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Could an antiparasitic drug kill off SARS-CoV-2 within 2 days?

COVID 19 researchers

A new study in cell cultures suggests that ivermectin, an existing antiparasitic drug, is able to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 within 48 hours. However, whether this approach is safe and effective in human beings remains to be seen.

As the race toward an efficient treatment for coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) continues, researchers are experimenting with new and old drugs alike.

A study paper recently published in the journal Antiviral Research indicates that investigators from the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) and Monash University, both in Melbourne, Australia, may have found a viable treatment: an existing antiparasitic drug called ivermectin.

Serology-based tests for COVID-19

COVID-19 tests

Serology testing for SARS-CoV-2 is at increased demand in order to better quantify the number of cases of COVID-19, including those that may be asymptomatic or have recovered. Serology tests are blood-based tests that can be used to identify whether people have been exposed to a particular pathogen by looking at their immune response. In contrast, the RT-PCR tests currently being used globally to diagnose cases of COVID-19 can only indicate the presence of viral material during infection and will not indicate if a person was infected and subsequently recovered. These tests can give greater detail into the prevalence of a disease in a population by identifying individuals who have developed antibodies to the virus.

COVID-19: What happens inside the body?

x-ray

How does the body respond when the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects it? Which physiological processes help or hinder us in getting rid of the virus, and which processes ensure that we have a mild form of COVID-19, the disease that the virus causes? In this Special Feature, we investigate.

The more we learn about COVID-19, the more we have to question our assumptions about it.

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, our information about the disease came from clinical case reports of COVID-19 and what we knew about influenza pandemics and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) resulting from SARS-CoV.

The Problem with Antibody Tests

Testing Covid-19

No therapy, no vaccine. At least, COVID-19 survivors can be tested for antibodies and know they’re immune, right?

Wrong.

WHO threw cold water on that assumption on Friday, saying there’s no evidence that if you’ve survived COVID-19, you have immunity, according to the Irish Times. Tests may reveal the presence of antibodies, but that doesn’t mean you’re safe from reinfection, said WHO’s Maria van Kerchief.

It’s time to admit our COVID-19 ‘exit strategy’ might just look like a more flexible version of lockdown

alone

As the COVID-19 curve starts to flatten in Australia and New Zealand, people are rightly wondering how we will roll back current lockdown policies. Australia’s federal health minister Greg Hunt says Australia is looking to South Korea, Japan and Singapore to inform our exit strategy. New Zealand is relaxing some measures from next week.

A long-term solution – a vaccine – is many months, probably years, away.

In the meantime, we must rely on social distancing policies to contain the epidemic – and begin to accept the idea that an “exit strategy” may really look more like a more flexible version of lockdown.

COVID-19 vaccine may be ready by fall and other reasons for hope

covid-19-vaccine

About a month ago, Medical News Today started a series aiming to bring together the more encouraging research that emerges around COVID-19. We continue with this Special Feature that focuses on an incoming vaccine and other potential treatments for this new coronavirus and the disease it causes.

With this series, we aim to remind our readers that while COVID-19 causes great sorrow and loss around the world, the resulting global emergency has also meant that scientists are working at an unprecedented pace. They are making progress that is easy to overlook among the worrying numbers of new cases and deaths.

Common coronaviruses appear to be highly seasonal

snowing

A recent study concludes that the four most common human coronaviruses follow distinct seasonal patterns.

A recent study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor tracked a group of participants over 8 years. The team looked in detail at the prevalence of the four most common human coronaviruses in the population.

The research, which now appears in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, shines a light on an understudied aspect of coronaviruses and may prove valuable for scientists trying to make sense of the current pandemic.

 

The Coronavirus’s Full-Body Assault

covid italian patient

Clinicians are charting gruesome carnage in COVID-19 patients that extends far beyond the lungs, according to The Washington Post. Damage includes:

  • Heart inflammation
  • Acute kidney disease
  • Neurological malfunction
  • Intestinal damage
  • Liver problems

How long is COVID-19 likely to last?

covid-19 isolation

As more and more countries are on lockdown due to COVID-19, and an increasing number of people are living in isolation, the question on everyone’s mind is: "When will this be over?" We look at what experts have to say.

Living in self-isolation has profound socio-political implications, in addition to the effects that it has on a person’s mental health and well-being.

Although more and more studies are showing that quarantine and isolation methods are indeed effective and that we should all continue to keep our physical distance, it is hard not to grow impatient and wonder how long this is likely to last.

New study pinpoints loss of smell and taste as COVID-19 symptoms

SARS-CoV-2 virus

A new study looking at the data of people who tested positive for COVID-19 backs up recent claims that the loss of the senses of smell and taste can be a symptom of the disease.

New research from the UC San Diego Health provides evidence that the loss of smell and taste can be a symptom of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, preliminary findings in a preprint started making headlines because they suggested that the list of possible COVID-19 symptoms should include the loss of smell and taste.

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