Malaysian authorities reported the discovery of a strain of the new coronavirus 10 times more infectious than the virus that causes COVID-19.
This mutation, called D614G, was found in three of 45 cases in a group that became infected with COVID-19 after having contact with a restaurant owner who had returned from a trip to India and breached his 14-day home quarantine.
The same strain also manifested itself in another group of people who returned from the Philippines, so experts have warned that current studies to find a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 may be ineffective in dealing with the D614G mutation.
The World Health Organization has noted that it has no evidence that this strain causes more serious disease. However, this mutation has become the predominant variant among those infected in Europe and the United States.
In turn, an article published in the biomedical journal Cell Press highlighted that it is not possible to be sure whether the reported mutation of the new coronavirus will have an impact on the efficacy of the vaccines that are currently being developed.
However, experts in Malaysia have warned the public to exercise extreme caution when the D614G strain is found.
Malaysia has managed to contain the pandemic compared to other parts of the world. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the Asian country registers 9,200 confirmed cases, as well as 125 deaths related to COVID-19.
However, the number of new cases found in this country has increased in recent days, as authorities confirmed 26 new cases on August 15, the highest number recorded since July 28.