Virus tracking mechanisms’ embarrassingly backward ‘

According to a Jan. 14 report titled “‘ Embarrassing ‘: Imcomplete U.S. Tracking of Novel Coronavirus Mutations,’ the U.S. has lagged behind in many aspects of its response to the epidemic — from the initial lack of testing to the current chaotic and clumsy rollout of the vaccine.
Lack of genetic monitoring is just one more aspect.
The full text is edited as follows:

Novel coronavirus, a more infectious variant of SARS-COV-2, was first discovered in Britain for a reason: a lot of the virus’s genetic sequencing was done there.
Since the outbreak, researchers in the UK have uploaded 151,859 individual sequences of SARS-CoV-2 to the Global Initiative for the Sharing of Influenza Data (GISAID), an international platform for sharing viral genome data.
Britain has more shared genetic sequences than any other country in the world.

If a more infectious strain of novel coronavirus had first emerged in the United States, scientists probably wouldn’t have noticed it so quickly.
According to GISAID, only 69,111 sequences have been uploaded to US laboratories so far, despite the fact that the US has a larger population than the UK, a cutting-edge biomedical research industry and tens of millions more cases of CoviD-19.

“It was embarrassing, I can only say that,” Diana Griffin, a microbiologist and immunologist at Johns Hopkins University, told reporters.

The US has been behind in many aspects of its response to the new pandemic — from the initial lack of testing to the current frantic and clumsy rollout of the new vaccine.
Lack of genetic monitoring is just one more aspect.

According to a report published in July 2020 by the National Academy of Sciences, “Current sources of novel coronavirus genome sequence data‚Ķ
In the United States it is fragmented, often passive, reactive, uncoordinated, and underfunded.”
It was “insufficient to answer many pressing questions about the evolution and spread of novel coronavirus,” the report found.

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