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Archived news – The spreading /transmission of COVID-19

The subways seeded the massive coronavirus epidemic in New York City (April 2020) – Maps of subway station turnstile entries, superimposed upon zip code-level maps of reported #coronavirus incidence, are strongly consistent with subway-facilitated disease propagation. Local train lines appear to have a higher propensity to transmit infection than express lines.

Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the Icelandic Population (April 14) – The frequency of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the overall Icelandic population was stable from March 13 to April 1, a finding that appears to indicate that the containment measures had been working. However, the virus has spread to the extent that unless continued testing and isolation, tracking contacts, and quarantining, they are likely to fail in their efforts to contain the virus.

Not Like the Flu, Not Like Car Crashes, Not Like… (April 13) – COVID-19 has quickly risen to number one as cause of death, surpassing seasonal flu, past pandemics, or car crashes.

NIH seeks volunteers for at-home COVID-19 antibody test as study looks to find undetected cases in U.S. (April 13) – Federal health officials are recruiting up to 10,000 volunteers nationwide as they investigate just how pervasive the novel coronavirus has been in the United States.

How Apple and Google Are Enabling Covid-19 Contact-Tracing (April 10) – The two companies announced a rare joint project to create the groundwork for Bluetooth-based contact-tracing apps that can work across both iOS and Android phones. In mid-May, they plan to release an application programming interface that apps from public health organizations can tap into. The API will let those apps use a phone’s Bluetooth radios—which have a range of about 30 feet—to keep track of whether a smartphone’s owner has come into contact with someone who later turns out to have been infected with Covid-19. Once alerted, that user can then self-isolate or get tested themselves

Mount Sinai seeks citywide engagement with app to track COVID-19 spread in NYC (April 2) – The app – accessed by texting “COVID” to 64722 – enables New York City residents to easily enroll to help the health system monitor coronavirus symptoms across the five boroughs, informing care decisions and pointing the way toward possible cures.

National coronavirus response: A road map to reopening (March 29) – This report, by former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, provides a road map for navigating through the current COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. It outlines specific directions for adapting our public-health approach away from sweeping mitigation strategies as we limit the epidemic spread of COVID-19, such that we can transition to new tools and approaches to prevent further spread of the disease.

Iceland’s testing suggests 50% of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic (March 26) – Iceland’s population puts it in the unique position of having very high testing capabilities with help from the Icelandic medical research company deCode Genetics, who are offering to perform large scale testing. With 50% testing positive, this would suggest that, on one hand, the virus is not as dangerous as we thought, but on the other hand, it would also suggest that it has spread far more than we are currently aware of.

UK launches whole genome sequence alliance to map spread of coronavirus (March 23) – The COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium – comprised of the NHS , Public Health Agencies, Wellcome Sanger Institute , and numerous academic institutions – will deliver large scale, rapid sequencing of the cause of the disease and share intelligence with hospitals, regional NHS centres and the government.

Covert coronavirus infections could be seeding new outbreaks (March 20) – Scientists are rushing to estimate the proportion of people with mild or no symptoms who could be spreading the pathogen.

Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) (March 16) – A modeling of a synthetic outbreak: A high proportion of undocumented infections, many of whom were likely not severely symptomatic, appears to have facilitated the rapid spread of the virus throughout China. The best-fitting model used has a reporting delay of 9 days from initial infectiousness to confirmation; in contrast line-list data for the same 10–23 January period indicates an average 6.6 day delay from initial manifestation of symptoms to confirmation The findings also indicate that a radical increase in the identification and isolation of currently undocumented infections would be needed to fully control SARS-CoV2. These findings underscore the seriousness and the pandemic potential of SARS-CoV2 with populations without symptoms potentially spreading COVID-19.

The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (March 6) – Since travel limitations could be instrumental to national and international agencies for public health response planning, this study shows that by 23 January 2020, the epidemic had already spread to other cities within Mainland China. While the Wuhan travel ban was initially effective at reducing international case importations, the number of cases observed outside Mainland China will resume its growth after 2-3 weeks from cases that originated elsewhere. Furthermore, the modeling study shows that additional travel limitations up to 90% of the traffic have a modest effect unless paired with public health interventions and behavioral changes that achieve a considerable reduction in the disease transmissibility. The model also indicates that even in the presence of the strong travel restrictions in place to and from Mainland China since 23 January 2020, a large number of individuals exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 have been traveling internationally without being detected.

Estimating the clinical severity of COVID-19 from the transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China (February 13) – Discusses death rate estimates for the coronavirus and fatality rate in people who have symptoms of the disease which is about 1.4% (compared to 0.1% for the seasonal flu).

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