Stories of Interest
2019 Novel Coronavirus: New Clinical Insights
[NEJM Journal Watch] Carlos del Rio, MD reviewing Wang D et al. JAMA 2020 Feb 7 Chang D et al. JAMA 2020 Feb 7
The first reports of the clinical characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) were recently published (NEJM JW Infect Dis Feb 2020 and Lancet 2020 Jan 24; [e-pub]; Lancet 2020 Jan 24; [e-pub]; and N Engl J Med 2020 Jan 24; [e-pub]). Now, a large case series from Wuhan and a much smaller series from Beijing add to our understanding.

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How do we test for coronavirus, anyway?
A rundown of the biology behind testing for a virus we hadn't seen before.
John Timmer - 2/3/2020
As the recently discovered coronavirus has rapidly spread beyond its origins in China, health authorities around the world have needed to quickly develop testing capabilities. In the United States, that task has been performed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has published its methodology and is currently in the process of applying for an emergency waiver to allow medical-testing facilities to perform these tests.

But if you're not familiar with the tools of molecular biology, the CDC's testing procedure might as well be written in another language. What follows is a description of how to go from an unknown virus to a diagnostic test in less than a month.

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DNA sequencing part 2: ligases and PCR

Labs Find Problem With US-Issued Coronavirus Test Kits
By Zachary Stieber, February 12, 2020
Multiple state labs found problems with coronavirus test kits issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) centered on inconclusive lab results, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of one of the CDC’s centers, said on Feb. 12.

Kits were sent to all 50 states, some of which already tested them as part of a normal procedure. Some state labs reported some “inconclusive lab results,” Messonnier told reporters on a phone call.

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Good Health Lawyer Gains TRO in Forced Vaccine Case
February 1, 2020 by Ralph Fucetola
Counsel Patricia Finn, The Good Health Lawyer [1] has saved a medically fragile child from what his pediatrician says is “certain damage” following vaccination, by arguing successfully in the New York Supreme Court that New York State does not have the power to substitute a bureaucrat’s decision for a patient’s physician.

Arguing that a physician, as a “learned intermediary,” has the right to issue a medical exemption for a patient and the State has the obligation to honor that exemption, Counsel Finn has scored a major health freedom victory for the moment.

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Vaccines linked to mental disorders by Yale study
Kevin Wang, Feb 21, 2017
The study, published last month in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, reports that patients diagnosed with neuropsychiatric disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder and anorexia nervosa were more likely to have received vaccinations three months prior to their diagnoses. Though the collaboration between researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the Yale Child Study Center yielded results that seem to dispute the safety of vaccines, the authors asserted that the study needs replication on a larger scale and does not establish a causal relationship between vaccines and neuropsychiatric disorders.

“There’s a fair amount of interest in the vaccine safety question, so let’s try to be critical and do further studies that will help examine this issue in a more thorough way,” said James Leckman, professor of pediatrics and one of the study’s five authors.

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