Researchers studying the coronavirus and its genetic mutations revealed in a study a genetic mutation that originated in farmworkers in Spain may have contributed to the second wave in Europe, a report said.
The Financial Times reported scientists are working to determine what role, if any, variant 20A.EU1 could play in disease's transmission or lethality. Scientists are looking at the mutation's possible effect on the virus' “spike protein." The variant was found in cases across the continent, including more than 80 percent in Spain, the paper reported.
The report pointed out the study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Dr. Emma Hodcroft, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Basel, said there is no evidence the mutation “increases transmission or impacts the clinical outcome,” according to the paper.
A new wave of lockdowns and business closings swept across France, Germany and other places in Europe as surging coronavirus infections there and in the U.S. wipe out months of progress against the scourge on two continents.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “We are deep in the second wave. I think that this year’s Christmas will be a different Christmas.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report