Misinformation During a Pandemic leads to negative health outcomes

A novel study looking at impacts of coverage of COVID-19 by two Fox News shows in the United States – Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight – on viewers’ behavior and downstream health outcomes. Carlson warned viewers about the threat posed by the coronavirus from early February, while Hannity originally dismissed the risks associated with the virus before gradually adjusting his position starting late February.  Hannity’s viewers changed behavior in response to the virus later than other Fox News viewers, while Carlson’s viewers changed behavior earlier. Greater viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is strongly associated with a greater number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the early stages of the pandemic.  The researchers say that provision of misinformation in the early stages of a pandemic can have important consequences for how a disease ultimately affects the population.

Link to paper: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3580487

Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period

The paper projects that the US may have to endure social distancing measures — such as stay-at-home orders and school closures — until 2022, unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or treatment or vaccine becomes available. Another round of the virus is possible once social distancing measures are lifted. Even in the event of apparent elimination, SARS-CoV-2 surveillance should be maintained since a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024.

Link to paper: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793.full

An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time

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. 

Link to text: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30120-1/fulltext

PDF: An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time

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