Tag Archives: Coronavirus insights

Does a plant-based diet really help beat COVID-19?

Dejan Dundjerski/Shutterstock Duane Mellor, Aston University Since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been suggested that certain foods or diets may offer protection against COVID-19. But are these sorts of claims reliable? A recent study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health sought to test this hypothesis. It found that health professionals who reported following diets that are vegetarian, vegan …

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Pfizer jab approved for children, but first other people need to be vaccinated

Dominic Wilkinson, University of Oxford; Jonathan Pugh, University of Oxford, and Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford Moderna and Pfizer have released data suggesting that their vaccines are well tolerated in adolescents and highly effective in preventing COVID-19. Canada, the US and the EU have already authorised the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12. And the UK has just …

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Dog coronavirus found in humans – why you shouldn’t worry

‘ Relax, humans! I’m not going to start the next pandemic. Firn/Shutterstock Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge Scientists have found a new canine coronavirus in a handful of people hospitalised with pneumonia. This may sound alarming, but once we unpack it, you will see that there’s no reason to lose any sleep. The discovery of the canine coronavirus in …

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Coronavirus: so many variants, but vaccines are still effective

Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin Viruses are constantly changing. This is because errors sometimes occur when they copy their genetic material. Some errors have no effect at all. Some might make the virus less viable. Some make it more benign, which means it can survive but doesn’t cause disease. The errors to watch for are those that might make the …

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Immune response might be more about signalling to others that you need help and less about protecting your body

Rido/Shutterstock Jonathan R Goodman, University of Cambridge A major debate during the pandemic, and in infectious disease research more broadly, is why infected people die. No virus “wants” to kill anyone, as an epidemiologist once said to me. Like any other form of life, a virus’s goal is only to survive and reproduce. A growing body of evidence instead suggests …

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Vaccine passports: why they are good for society

Prostock-studio/Shutterstock Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian, University of Cambridge; Christelle Langley, University of Cambridge, and Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford As more and more people get vaccinated, some governments are relying on “vaccine passports” as a way of reopening society. These passports are essentially certificates that show the holder has been immunised against COVID-19, which restaurants, pubs, bars, sports venues and others …

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Coronavirus variant B16172: could it block the UK’s path out of lockdown?

Deborah Dunn-Walters, University of Surrey A few weeks of relief from isolation, huddling in your big coats outside chatting to a few friends in the evening after work, beginning to feel optimistic about the roadmap out of lockdown, and then another curveball comes in. This time in the form of the coronavirus variant called B1617 – which was first identified …

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I went from regular TV commentator on COVID to long COVID sufferer in just a few months

Nathalie MacDermott, Author provided Nathalie MacDermott, King’s College London I first heard about the novel coronavirus on New Year’s Eve, 2019 – although the virus was yet to be identified. ProMed, an organisation that sends alerts on disease outbreaks worldwide, sent an urgent request for information about four patients in Wuhan, China, who were being treated for “pneumonia of unknown …

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