• Healthcare workers 'should be screened for Covid-19 every week'

    17 Apr, 2020
    UK cancer specialist says leaving potentially infectious staff in hospitals is unethical.

    Healthcare workers should be screened for Covid-19 every week to protect patients from asymptomatic infection, the head of the Francis Crick Institute’s testing facility has said.

    The call comes amid concerns that hospitals are becoming hotspots for disease transmission and evidence that a significant fraction of those infected show few or no symptoms.

    “For all our fuss about social ...
  • Antibiotic treatment for COVID-19 complications could fuel resistant bacteria

    17 Apr, 2020
    In her regular job, Priya Nori runs Montefiore Medical Center’s antibiotic stewardship program, and spends most of her time ensuring that the Bronx-based hospital doesn’t overuse the drugs and allow bacteria resistant to them to thrive. But like many physicians, Nori is now spending all of her time helping treat COVID-19 patients at her New York City hospital, which like other medical centers in the pandemic hot spot, is crowded with 50% more patients than normal. As part of that care, s...
  • Why lockdowns may not be the answer in Africa

    16 Apr, 2020

    Many African countries have introduced lockdowns in order to halt the spread of coronavirus, but, as Alex de Waal and Paul Richards argue, ordinary people have to be involved in choosing the solutions that will work for them.

    Countries on the continent have learned much from tackling epidemics such as HIV and Ebola that should be put to good use as they face the impact of Covid-19.

    The most important lesson is that communities must be at the forefront of responding.

  • How Digital Contact Tracing Slowed Covid-19 in East Asia

    16 Apr, 2020

    As Covid-19 steamrolls across international boundaries, public health officials are paying close attention to countries that are flattening the curve, slowing the spread of infection. Can other countries emulate their success? Top of mind has been whether authoritarian regimes have an edge over democracies, because they can mandate top-down measures like lockdowns and digital tracking of infected people’s movements and contacts. Indeed, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi proclaime...
  • Coronavirus latest: global infections pass two million

    16 Apr, 2020
    Updates on the respiratory illness that has infected more than two million people and killed more than a hundred thousand.The number of reported COVID-19 cases worldwide has passed two million, according to data compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The milestone comes just two weeks after one million infections were recorded. The United States has the most cases — more than 600,000 — followed by Spain and Italy.Click here for reference.

  • China is tightening its grip on coronavirus research

    16 Apr, 2020
    Some scientists welcome government vetting because it could stop poor-quality COVID-19 papers being published – others fear it is an attempt to control information

    China’s government has started asserting tight control over COVID-19 research findings. Over the past two months, it appears to have quietly introduced policies that require scientists to get approval to publish — or publicize — their results, according to documents seen by Nature and some resea...
  • Antibody tests may hold clues to COVID-19 exposure, immunity—but it's complicated

    16 Apr, 2020

    As the nation looks for ways to emerge from the shelter-in-place orders instituted across the country, there's growing hope that our blood might hold clues for how we move forward.

    Late last week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it has begun recruiting volunteers for a study to determine how many Americans without a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, based on the presence of antibodies in their blood.

  • Three lessons for the COVID-19 response from pandemic HIV

    15 Apr, 2020
    The HIV pandemic provides lessons for the response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: no vaccine is available for either and there are no licensed pharmaceuticals for COVID-19, just as there was not for HIV infection in the early years. Population behaviour will determine the pandemic trajectory of COVID-19, just as it did for HIV.Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and HIV are, of course, different. Untreated HIV infection usually causes ...
  • FDA tightens enforcement on Covid-19 antibody tests

    15 Apr, 2020

    After loosening restrictions on antibody tests, the US Food and Drug Administration has decided government scientists will review data on lab tests that claim they can detect if someone has antibodies to Covid-19, according to the CEO of a lab association who was on a call with FDA officials Tuesday morning.

    On March 16, the FDA loosened its standards and allowed companies to sell antibody tests without submitting any evidence that they worked.That led to "crappy"...
  • Why positioning Covid-19 patients on their stomachs can save lives

    15 Apr, 2020

    On Friday, Dr. Mangala Narasimhan received an urgent call. A man in his 40s with Covid-19 was in a dire situation, and her colleague wanted her to come the intensive care unit at Long Island Jewish Hospital to see if he needed to be put on life support.
    Before I come over there, Narasimhan told the other doctor, try turning the patient over onto his stomach and see if that helps.Narasimhan didn't need to go the ICU. The flip worked.
    Doctors are finding that placing the sickest coron...
  • Ahead of the curve: South Korea's evolving strategy to prevent a coronavirus resurgence

    15 Apr, 2020
    A smartphone tracking app for new airport arrivals. A “smart city” database of thousands of people infected by the new coronavirus and their contacts. Electronic bracelets that track people breaking quarantine laws.
    South Korea, among the first countries to bring a major coronavirus outbreak under control, is now taking steps to control the disease well into the future, relying heavily on technology and its hyper-connected society.

    The aim is to reinvigorate Asia’s fourth-largest ec...
  • Air pollution and COVID-19

    14 Apr, 2020
    Air pollution, it turns out, is extremely bad for you -- deadly, actually -- all the time. But it's especially dangerous in the middle of a global pandemic that attacks the lungs.

    A recent study, which is still awaiting peer review, from researchers at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, estimates a 15% increased death rate from Covid-19 with a small increase — 1 microgram per cubic meter of air -- in a type of air pollution called fine particulate matter, or PM2...