SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2)

COVID-19 Expert Reality Check

SARS-CoV-2 - electron microscope

As the media swarms the coronavirus story, most news articles focus on numbers of cases and deaths, new locations of cases, etc.

Lost in the shuffle are the important public health insights about how viruses work and humans respond. To help improve understanding of an emerging outbreak’s complex dynamics, GHN has reached out to some of the world’s most respected global health experts for their quick "reality checks" on key issues related to the outbreak.

 

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.

What the coronavirus does to your body that makes it so deadly

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses belong to a group of viruses that infect animals, from peacocks to whales. They’re named for the bulb-tipped spikes that project from the virus’s surface and give the appearance of a corona surrounding it.

A coronavirus infection usually plays out one of two ways: as an infection in the lungs that includes some cases of what people would call the common cold, or as an infection in the gut that causes diarrhea. COVID-19 starts out in the lungs like the common cold coronaviruses, but then causes havoc with the immune system that can lead to long-term lung damage or death.

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.

Coronavirus myths busted

myths busted

As the coronavirus continues to make the news, a variety of coronavirus myths have sprung up around the novel coronavirus and we address them all here.

The novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, has spread from Wuhan, China, to every continent on Earth except Antarctica.

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially changed their classification of the situation from a public health emergency of international concern to a pandemic on March 11.

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