Despite the fact that the new coronavirus has been terrorizing the world for almost a year, epidemiologists complain that they still have far more questions about it than answers. Scientists from around the world continue to study the mechanism of action of SARS-CoV-2, ways to prevent and treat the disease it causes.
And here is the latest news.
Coronavirus SARS–CoV-2 can live a long time on human skin
A new study by Japanese scientists from Kyoto Prefecture Medical University, published in the scientific journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on October 3, showed that the new coronavirus can survive on human skin for more than nine hours. The researchers also compared the survival of SARS-CoV-2 with influenza A (IAV) virus. It turned out that the latter was able to live on the skin for only about two hours – that is, almost five times shorter than the coronavirus.
The researchers concluded that this feature of SARS-CoV-2 “increases the risk of transmission” and contributes to the spread of the pandemic.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is easily killed not only by an alcohol-based sanitizer, but also by ordinary soap. Photo by AR
To avoid possible infection in healthy volunteers, the researchers said they performed laboratory experiments on cadaveric skin, which was obtained 24 hours before the start of the experiment, and which would otherwise be used for transplantation.
Remember: both the flu virus and the coronavirus on the skin are killed in 15 seconds with a hand sanitizer containing 80% alcohol.
Headache is an important symptom Covid-19
A new study by American scientists, published on October 5 in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, showed that even a mild headache can be a neurological symptom of coronavirus. According to the researchers, almost 82% of patients (out of the total number of subjects) who were diagnosed with David-19 complained of headache.
The new coronavirus can cause neuropsychiatric disorders
In an article published October 7 in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, Italian scientists hypothesized the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 invasion of the central nervous system and provided a possible explanation for the onset or exacerbation of some typical neuropsychiatric disorders in the elderly, including cognitive impairment. and Alzheimer’s disease.
“In a sample of 214 positive patients with SARS-CoV-2, 36.4% complained of neurological symptoms ranging from nonspecific manifestations (dizziness, headache, and convulsions) to more specific symptoms such as hyposmia (olfactory disturbances) or hypogesia ( taste disturbance) and stroke. Elderly people, especially men with comorbidities, appear to have the highest risk of developing such severe complications associated with central nervous system damage. Neuropsychiatric manifestations of Covid-19 develop in patients with pre-existing neurological disorders and without them, “- said in an annotation to the article by Italian scientists.
An infected child may give birth to a mother with Covid-19
Cases when a baby is born with Covid-19 are extremely rare. Currently, there are only three cases of such “vertical transmission” of the virus from mother to child. This was written by a group of researchers from the Medical School of Yale University. The article was published in the September issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
The article considers all three cases of “vertical transmission”, while only one describes a case of undoubted transmission of coronavirus in utero.
However, a group of researchers emphasizes that the virus can enter the placenta and thus the coronavirus can infect the fetus.
Catherine Campbell, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University School of Medicine, points out that children with Covid-19 have a mild course of infection. The study concludes with a strong recommendation to screen and test patients, if necessary, in obstetric wards.
Children with Covid-19 have a mild course of infection
Loss of smell and taste may be the only symptoms
Until now, it was thought that the loss of the ability to smell and taste is one of the possible symptoms of coronavirus infection, which was later joined by others in a few days: cough, fever, and so on.
In a new study published in the journal Plos Medicine, British scientists called for immediate self-isolation of people who have lost their sense of smell and / or taste. “The results of our work show that the loss of smell and taste is an extremely reliable indicator that someone is probably suffering from Covid-19. This symptom should be considered by governments around the world as a criterion for self-monitoring of isolation, testing and tracking of contacts, “said Rachel Butterham, a member of the research team.
The team tested 567 volunteers who had lost their smell or taste for coronavirus infection. In total, 80.4% of participants who reported loss of odor and 77.8% of those who reported loss of taste had positive test results. About 40% of them had no fever or cough. “Loss of smell is a very specific symptom of Covid-19, as opposed to loss of taste, despite their relative frequency,” the researchers said.
Polluted air increases the risks
Air pollution can affect the severity of Covid-19 disease and increase the likelihood of death from the disease. This is stated in a study by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, published in October.
Scientists have determined the impact of air pollution on mortality from Covid -19
The researchers studied daily air pollution data collected from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitoring stations throughout the United States, as well as data on Covid-19 contamination and mortality. The data show that between January 22 and August 15, the reduction of air pollution by fine particles is correlated with a decrease in confirmed cases of Covid-19 and a reduction in mortality from the disease. “The impact of air pollution on mortality from Covid -19 is relatively large. Reducing one microgram of particulate matter per cubic meter of air (one microgram equals one millionth of a gram) is enough to almost immediately reduce the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases by 2% and the number of deaths by 3-5%, ”the paper said.
Patients may experience the effects of the disease for several months
Patients with Covid-19 who have relapsed into even the mildest form of the infection are at risk of suffering from its effects for at least two months. In a study by French researchers published Sept. 26 in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, two-thirds of patients (150 noncritical patients, March to June) with mild to moderate Covid-19 reported symptoms 60 days after the onset of the disease. Half of them felt even worse than at the beginning of the coronavirus infection. Prolonged symptoms were more likely among patients aged 40 to 60 years and those who required hospitalization.
The article states that two months after the onset of symptoms of Covid-19, two-thirds of adult patients reported continuing to suffer mainly from loss of smell and taste, shortness of breath and fatigue. The study identified a risk of increased symptom duration in patients with non-critical Covid-19.
Hepatitis C can treat David-19
The antiviral drug sofosbuvir, which is traditionally used to treat hepatitis C, in combination with other antiviral drugs can be effectively used to treat Covid-19. This is stated in a scientific article by researchers from Columbia University of Engineering and Applied Sciences, published October 6 in the journal Nature Research Scientific Reports.
The researchers add that the combination of sofosbuvir with remdesivir can achieve high results in treatment.
Are schools the epicenters of infection
Schooling does not provoke an outbreak of coronavirus
Education in schools – subject to anti-epidemic safety rules – is not a factor in exacerbating the coronavirus outbreak. This was evidenced by the results of a study by scientists from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the results of which were published on October 2.
“If schools acted as catalysts for the spread of infection, we would already have to monitor this impact on global morbidity rates,” said a document sent to the European Commission by University experts.
The school year in primary and secondary schools began in this area between September 7 and 14, depending on the region. To determine whether intra-school coronavirus transmission has been significant since then, the researchers focused their analysis on specific regions: Andalusia, Catalonia and the Valencia region, as well as Madrid as the epicenter of the epidemic in Spain.
“It is important to emphasize that this is only the first analysis and that everything can change. But we see that the opening of schools in itself has significantly affected the dynamics of the spread of crown viral disease, “- said researcher Clara Pratts.
Will an antithrombotic drug protect against the effects of coronavirus?
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health in San Diego, in order to prevent the penetration of coronavirus into the human body, suggest the use of heparin – a widely used drug for the treatment of blood clots. According to the researchers in an article published in the Cell Journal in September, because thrombosis and stroke are well-known complications of Covid-19, many doctors are already administering heparin to patients.
The researchers noted that more research is planned to verify the effectiveness of this method of protection against infection.
Previous infection with other types of coronaviruses is positive
Infections caused by a history of various types of coronaviruses may reduce the severity of Covid-19. According to a study by researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine published on September 30 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, although SARS-CoV-2 is a relatively new pathogen, there are many other types of coronaviruses that are endemic to humans and can cause “Cold” and pneumonia. These coronaviruses have some genetic features with SARS-CoV-2, and immune responses against these coronaviruses may cross-react to SARS-CoV-2.
Manish Sagar, MD, infectious disease specialist and researcher at Boston Medical Center, an associate professor of medicine and microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine, notes that people who have previously been exposed to other coronaviruses are just as likely to be infected as those who did not have coronavirus, but are less likely to go to the intensive care unit or die.
Natalia Sokirchuk, Glavkom