The latest on COVID-19
An experimental vaccine for COVID-19 in development at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford in the UK reached a milestone on Friday, May 22, and the researchers announced advanced stages of human trials.
It will be tested on 10,260 volunteers across the UK to determine how effective it is in preventing coronavirus infection, the university said in a statement.
If successful, it could be on the market in early September, according to British-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca, which partnered with the university in April to make and distribute the vaccine.
The Jenner Institute at the academic house had already tested a vaccine against another coronavirus in early 2019, proving that it was safe for humans.
This research base has served Oxford scientists as a platform to research a new version to prevent the coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in December last year.
Tests on macaque monkeys have proven its safety and efficacy. This does not mean that it will be the same for people. But it is an advance that must be told.
Oxford has already asked governments, if proven safety and efficacy, to issue an emergency approval. University researchers believe they may have a few million doses of the vaccine available by September.
Airports take the temperature
Airports around the world are implementing technologies to take the temperature of travelers and staff, in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
One of the newest is London Heathrow Airport. The technology under test “uses camera detection systems capable of monitoring the temperatures of various people moving through the airport,” the Heathrow CEO said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Brazil recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases on a single day on May 20: 20,000. It is the third country in the world with more cases, below the United States and Russia.
There would be no reinfections
A new study conducted in South Korea, found that people who had COVID-19 and, after recovering, returned positive, did not carry a viral load capable of infecting.
This would mean that traces of the virus remain in the body, but not a reinfection.
The research was conducted with 284 patients who had tested positive for COVID months earlier. This group of people was then followed-up with antibody tests and for COVID, and their network of people with whom they had been in contact was analyzed.
No new infection was found from the group, and they themselves did not fall ill again.
Health officials in Wuhan, China, where the new coronavirus outbreak originated, said they have reached a testing level of 1 million people per week.
For their part, leaders of European countries have reached an agreement to gradually start opening borders.
Amid growing calls for an independent investigation into the new coronavirus pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the World Health Organization annual meeting that , supports an international review led by the WHO, once it ends. the health emergency.
One hundred countries support this independent research, which would seek to determine data such as the source of the outbreak, expansion, and public health policies. etc.
Meanwhile in Latin America, from Mexico City to Lima, authorities are fighting to enforce social distancing and sanitary measures in the wholesale and retail markets, which are pillars of local economies.
In Santa Anita, a popular Lima market, 90% of vendors tested positive for COVID-19. Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra said the infected merchants would be replaced, but the president added that , would not close the fruit market, arguing that such a move could create food shortages.
Soldiers and policemen were deployed to the market to take the temperature of all merchants and customers.
In the U.S
As of May 22, the 50 states had already determined the opening of the economy, with different levels of restrictions. The only one that opened 100% was Alaska.
Experts still warn of a possible second wave of rushed reopening infections.
Universities seem to have diametrically opposite opinions when defining their plans for the fall
The University of Notre Dame in Indiana became one of the first in the country to announce detailed plans to bring students back.
Academic authorities said they would implement a testing and contact tracing regime, establish quarantine and isolation protocols, and require students to maintain social status. distancing and wearing masks in public.
On the other side, the California State University System will keep its 23 largely closed campuses and teach nearly half a million students remotely.
Most other universities have said they plan to reopen in the fall, but have not yet announced specific plans.
As for the elementary, middle and high school education systems, the decision is more for the counties, and for the rate of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 that they have in the coming months.
Some are already evaluating a type of mixed teaching, with part of the classroom days and part with distance instruction.
The modern pharmacist said Monday, May 18, that the first coronavirus vaccine tested in people appeared to be safe and capable of stimulating an immune response against the virus.
It should be clear, however, that these findings are preliminary and based on the results of the first eight people who received two doses of the experimental vaccine since March.
Those people, healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55 in the United States, produced antibodies that were then tested on human cells in the lab and were able to stop virus replication, the key requirement for an effective vaccine.
Two more age groups, ages 55-70, and ages 71 and older, are signing up to begin testing this vaccine soon.
Johns Hopkins University created a case map, almost in real time, that you can also see and follow here:
What are coronaviruses
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a broad family of viruses that can cause a variety of conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as the coronavirus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and the one that causes respiratory syndrome. acute severe (SARS-CoV). A new coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been found before in humans.
How the coronavirus is contracted
Coronaviruses can be passed from animals to people (called zoonotic transmission). Studies verified that SARS-CoV was transmitted from the civet to humans and that transmission of MERS-CoV from the dromedary to humans has occurred. Furthermore, it is known that there are other coronaviruses circulating among animals, which have not yet infected humans.
These infections often cause fever and respiratory symptoms (cough and dyspnea, or shortness of breath). In the most severe cases, they can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Also headache and loss of taste and smell.
How to prevent contagion
The usual recommendations for not spreading the infection are to wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (with your arm, not your hand). Masks should be used, especially indoors. Close contact with anyone who has signs of a respiratory condition, such as coughing or sneezing, should also be avoided. Comply with “social distancing” and stay at home as long as possible.
Sources: WHO, CDC, National Health Commission of China, Johns Hopkins.