Canberra, Aug. 14, 2020 Genomic testing has shown that the virus leading a second wave of infections in the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) is the same as the one that has dominated the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on Friday.
Lab testing has found that although the virus does not make those infected sicker, it does seem to grow faster and have a higher viral load than the strain that previously circulated in other countries, according to AFR, an Australian business and financial newspaper.
Researchers in Los Alamos in the U.S. state of New Mexico have found the D614G spike mutation, which has dominated the U.S. pandemic has a `fitness advantage’ when grown in labs, the report said.
What’s more, the genomic testing by the Doherty Institute in Melbourne has confirmed that it is this U.S. mutation that is now ravaging Victoria and NSW.
As of Friday afternoon there have been 22,743 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours is 386, according to the Department of Health.
Of the new cases, Victoria confirmed 372 and NSW another nine.