The Best Coronavirus Experts to Follow on Twitter

Following these experts on social media will help you stay well-informed about the coronavirus. Global virus and disease spread, coronavirus.

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As the coronavirus tears across the globe, the world's anxiety is at a fever-pitch, and we're all craving information to stay on top of the crisis.

But turning to the Internet for credible updates isn't as simple as it sounds, since we have an invisible foe spreading as quickly as the virus itself: misinformation. From wild conspiracy theories to baseless rumors, an infodemic is in full swing.

For the latest official information, you should follow the CDC, WHO, and FDA, in addition to your local public health department. But it's also helpful to pay attention to the scientists, doctors, public health experts and journalists who are sharing their perspectives in real time as new developments unfold. Here's a handy guide to get you started:

VIROLOGY

Dr. Trevor Bedford/@trvrb: Scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center studying viruses, evolution and immunity.

Dr. Benhur Lee/@VirusWhisperer: Professor of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Angela Rasmussen/@angie_rasmussen: Virologist and associate research scientist at Columbia University

Dr. Florian Krammer/@florian_krammer: Professor of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

EPIDEMIOLOGY:

Dr. Alice Sim/@alicesim: Infectious disease epidemiologist and consultant at the World Health Organization

Dr. Tara C. Smith/@aetiology: Infectious disease specialist and professor at Kent State University

Dr. Caitlin Rivers/@cmyeaton: Epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Dr. Michael Mina/@michaelmina_lab: Physician and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Immunology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

INFECTIOUS DISEASE:

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia/@BhadeliaMD: Infectious diseases physician and the medical director of Special Pathogens Unit at Boston University School of Medicine

Dr. Paul Sax/@PaulSaxMD: Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Priya Sampathkumar/@PsampathkumarMD: Infectious Disease Specialist at the Mayo Clinic

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli/@KrutikaKuppalli: Medical doctor and Infectious Disease Specialist based in Palo Alto, CA

PANDEMIC PREP:

Dr. Syra Madad/@syramadad: Senior Director, System-wide Special Pathogens Program at New York City Health + Hospitals

Dr Sylvie Briand/@SCBriand: Director of Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases Department at the World Health Organization

Jeremy Konyndyk/@JeremyKonyndyk: Senior Policy Fellow at the Center for Global Development

Amesh Adalja/@AmeshAA: Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security

PUBLIC HEALTH:

Scott Becker/@scottjbecker: CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories

Dr. Scott Gottlieb/@ScottGottliebMD: Physician, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

APHA Public Health Nursing/@APHAPHN: Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association

Dr. Tom Inglesby/@T_Inglesby: Director of the Johns Hopkins SPH Center for Health Security

Dr. Nancy Messonnier/@DrNancyM_CDC: Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

Dr. Arthur Caplan/@ArthurCaplan: Professor of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center

SCIENCE JOURNALISTS:

Laura Helmuth/@laurahelmuth: Incoming Editor in Chief of Scientific American

Helen Branswell/@HelenBranswell: Infectious disease and public health reporter at STAT

Sharon Begley/@sxbegle: Senior writer at STAT

Carolyn Johnson/@carolynyjohnson: Science reporter at the Washington Post

Amy Maxmen/@amymaxmen: Science writer and senior reporter at Nature

Laurie Garrett/@Laurie_Garrett: Pulitzer-prize winning science journalist, author of The Coming Plague, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

Soumya Karlamangla/@skarlamangla: Health writer at the Los Angeles Times

André Picard/@picardonhealth: Health Columnist, The Globe and Mail

Caroline Chen/@CarolineYLChen: Healthcare reporter at ProPublica

Andrew Jacobs/@AndrewJacobsNYT: Science reporter at the New York Times

Meg Tirrell/@megtirrell: Biotech and pharma reporter for CNBC

Kira Peikoff
Kira Peikoff is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Nautilus, Popular Mechanics, The New York Academy of Sciences, and other outlets. She is also the author of four suspense novels that explore controversial issues arising from scientific innovation: Living Proof, No Time to Die, Die Again Tomorrow, and Mother Knows Best. Peikoff holds a B.A. in Journalism from New York University and an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.
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On left, people excitedly line up for Salk's polio vaccine in 1957; on right, Joe Biden gets one of the COVID vaccines on December 21, 2020.

Wikimedia Commons and Biden's Twitter

On the morning of April 12, 1955, newsrooms across the United States inked headlines onto newsprint: the Salk Polio vaccine was "safe, effective, and potent." This was long-awaited news. Americans had limped through decades of fear, unaware of what caused polio or how to cure it, faced with the disease's terrifying, visible power to paralyze and kill, particularly children.

The announcement of the polio vaccine was celebrated with noisy jubilation: church bells rang, factory whistles sounded, people wept in the streets. Within weeks, mass inoculation began as the nation put its faith in a vaccine that would end polio.

Today, most of us are blissfully ignorant of child polio deaths, making it easier to believe that we have not personally benefited from the development of vaccines. According to Dr. Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist and author of the bestselling book Enlightenment Now, we've become blasé to the gifts of science. "The default expectation is not that disease is part of life and science is a godsend, but that health is the default, and any disease is some outrage," he says.

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Biochemist Longxing Cao is working with colleagues at the University of Washington on promising research to disable infectious coronavirus in a person's nose.

UW

Imagine this scenario: you get an annoying cough and a bit of a fever. When you wake up the next morning you lose your sense of taste and smell. That sounds familiar, so you head to a doctor's office for a Covid test, which comes back positive.

Your next step? An anti-Covid nasal spray of course, a "trickster drug" that will clear the once-dangerous and deadly virus out of the body. The drug works by tricking the coronavirus with decoy receptors that appear to be just like those on the surface of our own cells. The virus latches onto the drug's molecules "thinking" it is breaking into human cells, but instead it flushes out of your system before it can cause any serious damage.

This may sounds like science fiction, but several research groups are already working on such trickster coronavirus drugs, with some candidates close to clinical trials and possibly even becoming available late this year. The teams began working on them when the pandemic arrived, and continued in lockdown.

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Lina Zeldovich
Lina Zeldovich has written about science, medicine and technology for Scientific American, Reader’s Digest, Mosaic Science and other publications. She’s an alumna of Columbia University School of Journalism and the author of the upcoming book, The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth, from Chicago University Press. You can find her on http://linazeldovich.com/ and @linazeldovich.