Politics

Researchers: COVID-19 has likely been spreading undetected for weeks in US

As Washington state sits under an emergency declaration amid increases in the number of coronavirus patients, a new study shows the serious disease has likely been spreading in the state and beyond for weeks.

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Dating back to the first confirmed U.S. case in late January, researchers have reportedly isolated a gene variation in the virus that indicates it could have been infecting Americans for up to six weeks.

One Institute for Disease Modeling scientist estimated the number of infected Americans could number as high as 1,500 with many who have already recovered from the associated illness.

The Trump administration, which has faced criticism that the nation is unprepared for an adequate response, has urged Americans not to travel to nations facing a large number of COVID-19 cases.

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