New research reveals New York City’s coronavirus outbreak, which immensely grew by early March, could be the primary source of new infections in the United States, New York Times reports.
According to the report, thousands of infected people who traveled from New York City seeded outbreaks around the nation, spreading to states such as Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona.
“We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country,” said Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, according to The Times.
Research also indicates infections swept from New York City helped to fuel outbreaks as far away as the West Coast.
The Times reports that during crucial weeks in March, New York’s political leaders waited to take aggressive action after identifying hundreds of cases, allowing the virus to get a head start in its spread.
According to researchers, acting earlier would most likely have blunted the virus’s march across the country.
“It means that we missed the boat early on, and the vast majority in this country is coming from domestic spread,” said Kristian Andersen, a professor in the department of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, according to The Times.