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Showing posts with the label COVID-19

Monkeypox is Less Likely to Turn Into a Pandemic, Say American Health Officials

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The emergence of a new disease has created panic all across the world. In the past few months, the outbreak of monkeypox has alerted health officials. The virus has been endemic in central and western Africa and has been spreading in the U.S. and Europe. However, experts say that the monkeypox virus is unlike COVID-19 and its chances of turning out into an uncontrolled pandemic are less. Researchers have been studying this virus since it was first found in the human body nearly 50 years ago. They have discovered similarities between monkeypox and smallpox virus which can help combat the spread. They already know how the monkeypox virus spreads, how it presents and how to treat it. However, the case was not similar to COVID-19. Image Credits: Pixabay Spreading of The Monkeypox Virus Versus COVID-19 Virus Monkeypox virus spreads by very close contact- mostly skin to skin contact or physical contact with the bedding or clothes of an infected person. Contrastingly, the coronavirus virus sp

Saliva-Based PCR Test Just as Effective as Nasal Swabs for COVID Detection

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Processing covidSHIELD tests in one of SHIELD Illinois’s labs. Credit: Fred Zwicky/University of Illinois Megan, an Illinois lady, took her children to be tested after they were exposed to COVID. A quick test from the local drugstore could have sufficed, but her son Brennan despised the nose swab—it tickled and it was simply not a pleasant experience. So, Megan took her kids to a testing facility, where her son could simply spit into a tube to submit his sample. Like other COVID tests, The findings were available In less than 24 hours.   COVID testing has come a long way from the early days of the pandemic when patients had to go to a doctor's office and have deep "brain-tickling" nose swabs and wait days for results. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Yale University and Rockefeller University, have developed saliva-based tests on their own . These tests are less intrusive, faster to run, and, in some situations, more sensitive than nasal tests.  Whi

50 Fun Facts about Vaccines

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As we turn the final pages of the year 2020, COVID-19 vaccines are being given to people in the US and the UK. Undoubtedly, this is the shortest humankind has taken to roll out a vaccine as is evident in the image below.  Science textbooks have reminded us time and again that Edward Jenner created the first vaccine in the world and the work he pioneered in the late 1700s has helped us not only eradicate smallpox but also fight other diseases like polio, yellow fever, chickenpox to name a few. So, here are some fun facts about vaccinations that you likely did not know.  Let’s begin with some controversy.    Edward Jenner did not pioneer vaccination.  People knew well that milkmaids infected with cowpox are immune from smallpox outbreaks.  Jenner was a genius who converted local wisdom into a controlled protocol. He studied if the protocol gave reproducible results.   Like all big discoveries, Jenner’s discovery was no overnight success. He began studying cowpox in the year 1770. He stud

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