What We're Reading: COVID-19 Affecting Impoverished Countries; Antibody Test Given Emergency Use Clearance; Battling Pandemic Misinformation

June 29, 2020

Lockdown because of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not an option in impoverished and war-torn countries; the FDA grants emergency use clearance to Danaher Corp's COVID-19 antibody test; strategizing amid misinformation spread on the pandemic.

War-Torn Countries Experience Uptick in COVID-19 Cases

The Associated Press shined the spotlight on countries that are poor or ravaged by war, discussing health experts' fears that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will severely affect these areas. In countries such as Yemen, India, and Pakistan, cases of COVID-19 have risen sharply, but they could prove difficult to trace as authorities say that nationwide lockdowns are not an option due to high poverty. Conversely, Uganda has designed a detection system based on its prior efforts in managing viral hemorrhagic fever that has shown to be more successful than the United States and other more wealthy countries also battling the virus.

FDA Issues Emergency Use of Novel COVID-19 Antibody Test

Today, medical device maker Danaher Corp said its COVID-19 blood test that detects if an individual has ever been infected with the virus received emergency use clearance from the FDA. Reported by Reuters, the antibody test has a specificity rate of 99.6% and 100% sensitivity, indicating a small chance of receiving a false positive and no false negatives. The announcement seeks to add more options in accurate antibody testing, as high demand has led to several inaccurate tests.

Public Health, Prevention Strategies Amid COVID-19 Misinformation

Published by Kaiser Health News, an article discussed how politics and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have complicated prevention efforts against the virus. Notably, a person who runs Summit Hills, a health and retirement community in South Carolina, detailed how many residents do not think the precautions the facility is taking are warranted, as they attribute case and mortality rates to political propaganda. In Europe and the United States, 217 websites were implicated for publishing “materially false” information about COVID-19, as found by NewsGuard.