Researchers Detect 11 Outbreaks of Early COVID-19 Travelers from Arizona

FILE – This illustration provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (CDC via AP, file)

PHOENIX (AP) – At least 11 people infected with COVID-19 traveled to Arizona and gave the disease to others, starting local transmission chains, the state’s first coronovirus outbreak starting in mid-February According to a newly published study.

Looking at the genome sequenced from virus samples collected in March and early April, researchers found that 80% of the studied genome stems from those 11 people. Researchers found that they arrived via domestic travel, but the genome could eventually be traced to virus lineages that were massively transmitted to Europe before arriving in the United States.

They are among the findings of the first paper published by the Arizona COVID-19 Genomics Union, which was translated into the outbreak by researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute and three universities in Arizona. His peer-reviewed findings appear in “mBio” magazine.

They found that a person at Arizona State University, who was isolated with COVID-19 in January, did not infect anyone else, after traveling to the center of the outbreak in Hubei Province, China.

“We were able to determine that public health interventions work,” Brendan Larsen, a Ph.D. A student at the University of Arizona who is working on the project.

The paper looks at only a fraction of the 3,000 Arizona viral genomes that have been mapped so far. Scientists eventually hope to map 10,000 genomes and publish more findings. The question they plan to investigate is the effectiveness of orders to stay at home. If people comply with this, researchers will expect different strains of the virus to spread with minimal mixing between counties in different regions of the state.

Using powerful computers, researchers can pinpoint random mutations in the genome of viral samples and build a type of family tree that shows lineages from a sample that came before it.

The State Department of Health Services on Wednesday reported 695 new COVID-19 cases, the most in nearly two weeks and 27 new deaths. The number of Inpatient hospital beds and ventilators used by COVID-19 patients remained stable, which had been below the peak since mid-July. But emergency room visits by patients suspected of COVID-19 lasted to 916 after remaining well below 900 since the beginning of September.

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