Kansas City, Missouri 2021-06-15 12:01:28 –
New York (AP) — A new analysis of blood samples from 24,000 Americans taken early last year is the latest and largest study suggesting that a new coronavirus emerged in the United States in December 2019 — case. A few weeks before it was first recognized by health authorities.
The analysis is inconclusive and some experts remain skeptical, but federal health officials have reported a small number of COVID-19 infections in the United States before the world becomes aware of a dangerous new virus in China. Are increasingly accepting timelines that may have occurred.
“The research is fairly consistent,” said Natalie Thornburg of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There was probably a very rare and sporadic case here, earlier than we were aware of, but it wasn’t widespread and didn’t spread until late February,” he said. Thornburg, a senior researcher at the CDC’s Respiratory Virus Immunology Team, said.
She added that these results underscore the need for countries to work together to identify emerging viruses as quickly and cooperatively as possible.
The pandemic coronavirus occurred in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Officially, the first US infectious disease identified was a traveler. A Washington man who returned from Wuhan on January 15 and sought help at a clinic on January 19.
CDC officials initially said the sparks that began to occur in the United States arrived during the three-week period from mid-January to early February. However, subsequent studies suggest that a small number of infections have occurred earlier, including those done by the CDC.
A CDC-led study published in December 2020, analyzing 7,000 samples from American Red Cross blood donations, suggests that the virus infected some Americans as early as mid-December 2019. did.
The latest study, published online by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on Tuesday, is by a team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health. They analyzed blood samples from more than 24,000 people nationwide, collected in the first three months of 2020. It was collected as part of a long-term survey called “All Of Us,” which tracks and investigates one million Americans. health..
Similar to the CDC study, these researchers looked for antibodies in the blood that were considered evidence of coronavirus infection and could be detected two weeks after the person was first infected.
Researchers found that seven of the nine study participants (three from Illinois and one from Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) had cases of COVID-19 in these states. He states that he was infected earlier than originally reported.
One of the cases in Illinois was already infected with Christmas Eve, said Keriarthof, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author of the study.
It can be difficult to distinguish antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from antibodies that fight other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold. Researchers in both NIH and CDC studies have used multiple types of tests to minimize false-positive results, but some experts say that 2019 positives are not pandemic strains. It states that it may have been an infection with another coronavirus.
“It’s perfectly plausible that the virus was brought to the United States much earlier than it would normally be, but that doesn’t mean it’s strong enough evidence to change our mindset,” said Harvard University. William Hanage said. University expert on disease dynamics.
NIH researchers have not yet followed up study participants to see if anyone has traveled from the United States before the infection. However, they found it notable that the seven did not live in or near New York City or Seattle, where the first wave of the US incident was concentrated.
“The question is how and where the virus seeded,” Altov said. New studies show that they are “probably sown in multiple locations in our country,” she added.
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