The novel coronavirus that has infected thousands of people across the world may have mutated at least once — meaning there may be two different types of the virus causing illnesses, a new study conducted by Chinese scientists suggests.
Scientists with Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai in a preliminary study found that one strain — type “L” — of the virus was more aggressive and accounted for about 70 percent of the strains analyzed. The second — type “S” — was less aggressive and accounted for about 30 percent of analyzed strains.
But also several webpages theorized the virus has mutated before passing from animals to humans.
This page What we know about the Wuhan virus says
This virus belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses. Named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces, they infect mostly bats, pigs and small mammals. But they mutate easily and can jump from animals to humans
Where did the new coronavirus come from? The new virus likely came originally from bats, scientists say. It isn’t known exactly where or how it jumped to humans, though. Viruses from bats often infect another mammal first and then mutate to become more transmissible to humans.
Coronaviruses can also jump directly to humans, without mutating or passing through an intermediate species.
Is something more known about this? Is it possible the virus has mutated twice in a period of time of months?