“That is about each doing the close to time period work of supporting sequencing but in addition actually constructing out that infrastructure,” Ms. Johnson stated.
In February, the Biden administration put ahead $200 million as a “down cost” on a extra strong surveillance program, with the aim of sequencing 29,000 samples weekly. Officers described it as an early step in constructing out the federal authorities’s capability to sequence extra samples.
Earlier this month, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C. director, stated that the B.1.1.7 variant, which is presently estimated to be about 60 % extra contagious and 67 % extra lethal than the unique model, had develop into the most typical supply of latest infections in the US. The C.D.C. has additionally been monitoring the unfold of different variants, similar to B.1.351, first present in South Africa, and P.1, which was first recognized in Brazil.
Ms. Johnson stated that the funding would assist well being officers throughout the nation reply to outbreaks in a extra subtle approach, together with by surging testing in sure areas or contemplating new mitigation methods.
When B.1.1.7 was first detected in the US on the finish of December, specialists warned that the nation was poorly ready to trace coronavirus variants, missing a nationwide plan for amassing samples and analyzing their mutations to find out the variants’ unfold.
In January, the US was sequencing samples from lower than 1 % of constructive coronavirus checks. Researchers stated that merely wasn’t sufficient data to know the way widespread variants actually had been and the way rapidly they had been spreading. In contrast, Britain, the world’s chief in genomic surveillance, was sequencing as much as 10 % of latest constructive checks.
Over the previous three months, the C.D.C. has charted a gentle rise within the variety of coronavirus genomes sequenced weekly in the US, recording a brand new excessive of 14,837 for the week ending April 10. The quantity represented about 3 % of the nation’s constructive checks that week.