This study analyzed l data from 311 regions across 116 countries with reported cases of COVID-19 by March 12, 2020, and found that temperature, humidity, and wind speed were inversely associated with the incidence rate of Covid-19. This means that it is likely that as temperature, humidity and wind speed increase the spread of COVID-19 decreases.
The authors have built human mobility models, for which they are experts, and attach a virus infection dynamics to it. This results in a virus spreading dynamics model. The preliminary model shows that complete lockdown works. About 10 days after lockdown, the infection dynamics die down in the model. Infections in public transport play an important role, they say. The simulations say that complete removal of infections at child care, primary schools, workplaces and during leisure activities will not be enough to sufficiently slow down the infection dynamics.
This study formulates a conceptual mathematical model on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 between the frontliners (e.g. healthcare workers, customer service and retail personnel, food service crews) and the general public. The take-home message of this preliminary model is that everyone in the community, whether a frontliner or not, should be protected or should implement preventive measures to avoid being infected.
This is a systematic literature review summarizing the available evidence regarding the role of chloroquine in treating coronavirus infection. It says there is theoretical, experimental, preclinical and clinical evidence of the effectiveness of chloroquine in patients affected with COVID-19. There is adequate evidence of drug safety from the long-time clinical use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in other indications. More data from ongoing and future trials will add more insight into the role of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 infection it concludes.
New study in JAMA Cardiology says COVID-19 can not only be deadly for people with existing heart conditions, but it can also cause cardiac injury for people without pre-existing heart conditions. The study looked at 416 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Wuhan, China and found that 19.7% suffered a cardiac injury, which put them at higher risk for a fatal version of Coronavirus.
There are several genetic strains of COVID-19 circulating around the world. Information is found on NextStrain, an online resource for scientists that uses data from academic, independent and government laboratories all over the world to visually track the genomics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It currently represents genetic sequences of strains from 36 countries on six continents.
A wide-ranging study points out that simple public health measures seem to be highly effective at reducing the transmission of respiratory viruses. It recommends implementing the following interventions: frequent handwashing (with or without antiseptics), barrier measures (gloves, gowns, and masks), and isolation of people with suspected respiratory tract infections.
The authors are of the opinion that evidence regarding the complete loss of smell, or anosmia and the loss of taste or dysgeusia in people who had no other symptoms but who tested positive for COVID-19 are mostly anecdotal and therefore should be treated as preliminary and with caution.
Link to article: https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/what-is-the-evidence-for-anosmia-loss-of-smell-as-a-clinical-feature-of-covid-19/
A Statement from ENT UK at The Royal College of Surgeons of England, the association of ear, nose and throat physicians in the United Kingdom says a growing body of data from COVID-19 patients in several countries strongly suggests that “significant numbers” of those patients experienced the complete loss of smell known as anosmia as one of the disease’s symptoms.
A new paper, 26 March, describes multiple lineages of pangolin coronavirus and their similarity to the SARS-CoV-2. A previous study had suggested that Pangolins could be intermediate hosts. Although bats are likely reservoir hosts for SARS-CoV-2, this study says that pangolins should be considered as possible hosts in the emergence of novel coronaviruses and should be removed from wet markets to prevent zoonotic transmission. The study was done on Malayan pangolins (Manis javanica) seized in anti-smuggling operations in southern China. Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked animals.
This paper finds that Inadequate risk assessment regarding the urgency of the situation, and limited reporting on the virus within China has, in part, led to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Compared with SARS and MERS, COVID-19 has spread more rapidly, due in part to increased globalization and the focus of the epidemic. The conclusion is that we did not learn from the two prior epidemics of coronavirus and were ill-prepared to deal with the challenges the COVID-19 epidemic has posed. Future research should attempt to address the uses and implications of the internet of things (IoT) technologies for mapping the spread of infection.
Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, University of East Anglia, U.K, talks to the Science Media Centre on whether its advisable expert to have sex while either socially distancing or self-isolating with symptoms.
Mutation. The word naturally conjures fears of unexpected and freakish changes. Ill-informed discussions of mutations thrive during virus outbreaks, including the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2. In reality, mutations are a natural part of the virus life cycle and rarely impact outbreaks dramatically say virologists writing in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Viruses are kind of mysterious – there is debate on whether on not they are “alive”. At a basic level, viruses are proteins and genetic material that survive and replicate within their environment, inside another life form. In the absence of their host, viruses are unable to replicate and many are unable to survive for long outside the host. Therefore, if they cannot survive independently, can they be defined as being ‘alive’? Taking opposing views, two microbiologists discuss how viruses fit with the concept of being ‘alive’ and how they should be defined.
An article from the publishers of Science on 22 March on WHO megatrials. WHO is focusing on what it says are the four most promising therapies: an experimental antiviral compound called remdesivir; the malaria medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; a combination of two HIV drugs, lopinavir, and ritonavir; and that same combination plus interferon-beta, an immune system messenger that can help cripple viruses.
Unusually, we include a Twitter feed here as it represents a good analysis of the efficacy of the antimalarial drug chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. It is from Dr. Gaetan Burgio, a geneticist at the Australian National University who dug into the available & published data and reveals that as of this date the evidence remains anecdotal and a clinical trial is incomplete and not following scientific rigour. More research is needed.
A popular article from the publishers of Nature describing ongoing research that hopes that the antibody-laden blood of those who have recovered from coronavirus might reduce severe infections. It is as yet unknown if it will work.
Review identifies 1415 species of infectious organism known to be pathogenic to humans. Out of these, 868 (61%) are zoonotic, that is, they can be transmitted between humans and animals, and 175 pathogenic species are associated with diseases considered to be ’emerging’. Out of the emerging pathogens, 132 (75%) are zoonotic.
March 17, 2020. A clinical trial of investigational vaccine for COVID-19 has begun. Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle. Currently (March 17, 2020) no approved vaccines exist to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2.
While many of us are social distancing and self-quarantining, we have a lot of time to wonder, how did we get in this coronavirus mess in the first place? The answer is a zoonotic disease – a disease that can leap from animal to human. In order to prevent future pandemics, we need to change our relationship with wildlife. So what does that mean exactly?
More than 800 cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases occurred during outbreaks on three cruise ship voyages, and cases linked to several additional cruises have been reported across the United States. Transmission occurred across multiple voyages from ship to ship by crew members; both crew members and passengers were affected; 10 deaths associated with cruise ships have been reported to date.
A new study shows people with blood group A have a significantly higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 whereas blood group O has a significantly lower risk for the infection. However, the paper has not been peer-reviewed yet. This means it has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice or to promote the results.
The World Organisation for Animal Health says that there have not been any reports of pets presenting clinical signs caused by COVID-19 virus infection and currently there is no evidence that they play a significant epidemiological role in this disease.
Asian Pangolin species, the worlds most traded wild animals, are Critically
Endangered because of illegal trade. Now the species which may be the
intermediate host of COVID-19 is in even more danger as panic killing may wipe
This book chapter reviews the available mental health literature concerning the most impactful global infectious disease outbreaks. Case examples are used to illustrate mental health consequences. An overview of public health response and management of pandemic is reviewed throughout various disaster phases, and focused issues regarding mental health intervention planning for pandemics are discussed.
This article describes the Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership which is a collaboration between psychiatrists and clergy. The partnership provides an opportunity for psychiatrists and the mental health community to learn from spiritual leaders, to whom people often turn in times of mental distress. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to improve understanding of the best science and evidence-based treatment for psychiatric illnesses among faith leaders and those in the faith community.
The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. This CDC guide provides advice on how to cope with the stress and make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. This paper reviews the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Results show that in situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide a clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided.
COVID-19 is creating immense psychosocial disturbances. The CDC has produced a Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) manual to instruct health responders and communicators on how to deal with the extraordinary mental and emotional stressors on people.
The data confirms that some infected people “can be highly contagious when they have mild or no symptoms. Urgent measures are needed to curb mild and asymptomatic cases that are fuelling the pandemic. This bolsters the case for closing schools, cancelling public gatherings and generally keeping people at home and out of public spaces.
Shows Taiwan as an example of how a society can respond quickly to a crisis and protect the interests of its citizens. Taiwan’s government learned from its 2003 SARS experience and established a public health response mechanism for enabling rapid actions for the next crisis. Well-trained and experienced teams of officials were quick to recognize the COVID-19 crisis and activated emergency management structures to address the emerging outbreak.
In this pre-print researchers analyzed the timing of control measures and of community spread of COVID-19 in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Guangzhou from January 10 to February 29, 2020. Early intervention resulted in Guangzhou having “lower epidemic sizes and peaks” than Wuhan in the first wave of the outbreak.
Time magazine interviews Dr. Bruce Aylward, the senior adviser to the Director-General of the WHO, is one of the world’s top officials in charge of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Aylward has almost 30 years of experience in fighting polio, Ebola and other diseases, and now he’s turned his attention to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Not a paper or report but a very well researched book written by someone on the front lines. “China Syndrome is a fast-moving, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction thriller that doubles as an excellent primer of emerging infections for scientists and laypeople alike. Beyond the superb writing, is a detailed look at China’s culture of secrecy in the throes of a global public health crisis”
In the case of the 1918 flu pandemic, research has shown that the faster authorities moved to implement the kinds of social distancing measures designed to slow the transmission of disease, the more lives were saved.
Not a peer-reviewed paper but we deem it useful and interesting. It explores how strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks, there shouldn’t be a big peak of infections afterward, and it can all be done for a reasonable cost to society, saving millions of lives along the way.
Paper on an online interactive dashboard, hosted by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA, to visualise and track reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in real-time.
Phyloepidemiologic analyses indicated the SARS-CoV-2 source at the Hua Nan market should be imported from other places. The crowded market boosted SARS-CoV-2 rapid circulations in the market and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019.
The Imperial College report that made the UK government change track. It says population-wide social distancing applied to the population as a whole would have the largest impact, and in combination with other interventions – notably home isolation of cases and school and university closure – has the potential to suppress transmission to rapidly reduce case incidence.
Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – A digital illustration of the coronavirus shows the crown-like appearance of the virus.
In the public’s interest and because of uncertainty and fake news, we’ve opened up this site to include the sharing of carefully curated scientific and government reports on #Covid-19. COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Our goal is to inform, not to alarm, and to provide a resource for people to use. Please note that the science is evolving, and the information is updated as it comes.