Interesting Info on Spread of Coronavirus (TL/DR: Maybe Still Containable)

The title is off-putting, Cryptic transmission of novel coronavirus revealed by genomic epidemiology but it’s actually quite readable, and has a lot of interesting information about what genetic sequencing tells us about the spread of the virus.

Four takeaways:

  1. Unusually clear explanation of how gene sequencing allows epidemiologists to track spread of viruses. Worth reading for this alone.
    How it's spreading

    Virus Spread – Click for bigger image

  2. US strain came straight from China.
  3. Chinese policies isolating large populations have been very successful in containing spread of the virus — can we do something similar? (“[T]his is controllable. We’re at a critical junction right now, but we can still mitigate this substantially.”)
  4. Usual, but nonetheless valuable, advice about what you can do to help stop virus spreading:
  • Practicing social distancing, such as limiting attendance at events with large groups of people
  • Working from home, if your job and employer allows it
  • Staying home if you are feeling ill
  • Take your temperature daily, if you develop a fever, self-isolate and call your doctor
  • Implementing good hand washing practices – it is extremely important to wash hands regularly
  • Covering coughs and sneezes in your elbow or tissue
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs
  • Beginning some preparations in anticipation of social distancing or supply chain shortages, such as ensuring you have sufficient supplies of prescription medicines and ensuring you have about a 2 week supply of food and other necessary household goods.
  • With these preparation in mind, it is important to not panic buy. Panic buying unnecessarily increases strain on supply chains and can make it difficult to ensure that everyone is able to get supplies that they nee
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