First COVID-19 case in Turkey originated in US: Study
Researchers in an Istanbul university have found that the first coronavirus case in Turkey originated in the U.S.
A team at Sabancı University, led by Assistant Professor Ogün Adebali, carried out a study to trace the spread of the COVID-19.
The time-resolved phylogenetic distributions of the genomes collected in Turkey suggested at least three sources of introduction, according to the research.
The result of the study showed that the earliest introduction to the country originated in the U.S. and the second international movement observed was from Australia.
The third and latest introduction of the virus is from Europe, mostly based in the U.K, according to the study, which also noted that there is a connection between Saudi Arabia and two cities in Turkey.
The study also suggested that the first introduction of the virus to the country was earlier than the first reported case of infection.
The officials announced the first recorded COVID-19 case on March 11.
The Europe-based introductions are seen as the genomes isolated in Istanbul, according to the research.
“Within Turkey, the transmission hub appears to be Ankara. The isolates in five cities are associated with a virus isolated in Ankara,” it said.
The researchers also noted that based on the number of mutations they observed since December 2019, the coronavirus genome mutates twice a month, on average.