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Home / Health / Engineered bait traps viruses for test-tube research; even with protective measures, medical staff are still at high risk

Engineered bait traps viruses for test-tube research; even with protective measures, medical staff are still at high risk



Nancy Lapid

(Reuters)-The following is a brief review of some of the latest scientific research on the new coronavirus, as well as efforts to find a cure and vaccine for the disease COVID-19 caused by the virus.

Open https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html in an external browser to get Reuters pictures of vaccines and treatments under development.

Engineering bait tricks viruses into cells

The new coronavirus enters the cell by attaching to a protein called the ACE2 receptor on the cell membrane. Scientists have now developed a decoy version of ACE2 to lure viruses and capture them, preventing them from infecting human lung cells in test tubes. Dr. James Wells of the University of California said: “The ACE2 trap we designed is 1

00 to 1,000 times stronger than normal ACE2 on victim cells. This provides an effective blocking effect comparable to neutralizing antibodies. “San Francisco told Reuters. Although the actual ACE2 receptor has an effect on blood vessels, the decoy does not. The research team reported in a paper published on bioRxiv on the Saturday before the peer review that their sole purpose was to catch the virus. Wells said: “We believe that the most effective ACE2 trapping agent injections and inhalants may be produced as therapeutic agents.” He pointed out that there are many development steps before applying this idea to people. His team believes that their receptor decoys can also fight other coronaviruses that infect cells through ACE2 receptors. In addition, the strategy can also be applied to other cell membrane receptors used by other respiratory viruses. (Https://bit.ly/3i7kN0T)

Frontline healthcare workers are at high risk of COVID-19

In the United States and the United Kingdom, health care workers in direct contact with patients, especially those black, Asian and other minorities, even if equipped with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), have a higher COVID-19 positive test rate. People in ordinary communities are taller. ), it indicates that there are new data. Researchers used the Zoe COVID symptom study smartphone app to track approximately 2 million community members and 100,000 frontline medical staff. For every 100,000 participants, 242 community members reported testing positive for COVID-19, compared with 2,747 frontline medical staff. Approximately 14% of community members reported at least one coronavirus-related symptom, compared with 20% of healthcare workers. Compared with non-Hispanic white general communities, black, Asian, and minority health care workers have at least five times the risk of COVID-19. Frontline healthcare workers who report insufficient or repeated use of PPE are at higher risk, especially if they are caring for coronavirus patients. However, according to a report from the Lancet Public Health Magazine on Friday, even with adequate gloves, masks and other protective measures, the coronavirus infection rate among front-line medical staff is still higher. (Https://bit.ly/33gf2tI)

COVID-19 survivors may face fitness barriers

Because the new coronavirus is so new, there is no conclusive evidence on the long-term prognosis of patients after COVID-19. However, data from patients who recovered from the similar coronavirus that caused the global SARS outbreak from 2003 to 2004 show that the recovery time will be extended. After reviewing 10 early studies involving more than 500 SARS patients, the researchers found that their physical functions and health conditions were impaired several months later, and in some cases, they were still impaired years later. Among patients who needed ventilator-assisted breathing, a greater degree of physical dysfunction was found after 12 months, indicating that more severe COVID-19 may be related to prolonged and more difficult recovery. Evidence from a randomized controlled trial suggests that exercise may help some patients restore physical function and health. The researchers said on Friday: “Considering the similarities between SARS-CoV (the virus that causes SARS) and COVID-19, people with COVID-19 are expected to suffer similar physical function and health impairments.” The medical journal “Physiotherapy” “. Given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and the proportion of people needing care in the inpatient intensive care unit, “many people may need to recover to facilitate recovery after infection.” (https://bit.ly/3gnUKCs)

The pandemic telemedicine boom leaves many elderly people behind

The telemedicine boom necessary for COVID-19 lock-in can be a problem for the elderly, many of whom lack Internet access or have disabilities, making it difficult for them to go online. A survey of more than 600,000 American patients over the age of 65 found that about 41% of people do not have a computer with a high-speed Internet connection at home, and about the same percentage do not have a smartphone with a wireless data plan. Overall, these two proportions are not 26%, and among people whose income is below the federal poverty line, this proportion rises to 50%. An independent survey of more than 4,500 elderly people found that about 20% of people suffer from physical problems such as hearing loss, visual impairment or cognitive decline, which may make it difficult or impossible to see and hear. Dr. Kenneth Lin, a co-author of the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters that many people do not regularly use the technology required for telemedicine. In addition, he said: “If someone tells me’my grandmother has been coughing’ or’my father said his stomach hurts’, it will make me feel uneasy if I can’t see the patient,” Lam said. The results of the two investigations were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Internal Medicine) on Monday. (Https://bit.ly/2Xo9fie; https://bit.ly/2BS0iG6)

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid and Linda Carroll; editing by Bill Berkrot)


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