There are two false narratives emerging on social media that need to be addressed. The first is that the virus is a hoax. The second is that the U.S. is "the next Italy." Both are wrong.
For epidemiologists, the most important unanswered question about the Wuhan coronavirus, or COVID-19, is the case-fatality rate. But for the general public, the question is much more personal: "Might I – or anyone I love – get sick and die?"
As the coronavirus continues to terrorize the world, people are pinning their hopes on companies that are doing vaccine and drug research to -- maybe -- get us out of this mess. Yet, many of the companies doing the work, especially Gilead Science, are "the bad guys." Except when we need them. Gilead's drug, remdesivir, is now in clinical trials in China so they're OK for now. Hypocrisy at its finest.
Historically, microbiologists named new diseases after locations, animals or people. To this day, flu strains are named after the city in which they were first isolated. Obviously, that's because microbiologists are racist. Right?
A lot remains unknown about how many people are infected with coronavirus. One of the few certainties is that far more people are infected than official numbers indicate. A rough calculation suggests anywhere from 150,000 to 3 million global infections.
When COVID-19, aka the Wuhan coronavirus, first emerged, it seemed most likely that the virus would fizzle out. But as the disease continues to spread, that outcome now appears nearly impossible.
There are many different ways to make a vaccine. Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Inovio, and Moderna are all taking different approaches to tackle COVID-19, the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Fox News host says cell phones cause cancer and the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) might have escaped from a biological weapons lab. Both claims are ridiculous.
Influenza is far deadlier than the Wuhan coronavirus, but few people worry about it. However, new diseases are scary and when information is limited, over-reactions are rational.
The science that is being used to tackle the Wuhan coronavirus is impressive. The viral genome was solved in days and released to the world. Companies and academic institutes are working like mad to come up with a vaccine. But it may not matter. Here's why.