Nose cells identified as likely COVID-19 entry points

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (United States) have identified two specific types of cells in the nose as points of probable initial infection for the COVID-19 coronavirus. In their work, published in the journal Nature Medicine, they have found that goblet and cylindrical cells in the nose have high levels of the input proteins that the virus uses...

First patients injected in UK vaccine trial

The first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine has begun in Oxford with 1,100 people recruited for the study. Two volunteers were injected on Thursday, April 23rd and they will be monitored for 48 hours, before six more people enter the trial on Saturday and a larger number will join at the beginning of next week. Half will...

COVID-19 asymptomatic infection estimation

Mounting evidence suggests that there is an undetected pool of COVID-19 asymptomatic but infectious cases. Estimating the number of asymptomatic infections has been crucial to understand the virus and contain its spread, which is, however, hard to be accurately counted. A new study proposes an approach of Machine Learning based fine-grained Simulator (MLSim), which integrates multiple practical factors including disease...

Damage from COVID-19 beyond the lungs

The disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be surrounded by many unknowns. For now, everything points to the lungs being the main organs in which the ravages of this infection are shown. But beyond these, its reach could extend to different organs, including the heart and blood vessels, the liver, kidneys, intestine, and brain. This is summarized...

Those infected in China could be up to four times more

According to a new study by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, the number of infected in mid-February in the Asian giant could have been up to four times higher than the official if a more extensive accounting method had been applied. On February 20, Chinese authorities reported 55,000 positive cases of COVID-19 across the country, mainly concentrated in...

Italian researchers isolate COVID-19 virus in tears

Human-to-human transmission occurs mainly through respiratory droplets, but other routes are under investigation, because SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in several body fluids. With regard to COVID-19, unprotected ocular exposure was thought to be responsible for infections that occurred in the Wuhan Fever Clinic in January 2020; in addition, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in conjunctival secretions collected from the only patient...

Air pollution may be key contributor to COVID-19 deaths

High air pollution could be one of the most important factors in deaths from coronavirus disease. This is indicated by a new study that analyzes what happened in 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, and which concludes that 78.5% of deaths from this disease occurred in only five regions, precisely those with more polluted air. This research...

Nicotine could protect from COVID-19

Nicotine could protect against the COVID-19 virus, especially in more severe cases, by attenuating the body’s excessive immune reaction known as cytokine storm ―the uncontrolled response that leads to the release of a flood of substances called cytokines that, in excess, can result in damage to multiple organs―. This hypothesis, which was already pointed out by Chinese doctors at the...

Antibody tests find little immunity against COVID-19

The first studies carried out in the world to evaluate what part of the population has antibodies against the COVID-19 coronavirus have detected less immunity than expected, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. If this still preliminary result is confirmed in other studies that are currently underway, it would remove the prospect that the immunity of the population could...

Doctors are finding damage in kidneys, hearts and elsewhere by COVID-19

The coronavirus kills by inflaming and clogging the tiny air sacs in the lungs, choking off the body’s oxygen supply until it shuts down the organs essential for life. But clinicians around the world are seeing evidence that suggests the virus also might be causing heart inflammation, acute kidney disease, neurological malfunction, blood clots, intestinal damage and liver problems, among...