COVID and a 2020 incident wreaked havoc with a deadly and previously unknown virus worldwide, killing more than 1.5 million people, infecting many more, and causing economic devastation. And although there were other new research programs in 2020, the epidemic set the science curriculum to an extraordinary degree.
Speed of The Coronavirus
The speed of the coronavirus spread has been matched only by the pace of scientific insights. Almost as soon as SARS-CoV-2 was discovered, research groups worldwide started probing its biology, while others developed diagnostic tests or investigated public-health measures to control it.
Scientists also raced to find treatments and create vaccines that could bring the epidemic under control. “We have never progressed so fast with any other infectious agent,” says virologist Theodo Hatiaziano at Rockefeller University in New York City. COVID and 2020 is bad for living things
Everyone Hit by Coronavirus
But, as with almost everyone, epidemics have also affected the work and personal lives of researchers. Among those who do not study the virus or its effects, many have delayed their projects, halted careers and disrupted research funding.
In January, less than a month after reports surfaced, after it was discovered that a mysterious respiratory illness was bothering people in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the country’s researchers have identified the cause: Soon SARS- A new coronavirus 1 named CoV-2. As of January 11, a Chinese-Australian team posted the genetic sequence of the virus online. Soon after, scientists made another key, yet dangerous, discovery: the virus can pass through people.
By February, researchers had worked out that the virus lays on a receptor called ACE22, a protein found on the surfaces of cells in many organs, including the lungs and intestine. The abundance of targets may help to elucidate the devastating breadth of symptoms of COVID-19, ranging from pneumonia to diarrhea and stroke 3.
The virus tightens ACE2 at least ten times as does SARS-CoV, a related coronavirus that caused a fatal outbreak of respiratory disease in 2003. Scientists believe this may partially explain the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2.
By March, some scientists were suggesting that small virus-filled ‘aerosols’, which could circulate in the air for long periods, could play a role in transmission. But not all researchers agreed, and it took months for some governments and public-health organizations to adapt to evidence that this was a way the virus spread.
Researchers also learned that people can spread the disease before symptoms develop. Without control, nearly half of all SARS-CoV-2 transmission begins with infected people who do not yet have symptoms, according to an analysis published last month. The next 2020 COVID and 2020 is set to debut, you will learn more about it and perhaps the biggest mystery surrounding the biology of the virus is where it came from.
Strong evidence suggests that it originated in bats, and likely passed to humans through an intermediate animal. Many animal species are susceptible to SARS-COV-2 infection, including cats and mink.
In September, the World Health Organization (WHO) formed a scientific team to investigate the animal origins of the epidemic, which is beginning its search in China and expanding elsewhere. US President Donald Trump and others have claimed without any strong evidence that a Chinese laboratory has released SARS-CoV-2, but most scientists think it is unlikely.
Since the early days of the epidemic, epidemiologists have raced to develop models to predict the spread of the virus – and suggested that public-health measures may help control it. In the absence of vaccines or treatments, authorities worldwide have relied on what is known as non-drug intervention, such as lockdown.
In January, officials in Wuhan showed how the virus could shut down almost every aspect of daily life. Most people in the world followed similar restrictions on the movement.
But the economic impact of the lockdown was swift and severe, forcing many countries to open up before the virus came under control. Uncertainty about whether the virus was airborne led to a debate about the benefits of wearing face masks, which became politicized — particularly in the United States.
Meanwhile, conspiracy theories, misinformation and sketch science spread almost as fast as viruses. These included discussions about the virtue of letting the virus run its course rather than controlling it.
Epidemiologists suggested that large-scale testing for SARS-CoV-2 was the way out of the crisis. But in many countries, the lack of kits and reagents for standard tests, which use a technique called PCR, created bottlenecks. Research groups around the world were inspired to begin designing new rapid tests based on the gene-editing tool CRISPR and fast antigen tests, which could help diagnose future emerging diseases.
Countries that eradicated the viral spread quickly, such as Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand, used a combination of approaches including full lockdown, extensive testing, mask-wearing mandates, and digital contact tracing. In Singapore, New Zealand and Iceland, invasive testing and trace programs combined with stringent isolation measures helped eradicate the virus, bringing life back to normal.
COVID and 2020
The common formula in these success stories is the government’s ‘willingness to act quickly and decisively’, says Kaitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “Those early and aggressive actions really helped slow the transmission.”
But in many countries, officials were slow to act, ignore scientific advice or struggle to ramp up tests. The result was an increase in infections, causing a second wave. And in the United States and Western Europe, COVID-19 infections and deaths are now increasing once again.
Amid the chaos, a historic scientific effort has given the world vaccines against a disease that humanity did not even know a year ago. COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and tested with breathtaking speed. At the last count, in November, the WHO said there were more than 200 in development, of which about 50 are in various stages of clinical clinch. They use a dizzying array of approaches from old-school inoculation to new technologies with chemically inactivated SARS-CoV-2 viruses, which have never happened before with licensed vaccines.
Results of large efficacy trials have shown that vaccines developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology firm Biotech; American biotechnology company Modern; And pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and University of Oxford, UK, effectively inhibit COVID-19. In the past month, regulators in the United Kingdom and the United States have issued an emergency authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine, allowing its widespread use, and regulators in the European Union are expected to make their decision in the coming weeks. Vaccines developed in China and Russia had already been approved, but before the final phase trials in people were completed.
Pfizer and Modern vaccines appear to be approximately 95% effective at inhibiting COVID-19, while the effectiveness of AstraZeneca and Oxford is uncertain. Important questions linger: How do vaccines prevent serious illness, especially in older people, and how long does preservation last? And scientists still don’t know if the vaccines will stop people from spreading the virus; There are not many vaccines for other diseases.
For vaccines to do their job, they need to reach the people who need them most. Members of wealthy countries including the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union and Japan have made pre-purchase of billions of many vaccines. The effort to purchase vaccines for low- and middle-income countries has received support from many wealthy countries — not particularly the United States — but its success is not certain. There are innumerable barriers to vaccine formulation and delivery; For example, Pfizer needs to be maintained at 70 ° C, which would cause problems in areas of the world without infrastructure for cold storage. More difficulties are certain to emerge.
The vaccine alone is unlikely to end the epidemic, given the logistics of deploying jobs – which the global population may need from time to time. “Combining vaccines and therapeutics is the only way to get out of this epidemic,” says Lenny Derde, an intensive physician at Utrecht, University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Treatments, Old and New
With mixed success, researchers have run to test a range of potential treatments. Some candidates – including the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, and a cocktail of two HIV drugs – showed initial promise in small clinical trials and observational studies, but later showed benefits in large, randomized controlled studies 5,6 in people with COVID Failed in – 19.
In April, researchers running a large clinical trial announced that an antiviral drug called Remedisvir reduced hospital length for people with COVID-19, but later studies found the drug significantly reduced deaths Did not. In November, the World Health Organization advised against using it.
Potential COVID-19 treatments were heavily politicized in some areas with leaders in the United States, India, China, and Latin America exploiting unproven therapies, including hydroxychloroquine. Some regulators issued emergency use authorizations for informal treatment, interrupting clinical trials and increasing safety concerns in some cases.
Other treatments have been more successful. In June, a large trial of an immune-suppressive steroid called dexamethasone found that it reduced nearly one-third of deaths given to people with COVID-19 who needed supplemental oxygen. Another drug that targets the immune system, called tisilizumab, has given mixed results in clinical trials, but promises to be critically ill in people with COVID-19.
Other interventions are being tested in people with COVID and 2020 symptoms to see if they reduce the likelihood of more severe disease progression. Studies in which blood plasma is given to those who are recovering from COVID and 2020. Some scientists hoped that the mass-produced monoclonal antibodies would help directly disable SARS-COV-2, but studies suggest whether these expensive treatments will live up to their promise.
Ultimately, a combination of drugs in COVID and 2020 treatments will be required, consistent with an individual’s risk factors and disease severity, Derde, who is on the Steering Committee for REMAP-CAP, an international trial that tests COVID-19 treatments alone In combination with does. She says, “The most logical thing is that there is no wonder medicine that will bring huge changes.”
Not because scientific research was so widely interrupted in World War II. As the virus began to spread across countries, many universities closed their campuses in March. The laboratories stopped all but the most necessary experiments, fieldwork was cancelled and conferences became virtual.
In many areas not directly related to the epidemic, projects and progress slowed to a crawl. Suddenly forced to work from home, researchers found their lives tangled, often struggling with limited access to resources such as family care and libraries. Many students also found themselves without the data from fieldwork or labs that they needed to complete their degree. Travel shutdowns made job search more difficult in 2020 and COVID
Particularly hard-hit are women, parents, early-career researchers, and scientists. Historically underrepresented groups – for whom the epidemic is on the rise. Factors that already made it difficult for them to participate in science. A survey of 3,345 academics in Brazil in April and May found that 7 black women. Also mothers of all ethnic people reported the greatest decrease in productivity. During an epidemic, as measured by their ability to present research papers and meet deadlines. “The results can be translated to other countries, no doubt,” says study leader Fernanda Staniskuski, plant biologist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre.
Governments around the world responded in various ways, with financial support being provided for higher education and research-intensive industries. For example, Australia injected Aus $ 1 billion in university research in 2021. Conversely, in the United States, research mostly missed the US $ 2.3-trillion economic bailout plan 2020 and COVID.
As of August, several university campuses in the United States. And Europe was beginning to reopen, despite rising infection rates in many communities – often run by students returning to campus. Other countries with large outbreaks, such as India and Brazil, were also not open to the same extent.
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