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  • Medical Perspective: The Promise and Peril of Antibody Testing for COVID-19

    30 Apr, 2020

    "Unlike polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests—also referred to as molecular or nucleic acid–based tests—antibody tests aren’t intended to identify active SARS-CoV-2 infections. Instead of detecting viral genetic material in throat or nasal swabs, antibody tests reveal markers of immune response—the IgM and IgG antibodies that for most people show up in blood more than a week after they start to feel sick, when symptoms may already be waning.
    Serologic antibody tests not only can c...
  • COVID-19 outbreak impact in Spain: A role for tobacco smoking?

    30 Apr, 2020
    With 120859 deaths in 2018, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Spain (28.3%). Sex-disaggregated data for CVD in Spain show differences in mortality between men (46.3%) and women (53.7%). Surprisingly, although men (51%) and women (49%) are getting infected by COVID-19 at similar rates, men have been dying from COVID-19 at a significantly higher rate (4.4%) than women (2.5%), and the sex differences regarding vulnerability in those with COVID-19 and preexisting...
  • How does India, a country of 1.3 billion people, have around 1,000 coronavirus deaths?

    29 Apr, 2020
    Experts predicted that the country could expect millions of coronavirus cases. Doctors warned that India needed to prepare for an onslaught of cases that could cripple the country's ill-equipped health system. Onlookers worried that the virus could spread like wildfire through India's slums, where residents live in cramped quarters and basic sanitation often isn't available.But so far, the world's second-most populous country appears to have avoided the worst.As ...
  • Coronavirus could be causing new inflammatory condition in children, UK health officials warn

    29 Apr, 2020

    Health officials in the U.K. are warning that Covid-19 could be causing a new and rare inflammatory condition in children. Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society said Monday the National Health Service alerted it to a small number of critically ill children resenting with “an unusual clinical picture.” The society noted that many — but not all — of the children with symptoms of the new inflammatory disease had been diagnosed with Covid-19. The condition was likene...
  • Virtual treatment and social distancing

    29 Apr, 2020

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is raising levels of anxiety worldwide: both appropriate anxiety in reaction to real dangers and maladaptive panic. Beyond handwashing, a key public health directive is social distancing, which entails avoiding public gatherings and generally keeping physical distance from others. The economy is shutting down, leaving people at home without the structure of their daily work routine. The closing of theatres, museums, restaurants, and bars ha...
  • The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide

    29 Apr, 2020
    Eight ways in which scientists hope to provide immunity to SARS-CoV-2. 
    More than 90 vaccines are being developed against SARS-CoV-2 by research teams in companies and universities across the world. Researchers are trialling different technologies, some of which haven’t been used in a licensed vaccine before. At least six groups have already begun injecting formulations into volunteers in safety trials; others have started testing in animals. Nature’s graphical guide explains eac...
  • WHO warns about coronavirus antibody tests as some nations consider issuing ‘immunity passports’ to recovered patients

    28 Apr, 2020

    Scientists still don’t know whether coronavirus antibodies give a person immunity or reduce the risk of reinfection, even as some nations consider issuing passports or certificates that indicate whether someone has had the virus, World Health Organization officials said Monday.

    Some countries are considering issuing so-called immunity passports or risk-free certificates to people who have antibodies against Covid-19, enabling them to travel or return to work assuming that they are ...
  • What the world can learn from Africa

    28 Apr, 2020

    Africa's number of coronavirus infections is rising, and with it the fear of a catastrophe. But the continent has vast knowledge in dealing with infectious diseases that industrialized nations could utilize.

    The global corona crisis is paralyzing African metropolises. In Johannesburg, South Africa's economic capital, the military was deployed to monitor the imposed curfews. In Uganda's otherwise lively capital Kampala, markets and shops remain closed. Only a few boda bodas (mot...
  • Atypical presentation of COVID-19 in young infants

    28 Apr, 2020

    As of April 27, 2020, more than two million people worldwide have been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with Europe being one of the current major clusters of the pandemic. Despite an absence of evidence, children have been targeted as a potential source of children-to-adult virus dissemination, and schools have been closed in most countries. However, findings seem to indicate a lower susceptibility of children to COVID-19 and low contagiousness. Within 7 days...
  • Could dogs help detect COVID-19?

    27 Apr, 2020

    Late last month, a team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the registered charity Medical Detection Dogs, and Durham University, all in the U.K., announced an intriguing new initiative.

    The team wants to explore the potential of using dogs to detect COVID-19 in people who may have developed the disease.

    This idea came from the fact that canines are very adept at picking up on subtle signs of illness thanks to thei...
  • How India will play a major role in a Covid-19 vaccine

    27 Apr, 2020

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last fortnight that India and the US were working together to develop vaccines against the coronavirus.

    Mr Pompeo's remark didn't entirely come as a surprise.

    The two countries have run an internationally recognised joint vaccine development programme for more than three decades.

    They have worked on stopping dengue, enteric diseases, influenza and TB in their tracks. Trials of a dengue vaccine are planned in the near future.
  • First trial for potential Covid-19 drug shows it has no effect

    27 Apr, 2020
    WHO draft put online states remdesivir does not benefit severe coronavirus patients.

    Remdesivir, a drug thought to be one of the best prospects for treating Covid-19, failed to have any effect in the first full trial, it has been revealed.

    The drug is in short supply globally because of the excitement it has generated. It is one of the drugs Donald Trump claimed was “promising”.

    In a “gold standard” trial of 237 patients, some of whom received remdesivir while others did ...