One of the top virologists in China has warned that new variants of the coronavirus will continue to emerge.

Shi Zhengli, known to some as “the bat woman,” said the world should be prepared to live with a continuing stream of variants for the foreseeable future, according to the South China Morning Post.

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

Shi Zhengli is the head of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Republican lawmakers in the U.S. alleged that the pandemic resulted from an engineered coronavirus leaked from the institute.

The Delta variant is the mutation receiving the most attention now. More infectious than the original strain, Delta is one of the primary reasons for the recent resurgence of virus cases in the U.S.

Another mutation causing major concern is the Lambda variant, which has recently been detected in Louisiana. Unlike Delta, Lambda appears to show some resistance to vaccines, according to Japanese researchers.

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