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Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the Icelandic Population

Published time: 14 April 2020

Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, Iceland


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused clusters of severe respiratory illness in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.1 By January 2020, the virus had been isolated and sequenced,2,3 which revealed close relationships to coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-14,5 and MERS-CoV.6 As of March 31, researchers had deposited 3095 SARS-CoV-2 sequences in a repository (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data; GISAID).7 As of April 4, a total of 1,051,635 persons in 208 countries were reported to be infected by SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a disease that had led to more than 75,000 deaths.8 Although the number of new cases has decreased drastically in China, it has rapidly increased in Europe and the United States, with the total number of deaths associated with Covid-19 in Italy, Spain, France, and the United States exceeding that in China.9 On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Covid-19 should be characterized as a pandemic.10 At great economic cost, many countries have adopted unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the virus, such as large-scale use of isolation and quarantine, closing borders, imposing limits on public gatherings, and implementing nationwide lockdowns.

Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the Icelandic Population



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