COVID-19 research

Coronavirus research

Severe COVID-19: Study investigates a possible underlying mechanism

Coronavirus

New research has found a link between increased COVID-19 severity and higher blood levels of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs usually help defeat infections, but in some COVID-19 cases, they may have something to do with disease severity.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Northwell Health in New York City, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, also in New York, NY, have made a discovery that could help advance scientists’ knowledge about how COVID-19 progresses.

A Setback for Remdesivir—and Sunlight

Remdesivir vial

Hopes for a promising COVID-19 treatment suffered a setback yesterday after WHO inadvertently published a summary of a remdesivir clinical trial on its website, STAT reports.

The summary, which has since been removed, showed the drug "failed to speed the improvement of patients with Covid-19 or prevent them from dying," according to STAT.

A french study finds that nicotine protects from COVID-19 disease

Nicotine patch

Does Nicotine Protect Against Covid? This is the very serious hypothesis of a Pitié-Salpêtrière team and a world renowned neurobiologist. It should soon be the subject of a clinical study: nicotinic patches will be administered to patients and caregivers to measure the effects.

Nicotine, a preventive and curative remedy against Covid, is therefore the hypothesis defended by an internal medicine team from the Pitié Salpétrière hospital, and a world-renowned neurobiologist, member of the Academy of Sciences, Jean-Pierre Changeux.

Bat survey identifies six new coronaviruses

Bats flying

Scientists have discovered six previously unknown coronaviruses in bats. The animals were in regions of Myanmar where humans come into close contact with wildlife as a result of agriculture, deforestation, and other ecological disruption.

Wild bats are generally beneficial for people living in many areas around the world. They pollinate crops, control pest insects, and produce guano, which farmers collect from caves to use as fertilizer.

Many experts think that these mammals were the original hosts of several viruses that pose a significant threat to human health.

Predicting possible outcomes to coronavirus and other pandemics with models and simulations

Canada’s COVID-19 situation

Lately, our daily lives include reading complex news items with analysis of curves, simulations and models of COVID-19. Municipal governments present predictions of possible outcomes from modelling, while provincial and national governments have press conferences discussing policies to respond to the potential spread of the disease.

But what does all this data mean? How are these predictions made? Who develops these models and simulations, and how are they applied?

 

COVID-19 treatment: New findings may bring researchers a step closer

Coronavirus

A new study from Cornell University has made a discovery about SARS-CoV-2 that may help researchers develop an appropriate treatment.

Five researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, set out to learn more about the structure and mechanisms related to two coronaviruses that have created turmoil in the past. These are SARS-CoV, the virus that can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and MERS-CoV, which can trigger Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

U.S. companies that are working on coronavirus treatments or vaccines

Covid-19 research

A mix of legacy drug makers and small startups have stepped forward with plans to develop vaccines or treatments that target the infection caused by the novel coronavirus.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which was first detected in December in Wuhan, China, has sickened more than 1,150,000 people worldwide and killed at least 64,500. There are no approved vaccines or therapies for the disease although the use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate to treat COVID-19 patients is authorised.

The Desperate Global Search for Treatments

Workers check on chloroquine phosphate

Habeeb Ahmad went through 2 failed courses of drugs for his COVID-19 infection. And then his family failed to get a third drug, remdesivir, theWashington Post reports.

The 41-year-old ophthalmologist and father of 3 remains intubated and unconscious in an ICU in Long Island, New York.

The desperate search for Ahmad reflects the global efforts to find treatments against COVID-19.

Test, Track, Treat

COVID-19 testing tent in Berlin

Countries that adopted a test, track and treat approach gained an early edge against COVID-19.

Germany jumped to develop a test by January—which, combined with its ample intensive care beds and early embrace of social distancing—could explain why it's seeing fewer deaths than its neighbors, according to the AP. Germany reports 775 deaths and 71,000 cases; compare that to Italy’s 12,400 deaths for 106,000 cases and Spain’s 9,000+ deaths­­­­­­­­­­­­­ and 102,000 cases.

Antibody tests: to get a grip on coronavirus, we need to know who’s already had it

Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies tests

With much of society now effectively in lockdown, how will we know when it’s safe to resume something like normality?

It will largely depend on being able to say who is safe from contracting the coronavirus, officially named SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease called COVID-19, and who still needs to stay out of harm’s way. A blood test to detect who has antibodies against the virus would be a crucial aid.

An antibody test – which would identify those whose immune systems have already encountered the virus, as opposed to current tests that reveal the presence of the virus itself – will be an important part of efforts to track the true extent of the outbreak.

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