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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4784, 2022 08 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991598

ABSTRACT

Regional connectivity and land travel have been identified as important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. However, the generalizability of this finding is understudied outside of well-sampled, highly connected regions. In this study, we investigated the relative contributions of regional and intercontinental connectivity to the source-sink dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 for Jordan and the Middle East. By integrating genomic, epidemiological and travel data we show that the source of introductions into Jordan was dynamic across 2020, shifting from intercontinental seeding in the early pandemic to more regional seeding for the travel restrictions period. We show that land travel, particularly freight transport, drove introduction risk during the travel restrictions period. High regional connectivity and land travel also drove Jordan's export risk. Our findings emphasize regional connectedness and land travel as drivers of transmission in the Middle East.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Middle East/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Travel
2.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327213

ABSTRACT

Regional connectivity and land-based travel have been identified as important drivers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. However, the generalizability of this finding is understudied outside of well-sampled, highly connected regions such as Europe. In this study, we investigated the relative contributions of regional and intercontinental connectivity to the source-sink dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 for Jordan and the wider Middle East. By integrating genomic, epidemiological and travel data we show that the source of introductions into Jordan was dynamic across 2020, shifting from intercontinental seeding from Europe in the early pandemic to more regional seeding for the period travel restrictions were in place. We show that land-based travel, particularly freight transport, drove introduction risk during the period of travel restrictions. Consistently, high regional connectivity and land-based travel also disproportionately drove Jordan's export risk to other Middle Eastern countries. Our findings emphasize regional connectedness and land-based travel as drivers of viral transmission in the Middle East. This demonstrates that strategies aiming to stop or slow the spread of viral introductions (including new variants) with travel restrictions need to prioritize risk from land-based travel alongside intercontinental air travel to be effective.

3.
Cell ; 184(19): 4939-4952.e15, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330684

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States (U.S.) went largely undetected due to inadequate testing. New Orleans experienced one of the earliest and fastest accelerating outbreaks, coinciding with Mardi Gras. To gain insight into the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S. and how large-scale events accelerate transmission, we sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Louisiana. We show that SARS-CoV-2 in Louisiana had limited diversity compared to other U.S. states and that one introduction of SARS-CoV-2 led to almost all of the early transmission in Louisiana. By analyzing mobility and genomic data, we show that SARS-CoV-2 was already present in New Orleans before Mardi Gras, and the festival dramatically accelerated transmission. Our study provides an understanding of how superspreading during large-scale events played a key role during the early outbreak in the U.S. and can greatly accelerate epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/transmission , Databases as Topic , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Louisiana/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Texas , Travel , United States/epidemiology
4.
Cell ; 184(10): 2587-2594.e7, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157175

ABSTRACT

The highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the United Kingdom, has gained a foothold across the world. Using S gene target failure (SGTF) and SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing, we investigated the prevalence and dynamics of this variant in the United States (US), tracking it back to its early emergence. We found that, while the fraction of B.1.1.7 varied by state, the variant increased at a logistic rate with a roughly weekly doubling rate and an increased transmission of 40%-50%. We revealed several independent introductions of B.1.1.7 into the US as early as late November 2020, with community transmission spreading it to most states within months. We show that the US is on a similar trajectory as other countries where B.1.1.7 became dominant, requiring immediate and decisive action to minimize COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States/epidemiology
5.
Science ; 369(6503): 582-587, 2020 07 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591377

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally, with >365,000 cases in California as of 17 July 2020. We investigated the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Northern California from late January to mid-March 2020, using samples from 36 patients spanning nine counties and the Grand Princess cruise ship. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the cryptic introduction of at least seven different SARS-CoV-2 lineages into California, including epidemic WA1 strains associated with Washington state, with lack of a predominant lineage and limited transmission among communities. Lineages associated with outbreak clusters in two counties were defined by a single base substitution in the viral genome. These findings support contact tracing, social distancing, and travel restrictions to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in California and other states.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , COVID-19 , California/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Ships , Travel , Washington
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