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Coronavirus News Summary, October 10-October 16

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The following are highlights of our free newsletter.Smart and useful science-related information about COVID-19.. Sign up to receive daily newsletter issues in your inbox here..

Do you need an “optimistic view” of pandemics, at least in the United States? Check this out 10/12/20 Story at the New York Times By Donald McNeil Jr., who has covered infectious diseases and epidemics for many years. McNeil says he estimates that 215,000 people in the United States have died from the new coronavirus so far, and that it could reach 400,000 before the end of this era. But here are some good news he has compiled. 1) Mask wearing by the general public is “widely accepted”. 2) Development of vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2 and treatments for COVID-19 are progressing at record speed. 3) “Experts are truly confident that the US pandemic will be much faster than expected and will probably end by the middle of next year.” 4) Even in nursing homes, fewer infected people die today than earlier this year. So far, about 10 percent of people in the United States have been infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The pandemics don’t end abruptly. They slow down gradually,” McNeil wrote.

A 10/14/20 The story of Karl Zimmer The New York Times has put into context three late-stage (Phase 3 safety and efficacy) COVID-19 experiments that have been suspended for the past few weeks due to the illness of some study participants. Suspension of vaccine research (in this case Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidates) is “not uncommon,” he said. Billions of people. However, pauses are rare in therapeutic studies. In this case, it is Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody cocktail drug. When a drug or treatment experiment (trial) is suspended, the Safety Commission will determine whether the sick participant was given a new product or a placebo. If it was a placebo, the study could be resumed. If not, the board will investigate the case more deeply to determine if the disease is related to drugs or treatment. “The trial may have to be stopped,” Zimmer wrote, if a clear connection was found. Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research is quoted as saying that he is “still quite optimistic” about the treatment of monoclonal antibodies to COVID-19. Safety-related pauses in all three experiments are “an example of how things work,” said Dr. Anna Durbin of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the story.

Top of The story at the Washington Post It has useful interactive features that sketch the “Science Building”, a fictitious place where “politicians and public health authorities are free to use any tool to contain the coronavirus.” This basically shows how genetic analysis and tracking of viral strains found in frequently and widely tested populations can help authorities control the development of SARS-CoV-2. Next, the following 10/13/20 text story by Brady Dennis, Chris Mooney, Sarakaplan, and Harry Stevens focuses on the details of such a “genome epidemiology” approach, primarily in the United Kingdom. Implement. The United States has not been able to use this approach effectively. One of the reasons is that the gene sequencing of viral strains is “not part of a well-coordinated, well-funded national program, but largely left to the state and individual researchers.” ..

The increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections in the United States is currently being driven by “small gatherings in people’s homes,” according to people at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Carolink list reports For WebMD (10/14/20). Researchers say that “most people have not yet been exposed to the coronavirus around the world,” so people should continue to practice wearing face masks and keeping a social distance.

The newly developed test can detect SARS-CoV-2 in 5 minutes. Reported by Robert F. Service In science (10/8/20). This test relies on CRISPR gene editing technology and was awarded by Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens. Nobel Prize in Chemistry Early this month. Doudna is leading the work that led to this new 5-minute CRISPR test for the coronavirus. By comparison, the story says it can take a day or more to regain standard SARS-CoV-2 test results.

New York Times Donald G. McNeill Jr. writes guide To distinguish between common colds, flu, and COVID-19 symptoms (10/3/20). The main difference between having a cold and getting the flu is that the flu feels like it hits a truck. McNeil quotes the words of an expert. The most distinguishing symptom between COVID-19 and influenza is loss of sensation. Smell — strong odors are not recorded, he writes. However, many of the symptoms of influenza and COVID-19 overlap, he said. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are high fever, colds, dry cough, and fatigue. In the case of the flu, it is fever, headache, body pain, sore throat, runny nose, sinus blockage, coughing and sneezing, the story tells.

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s three daughters have no plans to visit him for Thanksgiving to avoid the possibility of the new coronavirus infecting his parents. Ralph Lauren reports With WebMD. The story includes vacation trips and tips for a visit from a pulmonary emergency physician at the University of Washington Medical Center who “believes vacation trips are dangerous.” Tips include making sure you don’t have symptoms like COVID-19 two weeks before your trip, taking a test before your trip, and quarantining at the hotel for at least 48 hours before visiting with your loved ones. Traveling by car, “speaking without close contact and mask” (10/9/20).

Adele Chapin writes guide To reduce the risk of children catching and spreading SARS-CoV-2 in the playground. The Washington Post’s 10/8/20 work provides the usual recommendations for wearing masks, washing hands, disinfecting hands, disinfecting wipes, and keeping distance. Pediatricians at the National Children’s Hospital advise not to wear gloves because “people who wear gloves often touch their faces and do not serve their purpose.” This work also recommends visiting the playground during non-busy times and choosing a playground with multiple playgrounds that makes it easier for children to distance themselves from each other.

A The story of Karl Zimmer The New York Times beautifully describes some of the amazing imaging work scientists have done to study the structure of SARS-CoV-2 and how it infects and proliferates cells. , Explains (10/9/20). To get started, check out a fascinating video about a quarter of the page that simulates spike proteins (complex molecules) that perform a “molecular dance” on a viral membrane. This video (only one of some of this great work) is part of a study by computational biophysicists and colleagues at the Maxplanck Institute for Biophysics. Researchers believe that spikes look shimmy, “more likely to encounter proteins on the surface of cells used for attachment.”

You may enjoy, “Recommendation letter for the zoom era, “By Matt Cheung of MacSweeney’s (10/14/20).

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