Statins reduce COVID-19 severity, likely by removing cholesterol that virus uses to infect

There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatments for COVID-19, the pandemic infection caused by a novel coronavirus. While several therapies are being tested in clinical trials, current standard of care involves providing patients with fluids and fever-reducing medications. To speed the search for new COVID-19 therapies, researchers are testing repurposed drugs—medicines already known to be safe for human […]

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Bali bans foreign tourists for rest of 2020 over virus

Foreign tourists won’t be allowed to visit Bali for the rest of 2020 due to coronavirus concerns, its governor said, scrapping a plan to open up the Indonesian island from next month. The holiday hotspot re-opened beaches, temples and other tourism spots for domestic visitors at the end of July and had said it would let foreign tourists return on […]

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Brazil tops 4 mn cases as probe launched into origin of virus

Brazil surpassed four million coronavirus cases on Thursday, as an international panel looking into the global response to the pandemic vowed to uncover how it was able to spread worldwide. “This is a strong panel poised to ask the hard questions,” said former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, co-chair of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR), which […]

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European nations beef up virus measures to combat surge

Major European nations France, Germany and Spain announced tougher infection control measures Thursday, joining the ranks of countries battling an increase of coronavirus cases. France expanded a mask-wearing order across capital Paris, while Germany trailed a 50-euro ($59) fine for those caught without a mask where it is compulsory and said fans may have to stay away from sports stadiums […]

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France daily virus cases hit new post-lockdown high

France on Wednesday recorded new coronavirus cases at the fastest daily rate since May, official figures showed, as the country prepares for the return from summer holidays. Almost 3,800 COVID-19 infections were confirmed in the past 24 hours, the health ministry’s DGS public health division said. “All indicators continue to climb and transmission of the virus is intensifying,” the DGS […]

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France weighs mask mandate at work as virus reawakens

France’s government is conferring with unions Tuesday about requiring masks in workplaces to contain growing virus infections. France’s High Council for Public Health recommended obligatory masks in all workplaces this weekend as the country’s daily infection count jumped past 3,000 for the first time since May. While masks are routinely worn in many Asian countries and increasingly required in public […]

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Study provides insights into how Zika virus suppresses the host immune system

A research team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has outlined how the Zika virus, which constituted an epidemic threat in 2016, suppresses the immune system of its host. The Zika virus, or ZIKV, spreads through mosquito bites and sexual intercourse. Currently, no approved vaccine or antivirals against ZIKV exist. “Suppressing host immunity is a common strategy […]

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Experimental drug reduces replication of zika virus and prevents microcephaly in mice

An international group of researchers have discovered that inhibiting AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor)—a protein with roles in regulating immunity, stem cell maintenance and cellular differentiation—enables the immune system to combat replication of zika virus in the organism far more effectively. In experiments performed at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil, the antiviral therapy proved capable […]

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