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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 12 April 2024 4.03 PM IST

China experimenting with new Covid strain that can cause 100 percent mortality rate: Report

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BEIJING: A recent report has claimed that China is conducting experiments with a mutant COVID strain named GX_P2V. The report stated that the new COVID strain caused a 100 percent mortality rate in genetically-modified mice.

The study published on the preprint site bioRxiv stated that GX_P2V caused 100 per cent mortality in human ACE2-transgenic mice, potentially due to late-stage brain infection. According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Chemical Technology and Nanjing University in China, GX_P2V -- attacked the brains of mice that were engineered to reflect similar genetic makeup to people.

The deadly GX_P2V is a mutated version of GX/2017 -- a coronavirus cousin that was reportedly discovered in Malaysian pangolins in 2017 -- three years before the pandemic.

All the mice that were infected with the virus died within just eight days, which researchers noted was a “surprisingly” rapid death rate. GX_P2V had infected the lungs, bones, eyes, tracheas, and brains of the dead mice, the last of which was severe enough to ultimately cause the death of the animals. Days before their deaths, the mice had quickly lost weight, exhibiting a hunched posture, and moved extremely sluggish. Even their eyes turned completely white the day before they died. Researchers said that similar conditions may occur in humans if they get infected with the virus.

The whole world still believes that the COVID-19 virus was spread outside after Chinese scientists conducted experiments without adequate safety precautions in the lab in Wuhan. However, China has never confirmed this. Around seven million people have died across the globe due to Covid.

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