The CDC now says that COVID-19 reached us by mid-December 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has repeatedly stated that the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed on January 19, 2020 in the United States.

Now the CDC is modifying this timeline.

A new study shows that COVID-19 infections were tested in the United States in mid-December 2019. The study, released Monday, identified 106 infections from 7,389 blood samples collected from donors in nine U.S. states between December 13 and January 17. Samples collected by the American Red Cross were sent to the CDC for testing, which showed antibodies from California, Oregon, and Washington in a sample collected between Dec. 13-16.

“The findings of the report suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infections may have occurred in the United States in December 2019, earlier than previously recognized,” the paper said.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, wrote: “The results significantly confirm the evidence that the virus spread around the world long before public health authorities and researchers became aware of it, preparing to the initial thought of how early and quickly it appeared. “

But it didn’t just spread to the West Coast in December, the study found.

“The findings suggest that in mid-December, there was only a coronavirus infection on the west coast of the United States,” the scientists wrote. Samples with 67 antibodies were also found in Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin or Iowa, and in Connecticut or Rhode Island, which were collected between December 30 and January 17, ”the Journal wrote.

They first appeared in late December 2019 about the spread of an unknown disease in Wuhan, China, China. Chinese officials initially said they had curbed the spread and underestimated the severity of the virus.

Scientists are not the first to try to push back the spread date. A patient in France was found to have the virus on Dec. 27, Bloomberg News reported in May.

“Covid-19 probably not only appeared in the United States earlier than previously known, but the researchers also found evidence that the virus is much more widespread in the United States than tests indicate,” the Journal wrote. “A modeling estimate released by CDC researchers last week estimated that 53 million people in the United States were infected with Covid-19 by the end of September. Roughly 6.9 million infections were confirmed during this period, suggesting that roughly all eight have been identified. “

At least three effective vaccines are in progress.

Pfizer said on Nov. 9 that the COVID-19 developer vaccine is 90% effective in vaccinating people against the disease. The degree of effectiveness was calculated by analyzing the early data of 94 study participants in a study involving 43,538 individuals from around the world. The small early sample means that the rate of protection may change by the time the study ends, and all participants will be accounted for, according to the Associated Press.

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announced on 23 November that their co-developed COVID-19 vaccine had been shown to be 90% effective, with manufacturers claiming it would be easier to distribute.

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that has saved many lives,” said Andrew Pollard, a professor at Oxford University who was a leading investigator in drug testing. “Because the vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperature, it can be distributed around the world using the standard immunization distribution system. Therefore, our goal … is to ensure that there is a vaccine available everywhere, I think we have succeeded in doing that. “

The biotechnology company said Monday it will ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the COVID-19 experimental vaccine for emergency use. According to Moderna, the new data showed that the vaccine was 94.1% effective in a late-stage clinical trial. The Moderna vaccine was developed in conjunction with the Trump Administration’s Warp Speed ​​operation.

Related: Moderna Covid-19 submits a vaccine for emergency approval

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