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Local Experts Answer Your Questions About COVID-19

As the new coronavirus continues to spread we're doing our best to keep you well informed with accurate and up to date information. We'll be live on the air with Dr. Douglas Brust, he is an infectious diseases specialist with Lee Health; Lisa Sgarlata, Chief Patient Care Officer for Lee Health; and Florida Gulf Coast University molecular virologist, Dr. Sharon Isern. Check out our Facebook page for a post where you can add your questions before or during show.

Reliable sources of COVID-19 and coronavirus information mentioned by Dr. Isern during the show.

WHO World Health Organization

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report

They provide highlights; new countries and territories/areas in the past 24 hours


CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Florida Department of Health – Daily report


In the event of discrepancies, data reported by states is the most up-to-date. The CDC only reports on cases that they test themselves or are reported to them by states.

This Week in Virology (TWiV), a podcast about viruses, hosted by my colleague Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University Medical Center, and his team has dedicated over a dozen episodes to COVID-19 and the coronavirus outbreak. They first commented on the outbreak in China in January before it was widely known. The episodes discuss and summarize new and relevant scientific papers while making the science accessible to a broad audience. It is both interesting and informative to listen to the evolving outbreak and how it's been perceived by the scientific community with each passing month. Topics discussed so far include the biology of the virus and its origin, possible treatments, vaccine development, disease progression, how the virus spreads, among other things. The episodes are long and chatty, but worth listening to.


Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering – Coronavirus map – real time tracking


Gisaid (promotes data sharing of influenza viruses sequences)- Genomic epidemiology of hCoV-19 – from genomes sampled between Dec. 2019 and Mar 2020 – molecular clock analyses and phylogeny – looks at relatedness of viruses; how virus has evolved; where it came from; how long was it there, Dr. Trevor Bedford’s group at University of Washington and colleagues.

Genetics – looks at founder virus and then diversification; see where viruses are coming from and where they are going.

Not many mutations; no evidence that mutations alter transmission or pathogenicity of the virus; no new version of the virus that has taken over that is better than others


1point3acres – COVID-19 in US and Canada – Real Time Updates with credible sources  by a group of first generation Chinese immigrants in the US. “We built this real time coronavirus-covid-19 tracker for US and Canada to bring more transparency to the public and increase awareness about the global epidemic”


Outbreak.info – Scripps Institute (Su, Wu, and Andersen labs)-data analysis – data mining; looks at trends


Joint WHO/China Report Feb. 16-24, 2020