Research

WHO Pauses Hydroxychloroquine Trial

pills of hydroxychloroquine

The WHO paused hydroxychloroquine’s inclusion yesterday in a global trial of COVID-19 treatments, following Friday’s release of a study linking the drug to harmful outcomes, Politico reports.

The observational study, published in the Lancet, tied the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in COVID-19 patients with a higher risk of death and increased frequency of heart arrhythmias.

The CDC’s New Takes on COVID-19

Young adults Florida

35% of novel coronavirus infections are asymptomatic and 0.4% of people who show symptoms may die, according to the US CDC’s new "best estimates," CNN reports.

The estimates are part of 5 planning scenarios for infectious disease modelers in new CDC guidance.

The CDC also estimates that 40% of transmission occurs before people feel sick, per CNN.

The CDC has also recently revised its "How COVID-19 Spreads" website
to emphasize that SARS-CoV-2 "spreads between people" and not easily from a contaminated surface, The Washington Post reports.

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.

New drug candidate against the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 treatment

A team of scientists from China has found a new candidate drug against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which works by inhibiting a key part of the virus’s machinery.

Much of the world is on hold until scientists find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has, so far, claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

However, with current estimates suggesting that a vaccine is 12–18 months away, many people are placing increasing hope on an effective treatment for COVID-19.

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.

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?

 

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