How America was hit with COVID-19 from two continents: Majority of cases in US epicenter New York came from Europe – but a DIFFERENT strain spread from China to the West Coast, genome studies reveal

Friday, April 10, 2020
By Paul Martin

In an effort to understand how COVID-19 spread around the globe, several studies have analyzed the genomes of coronavirus found in patients
A Cambridge University study identified three distinct strains that have dominated various parts of the world
Researchers in New York found that most people in hard-hit NYC have a strain that has dominated in Europe
That strain likely arrived first and has become dominant in the US after travel from China was banned long before travel from Europe was blocked
Genome analysis suggests that a different strain infected people in Washington state, where the first patient in the US was identified

10 April 2020

Most Americans with coronavirus are infected with a strain that came from Europe – but the strain that shut down Wuhan, China spread on the West Coast, recent research shows.

Coronavirus likely came to the US first from Europe, circulating unseen among New Yorkers for weeks before the state’s first case was diagnosed, and even before it arrived in Washington state, where the first American case was confirmed.

It’s this European strain that’s driven the majority of infections in the US, now concentrated in New York and the East Coast, not the strain of the virus most prevalent in China, according to a new analysis of viral genomes by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

A second strain struck the West Coast and likely arrived later from China, despite the fact that a man who traveled back to the US from China was the first identified American infected with COVID-19.

Separately, Cambridge University scientists found that there are three distinct strains of the virus that account for most of the world’s cases.

It’s now quite clear that coronavirus first made the jump to humans from anteater-like animals called pangolins after getting its start in bats.

DNA Researchers believe the virus was being spread around the city by mid-February – weeks before New York’s first confirmed case. This map shows the trajectory of various strains of the coronavirus as it criss-crosses the globe, according to an ongoing genome analysis by

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