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

Why working alongside China to uncover the virus’s origin is important

Even as global focus shifted to therapeutics and vaccine trials, it is reassuring that WHO is determined to discover the origin of the virus. But the pace of investigation leaves much to be desired. In 2003, a World Health Organization team was able to identify the animal source of SARS coronavirus within weeks despite the … Continue reading Why working alongside China to uncover the virus’s origin is important

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

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

Coronavirus: Fewer infected people account for larger virus spread

Three studies have found that a small percentage of people who have been infected with novel coronavirus account for a large proportion of novel coronavirus spread, much above the expected average. These are called “superspreading events. Three different studies using very different methods and patient cohorts have found that a small percentage of people who … Continue reading Coronavirus: Fewer infected people account for larger virus spread

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

Broad-spectrum antiviral inhibits novel coronavirus

A ribonucleoside analog (β-D-N4-hydroxycytidine or NHC) that was previously shown to be effective against influenza and Ebola is also potent against coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus. The prodrug of NHC was found effective against 2002 SARS coronavirus and MERS. Broad-spectrum antivirals for emerging zoonotic infections become particularly important when specific interventions do not yet exist. … Continue reading Broad-spectrum antiviral inhibits novel coronavirus

Coronavirus: Phase-1 human trial of Oxford University vaccine to begin today

The Oxford University team that uses a recombinant viral vector vaccine that uses a chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector (ChAdOx1) that carries the genetic sequence of novel coronavirus spike protein will begin Phase-1 trial today (April 23).The Oxford University will today (April 23) begin a Phase-1 clinical trial of its vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against the … Continue reading Coronavirus: Phase-1 human trial of Oxford University vaccine to begin today

How bats harbour several viruses yet not get sick

Bats serve as natural hosts for numerous viruses including Ebola virus, Nipah virus, SARS, MERS and the novel coronavirus. Yet, the viruses even when present in large numbers do not cause any harmful effects. Reason: bats avoid excessive virus-induced inflammation. Bats serve as natural hosts for numerous viruses including Ebola virus, Nipah virus, coronoviruses such … Continue reading How bats harbour several viruses yet not get sick