Kaiyuan Sun, PhD Jenny Chen, BSc Cécile Viboud, PhD


Background As the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) progresses, epidemiological data are needed to guide situational awareness and intervention strategies. Here we describe efforts to compile and disseminate epidemiological information on COVID-19 from news media and social networks. Methods In this population-level observational study, we searched DXY.cn, a health-care-oriented social network that is currently streaming news reports on COVID-19 from local and national Chinese health agencies. We compiled a list of individual patients with COVID-19 and daily province-level case counts between Jan 13 and Jan 31,

Team of Taiwanese scientists develops 1st self-produced antigen for Wuhan coronavirus within 10 days. TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As scientists rush to develop treatment and vaccines for the Wuhan coronavirus, a team of Taiwanese scientists has developed the country's first self-produced antigen for the virus in 10 days. A research team at Academia Sinica completed gene synthesis and entered the stage of antigen production within 10 days, a process that usually takes six weeks, reported Liberty Times. Academia Sinica said that with the new antigen in hand, it can begin testing for antibodies and can also aid in the development of a vaccine and drugs to treat the disease. The antigen could not come at a moment too soon as it was quickly put to use to confirm whether a suspected carrier of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had indeed been infected. In order to test whether the first person to die from the

Wuhan coronavirus infection numbers drop as China alters counting system for 6th time. TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Wednesday (Feb. 19), China's National Health Commission (NHC) announced that it is again changing the method by which Wuhan coronavirus infections are tabulated, with patients in Hubei Province being classified in the same way as other patients across the country, significantly reducing the number of cases reported on Thursday. In a notice issued by the NHC on Feb. 6, it wrote that the classification of new Wuhan virus infections will be divided into four categories: "suspected cases," "clinically diagnosed cases," "confirmed cases," and "positive tests." Among these, "positive tests" refers to "asymptomatic infected patients" who test positive for the disease but have no symptoms. Then, on Feb. 13, Hubei suddenly

The coronavirus sweeping across China has triggered a burst of research activity aimed at finding a salve for the infectious disease, prompting more than 120 clinical trials that have either gotten underway or are planned in coming weeks, according to new data. As of Wednesday, 124 studies have either commenced or are expected to do so shortly, with all but three taking place in China. At the end of last week, the tally stood at 70 trials as the Chinese government and public health officials from elsewhere explored different avenues for combating the coronavirus, according to the Trial Trove database run by Informa Pharma Intelligence. “As of this moment, you’re looking at 40,000-plus patients being targeted,” said Jake Mathon, an analyst at Informa. “It’s an amazingly fast response and the sheer number of patients involved is pretty staggering.” He noted that

CHICAGO (REUTERS) - Scientists in China who studied nose and throat swabs from 18 patients infected with the new coronavirus say it behaves much more like influenza than other closely related viruses, suggesting it may spread even more easily than previously believed. In at least in one case, the virus was present even though the patient had no symptoms, confirming concerns that asymptomatic patients could also spread the disease. Although preliminary, the findings published on Wednesday (Feb 19) in the New England Journal of Medicine offer new evidence that this Covid-19, which has killed more than 2,000 people, mostly in China, is not like its closely related coronavirus cousins. "If confirmed, this is very important," said Dr Gregory Poland, a virologist and vaccine researcher with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who was not

WUHAN (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - The biggest study yet of the Covid-19 epidemic found that almost twice as many Chinese medical workers have been infected as officially reported by the government, though the research didn't turn up the source of the novel coronavirus. A team at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied 72,314 cases as of Feb 11, among which 44,672 were confirmed cases of coronavirus. The sweeping study was published on Monday (Feb 17) by the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers found that 3,019 medical workers had been infected, among whom 1,688 patients were in severe or critical condition. As of Feb 11, the government acknowledged more than 1,700 medical workers nationwide as confirmed with the disease, almost 90 per cent of them in Hubei, according to Chinese

Chinese study finds Wuhan coronavirus could do heavy damage to male reproductive system. TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As scientists race to unravel the mysteries of the Wuhan coronavirus in an effort to stem its spread, a Chinese study has found the disease could lead to male infertility. Fan Caibin, a urologist at Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Suzhou Hospital, on Feb. 12 posted the results of a scientific research project which found that the disease not only damages the lungs, but also the kidneys and testes, potentially leading to male infertility. The team summarized the clinical data of three previous studies, which included six patients, 41 patients, and 99 patients, respectively. The study found that kidney dysfunction occurs in 3 to 10 percent of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. In addition, acute damage to the kidneys occurs in seven percent of patients. As for the disease's effect on the male urinary

Victims of Wuhan virus had amassed mucus in their lungs. TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first autopsies of victims from the Wuhan virus (COVID-19) have demonstrated significant differences from those who died of the SARS epidemic, according to Chinese pulmonologist Zhong Nanshan (鍾南山). Zhong, a leading scientist in the fight against SARS and someone who has authored a study on the coronavirus, said on Tuesday (Feb. 18) that postmortems can play an important role in uncovering mysteries surrounding epidemics like SARS and the Wuhan virus. He pointed out that unlike those who perished due to SARS, autopsies of the first two deaths in the recent outbreak reveal that their lungs did not exhibit significant pulmonary fibrosis, or thickened and stiff lung tissue, reported Sina. Instead, their lungs were found to have severe inflammations and mucus buildup, which resulted in breathing difficulty.

At least 550,000 cases. Maybe 4.4 million. Or something in between. Like weather forecasters, researchers who use mathematical equations to project how bad a disease outbreak might become are used to uncertainties and incomplete data, and Covid-19, the disease caused by the new-to-humans coronavirus that began circulating in Wuhan, China, late last year, has those everywhere you look. That can make the mathematical models of outbreaks, with their wide range of forecasts, seem like guesswork gussied up with differential equations; the eightfold difference in projected Covid-19 cases in Wuhan, calculated by a team from the U.S. and Canada, isn’t unusual for the early weeks of an outbreak of a never-before-seen illness. But infectious-disease models have been approximating reality better and better in recent years, thanks to a better understanding of everything from how germs behave to

Biohacking is a global movement whose followers seek to 'upgrade' their bodies. Some implant chps to open doors and swap information to streamline life. Wealthy Russians are hoping to use the technology to extend their lifespan. Biohackers in Russia are embracing technology to help improve their life and increase their life expectancy as part of a growing movement. The trend of putting implants into the body is growing steadily around the world, and Russians are using microchips and monitoring technology to improve their life. Biohacking is a global movement whose followers seek to 'upgrade' their bodies with experimental technology and DIY health fixes that began in Silicon Valley. For some wealthy Russians the technology is being adapted to allow them to live longer. They use biohacking techniques to keep tabs on key 'biochemical markers' that speak to their biological age. They then

At least 11 critically ill people have been treated with therapy, Chinese pharmaceutical company claims. TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Convalescent plasma collected from patients who have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) offers a beam of hope for effective treatment of those infected. In a statement released on Thursday (Feb. 13), Chinese pharmaceutical company Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited (Sino Biopharm) said the therapy has been used to treat 11 patients in critical condition — with promising effects, wrote ETToday. Three patients down with the virus at a hospital in the Jiangxia District of Wuhan were first to receive the plasma-based therapy on Feb. 8. Within 12 to 24 hours of the treatment, inflammation levels were reduced, the lymphocyte count elevated, and symptoms alleviated. More than 10 gravely ill cases are being treated the same way at the hospital, according to the

As concerns mount over the coronavirus that first emerged in China, public health officials there and around the globe have launched a massive response. The nature of that response has varied. In China, officials are trying to contain the virus. In countries that have seen local transmission, including Germany and Singapore, the goal has been to stamp out flare-ups. And in much of the world that hasn’t yet seen much spread of the virus yet, public health officials are readying a strategy in case they do. So who’s leading the charge? What follows is a list of some of the most important players, from a handful of the agencies involved. The list is hardly comprehensive. And selection is not meant to amplify these people’s importance over that of others. In fact, some of the most vital responders do not appear here: the countless frontline health care

GENEVA (BLOOMBERG) - As the number of coronavirus cases jumps dramatically in China, a top infectious-disease scientist warns that things could get far worse: Two-thirds of the world's population could catch it. So says Professor Ira Longini, an adviser to the World Health Organisation who tracked studies of the virus' transmissibility in China. His estimate implies that there could eventually be billions more infections than the current official tally of about 60,000. If the virus spreads to anywhere near that extent, it will show the limitations of China's strict containment measures, including quarantining areas inhabited by tens of millions of people. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has credited those steps with giving the rest of China and the world a "window" in which to prepare. Quarantines may slow the spread, but the virus had

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