OHSU researchers secure new funding to monitor COVID-19 mutations | Local News

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – OHSU researchers step up efforts to identify and monitor COVID-19 mutations, with $ 3 million in new funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Oregon Health Authority.

With the funding, OHSU was able to purchase new equipment and expand its capacity, with the goal of increasing genetic sequencing of the positive COVID-19 test.

Currently, only 3% of positive tests are genetically sequenced.

OHSU’s goal is to immediately increase this figure to 40-50% positive tests, which will allow researchers to paint a clearer picture of the variants circulating in the community.

“We believe the majority of cases, maybe around 90% since last month, are worrisome variants. Ultimately, these will fully support the underlying tension. I think we need to continue to monitor the new variants that could emerge that could be potentially worse. And we won’t know if they emerge if we don’t monitor the sequences, ”said Donna Hansel, president and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at OHSU.

Hansel said the goal is ultimately to get to the point where researchers can sequence all positive tests.

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