Pharmaceutical Technology lists ten of the top tweets on infectious diseases in March 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The 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 March 2020
1. Francis Collins’ infectious diseases tweet on the NIH clinical trial of an investigational vaccine for Covid-19
Francis Collins, the NIH director, shared an article on the phase 1 clinical trial of the investigational vaccine, designed to protect against Covid-19. The article noted that the trial had begun at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle, and was being funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The mRNA-1273 was developed by NIAID scientists and collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. About 45 healthy volunteers between the age of 18 and 55 years are undergoing the trial, with the first one to get vaccinated on 16 March, 2020.
#NIH has today launched a Phase 1 #clinicaltrial evaluating a vaccine candidate for #coronavirus #COVID19. This trial is enrolling 45 healthy adult volunteers in Seattle & is the first of multiple steps for evaluating the potential benefit of the vaccine. https://t.co/pudR3sL1zB
— Francis S. Collins (@NIHDirector) March 16, 2020
Username: Francis S Collins
Twitter handle: @NIHDirector
2. Gregg Gonsalves’ infectious diseases tweet on the AIDS epidemic
Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist and global health activist, tweeted on how at the height of the AIDS epidemic, posters stating the government has blood on its hands, one AIDS death every half hour, popped up across the cities in the US. The tweet further stated that if the government did not stand against the misinformation and incompetence, they would be responsible for not meeting this crisis as well.
At height of the AIDS epidemic, posters like this popped up all over US cities. With #coronavirus, @realDonaldTrump and those in his administration who don't stand up against his disinformation, bumbling incompetence will, once again, have blood on their hands. @actupny #granfury pic.twitter.com/CVI8M57vWI
— Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves) March 8, 2020
Username: Gregg Gonsalves
Twitter handle: @gregggonsalves
3. Carlos Rios’ tweet on airport screening turning futile to curb Covid-19
Carlos Rio, a Hubert Professor and Chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health, shared a study on how futile airport screening was turning out to be, in an effort to control the coronavirus spread. The research further noted that despite screenings that involved checking temperatures, and questioning passengers about their travel plans, it has not been easy to detect infected travellers.
The study further stated that it has been historically proven that airport screenings for SARS, Ebola, and the H1N1 pandemics have all been unsuccessful in slowing the spread of the virus. Likewise, the US has been unable to catch those infected with the SARS-CoV-2, with the disease affecting the country at a rapid pace.
— Carlos del Rio (@CarlosdelRio7) March 12, 2020
Username: Carlos del Rio
Twitter handle: @CarlosdelRio7
4. Peter Hotez’s tweet on Louisiana reporting the highest Covid-19 deaths in the US
Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist and paediatrician, shared data on the coronavirus cases in the US. The influencer further noted that Louisiana reported the highest deaths with a fatality rate of 4%, which is higher than in other places. This he emphasised could be on account of two reasons. Already weighed down healthy systems, or the extreme Gulf Coast poverty. The latter linked to diabetes, hypertension, and other noncommunicable or chronic diseases.
#COVID19 case fatality rate in #Louisiana #NOLA is 4%, highest in #USA, several times higher than most other places. Reasons require study, but I believe due to 1) overwhelmed health systems + 2) extreme #GulfCoast poverty linked to diabetes, HTN, NCDs https://t.co/NxFeK1VzyV pic.twitter.com/EB8Qqhl1bK
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) March 28, 2020
Username: Prof Peter Hotez
Twitter handle: @PeterHotez
5. Laurie Garrett’s infectious diseases tweet on hydroxychloroquine side effects
Laurie Garrett, a science journalist and author, tweeted on the related side effects of the malaria drug, Chloroquine. She added that people need to consider that it causes deep depression and suicide. The article shared by the influencer noted that two drug manufacturers, Teva and Mylan, have jumpstarted the production of the old malaria drug. This is because it is being seen as useful in combating the novel coronavirus.
The article further stated that the Trump administration singled out the medicine to expedite its efficacy and use in treating Covid-19. The drug, which is authorised for use for the treatment of Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis, was supplied sparingly, and was also short on supply in the month of March.
Having taken chloroquine prophylactic for #Malaria I think people need to recall it has real side effects, including deep depression and suicide. I've seen people go haywire on it. https://t.co/nEUxaRkJta
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) March 20, 2020
Username: Laurie Garrett
Twitter handle: @Laurie_Garrett
6. Julia Belluz’s tweet on China having downplayed the coronavirus outbreak earlier on
Julia Belluz, a senior health correspondent at Vox, shared an article on the possibility of the virus having taken off weeks earlier than the Chinese official actually suggested. The article noted that China announced the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia, in late December. This was contrary to the earliest case who was showing symptoms two weeks prior to that.
A study published in The Lancet further established that the first case of SARS-CoV-2 did not have any link to the Hunan seafood market, the epicentre of the outbreak. Researchers found many other discrepancies from the first 41 patients being studied.
— Julia Belluz (@juliaoftoronto) March 6, 2020
Username: Julia Belluz
Twitter handle: @juliaoftoronto
7. Marc Lipsitch’s tweet on vitamin D supplementation for preventing acute respiratory tract infections
Marc Lipsitch, an infectious diseases epidemiologist and microbiologist, shared a study to assess the overall effect of vitamin D supplements on respiratory tract infections, and to identify factors that modified this effect. The results were comprehensive in deducing that it was safe to use, and that it did protect against such infections. The study also found that from among the participants, those with vitamin D deficiency benefitted the most.
Want to point to individual-patient meta-analysis of RCT evidence from 11000 pts in 25 indicating a benefit of vitamin D suppl for respiratory infections. https://t.co/K0woD6uAzZ. I am not a physician and can't offer medical advice. But this is comparatively strong evidence.
— Marc Lipsitch (@mlipsitch) March 15, 2020
Username: Marc Lipsitch
Twitter handle: @mlipsitch
8. Dr Tara Smith’s tweet on great apes facing the coronavirus threat
Dr Tara C Smith, epidemiologist and science communicator, shared an article on how lethal the SARS-CoV-2 can be for the great apes as well. With already existing risk of extinction and being susceptible to human disease, the apes have already succumbed to Ebola in many areas, the influencer tweeted.
The article further noted that leading scientists warned that the family of chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans could all be wiped out by the coronavirus. However, no cases of them being infected were reported as yet.
I was wondering about this. We know they can be infected with other human respiratory viruses, and in some areas were already decimated by Ebola. Looks like they may also be susceptible to #SARSCoV2. https://t.co/vKt0UPaLop
— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@aetiology) March 25, 2020
Username: Dr Tara C Smith
Twitter handle: @aetiology
9. Helen Branswell’s tweet on no new Ebola cases or deaths
Helen Branswell, an infectious diseases and global health reporter, tweeted on no new Ebola cases or deaths reported at the end of February. She further added that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had reported no new cases till the last 12 days of the month, and that only six cases occurred in the entire month of February.
#Ebola: No new Ebola cases or deaths on Feb. 29.
12 days have passed since DRC has reported a case. Not out of the woods yet, but this is excellent news.
There were only 6 cases reported in all of February.
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) March 1, 2020
Username: Helen Branswell
Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell
10. Ian Mackay’s tweet on the health chief’s warning of the flu and coronavirus striking at the same time
Ian Mackay, a virologist and scientist, shared an article on Brett Sutton, the chief health officer of Victoria state having announced that who fell sick in the flu season would be tested for coronavirus and influenza at the same time. The article further noted that the chief asked the public to get the influenza vaccine, if they were well or mildly sick.
Co-infection with influenza and SARS-CoV-2 had already been documented in China. Consequently, medical experts were quite sure of the overlapping of the flu season with the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, in late March.
Health chief warns flu and coronavirus might strike at the same time
-get the #flu vaccine! Avoid serious flu illness that sends you to hospital when #SARSCoV2 may be circulating#COVID19 #flu #vaccinesWORKhttps://t.co/6Tb0knvHMc via @brisbanetimes
— ɪᴀɴ ᴍ. ᴍᴀᴄᴋᴀʏ, ᴘʜᴅ 🦠🤧🧬🥼🦟🧻 (@MackayIM) March 2, 2020
Username: Ian M Mackay
Twitter handle: @MackayIM