Genetic Analysis Shows SARS-CoV-19 Was Introduced to CA by Multiple Travelers

Genetic sequencing is revealing much more about coronavirus’ initial spread in California—and those revelations suggest a path forward for slowing or ceasing transmission altogether.

From CNN Wire:

A new genetic study suggests the coronavirus was carried into California several times by travelers, and that the state missed several opportunities to use contact tracing to stop further spread.

The report, published in the journal Science on Monday, also strongly indicates that at least one cruise ship outbreak started with a virus transmitted by a single person infected with a strain of the virus that spread in Washington state early in the pandemic.

Dr. Charles Chiu, a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed viral samples from 36 people in nine California counties. By tracing them back, Chiu found that it wasn’t a single case that got out of control, but multiple introductions. Some, like a case in Solano County, were stopped dead in their tracks by tracing and isolation. Others were allowed to flourish.

The findings, he said, show many missed opportunities to stop the virus when it was seeded multiple times into California. “We simply did not have the infrastructure to do the detecting that would have been needed,” Chiu said.

The findings also show that travel restrictions can work if they are started early enough and observed carefully.

Read more here.


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