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How Major League Baseball is tracking the Covid-19 variant



The league is using the coronavirus test in a new way so that they can not only determine whether a player has Covid-19, but also determine whether a variant of the virus has caused the player’s infection.

Major League Baseball is one of the few professional sports organizations to begin its second season during the coronavirus pandemic.

After several high-profile Covid-19 outbreaks between different teams last season, the league used saliva tests to track Covid-19 cases. Major League Baseball identified 89 positive cases after the outbreak of different teams, and frequent testing ultimately reduced the spread between players and employees.

However, the new Covid-19 variant has thrown a detour in this season̵

7;s plan.

Daniel Eicher, President of the Sports Research and Testing Laboratory, said in an interview with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “MLB is the epitome of the United States, so we will definitely see different variants, just like what you would expect in ordinary communities. That way.” A recent interview.

Variant throwing a curve ball

Major League Baseball (MLB) is working with Eichner and his laboratory to use a coronavirus test called “alternative mutation analysis” to detect mutations in golfers.

To test for mutations, scientists usually have to sequence the genetic material of all coronaviruses. The process is expensive and time-consuming, and it may take days or weeks to obtain results.

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Such delays inhibit the ability to sign positive cases quickly and accurately, and thus fail to help experts understand the true extent of any transmission involving Covid-19 variants in the United States.

Eichner’s method requires only looking at fewer viruses to make a decision.

Eichner told Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a recent interview: “Our variant analysis program specifically looks for a certain area on the virus, and we know that the mutation indicates a different known variant.

Variants are defined by their mutations, and viruses usually mutate. There are hundreds of variants of the new coronavirus, most of which are harmless to humans. However, certain mutations can make the virus more easily spread, more deadly and even resistant to vaccines and therapeutic agents.

The main advantage of the Eichner mutation analysis method is that it relies on polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests that have been widely used to detect viruses. Through adaptation, the test can also provide real-time results on whether the variant causes an infection.

It does not provide the full picture of variants like gene sequencing, but it is a faster screening tool.

Eichner said: “We can analyze the samples in real time on the same day we receive them. We will analyze them and inform them.”

Beyond Baseball

Alternative variant analysis may be more widely integrated into Covid-19 testing to better understand the distribution of variants in the United States.

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A recent Yale University study found that this PCR screening method can be used as an emergency “surveillance tool to help monitor the distribution and population frequency of suspicious variants.”

According to the president of a company, Dr. James Lu, the use of PCR tests to analyze variants is one of the reasons why many cases of variants in the UK have been discovered, because the variant caused one type of PCR test to fail, which made The scientists are ashamed. Helix’s Covid-19 test helps to identify many of these conditions.

Eichner said to Gupta: “This can immediately bring you very good results, and it can help you formulate public health policies.”

This is an important point. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a March 25 comment that the extent of the spread of the variant is not yet known in the United States because there is insufficient surveillance-the United States only sequenced 4% of coronavirus cases. An event sponsored by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

Extensive use of the new method may help.

When asked about alternative mutation analysis testing methods, an official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CNN: “This is a useful strategy that can be used with great caution. If we use it correctly, we can Used in a considerable range.”

The official told CNN that one problem is that PCR analysis can only identify variants that have been found, so it does not necessarily tell experts where the new, undiscovered bad strains are.

However, if experts can better understand the strains that are circulating in our communities, then the United States has a better opportunity to control and control this virus-and prevent future outbreaks.

Aihir said to Gupta: “I think this information must be very valuable to health policy makers.” “There is no loss in doing so. All laboratories are currently testing SARS-CoV-2, and they all use PCR. Technology, so there is no reason not to adopt this technology.”


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