infections

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Re-evaluation of the coronavirus disease

COVID-19: A tale of two conditions

The SARS CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 may have been named prematurely. As more has become known about the infection, the severe disease does not appear to be a respiratory syndrome at all. Patients who only have a respiratory illness tend not to have a severe condition, while patients who develop a severe condition tend to have non-respiratory conditions, primarily thrombotic or hyper-immune…

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Pregnancy risk

Coronavirus could infect embryos as early as the first trimester

Genes that are thought to play a role in how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells have been found to be active in embryos as early as during the second week of pregnancy, say scientists at the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The researchers say this could mean embryos are susceptible to COVID-19 if the mother gets sick, potentially affecting the…

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COVID-19

Scientists uncover SARSCoV-2-specific T cell immunity in recovered patients

The T cells, along with antibodies, are an integral part of the human immune response against viral infections due to their ability to directly target and kill infected cells. A Singapore study has uncovered the presence of virus-specific T cell immunity in people who recovered from COVID-19 and SARS, as well as some healthy study subjects who had never been infected by either virus.

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Restriction research

COVID-19: The earlier the lockdown, the fewer new cases, study shows

Physical distancing measures, such as closing schools, workplaces, and public transport, and restricting mass gatherings, are associated with a meaningful reduction in new COVID-19 cases, finds a study published by The BMJ. The data, gathered from 149 countries and regions, also show that implementing lockdown restrictions earlier was associated with a greater reduction in new cases. “These…

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SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19: why do patients immune response differ?

It remains one of the key questions of the current corona pandemic: Why do people infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience varying degrees of COVID-19, the disease which it triggers? Researchers, led by Professor Mascha Binder from University Hospital Halle (Saale), have investigated more than 14 million receptor sequences of B and T cells, i.e. immune cells, obtained from blood samples of COVID-19…

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Coronavirus research

Immunity to COVID-19 is probably higher than tests have shown

New research from Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital shows that many people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 demonstrate so-called T-cell-mediated immunity to the new coronavirus, even if they have not tested positively for antibodies. According to the researchers, this means that public immunity is probably higher than antibody tests suggest. The article is freely…

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Airborne droplet travel distance

Why you shouldn't underestimate the reach of COVID-19

A plea issued by 239 scientists from around the world to recognise and mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19 addressed to international health authorities is published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Led by internationally recognised air quality and health expert Professor Lidia Morawska from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the appeal is to address the overwhelming…

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Coronavirus and gender

Why COVID-19 hits men harder than women

When infected by the new coronavirus, women may mount a more potent adaptive immune response than do men, a new study suggests. By comparison, the male immune response appears to progress less effectively, fostering inflammation that’s harmful to the body. This study is the first to delve into sex differences in how the immune system defends itself against the virus SARS-CoV-2. It could help…

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Disinfection

Robots help fight hospital infections

In the hustle and bustle of a hospital, properly disinfecting all surfaces in a patient room can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Now, in times of the coronavirus pandemic, it can also be life-threatening. To minimize the risk for their staff, hospitals are utilizing disinfection robots to sanitize surfaces and rooms. Read on and learn more about how some of those robots are used to…

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Microbiome study

Do microscope eyepieces pose an infection risk?

Light microscope for viewing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi are commonly found in scientific laboratories. A research team from Furtwangen University, the University of Tübingen and Carl Zeiss Vision International GmbH, Aalen, examined more closely their role as potential vectors of infectious pathogens. „Very little was known about this until now," explains the head of the…

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Implications for lockdown policies

Cruise ship study hints at many ‘silent’ COVID-19 infections

The prevalence of ‘silent’ symptomless COVID-19 infection may be much higher than thought, reveals a study charting the enforced isolation of cruise ship passengers during the current pandemic, and published online in the journal Thorax. More than eight out of 10 of passengers and crew who tested positive for the infection had no symptoms. This has implications for the easing of lockdown…

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Molecular electronics

Biosensor chips for infection surveillance and more

Roswell Biotechnologies, Inc., a manufacturer of molecular electronics sensor chips, and imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, announced a partnership to develop the first commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips are the brains behind Roswell Technologies' new platform for DNA sequencing, to support precision medicine,…

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Calculating course and resolution

New COVID-19 model predicts light at the end of the tunnel

COVID-19 has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but a new predictor model devised at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) offers glimmers of hope, suggesting the worst has passed and indicating well under 1000 deaths for Australia. The team at QUT, led by physician, mathematician and Future Fellow Dan Nicolau, has developed what they believe to be a…

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COVID-19 prevention

Social distancing: does it work?

The number of cases tested positive for COVID-19 initially grew exponentially in China, but then slowed down. Dirk Brockmann, professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and project group leader at the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), and his postdoc Benjamin F. Maier have developed a diffusion model that takes into account the effect of social distancing and other measures to explain this…

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Coronavirus chronology

COVID-19 in the U.S.: Government inaction gave virus a head start

The sense of fear is palpable in the images and videos of hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency departments that are broadcast on television and posted on social media. Fear and heartbreak can be heard in the voices of physicians and nurses who describe what they are experiencing. It’s not as if healthcare professionals hadn’t warned United States residents and government…

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Monitoring Covid-19 from the sky

A ‘pandemic drone’ to detect coronavirus infections

A ‘pandemic drone’ to remotely monitor and detect people with infectious respiratory conditions is being developed by the University of South Australia (UniSA) in partnership with a Canadian company. The drone will be fitted with a specialised sensor and computer vision system that can monitor temperature, heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing in crowds,…

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Public health

The fight against COVID-19 in the United Kingdom

The sunny Sunday of March 22, 2020, may well go down as a watershed date in the context of Coronavirus in the UK. A couple of days earlier, UK schools had closed en masse – open only thereafter for children of key workers – and the British government had advised that pubs, bars, cinemas, gyms and restaurants should close and people should adhere more rigorously to social distancing.

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