Even as lab leak hypothesis is based on conjectures, it needs to be investigated

China’s secrecy, delay in reporting the outbreak in Wuhan, reluctance to allow quick and free access to the WHO team investigating virus origin, and the delay in finding the natural host or the intermediary has further fuelled the lab spillover hypothesis even in the absence of any compelling evidence. Over 17 months after the World … Continue reading Even as lab leak hypothesis is based on conjectures, it needs to be investigated

Explained: Probing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus

The WHO fact-finding team had initially rejected the possibility of a lab-leak saying it is “extremely unlikely” and that further investigation into it was not required. However, at a press briefing on February 12, the WHO Chief Tedros A Ghebreyesus appeared to backpaddle saying that on discussing with a few team members “all hypotheses [including … Continue reading Explained: Probing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Conspiracy theories about SARS-CoV-2 virus origin put to rest

In contrast to a lab-origin, the investigation by the WHO team now strongly suggests virus origin to a natural reservoir in bats, but unlikely to have been in Wuhan. The virus jumping directly from bats to humans is highly unlikely and initial investigation too suggests the introduction into humans through an intermediary host species. By … Continue reading Conspiracy theories about SARS-CoV-2 virus origin put to rest

Second case of confirmed coronavirus reinfection reported

Using genome sequencing researchers at Reno School of Medicine, University of Nevada have confirmed a case of coronavirus reinfection. Unlike the first reported case of confirmed reinfection in Hong Kong who was asymptomatic the second time, the U.S. adult exhibited severe symptoms when reinfected. About five days after the first case of confirmed reinfection by … Continue reading Second case of confirmed coronavirus reinfection reported

Results of coronavirus vaccine trials call for cautious optimism

Never before have candidate vaccines been developed from scratch, tested on animals and completed early stages of human clinical trials all under six months. This is an acid test for vaccine science and development and the outcomes will have far-reaching consequences either way. With novel coronavirus continuing to spread across continents infecting over 14.7 million … Continue reading Results of coronavirus vaccine trials call for cautious optimism

COVID-19: China’s dangerous obsession with secrecy a serious threat to global public health

Contrary to what was earlier reported, China confirmed to the WHO of the cluster of cases of ‘viral pneumonia of unknown cause’ on January 3 only after the global body twice reached out to the Chinese authorities on January 1-2. Powerful countries cannot be allowed to endanger the lives of global public by shirking responsibility. … Continue reading COVID-19: China’s dangerous obsession with secrecy a serious threat to global public health

Antibodies from convalescent plasma protects against COVID-19

The researchers found passive transfer of neutralising antibodies isolated from convalescent plasma into Syrian hamsters protect the animals against the disease when exposed to the virus and also protects hamsters against heavy viral exposure. A team of scientists led by Dennis R. Burton from the Scripps Research Institute has discovered neutralising antibodies present in the … Continue reading Antibodies from convalescent plasma protects against COVID-19

Antibodies against coronavirus start to decrease in 2-3 months, study finds

The study found IgG levels and neutralizing antibodies started to decrease within two-three months after infection with novel coronavirus. The reduction was more (40%) in the case asymptomatic individuals than symptomatic individuals (nearly 13%). A few countries, including UK, were toying with the idea of issuing some form of a certificate to people who have … Continue reading Antibodies against coronavirus start to decrease in 2-3 months, study finds

Faeces samples can harbour infectious coronavirus, study finds

Chinese researchers were able to isolate and culture novel coronavirus from faeces samples. Confirmation of infectious virus in faeces samples raises the potential for faecal-oral or faecal-respiratory transmission. During 2002 SARS, 329 residents of a private housing estate in Hong Kong were infected and 42 died due to aerosolised faeces spread of the virus. Researchers … Continue reading Faeces samples can harbour infectious coronavirus, study finds

Plasma therapy: In a welcome change, ICMR insists on evidence-based approach

ICMR’s insistence on an evidence-based approach to plasma therapy is a welcome change and is in stark contrast to the cavalier manner in which it approved hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis for coronavirus without carrying out any trial and relying on evidence which was slim and dodgy and that too only for treatment, and also when … Continue reading Plasma therapy: In a welcome change, ICMR insists on evidence-based approach