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The White House on Thursday asked U.S. scientists and medical researchers to investigate the scientific origins of the novel coronavirus, as misinformation about the outbreak spreads online.
The director of the OSTP, Kelvin Droegemeier, wrote in the letter to the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcia McNutt, that a widely disputed paper on the origins -- subsequently withdrawn -- had shown the urgency for accurate information about the genesis of the outbreak.
In response, the presidents of the academies shared in a letter a synopsis of their research so far, calling the request "timely given the declaration of a public health emergency and potential for misinformation to confound the response."
originally posted by: misfit312
a reply to: SpartanStoic
They are making a whole team around it. They even gave it a name, I can't remember it though. Here's just a snip.
"While the virus spreads, misinformation makes the job of our heroic health workers even harder. It is diverting the attention of decision makers. And it causes confusion and spreads fear to the general public," WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing.
Ghebreyesus outlined a four pronged approach the WHO is undertaking to fight back.
"In essence, to fight the flood of misinformation, we are building a band of truth-tellers that disperse fact and debunk myths," Ghebreyesus added.
originally posted by: ketsuko
originally posted by: all2human
Did they check and see if cremation completely destroys the virus
that would be a big oops.
Yes, heat will completely destroy it unless the cremation is incomplete. Nucleic acids can only withstand so much heat before they are structurally destroyed. Reducing them to ash along with the body would do it.
Like SARS-nCoV, 2019-nCoV can be passed directly from person to person by respiratory droplets, and emerging evidence suggested that it may also be transmitted through contact and fomites. Further investigations are required to explore the origin of 2019-nCoV and to reveal how easily the virus can pass between humans. In addition, the asymptomatic incubation period for individuals infected with 2019-nCov has been reported to be 3∼7 days, but it remains obscured whether those without symptoms can spread the virus.
A preliminary R0 estimate of 1.4-2.5 was presented in WHO’s statement regarding the outbreak of 2019-nCoV, 23 Jan 2020 (1). S. Zhao, et al. estimated the mean R0 for 2019-nCoV in the early phase of the outbreak ranging from 3.3 to 5.5 (likely to be below 5 but above 3 with rising report rate) (10), which appeared slightly higher than those of SARS-CoV (R0: 2∼5).
Super-spreading events have been implicated in 2019-nCoV transmission, as that in SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, but their relative importance is still unclear and the super-spreaders are difficult to track. J Read. et al. estimated the R0 for 2019-nCoV to be 3.6-4.0, indicating that 72-75% of transmissions must be prevented in order to stop the increasing trend (12), however, the authors assumed that there is little heterogeneity in reproductive numbers, so the true R0 value could be smaller. Nevertheless, in view of avoiding the 2019-nCoV outbreak turning into an epidemic or even a pandemic, it is better to overestimate rather than underestimate the transmissibility of 2019-nCoV.