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‘Viruses are always mutating:’ AdventHealth researchers say genomics can combat COVID-19 variants

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Leaders with AdventhHealth held a discussion Thursday about COVID-19 genomic research and how it can help combat variants of the virus.

Over the last several months, the health system has been studying the virus on a molecular level to gather a better understanding of how variants are spreading in the community.

”There have been several lessons that have come out of the pandemic.  One is the extraordinary power of genomic medicine,” Director of Genomics Dr. Wesley Walker said.  “Viruses are always mutating and certain variants develop that may or may not spread more quickly.”

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According to AdventHealth, researchers are sequencing a subset of around 1,000 COVID-19 samples in Central Florida. Walker said studying the disease on a molecular level like this has led to the quick development of each of the vaccines.

”That speed, which is truly unprecedented, has shown what the power of sharing that knowledge is,” he said.

The results of AdventHealth’s study are expected to be released later this month.  Meanwhile, Walker said the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any of its variants is to stay the course.

”Following the evidence based recommendations that we know work today and that would be vaccinations, masking and social distancing,” he said.

During the research, Walker said participants are also being accepted for AdventHealth’s Whole Me Florida genetic study.  Details on participating are available at WholeMeFlorida.com.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.


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We need help to find a way to prevent COVID-19

COVID-19 studies are enrolling now.

Those who qualify:*

  • may receive the investigational vaccine or placebo at no cost
  • may receive compensation for time and travel
  • may receive free testing for COVID-19