A single traveler from China infected 39 people in Washington state with China’s coronavirus, according to virus expert Trevor Bedford.
“Thanks to sequencing by @UWVirology @CDCgov and @seattleflustudy we have genomes for 39 viruses sampled from WA,” he tweeted Tuesday. “Importantly 35 of these 39 viruses (90%) fall into a single genetic cluster indicating a single ~Jan introduction from China and subsequent local spread.”
Bedford runs a research laboratory Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
His tweets show how similar mutations in China’s “#SARSCoV2 / #HCoV9 virus” — can be used to track the passage of a particular virus from one individual to others. The chart marks the original carrier and the subsequent victims in red.
By sequencing the genome of the #SARSCoV2 / #HCoV19 virus, we can see which infections are connected to which other infections. See here for background https://t.co/TaH7yonZP1 and @nextstrain https://t.co/JHWNUOwchc for latest analysis. 2/8
— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) March 16, 2020
Many overseas Chinese return home during China’s new year celebrations. In 2020, the celebrations ran from January 21 to February 20.
Many U.S. tech companies in the Seattle area employ many Chinese H-1B visa-workers or sponsor Chinese to become legal immigrants, even though many Americans also apply for jobs at the companies. By January 29, companies began asking their employees not to travel to China. – READ MORE
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