Mystery lineages of coronavirus are popping up in NYC sewage

Feb 8, 2022

Unknown lineages of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been found in New York City's sewage, raising new concerns that the novel coronavirus is finding ways to escape immunity.


The lineages don't seem poised to break out and cause a new surge at this point. Their proportion has risen and fallen along with New York's case rates, and there's no sign that these versions of the virus are becoming more common over time. But the mutations seen in the mystery lineages are similar to those that allow the omicron variant to partially escape immunity from vaccination and previous infection, said John Dennehy, a virologist at The Graduate Center at City University New York, who co-led the research.

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