February 5 According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Variant cases of COVID-19 have been found in 33 states in the United States, with a total of more than 600 cases.
The Associated Press pointed out on the 4th that in the face of the severe pandemic, the tracking of Variant viruses in the United States has been seriously lagging behind, lacking national leadership and support.
Currently, less than 1% of positive coronavirus samples in the United States are used as gene sequencing to find Variant viruses.
Experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that the recent surge in cases in the United States was not caused by Variant viruses, but many experts were worried that the United States knew too little about Variant viruses and that genetic sequencing should be vigorously promoted as early as the pandemic.
If we could find evidence of viral variation, perhaps people could cope earlier.” Ohio biologist Jones said.
In releasing data on Variant virus cases, the CDC also pointed out that these results only come from existing positive samples and do not reflect the actual transmission of Variant virus throughout the United States.
According to the report, because the progress of gene sequencing is too slow, the United States is not sure what kind of problem it faces.
Many scientists point out that what the United States currently lacks is not technology, but national leadership and coordination mechanisms, as well as the supply of funds and medical supplies.
This has put American laboratories under great pressure to hover between the two tasks of testing for the novel coronavirus and the search for Variant viruses.
Mesodi, head of virus research at the University of California, Irvine, said that they have the talent and tools to track the Variant virus, and they are “alively supported”.
Due to the lack of coordination, the way to track Variant viruses varies across the United States. Some public laboratories analyze each positive sample, some only focus on cases from certain pandemic, and some directly random sampling.
After the outbreak, only a few laboratories in the United States began sequencing immediately, most of which were unable to work due to the great pressure of COVID-19 testing, not to mention that employees were forced to stay at home due to the pandemic.” Until a month ago, gene sequencing was not the focus of work.” “There is absolutely a lack of support from the federal government for this,” said Bedford, a scientist from Seattle.