The scientist leading the ambitious US COVID-19 vaccine programme

The scientist leading the ambitious US COVID-19 vaccine programme

Steroid treatment linked to lower deaths

People severely ill with COVID-19 are less likely to die if they are given drugs called corticosteroids than are people who do not receive this treatment, according to an analysis of hospital patients on five continents. The authors say that steroids should be part of the standard treatment for people with severe COVID-19.

Reference: JAMA paper

Mink can pass SARS-CoV-2 to humans

An investigation of Dutch mink farms has found the first documented cases of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between animals and humans. Genetic analysis suggests that workers had introduced SARS-CoV-2 to mink, which spread the virus back to workers.

Reference: bioRxiv preprint (not yet peer reviewed)

Antibodies persist for months

A sweeping survey in Iceland shows that antibodies against the new coronavirus endure in the body for four months after infection. This counters earlier evidence suggesting that these important immune molecules disappear quickly. The antibody levels of more than 1,200 people who had recovered from COVID-19 rose during the two months after diagnosis, plateaued and then remained at the same level for the duration of the study.

Reference: New England Journal of Medicine paper

Testing helped summer camps avoid outbreaks

Repeated testing and 14-day quarantines in small groups prevented outbreaks at four overnight camps in the US state of Maine. Of more than 1,000 attendees, 2 staff members and one camper tested positive at camp and were isolated until they tested negative, and the virus did not not spread further. The case contrasts with a camp in the state of Georgia, at which at least 250 campers and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 despite all having tested negative fewer than 13 days before arrival.

Reference: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report paper 1 & paper 2

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