• Model Predicts COVID-19 Outbreak Two Weeks Ahead of Time

    People’s social behavior, reflected in their mobility data, is providing scientists with a way to forecast the spread of COVID-19 nationwide at the county level. The data-driven deep learning model which FAU researchers developed has important implications for managing the current pandemic as well as future pandemics.

  • First Case of Marburg Virus Infection Detected in Guinea

    The deadly Marburg disease has claimed its first victim in Guinea. The disease has been reported in Africa before, but the infection in Guinea is the first time the disease has been reported in West Africa. The Marburg virus is part of the Ebola family. In 2014-2015, tens of thousands died in Guinea, Sierra Leon, and Liberia from a rampaging Ebola outbreak.

  • Virus Likely Naturally Occurring: NIH

    The NIH says that based on the scientific literature, its view is that “SARS-CoV-2 infection in people most likely resulted from zoonotic transmission from animals to humans.” Current evidence does not support the assertion that the virus was engineered, but the NIH does not rule out the possibility of a laboratory accident, in which a naturally occurring virus was unintentionally released during research activities.

  • Lab-Leak of Genetically Modified Virus: Lawmakers’ Report

    Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released on Monday a third installment in his investigation into the origins of the virus. The report says that the preponderance of evidence suggests that the pandemic outbreak stemmed from a genetically modified virus which leaked from Wuhan Institute of Virology.

  • Natural Origin or Genetic Manipulation? We “Can't Say for Sure Yet”: David Baltimore

    David Baltimore, president emeritus of Caltech and Distinguished Professor of Biology, is a virologist who received the Nobel Prize for his research into viral genetics. He says that “But the fact that evolution might have been able to generate SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t mean that that’s how it came about. I think we very much need to find out what was happening in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I think that we can’t say for sure yet whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus came from natural origins or if it was genetically manipulated somehow.”

  • CDC: Delta as Contagious as Chickenpox

    In an internal document leaked to the Washington Post Friday, the CDC say the Delta variant (B1617.2) is as contagious as chickenpox. The agency also said that, although vaccinated people rarely get serious breakthrough infections, when they do get infected they can transmit the virus as easily as unvaccinated people.

  • China Used Vaccines, Trade to Get Ukraine to Drop Support for Xinjiang Scrutiny

    On 22 June, Ukraine signed a UN-sponsored document, along with more than 40 other countries, calling for China to allow independent observers immediate access to Xinjiang, where Beijing is operating a camp system that UN officials estimate has interned more than 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities. Two days later, Ukraine withdrew its signature after China threatened to limit trade with Ukraine and withhold Ukrainian access to COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Scientists Model “True Prevalence” of COVID-19 Throughout Pandemic

    Scientists have developed a statistical framework that incorporates key COVID-19 data — such as case counts and deaths due to COVID-19 — to model the true prevalence of this disease in the United States and individual states. Their approach projects that in the U.S. as many as 60 percent of COVID-19 cases went undetected as of 7 March 2021, the last date for which the dataset they employed is available.

  • U.K. COVID “Pingdemic” Sparks Labor Shortage

    More than 600,000 people have been pinged by the U.K.’s coronavirus warning app and told to self-isolate. Business leaders warn that the lack of available workers is putting the economic recovery at risk.

  • Why We Need to Talk Openly about Vaccine Side Effects

    How can health authorities and politicians help ensure public acceptance of vaccines which, their rare side effects aside, have proven effective in preventing serious Covid-19 disease? The best way to do this is to talk openly about all aspects of the vaccines, including potential negative aspects such as side effects.

  • Variants, Misinformation, and “Brain Drain”: The COVID-19 Vaccine Experience in Brazil, India, and Africa

    “When it comes to vaccines, there’s access and there’s supply. Then there’s the question ‘Will people take it?’” said an expert who took part in a National Academy of Medicine event which examined the social consequences of COVID-19 and the persistent public health challenges in Brazil, India, and the continent of Africa, and compared the experience there to the U.S. experience. 

  • U.S. Freight Railroads Bolstered Supply Chain Resilience during Pandemic

    Despite the particularly volatile, pandemic-driven period, railroads met consumers’ and businesses’ unexpected surge of demands, reliably delivering goods such as agricultural products, personal protective equipment and online retail merchandise and ultimately highlighting the rail industry’s role as an essential component of the U.S. economy.

  • Is it a Virus or Bacteria? New Tech Rapidly Tests for Pathogens

    The first line of defense against pandemics is the ability quickly to detect the presence or absence of previously unknown pathogens. DHS S&T is exploring a new technology that can discriminate between bacterial and viral infections using only a single drop of blood per patient.

  • Pandemic Drives Largest Decrease in U.S. Life Expectancy Since 1943

    U.S. life expectancy decreased by 1.87 years between 2018 and 2020, a drop not seen since World War II, according to new research. The numbers are even worse for people of color. On average, whereas life expectancy among white Americans decreased by 1.36 years in 2020, it decreased by 3.25 years in Black Americans and 3.88 years in Hispanic Americans.

  • Social Media Use One of Four Factors Related to Higher COVID-19 Spread Rates Early On

    Researchers showed that, in the early stages of the pandemic, there was a correlation between social media use and a higher rate of COVID spread. The researchers compared 58 countries and found that higher social media use was among the four factors driving a faster and broader spread. Accounting for pre-existing, intrinsic differences among countries and regions would help facilitate better management strategies going forward.