Human challenge trials will help us design better treatments, vaccines than we can now: Gagandeep Kang

The world’s first human challenge trial for a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is set to begin in London in January. Human challenge trials for the SARS-CoV-2 virus have many challenges, including producing a strain that is less virulent, but Dr. Gagandeep Kang says such trials can provide information and help design better vaccines than we can do now with conventional trials.

Three studies document in-flight transmission of coronavirus

While in-flight transmission of novel coronavirus among passengers is considered to be low, three studies have found instances where coronavirus transmission had probably taken place in-flight. The spread has probably become possible as mask wearing was not compulsory early in the pandemic. But thermal imaging, which has been in place since the beginning, has been found wanting.

Experimental study finds how coronavirus can spread while speaking

Based on experiments and simulations, researchers have found that air emitted during plosive speech sounds — where a consonant (P, B, T, D, K and G) is produced by stopping the airflow using the lips, tongue tip or body followed by a sudden release of air — lead to significantly enhanced directed transport of the virus. When the speech contains a train of such puffs a continuous, turbulent, jet-like flow is formed and is capable of transporting air and droplets to over two metres in just 30 seconds.

Over 12% of pregnant women presenting at 15 hospitals in Maharashtra infected with coronavirus

Of the 1,140 pregnant women presenting at 15 hospitals in Maharashtra, 141 were found to be infected with novel coronavirus, translating to 12.3% prevalence. Pooled data of 141 pregnant women and 180 women from Nair Hospital in Mumbai revealed that only 11.5% of those infected showed symptoms, while the remaining 88.5% were asymptomatic.