Study: Coronavirus: 30 strains have developed, most deadly in Europe

There could be as many as 30 different strains of coronavirus, a study of patients in China has alleged.

Zhejiang University researchers state the deadly virus has mutated tens of times since rebounding from animals to humans last year.

The scientists studied a small number of patients with the disease and found some were infected with much more potent strains than others.

Some of the most deadly strains resembled ones that spread in Europe, reported the South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, the weaker strains were similar to those found circulating within parts of the US, such as Washington State.

The authors say their findings – based on just 11 patients – are the first to show the mutation could affect the severity of illness.

It is unclear why the potent version of COVID-19 spread to Europe, but viruses are constantly mutating to overcome immune system resistance in different populations.

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