On January 21, 2020, the first case COVID-19 in the United States was reported and since then agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been working to contain the virus as much as possible through initiatives including travel restrictions. Organizations like Noblis are also contributing to research to examine the root of the virus through new technologies focused on genomic sequencing.
THE CDC EXPLAINS CONTAINMENT STRATEGIES
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the virus as an “emerging, rapidly evolving situation” and is closely monitoring its impact. On its website the CDC says, “The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States.” And that, “For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low…however, it’s important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic.” (as of Feb. 25, 2020).
Access the CDC website here.
NOBLIS AND DEFENSE BIOLOGICAL PRODUCT ASSURANCE OFFICE (DBPAO) DISCOVER NEW GENETIC SEQUENCES TO COVID-19
In the midst of the outbreak, industry leader, Noblis, and the Defense Biological Product Assurance Office (DBPAO) are working in partnership to accelerate the detection of the Wuhan coronavirus using Noblis’s BioLaboro, an application that evaluates both new and existing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection assays. The data discovered using BioLaboro identified four assays unique to COVID-19 and with new sequences of the virus added continuously, all assays must be monitored and evaluated. “Leveraging advances in next generation sequencing technologies, whole genome sequence data can be produced within 24 hours of obtaining a sample. Noblis and DBPAO are using new data submissions to continue to monitor signature erosion in the Wuhan virus with BioLaboro,” explained a spokesperson for Noblis.
Read the full piece here.
DHS PLANS ENHANCED HEALTH SCREENING PROCEDURES
In the face of this threat, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented travel restrictions including the need for U.S. citizens to undergo enhanced health screening procedures for anyone who has traveled to China after January 20, 2020. “While the overall risk to the American public remains low, funneling all flights with passengers who have recently been in China is the most important and prudent step we can take at this time,” explained Chad Wolf, the acting DHS secretary. At this time, most non-U.S. citizens are denied entry except for flight crews, permanent residents, and immediate family members of U.S. citizens.
Read the full piece here.
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