Two separate datasets suggest that the earliest infections of the novel coronavirus in New York City most likely originated in Europe and other parts of the United States.
New data from NYU Langone Health suggests that the novel coronavirus has been spreading in New York for a couple of months now and a genetic analysis of viral samples in the city indicate that they originated in Europe, according to an announcement from the academic medical center today.
This early data was based on a genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus taken from 75 patients in New York City. The data has not been described yet in a report, pre-print paper, study or peer-reviewed journal.
“We’re just starting this project, but will soon be sequencing 192 viral samples per week with the goal of offering thousands of sequences for analysis in the near future," Adriana Heguy, leader of the research team and director of the Genome Technology Center at NYU Langone Health, said in the announcement.
Separately, a pre-print study from Mount Sinai — which was published online today at medRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed — involved sequencing and analyzing 90 complete coronavirus genomes from 84 Covid-19 patients who sought care in the Mount Sinai Health System between Feb. 29 and March 18.
"With increased testing, we observed the emergence of community acquired infections with the majority of the community cases caused by viral isolates from clades that are of European origin," the researchers wrote in the Mount Sinai study.
"Taken together, we provide a first analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genotypes collected from patients seeking medical care," the researchers wrote. "We find that New York City, as an international hub, provides not only a snapshot of the diversity of disease-causing SARS-CoV-2 at the global level but also informs on the dynamics of the pandemic at the local level."