SARS-CoV-2 circulating in New York mostly arrived in the region from Europe, as GenomeWeb reports.
Two teams of researchers — one at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the other at New York University Grossman School of Medicine — came to that similar conclusion, the New York Times reports, by analyzing different sets of coronavirus samples obtained from patients in mid-March. The NYU team, for instance, has so far analyzed viral genetic information gathered via nasal swab samples taken from 75 patients at three different New York hospitals, as HealthDay reports. HealthDay adds that the researchers contributed their data to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data, which is also now tracking coronavirus cases.
As the Times adds, this collection of viral data enabled the researchers to trace the origins of the New York strains. The NYU researchers estimated that the virus began circulating there a few months ago and the Mount Sinai researchers uncovered that many of the viruses they saw were nearly identical to ones observed in Europe. This, the Mount Sinai researchers say, according to the Times, reveals "a period of untracked global transmission between late January to mid-February."