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Infection News

Essential Science: Why masks work and time to end the debate?

How effective are face masks? The body of evidence in favour of masks continues to grow. In this week’s Essential Science, we consider a diverse array of different literature that looks at mask wearing in different contexts.

Op-Ed: A herd immunity policy? The risks remain considerable

As part of the efforts to combat coronavirus discussion around ‘herd immunity’ periodically arises. What does this mean exactly and why is the majority of scientific and political opinion against such a strategy?

Does catching the common cold make COVID-19 less severe

Early stages of research suggest that being infected previously with a different type of coronavirus to SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-190, such as the common cold, may lessen the severity of the infectious virus.

Essential Science: New treatment for the most neglected disease?

Schistosomiasis (or bilharzia) is a neglected tropical disease, and the one that causes significant ill-health effects to millions of people. The disease is caused by a parasitic worm.

Travel was a major factor with coronavirus spread

The extent to which coronavirus spread was based on the type and speed of the interventions taken. In many cases, such interventions were effective. However, key networks were also responsible for the viral spread.

An autumn 'Twindemic'? When flu and COVID-19 collide

Medics are generally sharing a concern about how the upcoming influenza season could impact the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially the severity of infections should an individual contract both viruses.

Face masks stop droplets, but many face coverings are ineffective

A new model demonstrates visually how face masks are effective in lowering droplet emissions, and hence minimizing viral particles, during normal wear. The N95 masks without valves comes out as the most effective item of personal protective clothing.

Deep-dive into the underlying risk factors and COVID-19 symptoms

Researchers have analysed the pseudonymised health data of over 17.4 million U.K. adults to discover the key factors associated with death from COVID-19.

Uncertainty remains over environmental spread of coronavirus

How easily does coronavirus spread between individuals in a household? Is the main mechanism by air or by surfaces? Despite a new study, the answers remain unclear.

Tackling the bacterium that causes cat scratch disease

Researchers have gained a new insight about a protein named BafA which stimulates the production of new blood vessels that support bacterial lesions. This discovery may help develop new methods for diagnosing and treating bartonellosis.

Early adoption of face masks led to lower COVID-19 rates

A new study finds that those countries that were early adopters of mandatory face mask wearing in public saw lower COVID-19 rates compared with nations that put policies in place later, or which have not mandated masks at all.

COVID-19: Why surfaces still present a contamination vector

This week has seen some interesting COVID-19 related research published. This includes an association with surfaces from a hospital outbreak and a new project to look at how easily the virus can be tracked through testing samples of wastewater.

COVID-19 employment related lawsuits have begun

It was perhaps inevitable that COVID-19 would start to spill over into employee relations and employment law. Legal trends suggest that employer-related litigation in relation to the viral pandemic is starting to rise.

Each virus-hit person infecting fewer than one other in Germany: data

Berlin - Each coronavirus-infected person in Germany is infecting fewer than one other person, closely watched data showed, as Europe's biggest economy looks to ease curbs to halt contagion from Monday.

Tracking viral epidemics needs to account for evolution

Models for tracking viral outbreaks, as with the current novel coronavirus issue, need to assess the ability of the virus to mutate. Accounting for the evolutionary impact of the virus is essential for accurate modelling, according to new research.

Why the fight against coronavirus is proving so complicated

Many in society are wondering why the novel coronavirus is proving especially challenging to contain. There are several reasons for this complexity, ranging from how infectious it actually is to how it moves through a population.

Artificial intelligence finds new antibiotic

Technologists, working with microbiologists, have made a significant breakthrough in the hunt for new antimicrobials. By using artificial intelligence, a new candidate antibiotic has been identified.

Op-Ed: Myth-busting: The worst of the coronavirus falsehoods

The global preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic is, unfortunately, leading to a plethora of fake news stories geared around attempts at self-protection and cures. Some are due to ignorance, others more malicious. We look at a few of these.

Bacteria-eating viruses bridge the gap of life and non-life

Bacteriophage are a type of simple virus that infects bacteria, being spread by its bacterial host and being reliant upon the bacterial cell to replicate. New research indicates that some phages are more complex than they first appear.

Why does the flu virus affect some people worse than others?

Influenza affects all people once they become infected. However, the severity of the effects and how long the effects of the virus last for vary between different people. Virologists have been looking into this and now have an answer.

Scientists explore why bat viruses are so deadly

The coronavirus Covid-19, which has been making global headlines is a zoonotic virus (one thought to have transferred from animal to human). The primary source could be from bats. Scientists are looking at what makes bat viruses so deadly.

New model to estimate spread of the novel coronavirus

A new modeling study has been used to estimate the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The model reveals that up to 75,800 individuals in the Chinese city of Wuhan may have been infected to date.

Essential Science: Biosignatures detect early symptoms of TB

Researchers have developed an advanced method for the detection of biosignature, paving the way for the early detection of tuberculosis. The method allows for TB to be detected in patients, months before symptoms appear.

Is airplane sewage spreading antibiotic-resistant microbes?

Examining sewage from five airports, microbiologists have found that 90 percent of 187 E. coli isolated were resistant to at least one antibiotic.

Is it time for a ‘shocking’ new way to kill microbes?

A new electrochemical approach is being developed to treat infections of metal-based implants, according to a new research study. The technology appears to be able to kill bacteria and fungi and reduce infection risk.

How many pathogens are lurking in hospital washing machines?

Microbiologists have found that many washing machines in hospital setting as are reservoirs of multidrug-resistant bacteria. In one case study pathogens, were transmitted regularly to newborns in a neonatal intensive care unit at a children's hospital.

Why E coli knows how to produce the worst possible infection

Medical microbiologists have established how the bacterium Escherichia coli knows how to cause the worst possible infection. The new insight should assist with preventing the foodborne illnesses.

Europe hit by toxic caterpillar scourge

Several parts of Europe are trying to deal with infestations of oak processionary caterpillars. These caterpillars can be dangerous to people, triggering allergic reactions and skin irritation.

Ebola-like virus is killing millions of pigs in China

A virulent strain of African swine fever spreading across Asia. The virus infects animals, primarily pigs and seems to kill almost every pig it infects by a hemorrhagic illness which is reminiscent of Ebola in humans.

Q&A: Preventing hospital outbreaks with surveillance technology Special

Misdiagnosis of infection strains in hospitals is leading to a public health crisis, as doctors treat these infections unnecessarily and ineffectively with antibiotics. To tackle this, new precision medicine solutions are being tested.
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Infection Image

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte.
Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte.
C. Goldsmith/CDC
Microscopic  holes  are characteristic in prion-affected tissue sections  causing the tissue to deve...
Microscopic "holes" are characteristic in prion-affected tissue sections, causing the tissue to develop a "spongy" architecture.
Dr. Al Jenny
Front cover of  Guide to Cleaning & Disinfecting Cleanrooms’ by Tim Sandle
Front cover of 'Guide to Cleaning & Disinfecting Cleanrooms’ by Tim Sandle
This photomicrograph depicts Cryptococcus
This photomicrograph depicts Cryptococcus
Dr. Leanor Haley
Wikimedia Commons
Tuberculosis lung X-ray
Tuberculosis lung X-ray
Demonstrating the need for good cleaning and disinfection using ultraviolet light to show how easy i...
Demonstrating the need for good cleaning and disinfection using ultraviolet light to show how easy it is to miss parts of a surface when cleaning.
Mosquito  carrier of dengue fever
Mosquito, carrier of dengue fever

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