Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada
OTTAWA -- Canada's public health experts have been racing to stop the spread of COVID-19 by trying to figure out how everyone is getting it, and whom they might have given it to.
But even the best efforts over the last four months have left doctors stymied about the source of more than one-third of this country's known COVID-19 infections.
Now, medical researchers are using supercomputers to turn genetics labs into detective agencies and starting the work to figure out how almost every case in Canada arose.
Andrew McArthur, director of the biomedical discovery and commercialization program at McMaster University, says his group will make a big push over the next month to compare the genetic material from versions of novel coronavirus isolated from blood samples of thousands of Canadians.
This virus is not mutating a lot, which is helpful for vaccine development and treatments, but it's changing just enough that individual cases can be linked, creating a road map of sorts of how the virus spread through the nation.
McArthur says this information will identify where weak spots were in public health measures early on and help quickly stamp out flare ups of new cases by figuring out where they originated.
- Canada prepared to monitor for community spread of COVID-19: Tam
- Canada’s top doctors warn escalating COVID-19 variant spread threatens third wave
- Community spread of COVID-19 within Canada now rising, Tam says
- Canada buying 140,000 blood tests to begin COVID-19 immunity testing
- The race to trace the spread of COVID-19 in Canada using disease trackers
- Paid sick leave coming for Mississauga, Brampton and Ontario workers, says Premier Ford
- Mississauga and Brampton residents can expect changes to garbage collection
- CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Peel Police chase a suspect in Brampton
- Three Brampton workplaces will get the vaccine first in exchange for operating public clinics
- Health Canada issues major recalls for products at Costco and various stores