Healthy Americans’ Mask Hoarding Creating Shortages For Medical Professionals Who Actually Benefit From Them
Wearing masks does little for healthy adults, but psychologically it can soothe some of the panic being created by the coronavirus outbreak. However, that creates shortages for health professionals who actually need the masks to keep from spreading illness. Meanwhile, companies race toward a vaccine and experts turn to AI to help stop the outbreak.
The New York Times:
Face Mask Hoarders May Raise Risk Of Coronavirus Outbreak In The U.S.
Even though there are only five cases of Wuhan coronavirus in the United States, the mask hoarding has begun. Some pharmacies report being entirely sold out of masks. Some popular sellers on Amazon say deliveries will be delayed for weeks. Although masks actually do little to protect healthy people, the prospect of shortages created by panic buying worries some public health experts. (McNeil, 1/30)
The Associated Press:
Do Masks Offer Protection From New Virus? It Depends
People around the world are buying up protective face masks in hopes of keeping the new virus from China at bay. Some companies have required them for employees. Schools in South Korea have told parents to equip their children with masks and hand sanitizer when they return from winter vacation. But do the masks work? It depends. (Johnson, 1/30)
Johnson & Johnson Working On Vaccine For Deadly Coronavirus
Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday became the latest drugmaker to begin work on developing a vaccine for a new coronavirus that has already killed more than 100 people in China, as health authorities race to contain the outbreak. J&J said its vaccine programme would utilise the same technologies used to make its experimental Ebola vaccine, which is currently being administered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. (1/29)
AI Becoming A Useful Tool In Coronavirus Response, Data Experts Say
Artificial intelligence is not going to stop the new coronavirus or replace the role of expert epidemiologists. But for the first time in a global outbreak, it is becoming a useful tool in efforts to monitor and respond to the crisis, according to health data specialists. In prior outbreaks, AI offered limited value, because of a shortage of data needed to provide updates quickly. But in recent days, millions of posts about coronavirus on social media and news sites are allowing algorithms to generate near-real-time information for public health officials tracking its spread. (Ross, 1/29)
How China's Coronavirus Compares To The Flu, Ebola And SARS
Ebola kills half of the people who get it. China’s last worrying viral outbreak, SARS, killed 10%. The new coronavirus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan appears far less fatal, with about 2% of the 6,000 confirmed cases dying. For many, the illness is about as serious as a cold or flu. (Cortez and Langreth, 1/29)