Tag Archives: coronavirus

COVID variants: could dangerous new ones evolve in pets and farm animals?

V. Belov/Shutterstock Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge People have been panicking about COVID-19 in animals since the very start of the pandemic. There’s now plenty of evidence that SARS-CoV-2 – the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – can cross from humans into other animals. This is known as spillback. The virus is capable of infecting a range of species, from …

Read More »

COVID-19: Extending the gap between vaccine doses was the right thing to do

Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia Increasing the gap between COVID-19 vaccine doses (up to a maximum of 12 weeks) was one of the more controversial decisions made by the UK government during the pandemic. Medical experts came out for and against the plan when it was announced in January 2021. Faced with the new delta variant, experts are once …

Read More »

COVID linked to loss of brain tissue: but correlation doesn’t prove causation

alexialex/Shutterstock Francois Balloux, UCL Early in the pandemic, it became clear that COVID-19 wasn’t just a disease of the lungs. The heart, kidneys and liver could also be affected. Many patients also suffered from neurological problems, including “brain fog”, loss of a sense of smell and taste, and stroke. Now, a new study from the University of Oxford suggests that …

Read More »

COVID-19 vaccines: why it’s important you get your second dose

Rebecca Aicheler, Cardiff Metropolitan University Vaccination is the safest way to gain immunity to the coronavirus, and with most COVID-19 vaccines, you need two doses to get the greatest possible protection. Immunologists call this method of giving people multiple doses “prime-boosting”. Essentially, you first teach the immune system what it is looking for – you prime it with the first …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

The coronavirus genome is like a shipping label that lets epidemiologists track where it’s been

The steady rate of genetic changes lets researchers recreate how a virus has travelled. nextstrain.org, CC BY Bert Ely, University of South Carolina and Taylor Carter, University of South Carolina Following the coronavirus’s spread through the population – and anticipating its next move – is an important part of the public health response to the new disease, especially since containment …

Read More »

The next pandemic is already happening – targeted disease surveillance can help prevent it

Sustained surveillance for disease outbreaks at global hot spots may be the key to preventing the next pandemic. MR.Cole_Photographer/Getty Images Maureen Miller, Columbia University As more and more people around the world are getting vaccinated, one can almost hear the collective sigh of relief. But the next pandemic threat is likely already making its way through the population right now. …

Read More »