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Latina Scientists Are Driving Force Behind Investigating COVID-19 in DC

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 3/3/2021 Karla Flores
a group of people in a room © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

With the arrival of the new COVID-19 variants to the D.C. area, a group of Latina scientists are making history with their work in detecting and analyzing these mutations.

It is their job "to identify the genetic information of this virus and see if it is the one that is circulating, or if it's a new one that presents new risks to the community," Monica Mann, a laboratory medic, said.

Mann, along with Elizabeth Zelaya, a medical technologist, and Connie Maza, a molecular scientist, have been working tirelessly along with thousands of front line workers throughout the pandemic.

"The experience has been very difficult, we have had to continue fighting to get to work every day," Zelaya said.

The D.C. Department of Health depends the work of these three women, who are leaving a footprint in history.

"It is an honor for me to be a woman, to be a scientist, to be a laboratory medic, and be able to help the community against this horrible virus that has caused a lot of harm," Mann said.

During Women's History Month, these scientists are sharing a message of hope to other women working towards their dreams.

"Keep fighting for the future you wish," Zelaya said. "Only you can design the future you want."

"Never give up, always look forward and never accept a 'no,'" Maza said.

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