The coronavirus zombifies human cells and causes them to sprout tentacles in order to spread around the body, scientists have discovered.
A study led by the University of California saw researchers take microscopic images of this process, which they have described as ‘so sinister’.
Images show infected cells growing tentacle-like spikes, known as filopodia, which appear to be littered with viral particles.
The researchers believe the disease uses the tentacles to ‘surf’ to healthy cells, where it injects its viral venom into them and creates more zombie cells.
Until now, researchers believed Covid infected like most other viruses – by latching onto healthy cells and turning them into copying machines.
But, in people with healthy immune systems, the body can fight off the majority of the virus and prevent it from replicating in high amounts in the body.
The latest discovery appears to show that Covid has, at some point in its evolution, developed a back-up plan to get round the immune system.