These top tweets were chosen from influencers as tracked by GlobalData’s Influencer Platform, which is based on a scientific process that works on pre-defined parameters. Influencers are selected after a deep analysis of the influencer’s relevance, network strength, engagement, and leading discussions on new and emerging trends.

Top tweets on infectious diseases in Q1 2021

1. Laurie Garrett’s tweet on the emergence of a new Covid strain

Laurie Garrett, a science journalist and author, shared an article on the discovery of a new Covid-19 virus strain in Columbus, Ohio. The researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre and College of Medicine revealed that the new strain became the dominant cause of Covid-19 cases in Columbus between late December 2020 and January 2021.

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The Columbus strain has three mutations that represented a significant evolution, and it did not come from the UK or South African variants of the virus. However, it carried a mutation similar to the UK strain but most likely emerged from a variant already present in the US.

The evolution of the virus and the impact of the mutations on the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutic approaches needs to be monitored carefully in the treatment and diagnosis of Covid-19, according to Peter Mohler, chief scientific officer at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Centre.

Username: Laurie Garrett

Twitter handle: @Laurie_Garrett

Retweets: 621

Likes: 896

2. Peter Hotez’s tweet on the implications of long Covid-19 syndrome

Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist and paediatrician, tweeted on the underestimated cases of Covid-19 and the impact of long-haul Covid-19 infection on the neurological condition of the patient. A research team at the Columbia University has developed a mathematical model to provide a more inclusive picture of virus circulation among the communities in the US. The study revealed that the number of actual cases of infection in a single day is ten-fold than the number reported officially.

Another study showed that Covid patients suffering with mild symptoms later developed serious long-term neurological conditions after few months of contracting the infection. In a study comprising 100 patients from 21 US states, 85% of the patients developed four or more neurological issues such as headache, dizziness, muscle pain and brain fog.



Username: Peter Hotez

Twitter handle: @PeterHotez

Retweets: 187

Likes: 370

3. Francis Collins’ tweet on Covid-19’s effects on the brain

Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shared an article on the Covid-19 disease being accompanied with neurological symptoms such as delirium, headaches, fatigue, brain fog, and loss of smell and taste. However, a new NIH study suggested that these symptoms could be a result of inflammatory response to the infection rather than infecting the brain tissue itself.

An in-depth examination carried out by the NIH team on the brain tissue of 19 patients found no evidence of virus invasion into the brain, however, other studies on mice found the SARS-CoV-2 virus to cross the blood-brain barrier and other organs, the article detailed.

Username: Francis Collins

Twitter handle: @NIHDirector

Retweets: 151

Likes: 250

4. Marc Lipsitch’s tweet on defeating the B-117 virus strain in 2021

Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist and microbiologist, shared an article on the emergence of a new coronavirus strain, B-117, which in his opinion can be tackled better this year. Lipsitch believes the current experience of the public health strategies to contain Covid-19 will help to treat people infected with the new variant. Numerous diagnostic tests to detect the new virus and distinguish it from the previous strains are underway.

Individuals previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus are found to be highly resistant to the new variant. In addition, the Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out across the world are likely to protect against the B-117 strain. However, the high transmission rates of dominant new strains requires continuous monitoring and an urgent check to help prove vaccines effective in fighting the Covid-19 disease, Lipsitch added.



Username: Marc Lipsitch

Twitter handle: @mlipsitch

Retweets: 84

Likes: 174


5. Helen Branswell’s tweet on the possible existence of Ebola in Guinea

Helen Branswell, a senior writer of infectious diseases, shared an article on the possibility of new Ebola cases in West Africa’s Guinea, the origin of the worst outbreak of the virus between 2013 and 2016. The virus also impacted neighbouring countries such as Liberia and Sierra Leone, taking more than 11,000 lives and infecting more than 28,000 people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) was informed about the two new Ebola virus cases in Guinea-Conakry. The latest reports suggest three deaths among eight infected individuals, noting that these are fresh cases of the virus since 2013-2016. Congolese officials had reported an end to Ebola in June 2020, which took approximately 2,300 lives, the article noted.

Username: Helen Branswell

Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell

Retweets: 83

Likes: 80