Without an official short list of viable COVID-19 immunogens and antigens, supportive countermeasures allow us to bide time with as few casualties as possible.
Experts are still holding out hope that circumstantial developments will end up aligning with the manufactured elements of this objective.
Although SARS-Cov-2 is a mutation of previously documented coronaviruses, research has revealed some promising similarities.
In a new report, Qasim Bukhari and Yusuf Jameel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, analyzed global cases of COVID-19, and found that 90% of infections are transmitted in areas that are between 37.4 and 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit (three to 17 degrees Celsius) and with an absolute humidity of four to nine grams per cubic meter g/m3 (which is a calculation of moisture in the air irrespective of temperature.)
The SARS virus that caused the epidemic of 2002 and the MERS virus that staffed the outbreak of 2012 both ended up being acutely seasonal, with transmission rates peaking between January and May.
In fact, we know categorically that SARS-Cov-2 is the most stable at 4°C. At this temperature, its fomites are even detectable after two weeks.
Of course these findings don’t negate the need for continued mandates on behalf of elected officials and caution on behalf of the rest of us.
The temperatures required to deactivate SARS-Cov-2 quickly and reliably enough to eliminate its threat level completely (likely beyond 9 g/m) are only observed during a limited time frame in North American regions.
“It’s unreasonable, I think, at this point to expect that the virus will quote-on-quote disappear during our summer months,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, said of the new study. “I think it might give us a little bit of hope.”
We know enough about COVID-19’s incubation cycle to forgive hope in this instance.
A recent analysis conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan of coronavirus transmissions from an eight-year-long Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation Cohort Study, congruently revealed that the most common coronavirus strains peak in the winter months.
Preceding literature additionally suggests that SARS-Cov-2 experiences virus inactivation as quickly as five minutes when incubation temperatures rise to 70°C.
There are other important unknown factors to account for, which means only more research will determine the exact role the seasons will play in ensuing waves.
Exposure and plasma
We have to consider herd immunity, which is itself a pluralistic ‘what if?’ scenario.
If communities begin to develop antibodies for COVID-19, the rate of transmission will begin to decline. If their antibodies can be harvested and successfully administered to infected patients, the death toll will likely do the same.
If you are a U.S citizen above the age of 18 who is not currently experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 but suspect that you might have contracted the disease at some point, consider consulting a healthcare professional.
They will refer you to a health questionnaire to determine if you qualify to donate a blood sample to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.
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The 10 patients who took part in a Chinese study published in The Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences averted fatal cases of COVID-19 after receiving a convalescent plasma (CP) transfusion, even though many of them were in critical condition when admitted.
“It finds it harder to get to a host where it can survive and it dies out,” Dr. David Katz said of the current pandemic. “That’s herd immunity.”
“The numbers of us that need to have antibodies vary with the properties of a given contagion,” he added. “And we’re learning what the properties of this particular contagion are. That also needs to come from data.”
Ultimately, targeted antiviral therapy is the only measure that really matters as far as normalcy is concerned.
Even if the first two supportive analeptics pan out without a hitch, economic systems and the people operating them will not feel safe until there’s a chemical proof of purchase.
Thankfully, experts are making headway fast.
A new study from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, identified the shared spike proteins observed in the most common coronaviruses and their impact on short-chained amino acids found inside these proteins.
As stated previously, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, share a lot of similarities with SARS-Cov-2, both genetically and pathologically.
“What’s really interesting about SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and this new virus, SARS-CoV-2, is this particular part of the protein, the fusion peptide, is almost exactly the same in those three viruses,” explains study co-author Prof. Susan Daniel.
“We obtained almost identical results as we reported previously with MERS, so we see that remdesivir is a very potent inhibitor for coronavirus polymerases.”
Stopping the spread of a virus begins with stopping it from replicating its genetic material into host cells.
And the replication process starts and ends with S-Proteins and Rna.
SARS-Cov-2 aggressively attacks lung cells. It decodes them, preventing them from clearing the organ of debris until acute respiratory syndrome and critical inflammation occurs.
“The part of the infection cycle we are studying is a conserved process. The virus is always going to need to transfer its genome
But it is challenging. The reason we don’t have good antivirals that can stop fusion is because it is a difficult region to target. What’s exciting about our work is we’re providing insight into how all this machinery works, which is essential for the development of new antivirals,” the authors wrote in the new report
In confluence with other similar-minded experiments, experts believe we might be able to get our hands on a vaccine as early as the Fall.