A Disease Tracker Backed by Gates and Zuckerberg Tackles Covid-19

Jessica Manning had no experience with coronaviruses. The infectious disease researcher had lived and worked in Cambodia off and on since 2013, studying the mosquitoes of the Mekong Delta and how their saliva helps spread disease in humans. But in January, the country flagged its first Covid-19 patient, and the lab that delivered the diagnosis wanted to send samples from the patient and his family to Manning for further testing. Manning works at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research in Phnom Penh, which is part of a decades-old collaboration between NIAID and the Cambodian National Center for Parasitology, Entomology, and Malaria Control. In September, her team had booted up a white machine, …

Did a Woman Get Coronavirus Twice? Scientists Are Skeptical

What could be worse than getting the pneumonia-like illness now known as Covid-19? Getting it twice. That’s what Japanese government officials say may have happened to a female tour bus guide in Osaka. The woman was first diagnosed with Covid-19 in late January, according to Read all of our coronavirus coverage here. reports detailing the case raised the possibility that people may not be developing immunity to the new coronavirus, even after they’ve recovered. But several infectious disease specialists say there’s not enough data to support that conclusion. Another possibility is that the virus subsided and flared up again. (Some viruses tend to do that.) Or the test was simply wrong. “The question is really: How good is the proof?” …

The US Fast-Tracked a Coronavirus Test to Speed Up Diagnoses

On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization of a diagnostics test for the novel coronavirus that has sickened more than 20,000 people and killed 427 since emerging in China six weeks ago. The exemption will make the test—which was developed by the US Centers for Disease and Control and until now has been performed only in its laboratories—available to public health labs across the country. The move skirts normal approval channels, signaling the need for speed as the regulatory agency joins the effort to contain the disease’s spread. “This continues to be an evolving situation, and the ability to distribute this diagnostic test to qualified labs is a critical step forward in protecting the public health," …

Coronavirus Research Is Moving at Top SpeedWith a Catch

Jonathan Read admits to being something of a dinosaur when it comes to publishing his work. An epidemiologist at Lancaster University in the UK, Read had always followed the old ways—submit to a journal, get accepted, get comments and edits from peer reviewers, revise the article, publish. But a few years ago, something started nagging at him. That process typically moves a lot slower than a disease outbreak. And even when it moves fast, it can involve considerations besides rigor. Submitting papers on Ebola during the summer of 2014, Read says he felt like his team was getting overlooked by journals in favor of research that’d garner more attention from journalists upon publication. “I remember thinking at the time, ‘Next …

Snakes?! The Slippery Truth of a Flawed Wuhan Virus Theory

Sharing data during an outbreak is vital for public health. But it can also lead to sensational, and even spurious, research, like a controversial new paper claiming that people probably picked up a novel coronavirus from snakes. One of the many mysteries behind the outbreak of a new respiratory-tract-attacking virus that’s now infected nearly 650 people and killed 18 in China is where, exactly, it came from. The initial cluster of pneumonia-like cases showed up in the city of Wuhan mid-December, and most of those patients had some tie to a wet market there—a place where people sell both live and dead animals, including exotic species, from snugly-abutting stalls. Though nothing has been confirmed, epidemiologists suspect that the novel coronavirus …

Experts Can’t Agree If the Wuhan Virus Is a Global Crisis

A new virus that originated in China has all the marking of a global crisis: It emerged suddenly and proved to be deadly. It crossed borders easily, and requires immediate, coordinated efforts between countries to contain it. Taken together, the details seem enough for the World Health Organization to declare an international public health emergency. But on Wednesday, the WHO demurred. After several hours of closed-door meetings, the 16-person panel of independent experts tasked with advising WHO leadership on the issue took a vote and found themselves split down the middle. WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus told reporters he has asked the emergency committee to meet again Thursday to continue the discussion. “This is an evolving and complex situation,” he said. …

People Cant Stop Trolling Anti-Vaxxers With 30 Memes

Either way, the anti-vax movement is a dangerous trend, one that we here at Bored Panda are doing our best to highlight. With the battle for truth mainly fought online these days, it’s only natural that memes have become a potent weapon. Easily shareable, concise, humorous and savage, they are perfect fodder for the “TL-DR” generation and have become a common way to ‘mock’ anti-vaxxers into modifying their behavior. Whether it works or not is another discussion, as we have seen in the past, people who feel under attack for their beliefs often double-down and solidify them in response. This is part of the reason why we have the least qualified President in the history of the United States, and …