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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 04:27 PM

Nature: Why US coronavirus tracking can't keep up with concerning variants

This is a monster issue, and we'll pay for this negligence, again. A year into this, and the effects of Trump's Failed Response vis-a-vis Operation Blinders-On are still reverberating.


As COVID-19 cases surge again in the United States, coronavirus variants are on the rise. But researchers fear that the country is ramping up surveillance of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 too slowly, allowing these variants — which evidence shows1,2 could make vaccines less effective — to spread undetected in one of the countries hit hardest by the disease.

Laboratories supported by the US government have doubled the rate at which they are sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genomes over the past two months. Still, the number of genomes that the country shared in the online genome repository GISAID in March represented only 1.6% of its positive COVID-19 cases that month. And the United States lags behind at least 30 countries in terms of the sequencing it has done throughout the pandemic, according to GISAID data.

This frustrates researchers because the United States possesses the equipment and expertise to be doing far more. “We have enough sequencers to sequence SARS-CoV-2 from every case, 100 times over,” says Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

A dozen academic researchers at some of the leading virus-sequencing labs in the United States tell Nature that a series of problems is holding the country back. Last year, university labs were doing the majority of coronavirus sequencing in the country. They are still responsible for approximately 40% of the sequences on GISAID, with companies and government labs now adding to the effort.

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Reply Nature: Why US coronavirus tracking can't keep up with concerning variants (Original post)
intrepidity Apr 7 OP
Pobeka Apr 7 #1

Response to intrepidity (Original post)

Wed Apr 7, 2021, 05:09 PM

1. For all we know the undetectable French Variant is here too.


"Public Health France also announced on Tuesday a new cluster of cases connected to a hospital in the Brittany region caused by a new variant. The French variant has nine mutations on its spike protein, and wasn't detected through PCR testing, suggesting that the mutations evade common tests."

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