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Current SARS News and Events, SARS News Articles.
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An important new tool for developing COVID-19 treatments, vaccines
Scientists have a new resource to help them better understand COVID-19 as they develop treatments and vaccines. (2020-06-02)

Fujita Health University releases a preliminary report of Favipiravir Observational Study
Favipiravir (brand name Avigan) Observational Study Group (principal investigator: Dr. Yohei Doi, Fujita Health University) released a preliminary report of the Favipiravir Observational Study in Japan on the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases website. This preliminary report contains entries made to the study database by COB May 15, 2020, consisting of 2,158 patients who received favpiravir for COVID-19 and describes their background, clinical course, outcome and adverse events. (2020-06-02)

Genetic study reveals similarities and differences of COVID-19 and SARS viruses
Researchers have identified specific portions of the genetic codes of the COVID-19 and SARS viruses that may promote the viruses' lifecycles. The new technique is researchers' first tool for determining what genetic sequences stored as RNA -- DNA's chemical cousin -- are more stable. The research team named their technique Fate-seq because it aims to determine the fate of a genetic sequence, whether it will persist or degrade based on its stability. (2020-06-02)

Small study demonstrates sample inactivation may lead to SARS-CoV-2 false negatives
A team of investigators led by Chaofeng Ma of Xi'an Center for Disease Control and Prevention hypothesized that viral inactivation may contribute to false negatives. They have now tested several inactivation methodologies to determine if and to what extent they reduce detectible virus in a clinical sample. The research appears May 29th in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. (2020-06-02)

Warmer temperatures slow COVID-19 transmission, but not by much
Researchers at Mount Auburn Hospital looked at the impact of temperature, precipitation, and UV index on COVID-19 case rates in the United States during the spring months of 2020. Published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the findings reveal that while the rate of COVID-19 incidence does decrease with warmer temperatures up until 52 degrees F, further warmer temperatures do not decrease disease transmission significantly. (2020-06-01)

Researchers map SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells of nasal cavity, bronchia, lungs
Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill characterized the specific ways in which SARS-CoV-2 infects the nasal cavity to a great degree -- replicating specific cell types -- and infects and replicates progressively less well in cells lower down the respiratory tract. The findings suggest the virus tends to become firmly established first in the nasal cavity, but in some cases the virus is aspirated into the lungs, where it may cause more serious disease, including potentially fatal pneumonia. (2020-06-01)

The Lancet: Most comprehensive study to date provides evidence on optimal physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent spread of COVID-19
Keeping at least one metre from other people as well as wearing face coverings and eye protection, in and outside of health-care settings, could be the best way to reduce the chance of viral infection or transmission of COVID-19, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis synthesising all the available evidence from the scientific literature, published in The Lancet. (2020-06-01)

Coronavirus pandemic in Germany: Medical care in an adaptive healthcare system
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has issued a fourth ad-hoc-statement on the coronavirus pandemic. It is dedicated to the topic: 'Medical Care and Patient-Oriented Research in an Adaptive Healthcare System'. The paper focuses on short- and medium-term aspects of medical and care services under the conditions of a sustained pandemic and identifies long-term measures that lead to a more resilient and adaptive healthcare system. (2020-05-31)

A roadmap for effective treatment of COVID-19
Researchers from the US Food and Drug Administration have reviewed the available scientific literature on COVID-19 and systematically outlined key immunological factors underlying COVID-19 disease severity. Based on these factors, the researchers indicate a range of approved and available drugs, as well as drugs currently under clinical investigation, as possible candidates for treatment. (2020-05-29)

First cases of COVID-19 in New York City primarily from European and US sources
In New York City, the first confirmed COVID-19 cases arose mostly through untracked transmission of the virus from Europe and other parts of the United States, a new molecular epidemiology study of 84 patients reports. (2020-05-29)

Growing evidence that minority ethnic groups in England may be at higher risk of COVID-19
Evidence available to date suggests that minority ethnic groups in England, particularly black and south Asian people, may be at increased risk of testing positive for Covid-19, compared to people from white British backgrounds, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine. (2020-05-29)

Neuropathogenesis, neurologic manifestations of coronaviruses
Potential tissue targets and routes of entry of SARS-CoV-2 into the central nervous system and reported neurological complications of COVID-19 are identified in this narrative review. (2020-05-29)

Using riboflavin, UV light reduces SARS-CoV-2 pathogens in plasma, whole blood
Researchers at Colorado State University used existing technologies to show that exposing the coronavirus to riboflavin and ultraviolet light reduces blood-borne pathogens in human plasma and whole-blood products. (2020-05-29)

SARS-CoV-2 possibly emerged from shuffling and selection of viral genes across different species
A combination of genetic shuffling and evolutionary selection of near-identical genetic sequences among specific bat and pangolin coronaviruses may have led to the evolution of SARS-CoV-2. (2020-05-29)

Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans
A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells. (2020-05-29)

How the coronavirus could be prevented from invading a host cell
How might the novel coronavirus be prevented from entering a host cell in an effort to thwart infection? A team of biomedical scientists has made a discovery that points to a solution. The scientists, led by Maurizio Pellecchia in the UC Riverside School of Medicine, report in the journal Molecules that two proteases -- enzymes that break down proteins -- located on the surface of host cells and responsible for processing viral entry could be inhibited. (2020-05-29)

COVID-19 patients who undergo surgery are at increased risk of postoperative death
Patients are at increased risk of dying after surgery if they contract COVID-19. Non-critical surgery should be postponed during COVID-19 outbreaks. Investment is urgently needed to increase safety of surgery during COVID-19 outbreaks. (2020-05-29)

AMP releases preliminary results to nationwide SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing survey
The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the premier global, molecular diagnostic professional society, today released the preliminary results of its April 2020 SARS-CoV-2 Testing Survey for clinical laboratories. The anonymous survey was created and administered to document clinical laboratory efforts and experiences. The results will be used to help inform future advocacy and clinical practice programs related to pandemic responses. (2020-05-28)

Heart surgery stalled as COVID-19 spread
In two recent journal articles, Dr. Marc Ruel explores how hospitals worldwide scaled back on heart surgeries as the pandemic hit, and how they can resume those operations in a world still plagued by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (2020-05-28)

University of Cincinnati study uncovers clues to COVID-19 in the brain
A study by University of Cincinnati researchers and three Italian institutions reviewing neuroimaging and neurological symptoms in patients with COVID-19 may shed light on the virus's impact on the central nervous system. (2020-05-27)

Two anti-inflammatory drugs found that inhibit the replication of the COVID-19 virus
Researchers at the URV have used computer techniques to analyse whether 6,466 drugs authorized by various drug agencies for both human and veterinary use could be used to inhibit the M-pro enzyme. The study demonstrates that a human and a veterinary anti-inflammatory drug - Carprofen and Celecoxib - inhibit a key enzyme in the replication and transcription of the virus responsible for COVID-19. The results of the work have been validated by the initiative COVIDMoonshot. (2020-05-27)

Simple and readily available saline solution can reliably transport COVID-19 samples to testing labs
In a new peer-reviewed study appearing in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, published by Elsevier, investigators report that a simple salt solution commonly found in hospitals and clinical laboratories, phosphate buffered saline (PBS), can be used as a medium to reliably transport coronavirus-contaminated specimens to the testing laboratory for periods of up to 18 hours, which is often needed in busy clinical settings. (2020-05-27)

Mouse model mimics SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans
A mouse model of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reproduces features observed in human patients, researchers report May 26 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, the researchers generated mice that produce human angiotensin-converting enzyme II (hACE2)--the receptor that SARS-CoV-2 binds to and uses to enter human cells. (2020-05-27)

Digital contact tracing for COVID-19: an analysis of strengths and limitations
An article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) analyzes the strengths and limitations of digital contact tracing for people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to help governments decide if and how they might adopt this technology. (2020-05-27)

As businesses reopen, it's crucial we wear masks, safely distance
In a perspective piece published today in the journal Science, UC San Diego experts describe in detail the growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can be spread by asymptomatic people via aerosols -- a reality that deeply underscores the ongoing importance of regular widespread testing, wearing masks and physical distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. (2020-05-27)

Masks reduce airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Growing evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can be spread by asymptomatic people via aerosols -- a reality that deeply underscores the ongoing importance of regular widespread testing, wearing masks and physical distancing to reduce the spread of the virus, say Kimberly Prather and colleagues in a new Perspective. (2020-05-27)

Loss of smell, taste changes associated with COVID-19: Canadian study
Loss of smell (anosmia) and changes in taste (dysgeusia) were strongly associated with SARS-CoV-2, according to a Canadian study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) https://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2020/05/27/cmaj.200869. (2020-05-27)

1ST COVID autopsy series by LSUHealthNO pathologists reveals new cardiopulmonary findings
LSU Health New Orleans pathologists performed the first series of autopsies on African Americans who died from COVID-19 in New Orleans, and their findings provide new and critical information to guide patient management. The findings are published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. (2020-05-27)

PKU-led team found effective SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies
A joint research team led by Sunney Xie, Director of Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG) at Peking University (PKU) has identified multiple highly potent neutralizing antibodies against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of the respiratory disease COVID-19. (2020-05-27)

Beware of false negatives in diagnostic testing of COVID-19
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that the chance of a false negative result -- when a virus is not detected in a person who actually is, or recently has been, infected -- is greater than 1 in 5 and, at times, far higher. (2020-05-26)

COVID-19 should be treated as a thrombotic disease, Brazilian pulmonologist argues
Dr. Elnara Negri, who works in São Paulo City at the largest hospital complex in Latin America, advocates the use of the anti-coagulant drug heparin to treat complications caused by novel coronavirus. (2020-05-25)

Using wastewater to monitor COVID-19
A recent review paper from an international research group shows how wastewater could provide a useful tool for monitoring COVID-19 and highlights the further research needed to develop this as a viable method for tracking virus outbreaks. (2020-05-24)

The Lancet: First human trial of COVID-19 vaccine finds it is safe and induces rapid immune response
The Lancet: First human trial of COVID-19 vaccine finds it is safe and induces rapid immune response. (2020-05-22)

When developing vaccines against COVID-19, 'fast is slow, and slow is fast'
Bypassing clinical trials for a potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would be ''catastrophic,'' says Science Advances deputy editor Douglas Green in this Editorial. Instead, it's vital to take time to ensure any vaccine candidate's safety and investigate potential adverse (2020-05-22)

Patients with COVID-19 may develop thyroid infection
COVID-19 infection may cause subacute thyroiditis, according to a new case study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (2020-05-21)

Mount Sinai research helps explain why COVID-19 may be less common in children than adults
Lower levels of ACE2 nasal gene expression in children may explain why children have a lower risk of Covid-19 infection and mortality. The SARS-CoV-2 virus uses ACE2 to enter the host. ACE2 nasal gene expression could potentially be used as a biomarker to evaluate Covid-19 susceptibility. (2020-05-21)

Investigation of COVID-19 outbreak in independent/assisted living facility
The implementation of surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 is examined in this case series that describes symptoms of COVID-19 among residents and staff of an independent/assisted living community. (2020-05-21)

Immunity to coronaviruses: What do we know so far?
Written by top UK virologists, the article discusses the existing knowledge about immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, and how this could be used to inform virus control strategies. The review, which is free to read in the Journal of General Virology (JGV), collates the available scientific evidence in a number of key areas, including how long immunity to coronaviruses lasts and the prospect of antibody testing. (2020-05-21)

A replaceable, more efficient filter for N95 masks
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there's been a worldwide shortage of face masks -- particularly, the N95 ones worn by health care workers. Although these coverings provide the highest level of protection currently available, they have limitations. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a membrane that can be attached to a regular N95 mask and replaced when needed. The filter has a smaller pore size than normal N95 masks, potentially blocking more virus particles. (2020-05-21)

How to identify which interventions work best in a pandemic
In lieu of a vaccine or reliable preventative medications, the only approaches currently available to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 are behavioral -- handwashing, mask-wearing and social distancing, for example. (2020-05-21)

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