Different types of coronavirus are being spread around the world, experts have discovered.

Covid-19 is believed to have mutated into three distinct strains - Type A, B and C.

The original one - Type A - that was identified in Wuhan, China, is now thought to be sweeping the US, with New York now having more cases (160,000) than any country.

England and Europe is believed to be battling Type C.

Researchers from Cambridge University reconstructed the early path of Covid-19 as infection spread from Wuhan, China, in December out to Europe and North America.

It shows that type A - the original virus most closely related to the virus found in both bats and pangolins - was not China's most common. Instead Type A is now prevalent in Australia and the US.

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The virus has mutated, experts have found

China was mainly hit by Type B, which was in circulation as far back as Christmas Eve. It is believed this type mutates slowly through China, but rapidly outside China.

Type B is derived from A, separated by two mutations, then C is in turn a "daughter" of B, the study suggests.

A total of 18 NHS trusts in England have announced at least 100 deaths to date, according to figures from NHS England.
As of 5pm on April 8, the totals are:
- University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust: 306
- London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust: 228
- King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: 204
- Barts Health NHS Trust: 189
- Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust: 189
- University Hospitals of Derby & Burton NHS Foundation Trust: 138
- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust: 136
- St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: 134
- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust: 131
- The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust: 126
- Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust: 125
- Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust: 122
- Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust: 118
- Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust: 116
- North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust: 114
- The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust: 110
- Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: 109
- South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust: 105

Type C may have spread to Europe via Singapore.

The UK may have an outbreak of Type 3 Covid-19
A patient arrives at St Thomas's Hospital

Dr Peter Forster, geneticist and lead author from the University of Cambridge, said: "There are too many rapid mutations to neatly trace a Covid-19 family tree.

"We used a mathematical network algorithm to visualise all the plausible trees simultaneously.

"These techniques are mostly known for mapping the movements of prehistoric human populations through DNA.

"We think this is one of the first times they have been used to trace the infection routes of a coronavirus like Covid-19."

A police officer wears a protective face mask in Westminster

Experts believe the virus, called SARS-CoV-2, is mutating to overcome immune system resistance in different populations.

Researchers found that the closest type of coronavirus to the one discovered in bats - type A, the original human virus genome - was present in Wuhan, but was not the city's predominant virus type.

Mutated versions of A were seen in Americans reported to have lived in Wuhan, and a large number of A-type viruses were found in patients from the US and Australia.

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Wuhan's major virus type was B and prevalent in patients from across east Asia, however it didn't travel much beyond the region without further mutations.

The researchers say the C variant is the major European type, found in early patients from France, Italy, Sweden and England.

It is absent from the study's Chinese mainland sample but seen in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea.

The analysis also suggests one of the earliest introductions of the virus into Italy came via the first documented German infection on January 27, and that another early Italian infection route was related to a "Singapore cluster".

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