There are three new developments with the novel coronavirus that is raising concerns after separate studies reveal a more contagious strain, a mystery illness in children, and traces of COVID-19 in the semen of male survivors.
A strain of the novel coronavirus studying mutations of COVID-19 has been discovered that is more contagious than the original form of the virus, according to a new study by several researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
The study said it had identified a strain that had mutated from the initial novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, and claims this new strain moves faster, making it more likely that people will develop a second infection.
However, the new paper has yet to be peer-reviewed and it has already set off a debate between other experts who are skeptical. Some experts claim there is a lot of speculation and no experimental verification.
Nonetheless, what experts are acknowledging the study out of Los Alamos is that the strain researchers identified has been dominant.
A mystery illness linked to coronavirus that is affecting children has appeared in the Chicago area, after first being identified in Europe and later in New York. The illness is beginning to show up around the world.
At least 85 cases have already been identified in the United States.
Dr. Frank Belmonte with Advocate Children’s Hospital has issued a warning to parents about this rare COVID-19 complication.
“Many of them are not testing positive through a nasal swab,” Dr. Belmonte warned, “but we’re actually finding antibodies in their blood that are consistent with past exposure to the COVID virus.”
Dr. Belmonte explained the illness presents itself similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome, with symptoms including fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash.
“These kids probably have been exposed to COVID in the recent four-to-six week period, have convalesced from that, and now are having this inflammatory viral response,” Dr. Belmonte added.
Concerns are being raised that coronavirus may be sexually transmissible after traces of COVID-19 were found in the semen of survivors, a new study out of China claims.
In a test group of 38 COVID-19 patients, researchers found traces of the virus in six men in a study at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital in China.
Out of the six men who had evidence of COVID-19 in their semen, two were recovering and four were still infected.
The most profound development is the indication of COVID-19 in those who have recovered which is raising concerns about how long the virus remains in semen after an infected person has recovered.
This indicates that coronavirus would be sexually transmissible. The question is: how long would an infected person remain contagious?
Previous studies undertaken elsewhere have found COVID-19 in the samples of stools and other body fluids.