Posts Tagged ‘coronovirus’

Photos of crowded beaches, packed bars and large crowds at amusement parks like Walt Disney World last weekend shocked many Americans who had decided to heed warnings to hunker down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Public polling published this week gives a clue into the public mindset before those gatherings, when the scope of the pandemic was becoming clearer: As of last week, only 2 in 5 Americans canceled plans to attend large gatherings, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. That leaves a majority of people in Kaiser’s polling who say they haven’t canceled plans for large gatherings.

The polls did not ask whether the respondents had plans to be in large gatherings, and some of those respondents may not have had plans to be in large gatherings.

Kaiser’s polling, while still relevant, is almost a week old — an eternity in the time of coronavirus, which has proven to be a fast moving pandemic. By Thursday evening, more than 13,000 Americans tested positive for coronavirus and at least 195 people were dead.

As those social media images of packed restaurants and bars circulated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance on Sunday recommending all in-person events of 50 people or more be canceled. The White House then issued recommendations on Monday that people should not gather in groups of more than 10 to help limit the virus’ spread. That’s led to many restaurants and bars being shut down by state or city entities and required to do take out or delivery service only.

The CDC’s guidelines on coronavirus are to take steps to isolate yourself and observe social distancing measures, as well as washing your hands often, keeping a clean home and staying six feet away from others. Many offices have implemented work from home procedures, with millions of Americans secluded in their houses.

That’s led many Americans to take some precautions against getting sick.

Almost 9 in 10 Americans are washing their hands more frequently as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new AP-NORC poll. Almost a third of Americans are extremely or very worried about being infected with the virus, the same poll showed.

The pandemic has also wreaked havoc on planned travel.

Four in 10 people were planning domestic travel in the next three months. Of that group, 51% are planning to keep their plans, while 27% are considering going and 22% have canceled.
Of those who had international travel planned in the next three months (around 12% of those polled), 25% still plan to go, 33% are considering what to do and 41% have canceled their trips.

Other polling within the last week finds similar results. Around 4 in 10 Americans have decided to change travel plans because of the recent outbreak, and 40% have canceled plans to attend large gatherings, the Kaiser Foundation poll found.

The AP-NORC poll found two-thirds of Americans are staying away from large groups, and significantly fewer are keeping children out of school.

Polling shows many Americans are split over how the government is handling the crisis.
An Ipsos/Reuters poll finds half of Americans support the federal government shutting down gatherings of over 100 people. Almost half (46%) support shutting down all overseas flights and 44% support closing public schools.

Fewer people support shutting down nonessential government offices (29%), shutting down public transportation (21%) and enforcing a curfew (19%), the poll showed.

In an NPR/PBS/Marist poll from last week, 46% say the federal government is doing enough to prevent the spread of coronavirus, down from 61% who said so in February.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted March 12 through 16 online among 1,003 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points. The Kaiser Family Foundation poll was conducted March 11 through 15 over the phone among 1,216 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points. The Ipsos/Reuters poll was conducted March 16 through 17 online among 1,115 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. The NPR/PBS/Marist poll was conducted March 13 through 14 among over the phone 835 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

On Wednesday, Gregory Rigano, an advisor to the Stanford University School of Medicine, claimed that a world-renowned French researcher had tested a promising cure for coronavirus.

He tweeted: “Full peer-reviewed study has been released by Didier Raoult MD, PhD. After 6 days 100% of patients treated with HCQ + Azithromycin were virologically cured.”

Appearing on Fox News Wednesday night, Rigano followed up by stating:

And I’m here to report that as of this morning, about 5:00 this morning, a well-controlled peer-reviewed study carried out by the most eminent infectious disease specialist in the world—Didier Raoult, MD, PhD—out of the south of France, in which he enrolled 40 patients, again, a well-controlled peer review study, that showed a 100 percent cure rate against coronavirus. The study was released this morning on my Twitter account, @Riganoesq as well as our most recent website, The study was recently accepted to the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents by Elsevier.

Rigano continued, “In fact to be able to cure a virus was said to be mathematically impossible, and the first company that did it was a small biotech called Pharmacet that was acquired by Gilead Sciences in a cure for hepatitis C. What we’re here to announce is a second cure to a virus of all time.”

On Monday, The Daily Wire reported that an Australian team had announced they might have found a cure for coronavirus, and it was in a similar vein:

According to infectious disease experts at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, they may have found a treatment that could possibly eliminate the coronavirus. “University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research director Professor David Paterson told today they have seen two drugs used to treat other conditions wipe out the virus in test tubes,” Monday.

The two medications Paterson referred to are Chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, and HIV-suppressing combination lopinavir/ritonavir. Paterson told the outlet that it seemed reasonable to call the drugs “a treatment or a cure … It’s a potentially effective treatment. Patients would end up with no viable coronavirus in their system at all after the end of therapy.”

According to, here are the backgrounds for Didier Raoult and another doctor involved in the study:

Didier Raoult created the Rickettsia Unit at Aix-Marseille University. Since 2008, Dr. Raoult has served as the director of URMITE (Research Unit in Infectious and Tropical Emergent Diseases), collaborating with CNRS (National Center for the Scientific Research), IRD (Research for the Development Institute), INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and Aix Marseille University. His laboratory employs more than 200 people, including nearly 100 active researchers who publish between 250 and 350 papers per year and have produced over 50 patents.

Dr. Chandra Duggirala has a bio that states:

He founded Novobionics, a medical device company to treat diabetes and obesity non-invasively and invented it’s double sleeve technology. He lead the company through preclinical trials and several US and international patents. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Reset-Youth trial, one of the largest clinical trials for investigating the reversibility of epigenetic markers of aging. He also founded a software company at the intersection of nutritional biology and A.I.

By Rachael Rettner

A small Italian town appears to have drastically reduced coronavirus infections — reaching zero cases last week — after implementing an aggressive tactic to curb spread, according to news reports.

The town, Vo Euganeo, in northern Italy, saw a cluster of cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the third week of February and was home to the country’s first death from COVID-19, on Feb. 21, according to The Straits Times.

Following this death, the town was put on lockdown, and all 3,300 residents were tested for coronavirus, according to Sky News.

This mass testing revealed that about 3% of residents were infected with the virus, and of these, about half did not show any symptoms, according to ProMarket, the blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. After two weeks of a strict lockdown and quarantine of cases, only 0.25% of residents were infected. The town isolated these last few cases and has since reopened.

Vo Euganeo has not reported any new cases since Friday (March 13), according to Sky News.

“The lesson we learned is that isolating all positive cases, whether they were sick or not, we were able to reduce transmission by 90 percent,” Andrea Cristani, a professor of microbiology at the University of Padua in Italy who helped carry out the testing, told RFI.

This message echoes a recent statement from the World Health Organization (WHO). “We have a simple message to all countries — test, test, test,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said at a news briefing Monday (March 16). “All countries should be able to test all suspected cases. They cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded.”

COVID-19 cases in the rest of Italy have soared in recent weeks. The country has reported more than 35,700 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths as of Wednesday (March 18).

Coronavirus could live up to three days on a plastic or stainless steel doorknob, researchers found.

A preliminary study released last week also showed that the virus could be aerosolized, meaning it could potentially live in the air. It could live up to three days on some surfaces.

Though it’s widely acknowledged that coronavirus could be spread via respiratory droplet — the result of coughing or sneezing — there’s not much information yet on how the virus lives on surfaces or in the air.

The new research could inform cleaning recommendations and other measures taken to reduce community spread.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces, like door handles, high-backed chairs, light switches and remote controls.

The study, released last week, is not yet peer-reviewed. That means that other experts have not had the chance to check the quality of the research, and its not advised that doctors use it in a clinical setting. But as people try to cope with the disease, it’s being widely read.

Here’s how long the study indicated the virus could live on various surfaces:

The air: Researchers found the virus could be detected in aerosols up to 4 hours after it was sprayed.

Copper: Up to 4 hours

Cardboard: Up to 24 hours

Plastic: 2-3 days

Stainless steel: 2-3 days

A man in Italy has been spotted wearing what has been described as a social-distancing “doughnut” in order to ensure he stays a safe distance from others during the country’s outbreak of COVID-19.

In the footage, which was shared online last week, the man is seen wearing a large yellow saucer, which has been suspended around his waist with two arm straps.

“And this would be a safe distance?” another man can be heard asking him in Italian, to which the doughnut-wearing citizen confirms.

“For coronavirus,” the man responds.

The video was reportedly captured in Rome’s Mercato Testaccio, a popular food market located in the Testaccio neighborhood south of the city’s center, according to a tag placed on the video.

Nowhere in the footage does the man refer to the apparatus as a “doughnut,” although that name had been applied by social media viewers, as well as Popular Mechanics.

Twitter users soon declared the man “un genio” (a genius) and praised him for his ingenuity, while another asked why the World Health Organization hadn’t thought of this idea first.

Despite the jokes, the practice of “social distancing” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been recommended by health agencies to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“Social distancing for COVID-19 means avoiding places or gatherings where you are likely to be exposed to respiratory droplets from others – directly or on surfaces,” Dr. Jill Grimes, an urgent care physician at The University of Texas, had previously told Fox News. “We know this virus is spread primarily by these droplets, up to a distance of roughly six feet (from a cough or a sneeze) and so avoiding areas where people are physically closer than six feet is key.”