LOCAL NEWS

How early COVID-19 detection sounded ‘tornado siren’ for WA response

May 3, 2020, 8:22 AM
seattle homelessness...
Downtown Seattle. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A new report from local Seattle-area scientists and health experts concludes that early detection of COVID-19 in Washington state was crucial to “accelerated public health efforts to mitigate the emerging pandemic.”

How Seattle Flu Study defied federal government to test for coronavirus

This early detection was thanks to the work of the Seattle Flu Study, which had collected nasal swabs from Puget Sound area residents with flu-like symptoms for months prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

After it became clear the virus could potentially be a threat in the United States, the goal became to rework the lab’s testing to figure out whether the outbreak had arrived in Washington state. The Seattle Flu Study proceeded to test its flu samples for COVID-19, despite the federal government denying an initial request, and later sending a cease and desist. That eventually led to the detection of Washington’s first case in February.

“These early data gave Seattle & WA state a warning that SARS-CoV-2 was spreading in our communities,” said Seattle Fred Hutchinson scientist Dr. Steven Pergam. “Growing up in the midwest, this was akin to a tornado siren, telling us to shelter.”

UW Virology head: ‘Everybody’s working as fast as they can’ on vaccine

In the days ahead, a coalition of local health experts — including representatives from the Institute for Disease Modeling, Fred Hutch, the Seattle Flu Study, and more — are recommending “widespread implementation” of sample collection from patients who are otherwise not seeking clinical care, much in the same way the Seattle Flu Study collected its initial samples.

“Looking beyond the current crisis, we envision ubiquitous, community-based sampling for respiratory illnesses as essential infrastructure for early detection and mitigation of future pandemics,” the coalition stated.

Local News

comic con...
MyNorthwest Staff

Emerald City Comic Con returns Dec. 2-5 after being cancelled in 2020

Emerald City Comic Con didn't happen in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the popular four-day event returns to Seattle on Dec. 2-5.
1 day ago
Whatcom County...
MyNorthwest Staff

Forecasters downgrade flood warning for Skagit River

The National Weather Service in Seattle has downgraded the flood peak for the Skagit River.
2 days ago
police, Lake City seattle...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Person seriously injured in shooting Friday inside Tacoma Mall

A person is in serious conditions after they were shot in the middle of the Tacoma Mall food court on Friday.
3 days ago
Sawant recall...
Dalton Day

A recall Sawant PAC has been released from campaign contribution limit

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission has released a recall Councilmember Kshama Sawant PAC from its campaign contribution limits.
3 days ago
hand sanitizer...
Dalton Day

COVID-era artifact, emergency-produced hand sanitizer, comes to an end for local distillery

Copperworks Distilling Company has been ordered to shut down its manufacturing of hand sanitizer, which provided critical health care supplies.
3 days ago
COVID variant...
Charlie Harger

‘Bellwether bond’ down over COVID-variant concerns, ‘sending strong signal,’ says local analyst

Analyst Mike Alfstad of Seattle's Alfstad Capital clarifies how the newly identified COVID variant has affected the 10-Year Treasury yield.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
How early COVID-19 detection sounded ‘tornado siren’ for WA response