COVID SCIENCE-Two masks protect better than one; asthma, antiviral drugs show promise as treatments


COVID SCIENCE-Two masks protect better than one; asthma, antiviral drugs show promise as treatments

By Nancy Lapid

February 10 (Reuters) – The following is a summary of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Two masks are probably better than one, CDC says

Making sure that a mask fits properly and that using two masks is likely to significantly reduce a person’s exposure to coronavirus, according to studies by researchers at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the United States. In lab tests, they found that wearing a cloth mask over a three-ply medical procedure mask and tying the earrings of the medical mask to fit snugly, then did. tucking excess material close to the face, helped reduce exposure to potentially infected people. aerosols over 90%. In one experiment, an untied medical procedure mask alone blocked 42.0% of the particles from a sham cough, and the cloth mask alone blocked 44.3%. The combination of the double mask blocked 92.5% of cough particles, they reported in the CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Wednesday. In a #AskReuters Twitter chat on Tuesday, Dr Charles Holmes, director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Georgetown University, recommended wearing the most effective mask indoors. For example, he says, wear a surgical mask over a KN95 mask or a cloth mask over a surgical mask. (https: // asthma medicine limits disease

A commonly used asthma treatment appears to reduce the need for hospitalizations and recovery time for patients with COVID-19 if given within seven days of symptom onset, researchers at the ‘University of Oxford. The 28-day study of 146 patients found that the inhaled steroid, budesonide, reduced the risk of emergency care, emergency room visits or hospitalization by 90% compared to usual care. Patients treated at home with budesonide also had faster resolution of fever and fewer persistent symptoms. In a report released Monday on medRxiv ahead of the peer review, researchers said they undertook the trial because they noticed patients with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma, who are often prescribed steroids inhaled, such as budesonide, did not need to be hospitalized for COVID. -19 as often as expected. “I am encouraged that a relatively safe, widely available, and well-researched drug … could have an impact on the pressures we face during the pandemic,” said study leader Mona Bafadhel. (https: // drug may speed up viral clearance

An investigational antiviral drug dramatically sped up the time it takes to “clear” the virus in COVID-19 patients who did not need hospitalization, researchers in Toronto have found. In a small trial, patients who received a single injection of peginterferon-lambda were more than four times more likely to test negative for the virus within seven days than patients who received a placebo. “The faster drop in viral load and the higher clearance rate were more pronounced in people with a high viral load,” the authors reported in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine on Friday. “The magnitude of the drop in viral load compared to that of placebo was much greater … than what has been reported with monoclonal antibody therapies,” they added. “This treatment has great therapeutic potential,” said Dr. Jordan Feld, study director, Toronto Center for Liver Disease, in a statement. Respiratory symptoms also seemed to go away faster with peginterferon-lambda treatment, but the trial was too small to show a statistically significant difference. Feld’s team is planning a much larger trial and studies are already underway to test the treatment in hospital patients. (https: // coatings in public spaces can slow the spread of the virus

Covering hospital and office furniture with surfaces that accelerate the evaporation of respiratory droplets will slow the spread of COVID-19, suggests a new study. Previous research has shown that the virus stays active longer on waterproof surfaces. In the new study, the researchers found that after the respiratory droplets disappear, a thin liquid film remains on the exposed solid area that serves as the medium for the virus to survive. This thin film evaporates much faster on porous surfaces, they noted in a report published Wednesday in Physics of Fluids. They found that the virus could survive four days on glass and seven days on plastic or stainless steel, but only two days on cloth and three hours on paper. “Based on our study, we recommend that hospital and office furniture made of waterproof material, such as glass, stainless steel or laminated wood, be covered with a porous material, such as fabric, in order to reduce the risk of infection by touch. ” Co-author Sanghamitro Chatterjee of the Bombay Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai said in a statement. His team says seats in public places could also be covered with fabric to reduce the risk of the disease spreading. (https: // in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.

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