One doctor estimated “infections spreading from New York account for 60 to 65 percent of the sequenced viruses across the country.”
Researchers discovered the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak occurred due to travelers from New York City, making it “the primary source of new infections across the country” by early March.
From The New York Times:
The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York City through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits to stop the growth. That helped to fuel outbreaks in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and as far away as the West Coast.
The findings are drawn from geneticists’ tracking signature mutations of the virus, travel histories of infected people and models of the outbreak by infectious disease experts.
“We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country,” said Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has a habit of deflecting blame to President Donald Trump over the outbreak. But it turns out “that decisions made by state and federal officials — including waiting to impose distancing measures and to limit international flights — helped shape the trajectory of the outbreak and allowed it to grow in the rest of the country.”
What did de Blasio tweet on March 2? Oh yeah!
Now do Mayor De Blasio who urged New Yorkers in March to tide buses, subways and go to Broadway and the movies… Why is noone interviewing him? pic.twitter.com/RTxzM7GIlJ
— teresa (@blondwalls) May 3, 2020
Washington state saw a massive outbreak in the Seattle area, which caused outbreaks in other states. But the NYT described Seattle’s outbreak as the “squall before the larger storm gathering in New York.”
The viruses in New York came from Europe while the virus outbreak in Washington state came from China.
In early April, epidemiologists said that NYC’s “role as an international hub of commerce and tourism” along with the population density helped spread the virus. These scientists also said that any response likely would not have “stopped the pandemic.”
It could have helped, though:
Acting earlier would most likely have blunted the virus’s march across the country, researchers say.
“It means that we missed the boat early on, and the vast majority in this country is coming from domestic spread,” said Kristian Andersen, a professor in the department of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research. “I keep hearing that it’s somebody else’s fault. That’s not true. It’s not somebody else’s fault, it’s our own fault.”
Geneticists “analyzed and shared more than 2,000 samples of the virus from infected people.” Just like other viruses, the coronavirus replicated as it infected new people, which leads to mutations:
These mutations typically do not change the behavior of the virus, but they can provide a signature of a virus’s origin.
Most samples taken in Texas, Ohio, Louisiana, Idaho, Wisconsin and many other states carry distinct mutations that can be traced back to viruses introduced into New York.
Over all, Dr. Grubaugh estimated, infections spreading from New York account for 60 to 65 percent of the sequenced viruses across the country.
Other scientists want to analyze more samples before accepting this conclusion.
Then again, we have heard reports that the coronavirus may have appeared in California back in November.DONATE
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