ll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we’ll have to tinker with our vaccine.

“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."

The study analyzed two different strains of COVID-19 taken during the spring and summer. It found that the summer strain bore more viral particles, causing it to be more infectious.

“We’ll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we’ll have to tinker with our vaccine,” Morens said.

[Via]