Mutated strain of coronavirus getting more common: KCDCKorea has been detecting more of a mutated strain of the new coronavirus that swept North America, Europe and the Middle East, health authorities said Wednesday, although there is no evidence that the mutation is more infectious.
Based on the type of amino acid of a certain gene, the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the novel coronavirus into seven strains — S, V, L, G, GH, GR and the rest.
The GH strain, which is most common in North America, Europe and the Middle East, was first found in Korea in April.
Of a total of 685 patients, the number of patients infected with the GH strain stood at 169 in May, 223 in June, 47 in July and 85 in August, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The mutated strain accounted for 77.4 percent of the 685 patients, the KCDC said.
Still, there is no scientific evidence that the GH strain is more infectious than other strains.
The second-most-common coronavirus clade in Korea was the V strain, with 118 cases falling into the genetic strain. The cases were tied to a religious sect in Daegu, once the epicenter of the country's virus outbreak in late February and early March.
According to the KCDC, 17 cases were grouped under clade S, most of which were imported cases, including arrivals from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the pandemic.
Twenty cases were linked to the GR strain, with most traced to Russia-flagged ships docked in Korea's southeastern port city of Busan.
Korea reported 320 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday as sporadic cluster infections, coupled with rising cases tied to churches, continued to build up. The nation's total caseload stood at 18,265.
The nation's new coronavirus cases have been in the triple digits since Aug. 14, with a whopping 3,395 new cases reported across the nation over the past 13 days.