9 things experts have learned about Covid-19 so far

Medium Elemental: The first documented case of Covid-19 in the United States was reported half a year ago, days before early warnings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a “very serious public health threat” loomed. Yet health officials had only a rough idea of how the novel coronavirus spread, who the disease affected most, and how to best combat transmission and provide treatment. Public messaging on the seriousness of the virus was at times conflicting and confusing, including the early advice not to wear masks. Six months later, scientists have a firm handle on how the virus spreads and what should be done to get the pandemic under control. Here are nine things we know about Covid-19 now that we didn’t know then.

CDC creates new color-coded system to designate ships with potential coronavirus exposure

USA Today: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 guidance regarding cruise ships this week amid the U.S. ongoing no-sail order, set to expire July 24.

 

This week’s update included a new color-coded system, plus instructions about the use of commercial transportation for crew disembarkation, according to CDC spokesman Scott Pauley.

 

Cruise ships are assigned a “green,” “yellow” or “red” designation, related to the presence of COVID-19 on the ship. Green ships have no confirmed COVID-19 cases or similar illnesses for 28 days; yellow ships are awaiting test results; and red ships have confirmed or similar illnesses in the last 28 days. Crew transfers and repatriation via commercial means are now allowed on green ships but not on yellow or red ones.

CDC changes its ‘confusing’ guidelines on coronavirus and surfaces. Here’s what we know.

Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should have clarified how coronavirus spreads through surfaces, reports USA Today.

 

But two days after their guidelines said COVID-19 “does not spread easily” on surfaces, a clarification was issued, instead explaining that the wording used was “confusing.”

 

 “This change was intended to make it easier to read, and was not a result of any new science,” the CDC said in a news release.

With this antiviral fabric coating, your clothing could protect you from COVID-19

Fast Company: The call came at 3:30 a.m. “Does your stuff work on COVID?”

 

Giancarlo Beevis sighed. He had been pulling his hair out trying to lock down a specialty lab that could test his antiviral fabric treatment’s ability to deactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus. “We’d searched everywhere for anyone who could test for COVID, specifically,” said Beevis, who is the CEO of the Canadian biotech firm Intelligent Fabric Technologies North America (IFTNA). “We weren’t interested in testing it against the human coronavirus, which our competitors were doing, because to us it didn’t have value. We wanted to deal with the pandemic.”

‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells

STAT News: A deep dive into how the new coronavirus infects cells has found that it orchestrates a hostile takeover of their genes unlike any other known viruses do, producing what one leading scientist calls “unique” and “aberrant” changes. Recent studies show that in seizing control of genes in the human cells it invades, the virus changes how segments of DNA are read, doing so in a way that might explain why the elderly are more likely to die of Covid-19 and why antiviral drugs might not only save sick patients’ lives but also prevent severe disease if taken before infection.

Carnival cruises began dealing with coronavirus in January. Here’s how the company handled the Ruby Princess in March

MSN: As Ros Torrance smiled at the camera on the balcony of her luxury suite aboard the Ruby Princess, she had an inkling something wasn’t quite right. The $600 million cruise ship ticked all the boxes for Ms Torrance and her husband’s holiday: a dozen restaurants, casino, bars, pools, mini-golf, a theatre and live entertainment every night.

‘Give limited information truthfully’: The extrication of a cruise ship

Sydney Morning Herald: As the stricken Greg Mortimer cruise ship bobbed off the coast of Uruguay on March 23 looking for a port, the ship’s doctor received an email from a man whose name was familiar. It was Glenn Haifer, a part owner of the cruise company Aurora Expeditions which owned 51 per cent of the ship, and a company executive so lofty that he usually had little contact with the staff who worked on deck. But this was a crisis.

Covid-19 study details benefits of treatment with remdesivir, and also its limitations

STAT News: Remdesivir, the only drug cleared to treat Covid-19, sped the recovery time of patients with the disease, but its benefit appeared much more limited in patients who needed mechanical ventilation as part of their treatment, according to eagerly awaited results of a clinical trial. Initial results from the study, which led to the drug’s emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, were released late last month. Full data were published late Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells

STAT News: A deep dive into how the new coronavirus infects cells has found that it orchestrates a hostile takeover of their genes unlike any other known viruses do, producing what one leading scientist calls “unique” and “aberrant” changes.

 

Recent studies show that in seizing control of genes in the human cells it invades, the virus changes how segments of DNA are read, doing so in a way that might explain why the elderly are more likely to die of Covid-19 and why antiviral drugs might not only save sick patients’ lives but also prevent severe disease if taken before infection.