— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) February 20, 2020
From my (limited and extremely amateur) perspective, it seems like COVID-19 coverage is becoming ‘normal’, at least in the United States. Of course it’s still a serious issue — like global climate change or financial market fluctuations — but it’s trending away from the OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE OF CORONA-PLAGUE coverage. Maybe I’m just an optimist!
I’m also seeing much circulation of two ‘hopeful’ rumors. First, that there will be ‘a vaccine’ within a year (rebuttal: there will probably be experimental vaccines for exposed individuals, but *not* something tested as safe for a more general population). Second, that chloroquine phosphate, a widely available antimalarial, has ‘been approved as a treatment’; this sounds like a throw-everything-at-it tactic, one step above approving aspirin as a valid treatment mechanism — and the drug is well known for its unpleasant side effects, so it’s not something people want to be dosing themselves with ‘just in case’. (As always, please do let me know if I’m wrong about this.)
With 620 passengers now confirmed + from Diamond Princess Cruise – 2 have now died – both in their 80's. Lets hope no additional deaths nor reported cases. If no additional deaths, then among this well monitored group mortality would be 0.3% or less.https://t.co/8RNKbPkjwk
— Michael Mina (@michaelmina_lab) February 20, 2020
Further evidence of asymptomatic infection, but this one didn't address transmission. Virus was detected both by PCR and viral culture. https://t.co/xZYMAWStH0
— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@aetiology) February 19, 2020