covid19

  • 43
Alex
 added a post  to  , covid19

It will boil down to two predominant factors that control how a virus behaves in a population: the virus’s biology and the immunity of the host population.

Endemic viruses are those that have constant presence within a geographical area. Such viruses are all around us, though they vary by location. Examples in Europe and North America include the rhinovirus (a cause of the common cold) and influenza virus, while the dengue and chikungunya viruses are endemic in many Asian countries.

Endemic diseases are often milder, but it’s important to note that this isn’t always the case. Flu, for instance, is estimated to cause up to 810,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths annually in the US.

There are currently four endemic coronaviruses that, for most people, just cause a cold. Whether SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will join them will be down to two predominant factors that control how a virus behaves in a population: the virus’s biology and the immunity of the host population.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post  to  , covid19

Drug makers are increasingly turning to monoclonal antibodies to protect the millions of people who can't use vaccines. But questions swirl about their cost and long-term viability.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout gathers pace, a population is at risk of being left behind: the millions of people around the globe who lack fully functional immune systems.

While the exact number of the immunocompromised worldwide is unknown, estimates suggest that about 10 million live in the U.S. alone, or around 3 percent of the national population. The number encompasses a diverse range of vulnerabilities, including rare genetic immune deficiencies, chronic illnesses that impair the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer and organ-transplant patients who must take immune-suppressing medications.

For them, vaccines will not be effective, because they are incapable of making their own antibodies to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Instead, pharmaceutical companies around the world are racing to develop alternative treatments that bypass the immune system altogether.

The most common option is called monoclonal antibody treatments. These artificially generated antibodies mimic the body’s natural immune response by binding to key sites on the virus’ spike protein, preventing it entering cells and reproducing. Companies including AstraZeneca, Regeneron, and Eli Lilly are currently testing whether monoclonal antibodies can protect immunocompromised people from SARS-CoV-2.

Full Article >>

Alex
 added a post  to  , covid19

COVID-19 could take a massive toll on the health of hearts across the world. New research has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could cause a wave of cardiovascular problems in the coming years. Not only are the researchers concerned with how the virus impacts the heart, but also how the lockdown might have affected peoples’ wider health.

Cardiovascular disease killed nearly 18.6 million people globally in 2019, a rate that has risen by over 17 percent from the decade previous. While this trend is set to continue regardless of the pandemic, researchers suspect that COVID-19 is likely to make things even worse. The new study, published today in the American Heart Association's flagship journal Circulation, predicts the global burden of cardiovascular disease will grow exponentially over the next few years as a direct and indirect consequence of COVID-19.

Full Article >>