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  • Asymptomatic individuals
  • A “bridge” vaccine?
  • Learning from Asian countries
  • Lost sense of smell


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The Conversation

Claudia Abreu Lopes is a research fellow at the International Institute for Global Health (IIGH), United Nations University. Sanae Okamoto is a researcher in Behavioural Science, Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute (MERIT), United Nations University


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The Lancet

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads, efforts are being made to reduce transmission via standard public health interventions based on isolation of cases and tracing of contacts. In their modelling study, Joel Hellewell and colleagues predict that such a strategy could contribute to reducing the overall size of an outbreak, but will still be insufficient to achieve outbreak control of COVID-19 when the basic reproduction number (R0) is higher than 1·5 or the proportion of contacts traced is lower than 80%.


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Science

Faced with her lab’s imminent closure, Sunny Shin had already begun to fear she would have to euthanize large numbers of the mice she works on. Then, last Tuesday, the email came from her school’s vice provost of research. “In response to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19,” it read, “mouse/rodent users should cull their colonies as much as possible.”


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Part of research is experiments, and many experiments are conducted on mice. Here David Grimm reports for Science about the choices that some research institutions are facing.

Rappler

Preventing transmission of the COVID-19 disease requires that we consistently exercise proper health and hygiene protocols, both in our homes and in public spaces. Authorities have also advised that we all steer clear of large gatherings, avoid using public transportation, follow “community quarantine” measures, and seek prompt medical attention when there is exposure to the disease. While all these are sound reminders, there is one glaring problem – the poor will not be able to afford to follow these.


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Caixin

A newly published paper identifies the risk factors and clinical course of patients who died from Covid-19 and suggests for the first time that surviving patients take far longer to shed the virus than expected.


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The Conversation

Last week American biotech company Moderna commenced the first clinical trial of a vaccine for COVID-19. Similar studies are reportedly being planned in the US, China, Israel, Australia and elsewhere, with at least 20 potential vaccines under development.


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Economic Times

WASHINGTON DC: A new study suggests that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that emerged from China’s Wuhan city is a product of natural evolution.


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The Lancet

Since December, 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected more than 100 000 patients globally.1 COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has a case-fatality rate of 2·3%, with higher rates among elderly patients and patients with comorbidities.2 Person-to-person transmission is efficient, with multiple clusters reported. Clinically, patients with COVID-19 present with respiratory symptoms, which is very similar to the presentation of other respiratory virus infections. Radiologically, COVID-19 is characterised by multifocal ground-glass opacities, even for patients with mild disease.3


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Nikkei

Shanghai was once considered a Chinese city especially vulnerable to the new coronavirus, due to its status as a transportation hub and its close economic ties with central China’s Hubei Province, epicenter of the deadly outbreak.


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BBC

The number of coronavirus cases in the West is skyrocketing, and countries have announced drastic measures, including school closures and lockdowns.


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CNN

As people who have worked to respond to the HIV pandemic for most of our adult lives — one of us as an HIV activist and the other as an epidemiologist — we understand the consequences of early mistakes in the response to disease outbreaks and how politicians can often stand in the way of protecting the public’s health.


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Max Planck Society

The course of the corona pandemic will strongly depend on how quickly medications or vaccines against the SARS co-virus 2 can be developed. In at least one Phase III study, researchers want to investigate whether the vaccine candidate VPM1002, originally developed against tuberculosis by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, is also effective against an infection with SARS-CoV-2. The large-scale study is to be carried out at several hospitals in Germany and will include older people and health care workers. Both groups are particularly at risk from the disease. VPM1002 could thus help bridge the time until a vaccine specifically effective against SARS co-virus 2 is available.


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Researchers are rapidly looking to create and test a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection. However, others, such as those at the Max Planck Society in Germany, are looking at the possibility of a more general vaccine that could act as a bridge until a COVID-19 vaccine is ready.

Indian Express

While less effective than the combined approach, quarantine plus workplace distancing measures presented the next best option for reducing COVID-19 cases, followed by quarantine plus school closure, and then quarantine only.


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Bloomberg

China’s exclusion of people without symptoms from its official count of confirmed coronavirus cases is renewing concerns over whether its outbreak has truly come under control.


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MIT

Lincoln Laboratory researchers explore the impact of technology that detects a person’s exposure to disease-causing pathogens before symptoms manifest.


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The Lancet

Given the practical constraints on substantially increasing the global availability of ECMO services in the next few months, it is important to emphasise the other evidence-based treatment options that can be provided for patients with severe ARDS from COVID-19


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The Guardian

The coronavirus pandemic could wipe out populations of chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, leading scientists have warned.


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The New York Times

Several patients who have had symptoms consistent with the coronavirus, but who have not been tested or are still awaiting test results, described losing their senses of smell and taste, even though their noses were clear and they were not congested. The loss occurred regardless of how sick they got or whether they were congested. Using nasal drops or sprays did not help.


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Reuters

WASHINGTON – Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned.


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Science

How many COVID-19 cases have gone undetected? And are those who had mild cases of the disease—perhaps so mild they dismissed it as a cold or allergies—immune to new infections? If so, they could slow the spread of the burgeoning pandemic.


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AFP

The new coronavirus was detectable for up to 4 hours on copper, and two to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel, and for up to 24 hours on cardboard.


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JTA

When it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic would reach Israel, Elli Rosenberg was one of a small number of medical professionals at the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva to answer a call for volunteers to treat the sick.


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AP

NEW DELHI — Dharam Singh Rajput can’t afford to buy hand sanitizer, which could help ward off transmission of the coronavirus in his community.


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National Post

“As long as the testing remains consistent, even seeing lower rises or no rises or declines — all of those would be fine,” said Colijn, who is the Canada 150 research chair in mathematics for evolution, infection and public health at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University.


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ECNS

However, anti-epidemic measures will continue across country, experts said


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Several articles on this list deal with the question and debates around individuals who don’t show coronavirus symptoms, the asymptomatic. This article from Chinese state media shows what officials in the country at the beginning of the outbreak are saying.


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