The Latest: 5-minute tests, *another* symptom, and some good news
This morning I went for a run and there was barely anyone around. I was thrilled. While social distancing measures are tough, they work. Seattle is optimistically reporting that the spread of the virus appears to be slowing.
Without a drug or vaccine, staying away from each other is the only option available to tamp down the pandemic. It also causes heart-breaking consequences, like widespread job loss. Long-term projections are hopeful, however.
Economists at the Federal Reserve and MIT recently analyzed trends from the 1918 flu pandemic and reported that while the outbreak caused a drop in manufacturing output of 18%, cities that intervene earlier and more aggressively to pandemics “do not perform worse and, if anything, grow faster after the pandemic is over.”
- Social distancing extended: President Trump says the government’s guidelines for social distancing will last at least until April 30. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a stay-at-home order for the state until June 10.
- Yet another symptom: Doctors are reporting that some people with Covid-19 are developing heart damage. Read all about it here.
- A 5-minute coronavirus test: On Friday, Abbott Laboratories received emergency use authorization for a new Covid-19 test that can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes.
We’ve curated some essential stories below.
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog
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A Quick Q&A:
What’s the latest on possible therapies for the coronavirus?
Last week the WHO announced the launch of a multidrug clinical trial that will enroll thousands of people from dozens of countries. Here are the three most promising drugs or drug combinations included in the trial:
- Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine: The anti-malaria pills have shown promise against Covid-19 in small studies, but some researchers think the enthusiasm is premature. The first study of hydroxychloroquine in the U.S. was launched on March 16.
- Remdesivir: This antiviral drug interferes with a virus’s ability to replicate. A study from 2017 showed that remdesivir was able to treat sister coronaviruses to the new strain. There are multiple clinical trials of the drug, so far with mixed results.
- Lopinavir and ritonavir: The HIV drugs have helped treat SARS in humans when taken in combination. So far the effects are uncertain for Covid-19.
Essential How-Tos and Explainers:
Germany Has Relatively Few Deaths From Coronavirus. Why? (New York Times)