In recent weeks, the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, has dominated the media across the globe.

According to a telebriefing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held earlier this week, we could be looking at a pandemic in the United States.

Since the telebriefing, in the U.S., the CDC have confirmed a possible instance of community spread of SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19.

There has been a myriad of mixed messages, misinformation, and conspiracy theories in the press surrounding COVID-19. How concerned should we be? Has the scope of the virus been understated or blown out of proportion? 

Dr. Tedros Adhanom, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently shared some wise words in a press briefing:

“Fear and panic doesn’t help. People can have concerns and rightly so. People can be worried and rightly so. The most important thing is to calm down and do the right things to fight this very dangerous virus.”

The widespread confusion surrounding COVID-19 highlights the importance of accurate, balanced, evidence-based health news and information. As a leading health website, it’s our duty to provide just that.

The Medical News Today editorial team has been busy keeping on top of the latest medical research on COVID-19, as well as the latest information coming directly from the CDC and the WHO.

We recently reported on a study that investigated how long coronaviruses can survive on surfaces, a finding that could provide important insights for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Another piece of research that we covered this month may offer significant insight into the origins of COVID-19; scientists found that SARS-CoV-2 may have passed to humans from scaly mammals called pangolins.

It’s likely that COVID-19 will continue to dominate the media for weeks to come. While it’s undoubtedly important to keep informed of the latest developments around the virus, it’s also important not to lose sight of the incredible advancements happening in the world of health and medicine.

We recently reported on a study that revealed how researchers used stem cells to cure type 1 diabetes in mice, a discovery that could bring us one step closer to a cure for humans. In another article, we revealed that scientists have found a way to save neurons in Alzheimer’s disease mouse models, which could yield new treatments for humans with the condition.

Other content that has piqued your interest this month includes our article on the causes of discharge after sex, as well as our article on Bowen’s disease.

We also took a deep dive into nutrition research and looked at why this topics is so difficult to study.

It can be challenging to keep a positive mindset when the media presents us with what feels like a consistent flow of doom and gloom. I’ve found our article on coping with news anxiety helpful, and it includes this great piece of advice from Katherine C. Nordal, Ph.D., the executive director for professional practice at the American Psychological Association (APA):

“Read enough to stay informed, but then plan activities that give you a regular break from the issues and the stress they might cause. And remember to take care of yourself and pay attention to other areas of your life.”

Wishing you all a joyful and healthful March!

Honor Whiteman, Managing Editor