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Genome sequencing on COVID being done at Gundersen

Brad Williams

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Medical detectives at one La Crosse hospital have figured out how some cases of COVID-19 made their way to La Crosse County. 

A team that normally studies cancer genomes found seven different “viral introductions” of the virus to the area. 

Gundersen Health System researcher Paraic Kenny said most of those strains originated in China, either coming directly to the U.S. from that country or making their way through Europe first.

Kenny said one case of COVID-19 studied by the Gundersen group was the result of community spread. 

He added that the sequencing of genomes could help determine, for example, if multiple patients were infected by someone such as a delivery man.

Last month, Gundersen researchers announced they had developed a new testing procedure for COVID-19, which could get results in hours instead of days.        

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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