Viruses didn’t become ubiquitous by being wimps: From the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold to the new coronavirus that has spread across the world, they are able to survive on surfaces far away from the living cells that they need in order to reproduce. How long they can lurk before a living organism comes along to infect depends on the kind of surface and the properties of the virus: The Covid-19 virus, according to a new study, sticks around on plastic surfaces for up to three days, but for a shorter period on metals. Rhinoviruses can survive on human skin for hours, which is why shaking hands with someone who has a cold is a good way to catch it. Influenza viruses remain infectious for up to 48 hours after landing on nonporous surfaces such as stainless steel or plastic such as that in computer keyboards, but that seems like the outer limit: A 2011 study found that the H1N1 flu virus that caused the 2009

Institutul Naţional de Cercetare-Dezvoltare Medico-Militară “Cantacuzino” a primit invitaţia de la Organizaţia Mondială a Sănătăţii şi va participa, prin Laboratorul Infecţii Respiratorii Virale, în perioada aprilie – iulie, alături de prestigioase laboratoare din lume, la controlul extern de calitate al testelor efectuate pentru identificarea noului coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, informează instituţia pe pagina sa de Facebook. “În funcţie de rezultate, Laboratorul Infecţii Respiratorii Virale, certificat de către Organizaţia Mondială a Sănătăţii ca fiind Centru Naţional de Referinţă pentru gripă în România, va putea primi aceeaşi certificare şi pentru noul coronavirus SARS-CoV-2”, precizează sursa citată.

For many countries staring down fast-rising coronavirus case counts, the race is on to “flatten the curve.” The United States and other countries, experts say, are likely to be hit by tsunamis of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks without aggressive public health responses. But by taking certain steps — canceling large public gatherings, for instance, and encouraging some people to restrict their contact with others — governments have a shot at stamping out new chains of transmission, while also trying to mitigate the damage of the spread that isn’t under control. The epidemic curve, a statistical chart used to visualize when and at what speed new cases are reported, could be flattened, rather than being allowed to rise exponentially. “If you look at the curves of outbreaks, they go big peaks, and then come down. What we need to do is flatten that down,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of

The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco. At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact. Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing

When a new virus blasts out of the animals that harbored it and into people, experts can usually say, thank goodness it’s not like measles. That virus is more contagious than any others known to science: Each case of measles causes an astronomical 12 to 18 new cases, compared to about six for polio, smallpox, and rubella. Each case of the new coronavirus is estimated to cause two to three others. The reason the measles is so, well, viral, is that the microbe is so small and hardy that it is able to stay suspended in the air where an infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours, making it one of the only viruses that can exist as a true aerosol. Now there are conflicting reports on whether the new coronavirus can. The studies suggesting that it can be aerosolized are only preliminary, and other research contradicts it, finding no aerosolized coronavirus particles in the hospital rooms of Covid-19

In a rare piece of good news about Covid-19, a team of infectious disease experts calculates that the fatality rate in people who have symptoms of the disease caused by the new coronavirus is about 1.4%. Although that estimate applies specifically to Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak began, and is based on data from there, it offers a guide to the rest of the world, where many countries might see even lower death rates. The new figure is significantly below earlier estimates of 2% or 3% and well below the death rate for China based on simply dividing deaths by cases, which yields almost 4%. While it is still higher than the average 0.1% death rate from seasonal flu, it raises hopes that the worst consequence of the coronavirus will be uncommon. Cutting against that optimism is the expectation that, because no one was immune to the new virus, “the majority of the population will be

For many countries staring down fast-rising coronavirus case counts, the race is on to “flatten the curve.” The United States and other countries, experts say, are likely to be hit by tsunamis of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks without aggressive public health responses. But by taking certain steps — canceling large public gatherings, for instance, and encouraging some people to restrict their contact with others — governments have a shot at stamping out new chains of transmission, while also trying to mitigate the damage of the spread that isn’t under control. The epidemic curve, a statistical chart used to visualize when and at what speed new cases are reported, could be flattened, rather than being allowed to rise exponentially. “If you look at the curves of outbreaks, they go big peaks, and then come down. What we

Chunyan Wang, Wentao Li, Dubravka Drabek, Nisreen M.A. Okba, Rien van Haperen, Albert D.M.E. Osterhaus, Frank J.M. van Kuppeveld, Bart L. Haagmans, Frank Grosveld, Berend-Jan Bosch

doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.11.987958

This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review.

Abstract

The emergence of the novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China has caused a worldwide epidemic of respiratory disease

Jonathan Dushoff, Sang Woo Park

doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.02.974048

This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review.

Abstract An epidemic can be characterized by its speed (i.e., the exponential growth rate r) and strength (i.e., the reproductive number ℛ). Disease modelers have historically placed much more emphasis on strength, in part because the effectiveness of an intervention strategy is typically evaluated on this scale. Here, we develop a mathematical framework for this classic, strength-based paradigm and show that there is a corresponding speed-based paradigm which can provide

Canadian firm says it could make 10 million doses per month — if its innovative production method wins FDA approval. A Canadian company says that it has produced a COVID-19 vaccine just 20 days after receiving the coronavirus’s genetic sequence, using a unique technology that they soon hope to submit for FDA approval. Medicago CEO Bruce Clark said his company could produce as many as 10 million doses a month. If regulatory hurdles can be cleared, he said in a Thursday interview, the vaccine could start to become available in November. An Israeli research lab has also claimed to have created a vaccine. But Clark says his company’s technique, which has already been proven effective in producing vaccines for seasonal flu, is more reliable and easier to scale. “There are a couple of others who are claiming that they have — well,

The emergence of a new infectious disease that rapidly spreads around the world, like Covid-19, makes disaster planning experts move into overdrive. Lessons learned over the last decade can help cope with the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the spring of 2009, a new type of flu virus, called H1N1, was detected in the United States. It spread across the U.S and to other countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that, in the U.S. alone, between April 2009 and April 2010 H1N1 sickened more than 60 million people, caused 275,000 hospitalizations, and killed more than 12,000 people. In the midst of a summer lull in H1N1 cases, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) convened a committee to come up with guidance for clinicians and hospital administrators who might need to

Fei Zhou, MD † Ting Yu, MD †Ronghui Du, MD †Guohui Fan, MS †Ying Liu, MD †Zhibo Liu, MD †et al.

Published:March 11, 2020

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30566-3

Summary

Background Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have

Longxian Lv, Gaolei Li, Jinhui Chen, Xinle Liang, Yudong Li

doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.27.969006

This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review.

Comparative genomic analysis revealed specific mutation pattern between human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and Bat-SARSr-CoV RaTG13 Longxian Lv, Gaolei Li, Jinhui Chen, Xinle Liang, Yudong Li doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.27.969006 This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review. Abstract The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) is a member of the family coronaviridae and contains a single-stranded RNA genome with positive-polarity. To reveal

A new approach would use RNA or DNA to help the body develop antibodies to the rapidly spreading illness. A U.S. military research program that seeks a new way to boost a body’s immunity to viruses could change how governments and militaries prepare for pandemics — and might even arrive soon enough to help with the COVID-19 outbreak. DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform isn’t looking to create a vaccine, which can take years to produce and weeks to take effect in the body. Rather, the goal is to identify the specific monoclonal antibodies that the body naturally produces when it encounters a virus, and then trick the body into producing the one that guards against a specific illness. That could serve as a temporary, months-long shield that can protect the individual from the pathogen until a vaccine can be brought

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