Covid-19 features as Pharmaceutical Technology lists ten of the most popular tweets on infectious diseases in April 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 April 2020

1. Laurie Garrett’s tweet on nurses in the USA at great Covid-19 risk

Laurie Garrett, a science journalist and author, shared an article on why nurses in the USA are at great Covid-19 risk. The article noted that the US Department of Labor had rejected pressures to issue workers protections that the nurses had been demanding. The Trump administration blocked a rule that would have required hospitals to create a plan for the protection of their employees against infections, and provide them with respirators.

A survey further revealed that less than half of the nurses had been briefed about Covid-19 by their supervisors. The resistance against employees’ protection comes at a time when more and more health workers get sick.

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Username: Laurie Garrett

Twitter handle: @Laurie_Garrett

Retweets: 637

Likes: 788

2. Helen Branswell’s tweet on the end of the Ebola outbreak

Helen Branswell, an infectious diseases and global health reporter, shared an article on the end of the Ebola outbreak, which the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) initially and came to be known as the Kivu outbreak in August 2018. However, with no new cases being reported from the region since February is prompting the World Health Organization to declare the end of the virus in April.

The DRC is struggling to suppress the deadly virus since the past two years, which finally seems to have been defeated. The eventual containment of Ebola in DRC is a reflection of intensified vaccination campaigns and community efforts, the article noted.

Username: Helen Branswell

Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell

Retweets: 469

Likes: 2,152

3. Peter Hotez’s tweet on Covid-19 and shaping a national strategy

Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist and paediatrician, tweeted on shaping a national strategy for the next two to three years. The influencer recommends the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to develop a roadmap for America to operate within this time period, especially with respect to epidemiologic modelling, the healthcare system, government response, mental health impact, and the rolling out of essential technologies.

He further added that one could hope to develop a Covid-19 vaccine within the next year and a half. However, it has been recorded that the turnaround time to develop a vaccine from start to finish actually took four to five years, and most of the time 10-25 years.

Username: Prof Peter Hotez

Twitter handle: @PeterHotez

Retweets: 399

Likes: 1138

4. Ian Mackay’s tweet on a single dose of ChAdOx1 MERS providing broad protective immunity against MERS-CoV strains

Ian Mackay, a virologist and scientist, shared a study on a single dose of ChAdOx1 MERS providing broad protective immunity against a variety of MERS-CoV strains. As a result, there is some hope for a CoV vaccine, the influencer tweeted.

The study found that antibodies elicited by ChAdOx1 MERS in rhesus macaques were able to neutralise all MERS-CoV strains.

Username: Ian M Mackay

Twitter handle: @MackayIM

Retweets: 267

Likes: 627

5. Dr Tara Smith’s tweet on the demographics of Ohio’s Covid-19 cases having changed

Dr Tara C Smith, epidemiologist and science communicator, tweeted on how the demographics of Ohio’s Covid-19 cases depicted a change in less than a week’s time. Reports showed fewer cases, considering small rural areas with massive outbreaks in prisons.

Username: Dr Tara C Smith

Twitter handle: @aetiology

Retweets: 254

Likes: 408

6. Martin Enserink’s tweet on the heartbreaking side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic

Martin Enserink, a science journalist and international news editor, shared an article on how a serious repercussion of the global coronavirus pandemic is the suspension of polio vaccination campaigns, which may lead to fresh outbreaks in polio-free countries experts believe.

While WHO has recommended all preventive mass vaccination campaigns for other diseases such as measles and yellow fever to be temporarily suspended, health officials believe that routine immunisations against polio and other preventable diseases should continue.

Username: Martin Enserink

Twitter handle: @martinenserink

Retweets: 246

Likes: 290

7. Gregg Gonsalves’ tweet on health in America having to do with who you are

Gregg Gonsalves, focusing on operations research/epidemiology for infectious disease, shared data on the rate of new HIV diagnoses by race or ethnicity and Covid-19’s devastating impact on African Americans. The diseases were graver for people with African decent, suggesting that infectious diseases spread rapidly through the cracks of society created by inequalities and human rights violations.

Username: Gregg Gonsalves

Twitter handle: @gregggonsalves

Retweets: 243

Likes: 457

8. Francis S Collins’ tweet on pursuing safe and effective anti-viral drugs for Covid-19

Francis S Collins, the NIH Director, shared an article on whether a failed Ebola drug, remdesivir, could help fight SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The experimental drug failed in treating the Ebola virus, but showed promising results in coronavirus-infected animals, which prompted the health community to pursue human clinical trials.

Though further scientific evidence is required to prove its efficacy and safety in treating the Covid-19 virus, the study helps inform future efforts in drug development.

Username: Francis S Collins

Twitter handle: @NIHDirector

Retweets: 162

Likes: 212

9. Marc Lipsitch’s tweet on human challenge studies to accelerate coronavirus vaccine licensure

Marc Lipsitch, an infectious diseases epidemiologist and microbiologist, shared a study on the importance of controlled human challenge trials of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates that could increase the testing and potential rollout of efficacious vaccines.

The study further noted that it was obvious that challenging volunteers with this live virus involved the risk of inducing severe disease and even death. However, experts believe that such studies are relevant to accelerate the pace of vaccine evaluation, to curb the virus-related deaths and morbidity.

Username: Marc Lipsitch

Twitter handle: @mlipsitch

Retweets: 134

Likes: 275

10. Carlos del Rio’s tweet on antibody tests detecting higher coronavirus infections

Carlos del Rio, a Hubert professor and chair of, the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, shared an article on a widespread antibody testing carried out in a Californian county suggesting that coronavirus infections greatly exceed official counts. The study estimated a 50-fold increase in coronavirus infections when compared to the official cases.

The findings also reveal that the virus is less deadly than what the current global scenario of mortality suggests. However, some scientists are not going by these studies, and doubt the reliability and accuracy of the antibody kits.

Username: Carlos del Rio

Twitter handle: @CarlosdelRio7

Retweets: 120

Likes: 221