EDITORIAL

COVID-19 and flu, a perfect storm

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6496, pp. 1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd2220

eLetters is an online forum for ongoing peer review. Submission of eLetters are open to all. eLetters are not edited, proofread, or indexed.  Please read our Terms of Service before submitting your own eLetter.

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • Plain text
    No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g. higgs-boson@gmail.com
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests
CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

  • RE: Fast, accurate and large-scale COVID-19 sensors plays an important role in controlling COVID-19
    • Ning Liu, Independent researcher
    • Other Contributors:
      • He Tian, Associate professor, Institute of Microelectronics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
      • Tian-Ling Ren, Professor, Institute of Microelectronics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.

    It is highly possible that the actual number of COVID-19 cases is more than detected. A research report by University of Göttingen concluded that on average, only about 6% of coronavirus infections are found. The troublesome to go to the test point, the waiting time after the test, and the possibly high testing cost have led some people with COVID-19 did not get tested. They go out as usual and infect more people. There are even some asymptomatic carriers (infectivity might be weak). If there is a quick and convenient detection method to let them know that they are infected, most (knowing that they are infected) people will take certain actions to reduce their contact with others, which is positive on controlling COVID-19.

    At present, the primary means of diagnosis for COVID-19 is oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs. The general public can get their results in 24 hours or more. The principle is real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), while it’s molecular diagnosis requires more than 3 hours, of which a long time is occupied by the preparation of viral RNA. Moreover, during the process of preparing RNA, mutations may happen and affect diagnosis accuracy. SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and is currently spreading rapidly around the world. Therefore, a rapid and accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 is required. Ultrasensitive antigen tests for COVID-19 will probably meet our needs, which can be more direct and fast than RT-PCR.

    Direct de...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Always Swapping Isolation will be alternative approaches for maintaining physical distancing and minimize the risk
    • Mingzi Wu, Independent researcher, International WYNNBEAR Advanced Innovation

    In this editorial, an alternative approach for maintaining physical distancing and minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is 'called'. There is a novel non-pharmaceutical intervention and control strategy be called 'always swapping isolation for never go away', in which the whole society is divided into three groups – group A1, group B1, and group C1. The C1 is the supposed weak member, in which the population is more likely to become infected. The weak members will be easy to discern in the middle and later periods. The incidence of COVID-19 consistently rises with increasing age. Young people are with low incidence risk but a very high mortality risk for seniors. Age, individual protective capacity, family, high population density areas, health system response, population susceptibility, and demography are often the key to the supposed weak group, such as the poverty, the elder, the patient, homeless individuals, and people in high-density habitation are often the supposed weak members in the early stage in this case. The basis of classification of the group A1 and group B1are both convinced that one of them are able to keep the basic operation to society at least.
    In the day n, one of the two groups, such as group A1, will be free. The group B1 and group C1 are taking part in a restricted state. All the confirmed cases and the stock of infected be taken into a hospital, and all the stock of susceptible population was quarantined. The day...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • Past lessons play a key role in coping with COVID-19

    We should have made use of what We learned in SARS and MERS in the past for coping with COVID-19. WHO and CDC did not use the valuable archived document of SARS and MERS (1). The document says that "Droplet precautions should be added to standard precautions when providing care to all patients with symptoms of acute respiratory infection. Contact precautions and eye protection should be added when caring for suspected or confirmed cases of MERS. Airborne precautions should be applied when performing aerosol‐generating procedures." In other words, airborne precautions could have saved many human lives in the world (2).

    References:
    1. https://www.who.int/csr/disease/coronavirus_infections/faq/en/
    2. Y. Takefuji, Airborne precautions are needed against COVID-19, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2020.05.015

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: surprinsing apocalyptic view

    That influenza is a health problem in the world is an oxymoron. However, when somebody timidly suggest that COVID-19 will be similar to influenza, it was branded as an ignoramus. On the other hand, all the draconian measures taken to curb the transmission of SARS-COV-2 will also decrease the large (tens of millions in the US alone) infections of seasonal influenza. Therefore, the apocalyptic message of a perfect storm is as true as it was the 40 millions death of COVID-19 in February 2020. The last straw is the statement that we are in the initial phase of COVID-19 pandemic. The world pass the peak of new cases around 24th of April (just look at the plot) and it is now around 80% of the whole process. How such numbers reconcile with an early phase?.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

Stay Connected to Science

Navigate This Article