'This pandemic is not a joke': Coronavirus mutates into 33 variants

Published: May. 4, 2020 at 8:14 AM EDT
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Monday, May 4, 2020

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - When COVID-19 mutates, what are the risks?

As Georgia begins to reopen, researchers continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus.

“I think one of the most important things as infectious disease specialist and a military doctor is that people need to understand that this pandemic is not a joke," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Lane Rolling.

Rolling said people need to be alert and cautious of their surroundings as the novel coronavirus continues to infect millions of people.

“You can’t see viruses... you can’t talk to them, they do not recognize borders, etc. This virus is not one virus any more... this virus has mutated into 33 different strands,” said Rolling.

Dr. Rolling said the COVID-19 disease is carrying multiple variations and is also know as an RNA virus, which means it has a high rate of mutation.

“The coronavirus attaches to your lungs, it attaches to your liver, it attaches to your kidney, it attaches to your brain cell, and it also attaches to your gastrointestinal tract," said Rolling.

“It has multi mutagenic capabilities, What does that mean? This virus reproducing all the time, all the time. It goes in one individual, replicates thousands and billions of viral babies, the babies come out and they infect another person. That virus changes,” said Rolling.

Even as the virus that causes Covid-19 continues to infect and kill many people, the spectre of a new and more deadly Covid mutation emerges.

“It brings its own enzymes to start replications to make new babies, so the positive sense coronavirus is much much, much … smart and much deadlier than influenza,” said Rolling.

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