The daily coronavirus news roundup – friday, march 20th

Advancements in the search for a COVID-19 treatment, a description of the nasal swab test, and other fresh updates.

The coronavirus crisis is unique. Addressing it will require new ideas, new perspectives, and new voices. That’s our mission at Freethink.

In our daily “Coronavirus News Roundup,” we’re highlighting the most important stories from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Stories that inform, challenge, and inspire.

Here are our must reads for today, March 20, 2020.

1. Chloroquine May Fight Covid-19 — and Silicon Valley’s Into It

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is officially going to begin testing anti-malaria drug chloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus. This article by Wired digs deep into the role Silicon Valley entrepreneurs played in making that happen.

2. An Epidemic of False Confidence Related to COVID-19

Could coronavirus be a “fast and stealthy” disease that many people have already gotten and recovered from? Scientist and inventor Danny Hillis explores what we need to know to reasonably predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will play out — and how serologic testing is critical to that understanding.

3. Total Cost of Her COVID-19 Treatment: $34,927.43

A newly published TIME article recounts one woman’s experience navigating the U.S. healthcare system on her path to a COVID-19 diagnosis — and the massive bill that welcomed her at the end of it. The article includes advice from experts on how others can avoid sharing her financial fate.

4. Coronavirus Test: What Is It Like to Get the Nasal Swab for Detecting COVID-19?

Coronavirus test kits might currently be in short supply in the U.S., but as more become available, your chances of submitting to a COVID-19 screening are going to increase — this piece from TODAY let’s you know what to expect from the experience.

Scientists have invented a method to break down “forever chemicals” in our drinking water
Researchers have discovered a way to eliminate “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, which usually take hundreds or thousands of years to break down.
When an antibiotic fails: MIT scientists are using AI to target “sleeper” bacteria
Most antibiotics target metabolically active bacteria, but AI can help efficiently screen compounds that are lethal to dormant microbes.
The threat of avian flu — and what we can do to stop it
Avian flu is infecting cows on US dairy farms, and now a person has caught it — but new research could help us avoid a bird flu pandemic.
What’s next for COVID-19 drugs?
Paxlovid may have underperformed in a new trial, but other promising COVID-19 drugs are being authorized or in the works.
New antiviral shortens COVID-19 by 1.5 days
People taking simnotrelvir, a new antiviral treatment for COVID-19, felt almost immediate symptom relief and got better 1.5 days faster.
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