Are we now on the home straight in our race to combat the Coronavirus? Certainly, with the coming of various vaccines, we appear to be winning but everyday there is new information coming out relating to this pandemic. Inzspire has searched for the latest information on the virus and has provided some news bites in this post. Here are 5 items of recent news that you may have missed:
#1 WuHan origin theories rejected
Experts originally thought that the origin of the coronavirus emanated from a food market in WuHan, China, prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to spend 4 weeks there with site visits to the Huanan seafood market and a laboratory.
The investigation concluded that whilst the virus was first detected at the market, it was not the source of origin. At the same time the investigators have also ruled out the WuHan Institute of Virology laboratory as a potential source.
#2 Frozen food theory
One of China’s news outlets has suggested that the virus may have come through imported frozen food and packaging.
During the WHO visit to WuHan, they took the theory that the pandemic made a jump to humans via frozen food very seriously as they noticed large quantities of frozen animals being sold at the market.
At a press conference later, the lead investigator, Peter Ben Embarek, confirmed that whilst the virus can withstand extremely cold temperatures, they were unsure whether the virus could transfer to humans. It is for this reason that, so far, this theory has not gained any momentum with the medical fraternity.
A summary report of the findings from their visit to China is due and the full report will be published later in the year and then, maybe, we will all know a little better as to how, where and why this pandemic started.
#3 Side effects show that the vaccine is working?
The immune system is a sophisticated system of cells and proteins that defend the body against infectious attacks.
What is remarkable about the immune system is its ability to remember every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated and so if it ever enters the body again, it has the capability of beating it again.
When a Covid vaccine enters the body, the immune system ‘kicks into action’ to search for the virus but this can take up to two weeks for the immunity process to start working. Once it is aware of the virus, it starts creating anti-bodies to seek out and destroy the virus.
However, it has been now established in the UK, that there is a 10% chance that taking the jab you will have what is known as side effects, such as feeling run down with flu like symptoms which may last a few days.
This has caused certain members in the medical fraternity to have concerns that some people may decide not to take the vaccine leaving them in some danger to infection thus infecting others. The response has been to make it known that side effects show that the vaccine is working and that is a good thing.
#4 Astronauts conducting experiments to fight Covid
Boeing and the University of Queensland have developed an ‘antimicrobial surface coating’ that when placed on objects can fight off the threat of bacteria and viruses.
Its application was designed to prevent damage to spacecraft delicate systems from bacteria and viruses.
The coating has been modified so that experiments could be conducted by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to see its effects on battling Coronavirus. Astronauts are transferring microbes from human skin to work surfaces and objects and studying the effects.
The idea is that if this works them the coating can be applied to public facilities, transport including commercial airlines and food preparation services.
#5 The Birth of Babies during a Pandemic
The way that women are giving birth has been greatly affected, especially with the maternity services, due to the fear of contracting Covid.
Whilst pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of coronavirus than the general population, the move to caution has prevailed. There have been notable increase in women feeling that they are “going it alone” when dealing with their pregnancy.
Such changes that have occurred are:
- Reductions in women attending maternity units in early stages of labour
- Chronic levels of understaffing
- Reduced regular personal contact with midwives
- Reduction in partners present at birth
- Limits on visitors to maternity wards