COVID-19: Epidemiology, virology, and prevention, UpToDate (Updated 27th January 2023)
Coronaviruses are important human and animal pathogens. At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus was identified as the cause of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. It rapidly spread, resulting in an epidemic throughout China, followed by a global pandemic. In February 2020, the World Health Organization designated the disease COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019 [ 2 External 0 0 0 1 false https://www.uptodate.com/contents/covid-19-epidemiology-virology-and-prevention/abstract/1 true false%>]. The virus that causes COVID-19 is designated severe acute respiratory syndr...
Source: Current Awareness Service for Health (CASH) - February 2, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Could a popular COVID-19 antiviral supercharge the pandemic?
A widely used COVID-19 drug may be driving the appearance of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, sparking concerns it could prolong and even reinvigorate the pandemic. The drug, molnupiravir, produced by Merck & Co., is designed to kill the virus by inducing mutations in the viral genome. A survey of viral genomes reported in a new preprint, however, suggests some people treated with the drug generate novel viruses that not only remain viable, but spread. “It’s very clear that viable mutant viruses can survive [molnupiravir treatment] and compete [with existing variants],” says virologist William Haseltine, chair of A...
Source: ScienceNOW - February 1, 2023 Category: Science Source Type: news

Small Details You Probably Missed In I Am Legend
Learn More Small Details You Probably Missed In I Am Legend In the 2007 post-apocalyptic thriller "I Am Legend," Will Smith stars as Robert Neville, a former military virologist living in what remains of New York City after the catastrophic collapse of civilization resulting from a deadly virus…#iamlegend #willsmith #robertneville #newyorkcity #darkseekers #pursuitofhappyness #neville #cgi #francislawrence #denofgeek (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - January 29, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Virologists defend their science as officials eye more oversight of risky experiments
Policymakers have long grappled with how to handle experiments that might generate potentially dangerous viruses. Now, officials are considering whether oversight needs to be expanded.(Image credit: NIAID) (Source: NPR Health and Science)
Source: NPR Health and Science - January 27, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Nell Greenfieldboyce Source Type: news

COVID-19 Is No Longer a Public Health Emergency
A month before his recent retirement, Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned that the U.S. “certainly” remains in the midst of a COVID pandemic. Other experts repeatedly warn of impending “deadly” waves caused by the latest genetic variants, and recently President Biden once again extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Yet those dire warnings hinge largely on an assumption that some 400 people in the U.S. continue dying daily from the disease. There are important reasons to question this assertion, as Dr. Leana Wen explored in the Washington Post. And if therefore in fact we’re no longer in a pub...
Source: TIME: Health - January 25, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Daniel Halperin Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 freelance Source Type: news

Wuhan Collaborator EcoHealth Alliance Gets Fresh $3 Million Grant From DoD
Six weeks ago the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a $3 million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, the New York-based nonprofit which was used to funnel millions of US taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where…#departmentofdefense #ecohealthalliance #dod #justnewsandrutgers #richardhebright #usaid #dodusu #dhs #niaid #nsf (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - January 24, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Top virologist fear new 'worrisome' bird flu pandemic - symptoms of infection in humans
An outbreak of bird flu has top virologists concerned about "potential public health implications". (Source: Daily Express - Health)
Source: Daily Express - Health - January 23, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

New bird flu pandemic fears as top virologists sound alarm over 'worrisome' spread
Top virologists from across the world have sounded the alarm after tests confirmed the H5N1 bird flu strain was spreading between mammals at a farm in Spain. (Source: the Mail online | Health)
Source: the Mail online | Health - January 20, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Lab-leak fears are putting virologists under scrutiny
The “lab leak” conjectures about the origin of the coronavirus pandemic have cast a shadow over pathogen research amid broader calls for more government oversight. (Source: Washington Post: To Your Health)
Source: Washington Post: To Your Health - January 18, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Joel Achenbach Source Type: news

Data Doesn ’t Support New COVID-19 Booster Shots for Most, Says Vaccine Expert
In a perspective published Jan. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine, vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit says it’s time to rethink booster recommendations. In the third year of the pandemic, the population’s immune situation is vastly different from what it was in 2019 when SARS-CoV-2 emerged. Now, most people have been vaccinated against the virus, been infected with it (once or multiple times), or both. And the latest data show that the newest booster shot, which targets the Omicron BA.4/5 strain and original virus variants in a bivalent formulation, isn’t that much more effective in generating virus-fi...
Source: TIME: Health - January 11, 2023 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Alice Park Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 healthscienceclimate Source Type: news

Africa: Where Is the Next Covid Variant, Pi? a Virologist Explains Why Omicron Is Continuing to Dominate
[The Conversation Africa] The omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has now been around for more than a year. Before omicron became dominant, there had been a quick succession of named variants of concern - from alpha, to beta, to gamma, to delta. But now it seems as though we're facing a never-ending string of letter and number combinations denoting the children and grandchildren of omicron: BA.2, BA.2.75, BA.5, BQ.1, BF.7, XBB - the list goes on. (Source: AllAfrica News: Health and Medicine)
Source: AllAfrica News: Health and Medicine - January 7, 2023 Category: African Health Source Type: news

Armed with air samplers, rope tricks, and —yes—ants, virus hunters spot threats in new ways
On a Friday morning in September last year, Erik Karlsson visited the sprawling Orussey market here, where vendors hawked pots and pans, phone cords and radios, hats and dresses—and myriad types of Southeast Asian food. Dozens of orange-colored, whole roasted pigs hung on hooks, crabs the size of two fists filled buckets, and stacked fruit and dried fish formed mountains on tables. Karlsson had come for the live poultry, but not because he was planning a dinner. As an epidemiologist at Cambodia’s Pasteur Institute, he was hunting for potentially dangerous pathogens, both known and unknown. He had nothing with him...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 5, 2023 Category: Science Source Type: news

Eleven science stories likely to make big news in 2023
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its fourth year as a global health emergency, researchers will continue pushing to help make the disease manageable and ordinary. They will track hundreds of subvariants of Omicron, the highly transmissible but seemingly less lethal strain of SARSCoV-2 that dominated in 2022. Virologists will watch the virus’ evolution this year to see whether it has finally slowed or a more dangerous variant pops up, evading much of the immunity that humanity has built up to previous ones. Vaccine researchers hope to develop new shots that provide broad protection against a variety of coronaviruses.  Ano...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 4, 2023 Category: Science Source Type: news

China is flying blind as pandemic rages
Most scientists believe China’s decision to end its zero-COVID policy was long overdue. But now they have a new worry: that the country is collecting and sharing far too little data about the rough transition to a new coexistence with the virus. China abruptly dropped virtually all controls a month ago, after protests, a sagging economy, and the extreme transmissibility of the virus’ latest variants made clinging to zero COVID untenable. Now, “SARS-CoV-2 has an open goal in front of it: a population with very low levels of standing immunity,” says evolutionary biologist Edward Holmes of the University of Sydn...
Source: ScienceNOW - January 3, 2023 Category: Science Source Type: news

Germany's governing coalition argues over COVID restrictions
Germany's governing coalition is arguing over whether remaining COVID-19 restrictions should be dropped after one of the country's top virologists was quoted as saying that the pandemic is over. Germany has scrapped the bulk of restrictions imposed at the height of the pandemic but, unlike other…#marcobuschmann #christiandrosten #karllauterbach #tagesspiegel #olafscholz (Source: Reuters: Health)
Source: Reuters: Health - December 27, 2022 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news