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Coronavirus

Keep up-to-date with the latest research news, political developments, and background information on COVID-19.

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In children

Long COVID symptoms rarely persist beyond 12 weeks

Long COVID symptoms rarely persisted beyond 12 weeks in children and adolescents unlike adults.

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High risk patients

WHO recommends antibody treatment for Covid-19 patients

A treatment combining two antibodies is recommended for two specific groups of patients with Covid-19 by a WHO Guideline Development Group panel of international experts and patients.

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Better ventilation needed

COVID-19 virus gets better at becoming airborne

Study suggests need for better ventilation and tight-fitting masks, in addition to widespread vaccination to help stop spread of the virus.

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QCovid tool

Vaccinated groups at highest risk of Covid-19 hospitalisation

According to new research, vaccinated people are at greatest risk from severe Covid-19 leading to hospitalisation or death from 14 days post the second dose vaccination, when substantial immunity…

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Covid_19

France gets tough on unvaccinated health workers

Thousands of unvaccinated French health workers face suspension without pay under a new COVID-19 law that punishes people in care professions who refuse to get immunised against the virus.

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Autoimmune reaction study

Severe Covid-19 linked to increase in self-attacking antibodies

Hospitalized Covid-19 patients are substantially more likely to harbor autoantibodies — antibodies directed at their own tissues or at substances their immune cells secrete into the blood — than…

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SARS-CoV-2 in the media

Does 'beautifying' the Coronavirus make us underestimate its danger?

Colourful, 3D rendered scientific images are fascinating - but can they deceive viewers? New research from Spain suggests this might be the case. According to the study by the Instituto de Radio Televisión Española and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona conducted during the Covid-19 lockdown, black and white images of SARS-CoV-2 make the virus seem more infectious. The results, published on…

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Respiratory research

Covid-19 infection does not affect lung function in kids, young adults

Covid-19 infection does not appear to affect the lung function of young adults, according to new research presented at the ‘virtual’ European Respiratory Society International Congress. In the first study to investigate the impact of Covid-19 infection on lung function, researchers led by Dr Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, found that even…

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Resource management

Automated filling machine could stave off Covid-19 vaccine shortage

Researchers in Thailand have developed a device to get the most out of vaccine supplies: The automated vaccine filling machine from the Faculty of Engineering at Chulalongkorn University can fill AstraZeneca vaccine into syringes with precision, speed, and safety, helping to increase the number of vaccinated people by 20 percent. The prototype is now operating at Chula Vaccination Center and more…

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Coronavirus prevention

Double vaccination cuts risk of Long Covid in half

Adults who have received a double vaccination are 49% less likely to have Long Covid should they contract a Covid-19 infection, according to new research from King's College London. The scientists analysed data from participants logging their symptoms, tests and vaccines on the UK ZOE COVID Symptom Study app between 8th December 2020 and 4 July 2021, including 1,240,009 (first dose) and 971,504…

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Overheard at ISRRT

Radiography reflection of Covid on the frontline

Delegates at an international radiography conference were given an insight into the impact Covid-19 has had on their profession and practice in five countries across the world. A special session at the online ISRRT (International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists) congress in Dublin (August 20-22) heard experiences from Thailand, Nigeria, Italy, India and Ireland, with…

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SARS CoV-2 B.1.621

WHO classifies Coronavirus "Mu" as new 'Variant of Interest'

The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a closer look at coronavirus variant B.1.621. The strain, first encountered in January 2021 in Colombia, shows traits that could enable the virus to circumvent immune response to vaccination. As a result, the variant, named "Mu", has been classified as "Variant of Interest" (VOI). Despite its prominence in Colombian new infection,…

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Coronavirus medication research

Lab-grown beating heart cells could identify Covid drugs

Scientists have grown beating heart cells to attempt to identify drugs to prevent Covid-19-related heart damage. Concerns over the extent of cardiac damage among Covid patients emerged during the coronavirus pandemic and there are also suggestions that the impact on cardiomyocytes could contribute to the symptoms of long Covid. To explore these issues, a research team at the University of…

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Variants of concern

Are Covid-19 vaccines still effective against Delta variant? New study says yes

Obtaining two vaccine doses remains the most effective way to ensure protection against the Covid-19 Delta variant of concern dominant in the UK today, according to a study from the University of Oxford. Conducted in partnership with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the study found that with Delta, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca…

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Public health worldwide

Sharing Covid-19 vaccines between nations: a mathematical approach

New research from the University of Oxford and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology uses mathematical modelling to determine the most equitable way to share vaccines between nations. Vaccines provide a route to achieving high levels of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 across populations, and provide a route to reopening economies, tourism, and livelihoods. However, vaccine resources amongst…

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Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia

Rare blood clotting in brain after Covid-19 vaccination: study gives new insights

A new study of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) following Covid-19 vaccination provides a clearer guide for clinicians trying to diagnose and treat patients. The research, led by University College London (UCL) and UCL Health and published in The Lancet, is the most detailed account of the characteristics of CVT, when it is caused by the novel condition vaccine-induced immune…

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Infection research

Understanding lung damage in Covid-19 patients

Covid-19 disease severity is determined by the individual patient’s immune response. The precise mechanisms taking place inside the lungs and blood during the early phase of the disease, however, remain unclear. Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and Freie Universität Berlin have now studied the cellular mechanisms…

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Potential for pan-variant therapies

SARS-CoV-2 might have a 'sugar coated' weak spot

Researchers identify two sugar-binding proteins that impede the viral entry of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. The team, spearheaded by researchers at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – may have found the “Achilles’ heel” of the virus, with potential for pan-variant therapeutic interventions. The findings are now published in the EMBO…

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AI in public health

Inspiring women to create technology that impacts society

Some people change the narrative about technology and society. One of them is Nuria Oliver, Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Vodafone Institute, and Co-founder and Vice-president of the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS). In an interview with HiE, she explains how she develops computational tools and uses artificial…

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Genome editing

Using CRISPR to speed up Covid-19 testing

A research team led by scientists in the labs of Jennifer Doudna, David Savage and Patrick Hsu at the University of California, Berkeley, is aiming to develop a rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test that is much faster and easier to deploy than qRT-PCR. It has now combined two different types of CRISPR enzymes to create an assay that can detect small amounts of viral RNA in less than an hour. Doudna…

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Compulsory coronavirus prevention

Should Covid-19 vaccination be mandatory for health and care staff?

Italy, France, and Greece have made Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers, and England is making it compulsory for care home workers and consulting on whether to extend this to healthcare workers and other social care staff. Experts debate in The BMJ whether frontline health and social care workers should be compelled to take up the vaccine, if efforts to encourage them fail.…

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