November 12, 2021  |  

Introductions and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York City area

Authors: Gonzalez-Reiche, Ana S. and Hernandez, Matthew M. and Sullivan, Mitchell J. and Ciferri, Brianne and Alshammary, Hala and Obla, Ajay and Fabre, Shelcie and Kleiner, Giulio and Polanco, Josa and Khan, Zenab and Alburquerque, Bremy and Van De Guchte, Adriana and Dutta, Jayeeta and Francoeur, Nancy and Melo, Betsaida Salom and Oussenko, Irina and Keikus, Gintaras and Soto, Juan and Sridhar, Shwetha Hara and Wang, Ying-Chih and Twyman, Kathryn and Kasarskis, Andrew and Altman, Deena R. and Smith, Melissa and Sebra, Robert and Aberg, Judith and Krammer, Florian and García-Sastre, Adolfo and Luksza, Marta and Patel, Gopi and Paniz-Mondolfi, Alberto and Gitman, Melissa and Sordillo, Emilia Mia and Simon, Viviana and Van Bakel, Harm

New York City (NYC) has emerged as one of the epicenters of the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. To identify the early transmission events underlying the rapid spread of the virus in the NYC metropolitan area, we sequenced the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients seeking care at the Mount Sinai Health System. Phylogenetic analysis of 84 distinct SARS-CoV-2 genomes indicates multiple, independent, but isolated introductions mainly from Europe and other parts of the United States. Moreover, we found evidence for community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as suggested by clusters of related viruses found in patients living in different neighborhoods of the city.

Journal: Science
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc1917
Year: 2020

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