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More dangerous COVID-19 variants are coming soon, says Wuhan lab scientist

Virologist Shi Zhengli told Chinese state media that new COVID-19 variants are coming

SHARE More dangerous COVID-19 variants are coming soon, says Wuhan lab scientist
A medical worker takes a swab sample during a COVID-19 test in Wuhan.

A medical worker takes a swab sample from a worker from the China Star Optoelectronics Technology company in a gym during a round of COVID-19 test in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. There will be more COVID-19 variants coming soon as the virus continues to mutate, the leader of the Wuhan Institute of Virology warned last week.

Chinatopix via Associated Press

There will be more COVID-19 variants coming soon as the virus continues to mutate, the leader of the Wuhan Institute of Virology warned last week.

Virologist Shi Zhengli told the South China Morning Post, which is a part of the Chinese state media, that the world will have to coexist with the novel coronavirus as there continue to be more mutations.

“As the number of infected cases has just become too big, this allowed the novel coronavirus more opportunities to mutate and select,” Shi said, per the South China Morning Post. “New variants will continue to emerge.”

Experts have been worried that there will be more dangerous COVID-19 variants on the way, especially as the delta variant continues to pass through unvaccinated populations. For example, Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told Newsweek that there could soon be “a delta on steroids.”

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House medical adviser for the novel coronavirus, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that letting the delta variant spread will lead to more variants and mutations.

He said, “If you give the virus the chance to continue to change, you’re leading to a vulnerability that we might get a worse variant. And then, that will impact not only the unvaccinated; that will impact the vaccinated because that variant could evade the protection of the vaccine.”

All of these experts have recommended getting vaccinated against COVID-19 to help slow the spread of the virus, which would limits its ability to mutate.