COVID19 and SARS-CoV-2 Overview:
Originating in the Chinese province of Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, since COVID-19’s first emerged on December 31st, 2019, the virus has spread globally and may now be found on every continent (except Antarctica). The virus associated with the respiratory disease COVID-19, and is characterized by severe flu-like symptoms, such as fever, a dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Most people who experience symptoms recover without needing to be hospitalized, but of those who contract COVID-19, an estimated 14 – 16 %will require hospitalization. The disease has a fatality rate estimated at around 1% (although this is continuously being adjusted), which is about 10 times higher than influenza. Older people and people with preexisting immune system conditions, hypertension or diabetes are the most at risk from experiencing complications such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.
The virus associated with COVID-19 is known as SARS-CoV-2. It is closely related to other epidemic coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). As of March 11th, Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Coronavirus can spread through infected surfaces and person-to-person transmission, such as through a cough. The best ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus include washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, avoiding large gatherings of people, and limiting exposure to potentially infected individuals.
- Center for Disease Control : While the CDC has taken down the number of confirmed cases in its database from its site, it does have good information for stopping the spread of the disease.
- World Health Organization : Situation reports, videos and general information on the state of the pandemic.
- Mythbusters information page – Quick information to dispel many of the COVID19 rumors and myths
- The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project is a journalism project that tracks the number of confirmed positive and negative results, pending results, and total people tested across the US.
- John Hopkins has been noted as one of the best research centers on the coronavirus to date. Their webpage is complete with information on the current pandemic, as well as links to podcasts and newsletters.
- Mayo Clinic resource page on the coronavirus. Includes articles, links to podcasts, and other media covering a wide rangle of COVID19 topics.
- Harvard University’s Coronavirus Research Center.
- Google’s COVID19 resource page.
Graphics, Infographics & Simulations
- What Happens If You Get Coronavirus? (Nucleus Medical Media)
- WHO graphic on worldwide cases of COVID-19
- Washington Post simulation on the importance of flattening the curve.
- Worldwide and US data on coronavirus
- Johns Hopkins COVID tracking page
- CDC Handouts on COVID-19 (pdf)
- NY Times: Interactive article on the relationship between infection rates, mortality rates, and death rates (free content)
- The Race to Stop COVID19 (Pharmaceutical Journal) – infographic on the development of a vaccine.
Free Online Courses on COVID-19
- Adaptive Learning Course by Area9 Lyceum – designed for the general public, this free course (requires sign-up) steps learners through the basics of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID19.
- Scientific American’s “The Coronavirus Outbreak” page of mostly free articles from SA.
- List of COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 podcasts and webinars from the University of Minnesota’s CDRIP.
The Washington Post has a coronavirus newsletter, in which every linked article is free to the public without a subscription
- Science News 2019 Coronavirus Outbreak page
Currently in the News
Explainer: How disinfectants fight the virus (Chemistry World)
Potential new UV Technique to disinfect Coronavirus (Columbia University News)
Is Hydroxychloroquine The New Coronavirus Cure? :COVID19 Antivirals (ASAPScience) – a look at mode of action of antivirals.
- Mythbusters information page (WHO) – Quick information to dispel many of the COVID19 rumors and myths
- How Masks Can Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (SciShow)
What the Covid-19 Antibody Tests Tell Us (Science News)
Why some Covid survivors will have lasting lung damage (Science News)
Why More Men Die from Coronavirus (Live Science)
How the Covid-19 Pandemic Could End (based on past epidemics) (Scientific American)
Guide to Hydroxycholoriquine’s effectiveness against Covid across 7 studies (The Guardian)
Why “Immunity Passports” are premature (World Health Organization)
- Here’s How Coronavirus Tests Work—and Who Offers Them (Scientific American)
Our best bets for treating Covid-19 (Sci Show)
Why do we not have faster Covid tests? (Sci Show)
The Potential Effect of Seasonality on Coronavirus (Washington Post)
- How Masks Can Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (SciShow)
- Coronavirus is Not the Flu (Vox).
- One Little Number (Scientific American) – look at how the R0 and R1 numbers are calculated in the study of epidemics and pandemics.
- How Soap Kills the Coronavirus (Vox)
Why the Vaccine may take longer than you think: (USA Today)
How to Protect Yourself from COVID (World Health Organization)
- Novel Coronavirus (WHO) – provides a brief history of the disease.
What you need to know about the coronavirus (Live Science)
- Science Behind the Coronavirus (LA Times) – the complete series of videos
- The Coronavirus Vaccine Explained (ASAP Science)
- Why Do Bats Carry So Many Dangerous Diseases? (SciShow)
- Why Soap is Still Our Best Weapon Against Coronavirus (Its OK to Be Smart)
- Science of Self-Isolation (ASAP Science)
- Science Vs has recently begun a series of podcasts on coronavirus that does a good job on factchecking misleading information on the virus.
- Don’t Touch Your Face (Foreign Policy) Science and international affairs of the coronavirus.
- Tradeoffs’ page on podcasts that explore the intersection of public health and COVID19
Additional RicochetScience Resources
- Video: Epidemics, Outbreaks and Pandemics
- Video: The Viral Life Cyle
- Infographic on MERS (2012)
- New Thinking About Herd Immunity (includes video)
- Naming an Influenza Virus (2016)
Editors Note: We have built this page to share resources for educators who are looking for sources of information on the COVID-19 pandemic and the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We will be updating these resources regularly. If you have suggestions for additional resources, please use the comment form on our contact page.
- SARS-CoV-2 SEM image: NIAID-RML
last updated: May 4, 2020