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.

Gain-of-function research is more than just tweaking risky viruses
Gain-of-function experiments in the lab can help researchers get ahead of viruses naturally gaining the ability to infect people in the wild.
The radical drop in maternal mortality was a public health miracle
In 1758 in Sweden, 1205 mothers died for every 100,000 live births, which was likely representative of the global maternal mortality rate.
New nasal spray aimed at reversing fentanyl overdoses is now approved
A new overdose-reversing spray that works fast but lasts longer has been approved by the FDA, and will be available by the fall at earliest.
Pill version of obesity drug reduced weight almost 13% in new trial
Novo Nordisk has announced positive results for an oral version of the popular weight loss drug sold as Ozempic and Wegovy.
CRISPR uncovers possible antidote for death cap mushroom poisoning
Researchers have figured out how the mushroom’s main toxin enters human cells — and maybe how to stop it.
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