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The Coronavirus Was in the Us in January. We Need to Understand How We Missed It.

COVID-19 was in the United States as early as January, and yet we had no idea. To most people, the virus was a distant worry, if that.

Alessandro Vespignani is Sternberg Family distinguished university professor of physics, computer science, and health sciences, and director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Alessandro Vespignani is Sternberg Family distinguished university professor of physics, computer science, and health sciences, and director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

But SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was already circulating in major U.S. cities, according to Alessandro Vespignani, Sternberg Family distinguished university professor, who directs Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. And if we want to keep our communities safe going forward, we need to understand how we missed a virus that was right under our noses. “We don’t want to fall into this trap in the future,” Vespignani says.

What researchers are learning now will help us make smart decisions when the number of infections has dropped off and we begin to lift physical-distancing measures.

This article was originally published on News@Northeastern on April 26, 2020. To continue reading, click here

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