The Daily Dose: Big Pharma gives the world yet another reason to despise them

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We’ve got a name for the coronavirus. It’s now called COVID-19. As per Nature, “The World Health Organization has officially named the disease caused by the coronavirus COVID-19. This will replace various monikers and hashtags given to the emerging illness over the past few weeks. Most recently, on 8 February, China’s National Health Commission decided to temporarily call the disease novel coronavirus pneumonia, or NCP. But because viruses continue to spread from animals to people, this coronavirus won’t be novel for long.” At least that’s done now.

When it comes to COVID-2019, there still seems to be more bad news than good news at this point in the outbreak. While Chinese authorities have been busy moving the epidemiological goalposts regarding what actually constitutes a “confirmed infection,” researchers have been trying grasp something as basic as designing a reliable test. As per Science, “The seeming precision of the global tallies of cases and deaths caused by the novel coronavirus now spreading from Wuhan, China belies an alarming fact. The world is in the dark about the epidemic’s real scale and speed, because existing tests have limited powers—and testing is far too spotty. ‘We are underestimating how common this infection is,’ cautions Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust.” Disturbing to say the least.

Speaking of disturbing news, the Guardian is reporting that one of the world’s top epidemiologists believes we may just be witnessing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to COVID-19. “Prof Gabriel Leung, the chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, said the overriding question was to figure out the size and shape of the iceberg. Most experts thought that each person infected would go on to transmit the virus to about 2.5 other people. That gave an ‘attack rate’ of 60-80%.” Even if case fatality rates hovered around 1%, it would translate to a massive loss of life.

And to close our session of grim coronavirus news, STAT News is reporting that U.S. Big Pharma is doing its best to remain one of the most despised sectors in the universe. Accoring to them, “No major pharmaceutical company has come forward to say it would manufacture a vaccine for the novel coronavirus currently being developed by the National Institutes of Health, a top U.S. official acknowledged Tuesday, a reality that he called ‘very difficult and very frustrating.’” Break them up.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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