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Future of Medicine #23

  • Universal testing?
  • COVID and dry air
  • Lung cancer death decline
  • Japan and solidarity
Published every Wednesday


7 months later, what we know about COVID-19 — and the pressing questions that remain

The “before times” seem like a decade ago, don’t they? Those carefree days when hugging friends and shaking hands wasn’t verboten, when we didn’t have to reach for a mask before leaving our homes, or forage for supplies of hand sanitizer. Oh, for the days when social distancing wasn’t part of our vernacular.

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Malay Mail

Health experts call for RMCO extension in light of new Covid-19 clusters, latest super-spreader virus strain

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — Health experts and a former Cabinet member have expressed their belief that the ongoing recovery movement control order (RMCO) will likely be extended past its initial expiry date on August 31, in light of the recent upswing of Covid-19 cases this past month.

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Vox EU

Universal testing: An overlooked Covid-19 policy response

Lockdown measures, contact tracing, and widespread testing have dominated the policy responses of many countries to the Covid-19 crisis. This column argues that a universal testing and isolation policy is the most viable way to vanquish the pandemic. Its implementation requires an epidemiological, rather than clinical, approach to testing, and requires the ramping up of testing kit production in order to achieve a scale and speed that the market alone would fail to provide. The estimated cost of universal testing is dwarfed by its return, mitigating the economic fallout of the pandemic.

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Japan’s Leadership and International Solidary in the Face of COVID-19

Jeremie Bodin, General Director, Medecins Sans Frontieres Japan

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The Conversation

Research shows coronavirus thrives in dry air (and August is coastal Australia’s least humid month)

At this stage we don’t really know if or how temperature affects COVID-19 transmission. But it looks like one aspect of the weather — humidity — does play a role.

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National Geographic

What Fauci says the U.S. really needs to reopen safely

To prevent future surges, Americans need to become more unified about following public health guidance and take sequential steps to return to schools and businesses.

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Detroit Free Press

Reaching vulnerable communities critical to Michigan COVID-19 recovery

COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact across the country. Case surges occurring in the South and West demonstrate that the virus, and our work to combat it, is far from over. In Michigan, despite a more recent slow-down in rates of infection, confirmed COVID-19 cases have surpassed 88,000. Without continued diligence to take the right precautionary measures, like wearing masks and investments in testing and tracing, we run the risk of the virus rebounding here in Michigan, as we have seen in other parts of the country.

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Advances in treatment are driving the decline in lung cancer deaths

This year’s annual release of cancer statistics generated more buzz than usual. Perhaps the most publicized finding in the Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 report was the 2.2% decline in overall cancer deaths from 2016 to 2017, the last year for which we have final statistics. That was the largest ever single-year drop in cancer deaths. Improvement in lung cancer — which accounts for more deaths than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers combined — was credited with driving the decline.

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NBC News

Coronavirus lockdowns are extreme and disruptive — but they just might be our only option

It can seem to public health officials that giving an inch means people will take a mile.

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Rolling Stone

Big Pharma’s Covid-19 Profiteers

On June 29th, 2020, while America remained transfixed by anti-police protests, the chairman and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Gilead issued a much-anticipated announcement. In a breezy open letter, Daniel O’Day explained how much his company planned on charging for a course of remdesivir, one of many possible treatments for Covid-19. “In the weeks since we learned of remdesivir’s potential against Covid-19, one topic has attracted more speculation than any other: what price we might set for the medicine,” O’Day wrote, before plunging into a masterpiece of corporate doublespeak.

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