The Daily Dose: Coronavirus has gone global, just don’t tell WHO about it

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It’s no secret the 2019-nCoV coronavirus is spreading rapidly from a local outbreak into a global pandemic. Now, infections have been on every inhabited continent (sorry, Antarctica). As per Futurism, “By Monday, Australia had confirmed five cases, according to The Straits Times. That means the viral pandemic has now definitively spread to yet another continent, the latest after making its way to the U.S. and France last week. And more could soon be confirmed: There are suspected but yet-unconfirmed coronavirus cases in both Brazil, The Epoch Times reports, and the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, according to BBC News — meaning it would have spread to every inhabited continent.” The million-dollar question now is how long it will take the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency.

One of the most disturbing developments regarding the coronavirus was the announcement by Chinese officials that not only is the pathogen growing in strength in terms of infectivity, evidence seems to indicate that asymptomatic carriers can infect other people even during incubation. This makes containing the outbreak particularly difficult. In order to test whether it is indeed the case, scientists have suggested studying infections in single households. “By closely monitoring all the members of a household in which one person is infected, it should be possible to determine who else contracts the virus and how. Such studies would also be helpful for identifying ways of stopping spread in households.”

Global pharmaceutical companies are beginning to worry that the coronavirus outbreak in China may disrupt industry supply lines. As per STAT, “China is now home to 13% of all facilities that make ingredients for medicines that are sold in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration. By comparison, 28% of such facilities are in the U.S. and 26% are in the European Union.” Perhaps it’s time to diversify ingredient sourcing?

While the coronavirus outbreak is grabbing all the headlines (rightly so), the global African Swine Fever outbreak shows no signs of abating. The Scientist explores the ways possible vaccine candidates may be designed.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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