Thirty-two covid ‘crypto variants’ detected in 13 states

More than 30 extremely mutated, never-before-seen Covid strains are lurking in multiple US states, can reveal. 

A team of scientists from the University of Missouri has been tracking these so-called ‘cryptic’ variants by testing wastewater samples across the country.

They have detected 32 strains so far in 13 states — including New York, California and Florida — but say these cases are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

The viruses are being harbored by people known as ‘long-haulers’, patients who struggle to clear Covid infection for months or even years, giving the virus an unusually long window to mutate.

Dr Marc Johnson, the virologist at Missouri who is leading the research, warned the strains are so mutated they would instantly be classed ‘variants of concern’ if they were to start spreading.

He believes that one in every 4million people are harboring one of these strains, or have in the past. This would mean there are about 80 cryptic lineages circulating.

So far, ten have been detected in New York City —  more than double any individual state.


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