jm + epidemics   8

Safe Paths
Another privacy-preserving COVID-19 contact-tracing app, this one from MIT:
The news: An app that tracks where you have been and who you have crossed paths with—and then shares this personal data with other users in a privacy-preserving way—could help curb the spread of Covid-19, says Ramesh Raskar at the MIT Media Lab, who leads the team behind it. Called Private Kit: Safe Paths, the free and open-source app was developed by people at MIT and Harvard, as well as software engineers at companies such as Facebook and Uber, who worked on it in their free time.  
mit  contact-tracing  privacy  apps  smartphones  android  ios  covid-19  epidemics  pandemics 
17 days ago by jm
'Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand'
This is the report from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team which, it seems, *finally* got the UK and US to realise that this is going to require a massive social-distancing and lockdown to avoid killing millions. The graph on the last page in particular is a kicker.
covid-19  health  pandemics  epidemics  medicine  social-distancing  imperial-college  uk 
17 days ago by jm
'Sustainable containment of COVID-19 using smartphones in China: Scientific and ethical underpinnings for implementation of similar approaches in other settings'
China have enforced a variety of measures aimed at social distancing including lockdowns, restrictions on movement and cordon-sanitaires, as well as the Alipay Health Code smartphone application (an add on to the WeChat app system) now adopted in over 200 cities and by 90% of individuals in one Chinese province. A separate system has been implemented in South Korea, and both have come under public scrutiny over issues of data protection and privacy.
We sought to design a broadly acceptable version of this platform, leveraging commonly used smartphone functionality. This system is currently in development, and based on a very simple algorithm, that we show through mathematical modelling will enable public health agencies to prevent a COVID-19 epidemic while minimizing social and economic disruption.

This also introduced me to a new concept, "herd protection", which is described as "Ronald Ross's great discovery: you don't need to stop all infections to stop an epidemic, you need to get and keep R<1."
papers  toread  covid-19  herd-protection  social-distancing  movement  cordons  quarantine  epidemics  pandemics  china  smartphones  location 
18 days ago by jm
COVID-19 may be infectious for 3 days prior to symptoms becoming noticeable
Examination of 124 Wuhan cases with clear contact history showed incubation period of 5 days (range: 1-11 days). It found that 73% of secondary cases were infected *before* onset of symptoms in first case. It estimated the mismatch period to be 3 days.

This is bad news for controlling the spread based on testing only people with symptoms.
covid-19  diseases  health  epidemics 
22 days ago by jm
Nextstrain / narratives / ncov / sit-rep / 2020-03-05
This is an amazing piece of data -- phylogenetic analysis of the COVID-19 epidemic as it spreads across the globe.

'The following pages contain analysis performed using Nextstrain. Scrolling through the left-hand sidebar will reveal paragraphs of text with a corresponding visualization of the genomic data on the right-hand side. To have full genomes of a novel and large RNA virus this quickly is a remarkable achievement. These analyses have been made possible by the rapid and open sharing of genomic data and interpretations by scientists all around the world (see the final slide for a visualization of sequencing authorship).'
genetics  phylogenetics  nextstrain  covid-19  diseases  epidemics  viruses 
26 days ago by jm
Testimony of a surgeon working in Bergamo, in the heart of Italy's coronavirus outbreak : medicine
After thinking for a long time if and what to write about what's happening here, I felt that silence was not responsible. I will therefore try to convey to lay-people, those who are more distant from our reality, what we are experiencing in Bergamo during these Covid-19 pandemic days. I understand the need not to panic, but when the message of the danger of what is happening is not out, and I still see people ignoring the recommendations and people who gather together complaining that they cannot go to the gym or play soccer tournaments, I shiver. I also understand the economic damage and I am also worried about that. After this epidemic, it will be hard to start over.
viral  reddit  bergamo  healthcare  covid-19  epidemics  medicine 
26 days ago by jm
Ebola vaccine delayed by IP spat
This is the downside of publicly-funded labs selling patent-licensing rights to private companies:
Given the urgency, it's inexplicable that one of the candidate vaccines, developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in Winnipeg, has yet to go in the first volunteer's arm, says virologist Heinz Feldmann, who helped develop the vaccine while at PHAC. "It’s a farce; these doses are lying around there while people are dying in Africa,” says Feldmann, who now works at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Hamilton, Montana.

At the center of the controversy is NewLink Genetics, a small company in Ames, Iowa, that bought a license to the vaccine's commercialization from the Canadian government in 2010, and is now suddenly caught up in what WHO calls "the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times.” Becker and others say the company has been dragging its feet the past 2 months because it is worried about losing control over the development of the vaccine.
ip  patents  drugs  ebola  canada  phac  newlink-genetics  health  epidemics  vaccines 
october 2014 by jm
Vaccination 'herd immunity' demonstration
'Stochastic monte-carlo epidemic SIR model to reveal herd immunity'. Fantastic demo of this important medical concept (via Colin Whittaker)
via:colinwh  stochastic  herd-immunity  random  sir  epidemics  health  immunity  vaccination  measles  medicine  monte-carlo-simulations  simulations 
april 2013 by jm

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