A single passenger without a doubt at the origin of the epidemic of the Diamond Princess

Un seul passager sans doute à l’origine de l’épidémie du Diamond Princess

WASHINGTON | A genetic analysis released Tuesday reveals that a single person is without a doubt at the origin of the 700 or contamination on board the cruise liner, Diamond Princess, one of the first outbreaks of the pandemic Covid-19, became a topic of study is ideal and valuable for the global scientific community.

In a study published in the american journal PNAS, a team of the japanese Institute of infectious diseases reports that it has sequenced the genome of the virus collected on 148 passengers and crew members of the vessel, which was placed in quarantine for 14 days by the japanese authorities on February 3, in the port of Yokohama, after a passenger 80-year-old landed in Hong Kong had been declared positive, the 1st of February.

The saga of the quarantine of more than 3 600 passengers and crew members had been followed in the world, Japan has been criticized for not having, rather, evacuated the boat, while countries including the United States wrangled over the relative risks of repatriating their nationals.

In fine, about 700 of the 3 711 people on board have been infected by the coronavirus, of whom seven are dead. The study of the data from this environment of contamination ended had led to the first estimates of the mortality of the sars coronavirus (1.2 %), and the proportion of asymptomatic individuals (18 %), and at least thirty studies using the vessel have been carried out since February, according to the website covid19primer.com.

The new genetic analysis shows that all viruses shared the same mutation, suggesting that ” the spread of SARS-CoV-2 aboard the Diamond Princess began as a single event of introduction, before the start of the quarantine “, concluded the japanese scientists.

The contagions have probably started during large gatherings in the common areas, ” where the passengers danced, sang, did their shopping and attending shows.

This demonstrates, according to the authors of the study the interest in genetic investigations to understand the process of infection, the mutant virus constantly replicating, which still allows to reconstruct the equivalent of a family tree and understand what precautions might have helped to reduce the contagion.

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