Infections

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Areas revealed

Where could the next pandemic emerge?

An international team of researchers has taken a holistic approach to reveal for the first time where wildlife-human interfaces intersect with areas of poor human health outcomes and highly globalised cities, which could give rise to the next pandemic unless preventative measures are taken.

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Virology

Digital epidemiology in the Covid-19 war

Digital epidemiology is on the frontline in the Covid-19 war, with innovative techniques used to observe and monitor this viral spread across populations. Its increasingly important role was outlined to a virtual session at Medica 2020 by theoretical biologist Professor Dirk Brockmann. In a keynote presentation ‘Perspective of digital epidemiology – opportunities, promises and challenges’,…

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For at least six months

Prior COVID-19 infection offers protection from re-infection

A new study suggests that individuals who have previously had COVID-19 are highly unlikely to contract the illness again, for at least six months following their first infection. The study, done as part of a major collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, was published as a pre-print.

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Risk assessment

Understanding the spread of COVID-19 on public transport

Researchers at Newcastle University are involved in a study to understand the risks of COVID-19 transmission on public transport and to identify the best measures to control it. Known as Project TRACK (Transport Risk Assessment for Covid Knowledge), the study will conduct fieldwork on buses and trains in London, Leeds and Newcastle, including the Metro system in Tyne and Wear.

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COVID immunity research

Coronavirus re-infection: what we know so far – and the vital missing clues

As President Trump claims that he is immune to COVID-19 and isolated reports emerge of reinfection, what is the truth about immunity to COVID-19? To date, there have been six published cases of COVID-19 reinfection, with various other unverified accounts from around the world. Although this is a comparably small fraction of the millions of people known to have been infected, should we be…

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Infection with Covid-19

The antiviral effect of innate immunity

Innate immunity is the fastest-acting component of the immune system, but so far little is known about its role during infection with SARS-CoV-2. A few hours after an infection, the body emits an alarm signal, interferon, enabling cells that have not yet been infected to produce antiviral proteins. This phenomenon occurs well before the production of neutralizing antibodies. Scientists from the…

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Simulation model for pathological mechanisms

Understanding the progress of viral infections

It is only 120 millionths of a millimetre in size but can bring entire countries to a standstill: the Corona virus. Even if it were to disappear one day, viral infections will still be among the most frequent and difficult-to-treat diseases in humans. Even decades of research have only produced a few standardized vaccines and strategies for treatment to combat just a small number of viruses. Nor…

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Strict separation policy

Creating 'COVID-19 free' hospital areas to save lives after surgery

Setting up ‘COVID-19 free’ hospital areas for surgical patients could save lives during the second wave of the pandemic – reducing the risk of death from lung infections associated with coronavirus, a new global study reveals. Researchers working together in Brazil and beyond found that that patients who had their operation and hospital care in ‘COVID-19 free’ areas had better outcomes.…

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Silent alarm

‘Silent’ COVID-19 patients may still act as a spreader, warn experts

People with ‘silent’ COVID-19 infection have as much coronavirus in their noses and throats as those with symptoms, reveals research published online in the journal Thorax. Given how many of these people there are---a fifth of those infected, the study findings show--they may have a key role in driving the spread of COVID-19, warn the researchers, who go on to suggest that this warrants…

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Cutting-edge

Taiwan companies present latest equipment advances

The healthcare system of Taiwan, renowned for its ability to tackle challenges, has held up very well during the COVID-19 pandemic. To underline the nation’s role as a healthcare innovator, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) presented several of the most promising companies and their products in an exclusive webinar. The event showcased cutting-edge technologies as well as…

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Coronavirus

“Hotspots” of a corona infection in the human body

An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analysed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues.

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Aerosol recommendations

How humidity affects indoor spread of SARS-CoV-2

The airborne transmission of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 via aerosol particles in indoor environment seems to be strongly influenced by relative humidity. This is the conclusion drawn by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) in Leipzig and the CSIR National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi from the analysis of 10 most relevant international studies on the…

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Antibacterial cellulose

A wound dressing that kills bacteria

In order to combat bacterial wound infections, Empa researchers have developed cellulose membranes equipped with antimicrobial peptides. Initial results show: The skin-friendly membranes made of plant-based materials kill bacteria very efficiently. If germs invade a wound, they can trigger a long-lasting infection that may fail to heal or even spread throughout the body, leading to…

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