Tag Archives: SARS-CoV-2

Coronavirus variants, viral mutation and COVID-19 vaccines: The science you need to understand

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is mutating. Aitor Diago/Moment via Getty Images Richard Kuhn, Purdue University The SARS-CoV-2 virus mutates fast. That’s a concern because these more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 are now present in the U.S., U.K. and South Africa and other countries, and many people are wondering whether the current vaccines will protect the recipients from the virus. Furthermore, many …

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Is your mask effective against COVID-19? Three questions you should ask yourself

Check your mask for fit, filtration and breathability. Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock Fiona Henriquez, University of the West of Scotland; Mia Cousins Burleigh, University of the West of Scotland, and William MacKay, University of the West of Scotland The emergence of new, potentially more infectious, coronavirus variants has led many people to worry about the effectiveness of their masks in protecting themselves …

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A healthy microbiome builds a strong immune system that could help defeat COVID-19

The microbes living in the gut are key to good health. Dr_Microbe/iStock/Getty Images Plus Ana Maldonado-Contreras, University of Massachusetts Medical School You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19. In the past two decades scientists have learned our bodies …

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Virus evolution could undermine a COVID-19 vaccine – but this can be stopped

Could SARS-CoV-2 evolve to dodge the vaccine? Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Moment collection/Getty Images Andrew Read, Penn State and David Kennedy, Penn State The first drug against HIV brought dying patients back from the brink. But as excited doctors raced to get the miracle drug to new patients, the miracle melted away. In each and every patient, the drug only worked …

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How to stay safe with a new fast-spreading coronavirus variant on the loose

The new SARS-CoV-2 variant’s increased transmissibility is believed to come from a change in the spike protein, visible here in yellow under an electron microscope. National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Suresh Dhaniyala, Clarkson University and Byron Erath, Clarkson University A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 10 states, and people …

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The cold supply chain can’t reach everywhere – that’s a big problem for equitable COVID-19 vaccination

Getting vaccines to rural and hard-to-reach areas is critical for public health and ethical reasons. Hector Roqueta Rivero/Moment via Getty Images Timothy Ford, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Charles M. Schweik, University of Massachusetts Amherst To mitigate health inequities and promote social justice, coronavirus vaccines need to get to underserved populations and hard-to-reach communities. There are few places in the …

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Should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine? Will it protect against asymptomatic infections and mutated viruses? An immunologist answers 3 questions

I am a physician, and I just got my first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. William Petri, CC BY-SA William Petri, University of Virginia This week I was vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, which brought to mind some frequently asked questions about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I am a professor of infectious diseases at the …

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Coronavirus new variant – genomics researcher answers key questions

Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock Lucy van Dorp, UCL A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is thought to be driving increased transmission of the disease in parts of the UK. The government has placed some regions including London under new, stricter coronavirus restrictions, known as Tier 4. People in Tier 4 areas will not be able to gather with …

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