Top tweets on infectious diseases in January 2020

1. Laurie Garrett’s tweet on the Wuhan Virus and how to stay safe

Laurie Garrett, a former senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, shared an article on the Wuhan Virus and how to stay safe. The author lists some important precautionary measures such as wearing gloves, maintaining sanitation levels inside homes, and not eating any meat to protect oneself from contracting the coronavirus.

As the epidemic spreads worldwide, Beijing imposes travel restrictions, proposing a complete lockdown, thereby disallowing people to travel out of the country.

Username: Laurie Garrett

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Twitter handle: @Laurie_Garrett

Retweets: 1,314

Likes: 1,758

2. Julia Belluz’s tweet on the coronavirus’ spread worldwide

Julia Belluz, a health correspondent, shared an article on how quickly the coronavirus is spreading, right from its breakout in Wuhan, China. The article details how thousands have been sickened in approximately a dozen countries, including the US, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Germany, Taiwan, France, Australia, and the South Korea.

Chinese authorities have quarantined cities and are trying to determine how contagious a pathogen can be. Meanwhile, WHO reports confirmed that there have been no human-to-human transmissions of the virus out of China. However, it could be a possibility.

Username: Julia Belluz

Twitter handle: @juliaoftoronto

Retweets: 376

Likes: 377

3. Peter Hotez’s tweet on the dangerous effects of infectious diseases against its vaccines

Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist and author, shared an article describing the odds if unvaccinated and sick. He compares the dangerous effects of three diseases including influenza, cervical cancer, and measles, which are more fatal than their corresponding vaccines that cause only minimal side effects.

Username: Peter Hotez

Twitter handle: @PeterHotez

Retweets: 259

Likes: 390

4. Helen Branswell’s tweet on the ineffective thermal screening at airports

Helen Branswell, a senior writer of infectious diseases and global health, shared an article detailing how thermal screening at airports was ineffective in detecting the coronavirus, according to an analysis by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHT).

The analysis further revealed that the tool was of limited use, detecting one in five passengers infected with the coronavirus after a 12-hour flight.

Username: Helen Branswell

Twitter handle: @HelenBranswell

Retweets: 138

Likes: 171

5. Ron Daniels’ tweet on the difficulty in spotting sepsis

Dr Ron Daniels, the creator of the UK Sepsis Trust, shared an article on the difficulty of spotting Sepsis at any age, let alone young. He prompts parents to pop the question themselves, as they would know their children better than healthcare professionals. The article details how Rachael Pedrick managed to save her one-year-old daughter Holly, by storming into GP surgery after eight hours since waiting for an appointment.

Holly was suffering from flu symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and sticky eyes.

Username: Dr Ron Daniels

Twitter handle: @SepsisUK

Retweets: 109

Likes: 199

6. Ian Mackay’s tweet on the global tally of the suspected coronavirus infected

Ian Mackay, a virologist and scientist, tweeted on the number of suspected cases of the coronavirus worldwide. He stated that approximately 217 cases were registered from China, which included 198 from Wuhan, 14 from Guangdong, and five from Beijing. He also tweeted that Thailand reported two cases, while Japan and South Korea one each.

Username: Ian M Mackay

Twitter handle: @MackayIM

Retweets: 130

Likes: 131

7. Tara Smith’s tweet on the Marburg virus being found in Sierra Leone bats

Dr Tara C Smith, and infectious diseases epidemiologist and writer, shared an article on the Marburg virus, which can cause haemorrhagic fever, to be present in fruit bats in Sierra Leone. The article also stated that it was the first time that the Marburg virus was detected in West Africa.

Like the Ebola virus, Marburg can be fatal and has the potential to spread to humans. The virus was detected in eleven Egyptian rousette bats, which typically feed on fruits. Infected bats contaminate the fruits with the release of the virus through their saliva, urine and feces.

Username: Dr Tara C Smith

Twitter handle: @aetiology

Retweets: 94

Likes: 149

8. Maia Majumder’s tweet on infection control

Maia Majumder, a Harvard Medical School faculty, tweeted that planning, preparedness, and infection control can bring an outbreak of a moderate R_0 disease under control without vaccines. Therefore, R_0 estimates for the coronavirus points at the need for more action than panic.

In an earlier tweet, Maia mentioned that the R_0 estimates for SARS are 2 to 5, while only 1.3 on an average for seasonal flu.

Username: Dr Maia Majumder

Twitter handle: @maiamajumder

Retweets: 92

Likes: 232

9. Muge Cevik’s tweet on human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus

Dr Muge Cevik, a virology clinician and researcher, shared an article on how the findings of five infected patients of a family presented some unusual results. The report suggested that the coronavirus had an incubation period of three to six days. The report also confirmed human-to-human transmission after a family returned to Shenzhen after contracting the virus from their relatives in Wuhan.

Username: Dr Muge Cevik

Twitter handle: @mugecevik

Retweets: 89

Likes: 135

10. Seth Berkley’s tweet on fighting vaccine sceptics in Italy

Seth Berkley, an infectious diseases epidemiologist, shared an article on how vaccines are regaining their importance in present times. The influencer further stated that four years ago, googling the word ‘vaccine’ in Italy would throw a list of antivaccination groups, but today it directs users to WHO sites.

Seth states that one of these great reads are the ‘Burioni effect’, a virologist who has evolved from a professor to a celebrity for fighting vaccine sceptics. The Italian government has always maintained that vaccines are safe. However, a number of scandals have marred its use.

Username: Seth Berkley

Twitter handle: @GaviSeth

Retweets: 86

Likes: 300