Saturday, May 18, 2024
 
 

WHO convenes experts to develop coronavirus drugs, vaccines

B/W ONLY EPA PHOTO EPA / CDC
Handout picture dated April 2003 shows a Coronavirus under a microscope. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope. US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scientists were able to isolate a virus from the tissues of two patients who had SARS and then used several laboratory methods to characterize the agent. Examination by electron microscopy revealed that the virus had the distinctive shape and appearance of coronaviruses.

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The World Health Organization gathered 400 scientists yesterday for a two-day meeting, in an effort to speed the development of tests, treatments and vaccines against the coronavirus.
The outside experts will try to find out which approaches are promising enough to start studies in people to prove their effectiveness.
“We prioritize what is really urgent, what we absolutely need to know to fight the outbreak, to develop drugs, vaccines,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, co-chair of the meeting, adding that the gathered information will allow science to “focus on what is the most pressing issue and not to disperse too much the efforts”.
However, experts said it could be years before treatments or vaccines are developed and approved.
The  2019-nCoV virus, which is now officially named COVID-19, belongs to a family known as coronaviridae. It causes cold and flu-like symptoms, such as cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath and pneumonia. It spreads in droplets from coughs and sneezes and has an incubation period of up to 14 days. In severe cases it can lead to organ failure.
The recovery depends on the strength of the patient’s immune system. It is known that the patients who have died have been already in a poor health condition. The virus can be passed on by people who have not yet shown signs of infection.
The WHO said that in order to defeat the outbreak, first it will try to answer the mysteries that remain, such as what animals it came from and how exactly it is transmitted between people.

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