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5 Ways Scientists Are Addressing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

University of Utah Scientists Ramp up Efforts in Time of Need
University of Utah Health
23-Mar-2020 8:35 AM EDT, by University of Utah Health

Newswise — Do changes in temperature and humidity affect the new coronavirus?

One of the biggest unknowns about the coronavirus is how changing seasons will affect its spread. Researchers from the Department of Physics & Astronomy received grant funding to answer this question. The physicists will create individual synthetic coronavirus particles without a genome, making the virus incapable of infection or replication. The researchers will test how the structure of the coronavirus withstands changes in humidity and temperature, and under what conditions the virus falls apart.

-Lead scientists: Michael Vershinin, PhD, Saveez Saffarian, PhD

 

A drug to block infection

One thing we really need is a medicine that prevents or treats COVID-19. Biochemists at U of U Health are working toward that goal by repurposing a strategy they developed against another infectious disease, HIV. Their trick is to build mirror images of pieces of proteins, called D-peptides. These little chemicals are designed to jam the infection process; because D-peptides aren’t found in nature, they aren’t degraded by the body. This could mean that one dose could last a long time, simplifying treatment and lowering cost. Getting new drugs approved can be a lengthy process, so this approach may not help with the current outbreak. That’s why the scientists are simultaneously creating a broad inhibitor that could be effective against other new coronaviruses.

-Lead scientists: Debra Eckert, PhD, Michael, Kay, PhD

 

Origins of the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Bats are rife with coronaviruses, most of which are likely harmless to people. Scientists have found that these viruses can exchange pieces of genetic information with each other, giving rise to viruses that cause outbreaks in humans. To identify the role these exchanges may have played in the origin of SARS-CoV-2, researchers in the Department of Human Genetics are scouring the virus’ genome to find regions that have changed recently. This can determine whether genetic exchange could have empowered the virus to infect us and evade our immune defenses. Understanding how docile viruses turn deadly could one day inspire new ideas to stop them.

-Lead scientists: Stephen Goldstein, PhD, Nels Elde, PhD

   

Who should be tested for COVID-19?

A limited number of COVID-19 tests are available due to international shortages of supplies to make them. In this situation, it is best to reserve testing for individuals who are most at risk for having the disease and developing severe symptoms. But who are they? Using mathematical models of disease spread and clinical data from those who have already been tested, infectious disease physicians are developing an online calculator. Plug in medical data and out comes a score indicating the likelihood that the patient will test positive. If the score is high, she should be tested. If the score is low, she can monitor symptoms at home (calling in if they change), potentially preserving a precious test.

-Lead scientist: Daniel Leung, MD, MSc

 

Planning for a better future                                               

If we could see that the future looks dire, we might be able to strategize ways to change it. Epidemiologists are creating models based on what is known about transmission of the new coronavirus and combining those models with census data. The result? An indication of when the disease might enter different parts of the country, along with an expected number of cases. With this virtual world, scientists can then determine how outcomes might change when people take precautions like social distancing. Scientists are also developing hospital-specific scenarios to anticipate needs for beds, masks, ventilators, and other precious items in limited supply. With these data, the hope is to shift the future from ominous to optimistic.

-Lead scientist: Lindsay Keegan, PhD




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Released: 6-May-2021 4:20 PM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET
Newswise

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 6-May-2021 2:15 PM EDT
Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

After the Most Comprehensive Review to Date, a Panel of Leading Medical Experts Conclude that Ivermectin Should be Systematically and Globally Adopted for the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19

Released: 6-May-2021 2:10 PM EDT
儿童同样面临COVID-19的长期影响
Mayo Clinic

COVID-19感染可能对部分儿童和青少年,以及成人的健康产生长期影响。虽然大多数COVID-19儿童感染者症状轻微或根本没有症状,但对于任何COVID-19感染者而言,即使病情轻微或没有症状,感染也可能产生长期影响。

Newswise: CSUCIVaxClinic4-29-21.JPG
Released: 6-May-2021 2:05 PM EDT
CSU Expands Vaccine Availability with New Partnerships
California State University (CSU) Chancellor's Office

Many CSU campuses now offer even more options for students and employees to get their COVID-19 shots, thanks to unique partnerships with national pharmacies and local hospitals.

Released: 6-May-2021 1:50 PM EDT
الأطفال أيضًا يواجهون آثارًا طويلة المدى لفيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19)
Mayo Clinic

مدينة روتشستر، ولاية مينيسوتا ― تؤثر الآثار طويلة المدى لعدوى فيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) على صحة بعض الأطفال والمراهقين، وكذا البالغين. في حين أن معظم الأطفال المصابين بعدوى فيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) يعانون من أعراض خفيفة أو لا تظهر عليهم أي أعراض على الإطلاق، فإن أي شخص أصيب بفيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-19) - حتى لو كان المرض خفيفًا أو لم تظهر عليه أعراض - قد يُصاب بآثار طويلة المدى.

Released: 6-May-2021 1:35 PM EDT
As crianças também enfrentam efeitos de longo prazo da COVID-19
Mayo Clinic

Os efeitos de longo prazo da infecção por COVID-19 estão afetando a saúde de algumas crianças e adolescentes, bem como de adultos. Embora a maioria das crianças com infecção por COVID-19 tenha sintomas leves ou nenhum sintoma, qualquer pessoa que teve COVID-19, mesmo se leve ou sem sintomas, pode ter efeitos de longo prazo.

Newswise: Retired Nurse Returns to the Front Lines
Released: 6-May-2021 1:25 PM EDT
Retired Nurse Returns to the Front Lines
Rush University Medical Center

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Martha Kuhr, RN, came out of retirement to care for some of Rush University Medical Center's most severe COVID-19 patients in the CVICU.

Released: 6-May-2021 12:40 PM EDT
Achieving high COVID-19 vaccine coverage levels by summer can prevent millions of cases
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

With around 30 percent of the U.S. population now fully vaccinated, the rate of daily vaccinations has started to slow, raising concerns that greater efforts and investments may be needed to reach higher coverage levels.

Released: 6-May-2021 12:30 PM EDT
Los niños también enfrentan los efectos a largo plazo de la COVID-19
Mayo Clinic

Los efectos a largo plazo de la infección por COVID-19 están repercutiendo en la salud de algunos niños y adolescentes, además de los adultos. Si bien la mayoría de los niños con infección por COVID-19 tienen síntomas leves o no tienen síntomas en absoluto, cualquier persona que haya tenido COVID-19 (incluso si la enfermedad fue leve o no tuvieron síntomas) puede tener efectos a largo plazo.


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