A weekly update of our discussions on the coronavirus with experts, researchers and users from around the world.


From @Pathfinder on complications for infected children

And now a report of a Kawasaki like syndrome in children - The Wall Street Journal is reporting an illness in children in New York associtated with testing positive for Corona virus characterized by a high fever and symptoms including skin rash, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea, and sometimes cardiac arterial inflammation.


From @JazliAziz on why RNA viruses like COVID-19 can mutate more easily than DNA viruses

But first you need to know that in genetics, DNA is transcribed into RNA, and RNA is translated to proteins, which carry out physiological functions. With that basic understanding, you should be able to understand the following.

1. RNA-based organisms have very small genomes. Minuscule compared to DNA-based organisms. Because of this, a higher rate of mutations in an RNA virus have the potential to make a big difference, whereas in DNA viruses, mutations could be silent, as in not cause any significant change because DNA genomes are much larger. It's basically a game of probability, and RNA viruses have a bigger chance of experiencing significant mutations due to their smaller genomes. 

2. One of the differences between DNA and RNA are the nucleotides (components) that make up the structure. One of the nucleotides of DNA is thymine, whereas in RNA thymine is replaced by uracil. Uracil is not meant to be in DNA, however, cytosine (another nucleotide) can sometimes mutate into uracil. In DNA, if cytosine is erroneously changed into uracil, the cell is able to detect the mistake and fix it. However in RNA, mutations of cytosine to uracil go unnoticed, because uracil in RNA is normal. So this is one way mutations go unnoticed in RNA viruses.
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On quarantine procedures for visitors to South Korea

Upon arrival, they take your temperature at the airport and ask if you’ve experienced any symptoms. If you have, they move you to a separate area and give you a coronavirus test. If you haven’t, they take you to another area and interview you. They also install ankle bracelets.

You are required to install an app on your phone and enable location tracking all the time. You are required to self-report symptoms in the app twice a day. If you don’t have symptoms, you need to report that too. This goes on for a period of 14 days.

During this time, you are not allowed to leave the quarantine dormitory or your home if you’ve chosen to self-isolate at home. You cannot take public transportation or taxi, and you cannot self-isolate in a hotel or Airbnb. If you don’t have a home, you must use the dorm.

If you break quarantine, you are fined $10,000 USD and face jail time. Also, they check your location on your phone frequently. My wife had her location checked 37 times in a 3 day span. And they’ve caught enterprising folks who leave their phone at home and go out.
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Useful articles and videos discussed this week:

US daily coronavirus deaths reportedly projected to double to 3,000 by June

Hidden Outbreaks Spread Through U.S. Cities Far Earlier Than Americans Knew, Estimates Say

Why have 14,000 people volunteered to be infected with coronavirus?


Other related conversations on Cake: