(Image: SOPA/Pietro Recchia/Sipa USA)

This morning UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned a new variant of coronavirus "may be associated" with faster spread of the virus in the south-east of England. 

It’s not the first time politicians have warned of a virus mutation. Last month South Australian Premier Steven Marshall warned of a “very sneaky” COVID-19 strain (despite no evidence to suggest Adelaide’s strain was worse than any other).

The virus is always mutating

Viruses are constantly mutating, with every person infected with coronavirus likely to have a slightly different version, University of Queensland infectious disease specialist Paul Griffin tells Crikey.