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To tame coronavirus: Mao-style social control

China has flooded cities and villages with battalions of neighborhood busybodies, uniformed volunteers and Communist Party representatives to carry out one of the biggest social control campaigns in history.

The goal: to keep hundreds of millions of people away from everyone but their closest kin.

The nation is battling the coronavirus outbreak with a grass-roots mobilization reminiscent of Mao-style mass crusades not seen in China in decades, essentially entrusting front line epidemic prevention to a supercharged version of a neighborhood watch.

SOURCE: New York Times

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Here’s what coronavirus does in the body

Excerpt

Zoonotic coronaviruses, ones that hopped from animals to humans like SARS and MERS, can spark a viral-induced fire throughout many of a person’s organs, and the new disease, COVID-19, is no exception when it is severe.

But what actually happens to your body when it is infected by the coronavirus? The new strain is so genetically similar to SARS that it has inherited the title SARS-CoV-2. So combining early research on the new outbreak with past lessons from SARS and MERS can provide an answer. From blood storms to honeycomb lungs, here’s an organ-by-organ look at how COVID-19 harms humans.

FULL STORY: National Geographic

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Epidemiologist vet of SARS + MERS shares coronavirus insights

While most people were doing what they could to avoid the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, W. Ian Lipkin quietly flew to China to get closer.

Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, also traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2012 to investigate the first cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). And he went to China in the early 2000s to study severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people. This time, he says, his main goal during his weeklong stay in the nation was to figure out which local public health officials and researchers he could best collaborate with in efforts to unravel what triggered the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus—now called COVID-19—and to determine what can be done to prevent a repeat.

INTERVIEW: Scientific American

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WHO referral laboratories for 2019-nCoV

Resource

Countries that have no testing capacity can send their samples to the WHO appointed 2019-nCoV referral laboratories for testing. National 2019-nCoV laboratories with limited experience are encouraged to send the first five positives and the first ten negative 2019-nCoV samples to their referral labs for confirmation.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: WHO

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Molecular assays to diagnose 2019-nCoV

Resource

Several assays that detect the 2019-nCoV have been and are currently under development, both in-house and commercially. Some assays may detect only the novel virus and some may also detect other strains (e.g. SARS-CoV) that are genetically similar.

Some groups shared their protocols which can be accessed below. In some cases, the groups will be willing to send reagents or reagent mixes prepared in their laboratories, with or without associated fees. It is strongly recommended to contact the developer if you need further assistance.

SOURCE LIST: WHO

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Structure of 2019 novel coronavirus

Animation

The structure of coronavirus has multiple parts. Inside the virus lies the genetic encoding that allows the virus to hijack human cells and turn them into virus factories. A protein encapsulates the genetic material known as the viral envelope. On the surface of the virion are S and HE proteins. The structure of 2019 novel coronavirus is a mutation.

ANIMATION: Scientific Animations

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The coronavirus outbreak: 3D medical animation

Animation

The 2019 nCoV Novel Coronavirus is fast threatening to become a pandemic. This 3D medical animation explains the story so far, covering what is a pandemic, current rates of infection and spread and tips to protect against infections. It also delves into the biology and mechanism of action that coronavirus uses to infect and destroy human cells. Though the exact mechanism of action for this coronavirus is not known.

ANIMATION: Scientific Animations