How Dangerous Are the New COVID-19 Variants?

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Global Citizen

“[RNA] viruses are notorious for having variants because every time they copy themselves inside a new infected person, they're sloppy,” Dr. Robert Bollinger, Raj and Kamla Gupta professor of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University and expert in SARS-CoV-2, told Global Citizen.

Bollinger said there have been variants of COVID-19 from the start and that we’re just hearing about them now as the health community is doing more genetic sequencing.

“Back in December 2019, we saw the viruses mutating as we would expect it to,” he said.

When a virus spreads, it has the opportunity to mutate with every transmission — essentially, it’s just making a copy of itself and it can make mistakes when doing so.