A number of more infectious strands of Covid-19 have already emerged, including the Alpha and Delta variants, which were first detected in Kent and India respectively.
The UK is currently grappling with an increase in coronavirus cases linked in part to the Delta variant.
Yale University epidemiologist Dr Perry Wilson warned that the Delta variant spreads much faster than Alpha or the original coronavirus.
Speaking to Yale Medicine, he said, “It’s actually quite dramatic how the rate of growth is going to change.
“In a completely unmitigated environment – where no one is vaccinated or wears masks – it is estimated that an average person infected with the original strain of coronavirus will infect another 2.5 people.
“In the same environment, Delta would spread from one person to maybe 3.5 or 4 other people.
“Because of math, it’s growing exponentially and faster.
“Delta surpasses everything else and becomes the dominant strain. “
According to Inci Yildirim, an infectious disease specialist at Yale, Delta is likely to have a greater impact on young people than previous variants.
She commented, “As older age groups get vaccinated, those who are younger and unvaccinated will be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 with any variant.
“But Delta seems to have a bigger impact on the younger age groups than the previous variants. “
She added: “All viruses evolve over time and undergo changes as they spread and replicate. “
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged China to be more transparent about the origins of the coronavirus.
A previous WHO report, released in March, said the virus likely reached humans via bats and other animals.
However, the UK and US accused China of “denying access to complete and original data and samples.”
Mr. Ghebreyesus commented, “We call on China to be transparent and open and to cooperate.
“We owe it to the millions of people who have suffered and the millions of people who have died to know what happened. “
Some believe the coronavirus was artificially created at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and then escaped.
Beijing dismissed the accusation as “absurd”.
In May, it was revealed, according to US intelligence, that several researchers at the institute fell ill with flu-like symptoms at the end of 2019.
This was first revealed by the Wall Street Journal which had access to a US intelligence report.
President Biden has asked U.S. intelligence services for a detailed report on the origins of the coronavirus by August.
There have been calls for the origins of the pandemic to be investigated by a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission.