Antiviral drug: An obscure plant-based antiviral drug is “highly effective” against COVID-19, a new study has shown. Researchers at the University of Nottingham found that thapsigargin “triggers a highly effective broad-spectrum host-centered antiviral innate immune response against three major types of human respiratory viruses,” including SARS-CoV-2. Researchers said the findings are “hugely significant” but that more testing is needed.
Lasting antibodies: A major UK study has found that almost everyone who recovers from COVID-19 enjoys high levels of antibodies for at least six months, which should protect them from reinfection. The study measured levels of past COVID-19 infection in populations across Britain and how long antibodies persisted in those infected. Of the people who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, 99% retained antibodies for three months and 88% still had them after six months. The study is consistent with previous smaller studies.
New vaccines: German biotech firm CureVac has announced plans to develop a new vaccine with the potential to counter multi-variants, in conjunction with British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. “The development program will begin immediately, with the target of introducing the vaccine in 2022, subject to regulatory approval,” a joint statement said.
As the surge in good news increases, epidemiologists warn the public to wear dark glasses, preferably two pairs, to protect against the surge. Ear plugs would be helpful too.
But as good news variants emerge, some epidemiologists are suggesting stronger measures: larger, opaque face masks that block vision. It may be the only way to protect yourselves from this expanding surge.