Tag Archives: outbreak

Learning the lessons of past pandemics

It is hard to find context while keeping track of the unfolding news about the COVID-19 outbreak. Every day there is new research, new reports of deaths, new policy controversies and debates about the economy, our public health system and whether the world will ever be the same.

A look at the history of pandemics, as well as collecting COVID-19 personal stories and journals can be useful when looking for context and lessons learned from this pandemic. Continue reading

Ask the experts: What do you want to know about COVID-19?

webcastThe COVID-19 pandemic is quickly evolving and finding up-to-date answers to questions from experts has been challenging for many journalists.

On Friday, March 27, join two experts from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who will be answering your questions about what is known about the virus, how the health system is responding, how the outbreak might end and strategies for journalists to combat misinformation.

To ensure that we address your questions, you are invited to submit them ahead of time using this form. Continue reading

Drug companies ramp up development of COVID-19 prevention and treatment products


Photo: NIAID-RML via FlickrAn electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 — also known as 2019-nCoV — which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

With the number of COVID-19 cases expanding exponentially, the story about the potential for treatments and vaccines remains a top priority. So does the story of drug pricing.

At a March 5 media briefing on Capitol Hill, biopharmaceutical company executives updated legislaters on potential medical countermeasures for stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

One of the most promising drugs is remdesivir, an antiviral under development by biotech company Gilead Sciences. Continue reading

Is U.S. health system ready for increase in COVID-19 cases?

emergency worker

Photo: Defence Images via Flickr

As expectations grow that many more cases of COVID-19 coronavirus may be identified in the U.S. in the coming weeks, public health officials have headlined media and congressional briefings to discuss the readiness of the nation’s health system’s to respond to a surge in affected hospital patients.

In general, there is agreement that while the U.S health system is better prepared than 20 years ago, it cannot handle a sudden surge in sick patients, largely because of insufficient staff, clinical space, medical equipment and treatments. Continue reading

What is known about the mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China

Wuhan is about 200 miles south of Beijing and is a major transportation hub in the country.

Wuhan is about 200 miles south of Beijing and is a major transportation hub in China.

On New Year’s Eve, an infectious disease story emerged from China involving a mysterious pneumonia that has sickened dozens and raised alarm bells across Asia.

While the Chinese government says the outbreak, which began on Dec. 12, hasn’t resulted in any deaths, the strange illnesses are a cause of concern because China was the epicenter of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. SARS sickened 3,100 people and killed 774 in 37 countries in less than a year. Continue reading