“After all, as viruses couldn’t live without a host, a dead host is a dead end for viruses. So, what’s the point of killing the host quicker?”

Research published in February in the science journal BMJ showed that people infected with the B.1.1.7 variant of the coronavirus, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, are more likely to die than people infected with the original strain. This scary news was surprising to some people, writes scientist and medical writer Shin Jie Yong, because a widely accepted evolutionary theory suggests that viruses require live hosts in order to replicate and survive. It didn’t seem to make sense that the coronavirus would evolve to become more lethal, because then it would just kill off its hosts.

“Ultimately, the law isn’t absolute,” Yong writes. “It sometimes applies but not always.”

Read on to learn about the alternate theory explaining the increased lethality of the new strain, and what it means for beating Covid-19:




A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

Recommended from Medium

The Loneliness of the Front Line

Tips for Skiing Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic

30,000 USDT Giveaway Schedule

Don’t Throw Away Your Masks Yet

Addressing COVID-19 in Guatemala

Here Is Biden’s Pandemic Plan

COVID-19 and the Future of Global Health

5 Prescriptions On the Rise Right Now

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Coronavirus Blog Team

Coronavirus Blog Team

A real-time resource for news, advice, and commentary brought to you by Medium.

More from Medium

Safety first! Do’s & Don’ts on Your Public Lands

A man rests on a mountain vista

Masking for Covid-19

Treating Obesity with Bugs, Not Drugs

Obesity and Cancer