COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Another Explanation for Men's Vulnerability

Men's Vulnerability

Men have higher levels than women of an enzyme central to COVID-19 infection, a new study reveals—which could help explain why men are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, Reuters reports.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, or ACE2—which helps the invasion of healthy cells—“is thought to play a crucial role in the progression of lung disorders related to COVID-19,” Adriaan Voors, the study’s leader, said in a European Society of Cardiology news release.

Scientists identify promising drug candidates for COVID-19

COVID-19 tests

By mapping interactions between human proteins and the new coronavirus, researchers have pinpointed 29 potential treatments using drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a wide range of other conditions.

There is currently no vaccine or antiviral drug with proven efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, though several clinical trials are underway.

Lack of in-depth knowledge about how the newly emerged virus interacts with human cells has hampered the hunt for an effective treatment.

Scientists discover unique mutation of new coronavirus

SARS-CoV-2 mutation

Researchers have identified a mutation in the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 that mirrors changes scientists saw in the 2003 SARS outbreak.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the illness COVID-19. In the mutation, 81 letters in the virus’s genome had been deleted.

Viral mutations are a normal part of a virus’s evolution and can alter the severity of the disease they cause.

A mysterious illness is striking children amid the coronavirus pandemic – but is it Kawasaki disease?

Kawasaki disease

Critically ill children have been ending up in intensive care units with shock-like symptoms in recent weeks, adding yet another mysterious layer to the coronavirus pandemic.

New York health officials began issuing alerts on May 4, describing young patients, ages 2-15, with inflammation in multiple organ systems and features of Kawasaki disease, a childhood illness of unclear origin. They raised the count to 64 suspected cases on May 6.

A few days earlier, officials in the United Kingdom notified doctors of similar cases there, also describing them as having features similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Several of the children had tested positive for COVID-19.

The puzzling questions of the coronavirus: A doctor addresses 6 questions that are stumping physicians

 Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

As researchers try to find treatments and create a vaccine for COVID-19, doctors and others on the front lines continue to find perplexing symptoms. And the disease itself has unpredictable effects on various people. Dr. William Petri, a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, answers questions about these confusing findings.

Some evidence suggests that patients experience low oxygen saturation days before they appear in the ER. If so, is there a way to treat patients earlier?

Should people take vitamin D to ward off the new coronavirus?

Vitamin D deficiency

A preliminary, unpublished study speculates that vitamin D deficiency may have something to do with poor COVID-19 outcomes. Its authors suggest people may benefit from ensuring they are getting enough vitamin D. However, there are serious concerns about the research.

Vitamin D is one of the nutrients that are crucial to human health, on the whole.

The human body naturally synthesizes this vitamin — in fact, a group of substances — through adequate exposure to sunlight.

Latest evidence on obesity and COVID-19

obesity

A summary of the evidence so far suggests that obesity is associated with a higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), independent of other illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease.

Early data seems to suggest that people with obesity are more likely to become severely ill due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

An increasing number of reports have linked obesity to coronavirus mortality, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now list severe obesity as a risk factor for severe COVID-19. The CDC define severe obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above.

Remdesivir explained – what makes this drug work against viruses?

Remdesivir

With the FDA approving Gilead’s Remdesivir as an emergency use treatment for the most acute cases of COVID-19, many people are wondering what type of a drug it is.

Remdesivir is a member of one of the oldest and most important classes of drugs – known as nucleoside analogue. Currently there are more than 30 of these types of drugs that have been approved for use in treating viruses, cancers, parasites, as well as bacterial and fungal infections, with many more currently in clinical and preclinical trials.

Human Challenge Trial Controversy Heats up

Covid-19 vaccine human challenge trials

The WHO will issue ethical guidelines to inform human challenge trials, South China Morning Post reports, amid aggressive efforts to find a COVID-19 vaccine.

Deliberately infecting healthy human volunteers with a virus to test vaccine candidates can speed the vaccine timeline—but it’s a dangerous tack for a disease with no cure.

With COVID-19, however, proponents argue that the risk of serious illness or death is small in likely recruits—young adults.

The mysterious disappearance of the first SARS virus, and why we need a vaccine for the current one but didn’t for the other

anti-SARS outfits

Some people question why the current coronavirus has brought the world to standstill while a previous deadly coronavirus, SARS, did not.

Others have questioned why a vaccine is so urgently needed now to stop the spread of the current coronavirus when a vaccine was never developed for SARS.

I study viruses and am so fascinated by their complexity that I have written a book about them. The tale of SARS and its new cousin that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, shows just how unpredictable viruses can be, particularly when they jump from animals to humans. Understanding emerging, infectious diseases needs to be a priority. SARS, which killed about one in 10 infected people, turned out to be highly lethal but ultimately, and somewhat mysteriously, disappeared.

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