Helen Branswell

Helen Branswell


Sr writer, infectious diseases & global health, @statnews. I block: rude + locked accounts. Nieman ‘11. #flu #Ebola, #polio, #AMR #measles. ??

187479 followers  •  1846 follow  •    •   https://t.co/r0p8qNvYkJ

1. The groups that normally get vaccines to the people who put them into arms have been worried Operation Warp Speed was going to reinvent wheels, putting together a new DoD-led distribution system. Their fears, which I reported on here, were well founded.

2. It appears the military will be heavily involved in rolling out #Covid19  vaccines when they become available. What do they know about where to find the people who are in the priority groups? Yet more sidelining of @CDCgov  .

#Ebola : The Équateur outbreak is now up to 72 cases, making it the 10th largest Ebola outbreak on record. Most Ebola outbreaks historically involved fewer than 50 cases, though clearly there have been massive exceptions. Death toll stands at 31.

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. @davabel ⁩ breaks my heart with a story about how rising temperatures threaten Cape Cod’s lovely kettle ponds — like the one I just left.

#Covid19 spread is surging across the US. On July 10, Covid Exit Strategy introduced a "bruised red" color to its map to signal uncontrolled spread. That day, 17 states were bruised red. July 22: 19 states July 25: 21 states July 30: 30 states Aug 2: 32 states. We're in trouble.

"I’m worried about everything. Each possibility I come up with is a bad one." — school superintendent Jeff Gregorich, on reopening schools. He has already lost one teacher to #Covid19 .

@gaelic11  Thanks for your concern. I am ok. Worried, though, for health workers, people who can’t work from home, people struggling to feed families, parents trying to find ways to work & keep kids engaged in learning, development, etc. For kids. Hard times but we’ll get through.

ICYMI, as I did: Interesting piece in @TheEconomist  hypothesizing that #SARSCoV2  might not have originated in China, but rather in a neighboring country. Will we ever know where the virus that causes #Covid19  comes from? Me=not so sure.

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South Korea's success at battling back #Covid19  is extraordinary. Only 76 cases on March 14. Look at this curve. Amazing. Don't focus on the blue line. Look at the green bars.

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Amazing! What South Korea is doing is really bending their #Covid19  epidemic curve. Only 131 new cases today, versus 909 on Feb. 29. It's not just China. This clearly can be done.

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"It is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that." — Tony Fauci, predicting the US may hit 100,000 #Covid19  cases per day if the trajectory of the outbreak is not altered. We're looking at hell, folks.

1. It's not the flu: This graph from a paper out today looking at excess mortality in England during the start of #Covid19  shows clearly this is on a whole different level than influenza. They show excess mortality of the past 5 flu seasons vs. Covid. Arrows, red lettering added.

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If you have elderly people in your family or your acquaintance, teaching them how to Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp call — if they don't know how to already — would probably be a good thing. Social distancing is going to be very hard on the elderly.

1. This is an important study: German researchers looked at how long #Covid19  patients shed "viable virus" — ie how long they may be infectious. They could not isolate virus from the throat swabs/sputum samples of mild patients post day 8.

Five days ago, 21 states were designated as having uncontrolled #Covid19  spread on the Covid Exit Strategy website. Today that number is 30.

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1. The good news: @CDCgov  held a full scale #Covid19  briefing today, the first in 3 months & 3 days. The not-great news: They sidestepped most of the questions.

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