WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Two different studies indicate that the coronavirus that infested New York City may have been from Europe and not China.
- The New York University School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine conducted its studies on the possible origins of the COVID-19 that has now infected at least 82,000 people in NYC.
- Data gathered by medical studies can be used for developing a coronavirus vaccine.
According to two different studies, the New York City coronavirus outbreak did not come mainly from China, but rather from Europe. The Big Apple is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S, yet the worst is yet to come as the government continues to fight the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that one group of scientists conducting the study had discovered seven distinct virus origins that reached New York City earlier, and they also anticipate finding more lineages.
The New York University School of Medicine and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai spearheads the two separate studies which aim to trace the genes of coronavirus that reached the city.
The Times also reported that while the two separate studies are probing different outbreak samples, both lead to similar findings as far as the origins of the infection are concerned.
Dr Harm van Bakel, a geneticist and one of the authors of the Icahn School’s study, told the outlet that what they found are mostly from Europe.
The Times further reported it is highly probable that travellers may have been unknowingly carrying the coronavirus from Europe to New York as early as January.
On January 31, President Donald Trump imposed entry restrictions for foreigners who previously visited China. By March 11, Trump said he has plans to ban tourists that came from many parts of Europe.
However, the outlet reported on March 19, that visitors coming from Europe were only probed at the New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport if they had been to Iran or China.
At that time, Spain and Italy’s COVID-19 cases have been severely rising, and the two countries are among the most affected by the coronavirus in Europe.
Dr Adriana Heguy, a co-researcher at the New York University, told the Times that people are just generally not aware of the situation.
Coronavirus origin tracing is vital for the researchers’ work in developing a potential vaccine, and the data is also necessary for creating a modified one should there will be a mutation of the COVID-19.
Statistics gathered as of Wednesday evening indicated that the coronavirus claimed the lives of almost 88,000 people and has infected around 1.5 million individuals worldwide.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has reported 420,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and exceeding 14,300 deaths across the country.
New York City, on the other hand, comprises almost 44 percent of the total coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S with no less than 6,200, and around 82,000 people tested positive, exceeding 19 percent against the country’s total.
Source: New York Post