Scientists Focus On How Novel Coronavirus Spreads As First Person-To-Person Transmission Cases Documented; Research Into Vaccine Moves Quickly

AP: How well new China virus spreads is focus of control efforts
“Scientists are starting to fill in some key gaps in what’s known about the new virus from China. New research suggests it spreads a little easier than regular flu but not as well as some other respiratory diseases like whooping cough or tuberculosis. Health officials are focusing on person-to-person spread as the virus extends its geographic reach…” (1/30).

New York Times: Coronavirus Anger Boils Over in China and Doctors Plead for Supplies
“One week into a lockdown, anger and anxiety deepened in China on Thursday as the central province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak endured shortages of hospital beds, medical supplies, and doctors. … At the same time, hospitals in the region renewed pleas to the public for help to replenish their supplies, which were fast disappearing…” (Buckley et al., 1/30).

STAT: Study documents first case of coronavirus spread by a person showing no symptoms
“People showing no symptoms appear to be able to spread the novel coronavirus that has caused an outbreak in China and led world health authorities to declare a global emergency, researchers reported Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. If confirmed, the finding will make it much harder to contain the virus…” (Joseph, 1/30).

Washington Post: Coronavirus vaccine research is moving at record speed
“…To scientists, the work to create a vaccine against the new coronavirus is advancing with a speed they could barely have imagined a decade ago. At the same time, it’s not even close to quick enough to contain the spreading infection — and in many ways, the outbreak will test the capacity of science to react in real time to a new and unknown ‘pathogen X’ that takes the world by surprise…” (Johnson, 1/30).

Additional coverage of the novel coronavirus’s spread, control efforts, and vaccine research is available from AP, NPR, Reuters, POLITICO, Science Speaks, STAT, VICE, and Washington Post.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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