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What You Need to Know about Coronaviruses

Thermal scanner

A coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 has snowballed into the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the virus that causes the disease has infected over 2.2 million people around the world–-killing nearly 150,000 as of April 17, 2020.

This FAQ provides the basics of what a coronavirus is, how it’s transmitted and how you can protect yourself.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically cause mild respiratory infections like the common cold but also more severe (and potentially deadly) infections. They are zoonotic diseases, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.

Remdesivir: 'Very potent inhibitor' of SARS-CoV-2?

microscope

Experimental Ebola drug remdesivir could stop SARS-CoV-2 from replicating by acting on a key enzyme, according to a new study from the University of Alberta.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the launch of a multinational trial, testing the four most promising therapeutic avenues for COVID-19.

One of these avenues is remdesivir, a drug that research scientists initially developed for the treatment of Ebola, but which has recently shown some promise in fighting coronaviruses.

Sex differences in COVID-19

Sex differences in COVID-19

COVID-19 affects people differently, in terms of infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2 and mortality rates. In this Special Feature, we focus on some of the sex differences that characterize this pandemic.

There are many ways in which the pandemic itself affects people’s day-to-day lives, and gender — understood as the ensemble of social expectations, norms, and roles we associate with being a man, woman, trans- or nonbinary person — plays a massive part.

On a societal level, COVID-19 has affected cis- and transwomen, for example, differently to how it has cismen, transmen, and nonbinary people. Reproductive rights, decision making around the pandemic, and domestic violence are just some key areas where the pandemic has negatively impacted women.

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?

 

Drug use may increase the risk of coronavirus. Here’s how to reduce the harms

smoking

People who use illicit drugs, whether they are dependent or use them occasionally, are potentially at increased risk of harm during the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus is too new to know the exact interaction with illicit drugs. There has been no peer reviewed research yet, and we don’t know how many people who have contracted the virus also use drugs.

However, we can estimate some of the possible impacts from what we know generally about drugs, their effects on the body, and how people use them, including in times of increased stress.

New study questions the effectiveness of masks against SARS-CoV-2

masks

Research published at the beginning of April casts serious doubts about the effectiveness of both surgical and cloth masks in preventing the spread of infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles.

In an effort to find more ways of slowing the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and public health officials around the world have been debating whether using face masks in public might help.

This is a long and fraught debate, and international specialists and decision makers have not reached a consensus.

7 ways you can help the coronavirus response

A person holds a sign

When a major earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26, 2004, resulted in a devastating tsunami, people from all parts of the world contributed to one of the largest relief efforts ever.

It’s part of human nature to want to help. Even before being able to talk, infants can recognize a non-related adult in need and offer help. In adults, areas of the brain associated with stress relief and reward have a greater response to giving than they do when receiving something.

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).

How Scientists Can Volunteer to Help Fight COVID-19

volunteer

Researchers are offering tools, equipment, time, and expertise to help alleviate COVID-19 suffering. Here’s how you can chip in.

Around the world, bench scientists other than those actively studying the pandemic have largely been forced to scale back or even shut down their experiments out of COVID-19 precautions. But that doesn’t mean their skills and expertise can’t contribute to the worldwide effort to address the disease.

Our Dacian genes, salvation! How the DNA helps the Romanians

Dr. Mihai Craiu

Genetics plays a very big role when it comes to resistance to infections. Researchers at Ghent University (UGent) have a theory about how some countries are more affected by COVID than others. It's all about the genetic difference in populations.

Covid-19 doesn't hit the same everywhere. In the Scandinavian countries and in Eastern Europe, the death toll is much lower than the average.

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