33 votes
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Would the human seasonal coronaviruses be just as deadly as COVID-19 in a population with no prior immunity?

The seasonal coronaviruses attach exclusively to cells with a ciliated epithelium. Coronaviruses invade the respiratory tract via the nose. After an incubation period of about 3 days, they cause the ...
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15 votes
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If a SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic infected individual is exposed to a high viral load, could they develop COVID-19 disease?

What your government is proposing is a lot less than what was actually done in China. There, and perhaps that is still the case, large numbers of asymptomatic infected people were housed together in ...
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14 votes
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Why isn't COVID-19 just called SARS-2? Isn't it a second SARS?

Disease are officially named by the WHO, while viruses are by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The WHO has stated From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS ...
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14 votes
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Can mRNAs modify our DNA (publication misunderstanding)?

The short answer is maybe, but rarely, and the whole Covid virus has never been seen to integrate into the cell's DNA intact. Any integration requires "helper" molecules not found in the ...
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9 votes
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Is there a reason to be anxious about claim that COVID-19 vaccine could turn out to be inducing infertility in females?

This is probably as good as it gets for now, but experts quoted by AP have dismissed the idea as highly improbable, basically on the argument that the common sequence is too short to be of concern and ...
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  • 5,813
7 votes

Can a RT-PCR test claim 100% sensitivity and specificity?

A diagnostic test should never claim 100% sensitivity or specificity. So we are all on the same page, let's review what sensitivity and specificity actually mean. According to the US Food and Drug ...
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6 votes
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How is Lopinavir + Ritonavir expected to stop COVID-19?

The NEJM editorial that accompanied that issue says: One antiviral-drug candidate is a combination of the HIV protease inhibitors lopinavir and ritonavir. Lopinavir, which acts against the viral 3CL ...
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5 votes

What information we have about transmission of COVID-19 in detail?

This question may a bit too broad (e.g. there are some separate questions about Covid-19 and food) but on the topic of transmission in an office-like setting there have been some studies/reports, some ...
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4 votes

What data is there for physicians to advise patients taking Ace Inhibitors during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The question boils down to does increasing the number of ACE2 receptors increase or lower your risk of severe disease with Covid-19. Increasing the number of receptors might increase the number of ...
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4 votes

Would the human seasonal coronaviruses be just as deadly as COVID-19 in a population with no prior immunity?

I should add here that there has been a case of ARDS reported for the alphacoronavirus 229E (i.e. a "common cold" coronavirus) in 2018. But ARDS occurrences are of course, much less common in these "...
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  • 5,813
4 votes

Why is developing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine expected to take longer than developing the 1957 flu vaccine?

From the very article you've linked: Making a vaccine for a new flu strain is very different from making a vaccine for something completely new like COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that emerged in ...
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4 votes
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Degree of correlation between viral load and symptom severity in Covid-19?

It appears to be more nuanced than just high viral load equates to more severe disease. We know that there are case reports of children with high viral loads yet were largely asymptomatic. It may ...
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4 votes
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What does it mean to say a population has “low levels of general immunity”?

The term "general immunity" is not used all that often nowadays, but it seems to stand in opposition to "local immunity" which are more specialized immune responses in some regions of the body but not ...
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3 votes
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Why did COVID-19 spread so much faster than H1N1/09 in China?

The most obvious reason ( apart from the fact that 5M workers who lived in Wuhan were allowed to leave and return to their home cities ) is that Covid-19 is most infectious in the immediate period ...
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3 votes
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What is the clinical significance of the ACE2 receptor tropism of SARS-COV-2?

First off no one should be stopping their ARB or ACEI drugs without the direction of their physicians. In particular there is a risk of decompensation of heart failure when these drugs are used in ...
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3 votes

What are the genetic predispositions, if any, for covid-19?

The only data we have suggesting a genetic resistance to Covid-19 so far is that blood group O is protective and so is being female. The latter may relate to the numbers of ACE2 receptors since the ...
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3 votes
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Disinfecting laundry — that of a likely COVID patient, or of any other possibly-infectious individual

Edit: COVID and your laundry In April, a Texas biomedical scientist published an article about COVID and clothing. She suggested that, during the COVID pandemic, it's usually fine to just do laundry ...
3 votes

Are there reliable studies on the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with respect to temperature?

Here are studies on viability at different temperature for similar viruses https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(20)30046-3/fulltext
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3 votes

COVID-19: Is it possible to use the specimen collected through swabs for multiple tests

When you're doing a nasopharyngeal swab you want primarily cellular material that is infected with virus. You can cut the tip of the swab successfully as in this study for multiple tests Study ...
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3 votes

What is the principal goal in pooled COVID-19 testing?

The principal goal of pooled testing is to rapidly clear many cases in low prevalence (or incidence) situations. Long version: Disclaimer: I'm analytical chemist, i.e. someone who could by profession ...
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3 votes

Why wouldn't the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines be equally effective?

Even assuming the same ecological conditions, efficacy of a vaccine is in a (dose-dependent trade-off with side effects. (This was e.g. easily shown in the phase I/II trials of Moderna's vaccine.) ...
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  • 5,813
3 votes

What is the minimum air temperature that can kill SARS-CoV-2 instantaneously?

Dry heat sterilization is fairly inefficient, time-wise, in general. According to Wikipedia, which cites the CDC for this: The proper time and temperature for dry heat sterilization is 160 °C (320 °F)...
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3 votes

Tissue sample testing for Sars-CoV-2 spike protein

It's unclear to me what tissue you expect to be sampled. SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus and like similar viruses it's (differentially) diagnosed by "nasal" (more accurately: ...
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3 votes

How does Omicron rank among the most contagious diseases?

There is no one measure for "contagiousness", so ranking contagious diseases is just like ranking "best sports player": there are enough different ways to do it that there are ...
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2 votes

How long can SARS-CoV-2 persist on surfaces?

An early release paper dated 23 March 2020 is now staying that SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been recovered 17 days after both infected and asymptomatic presumed infected passengers left the cabins of the ...
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2 votes
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Is there any upside of using N95 masks instead of N99 or N100 to protect against COVID-19?

Yes, there are several "upsides" as you put it. It's cheaper It's easier to breath in It's sufficient for catching particles smaller than it's actually designed for... Now, that last point is what'...
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2 votes
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Are there reliable studies on the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with respect to temperature?

UPDATE: According to:Lancet April 2 2020 The concentration of SARS-COV-2 decayed thusly: To my non-professional eye it appears that at 72F the concentration of SARS-COV-2 decayed by (approximately) ...
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2 votes

Are there reliable studies on the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with respect to temperature?

For the sake of completeness: Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 (dated March 17 2020) from New England Journal of Medicine Begins: A novel human ...
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2 votes

Are there reliable studies on the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with respect to temperature?

Casanova LM et al. 2010, "Effects of air temperature and relative humidity on coronavirus survival on surfaces." This study on other similar viruses -- transmissible gastroenteritis virus and ...
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2 votes
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How mutable is SARS-CoV-2 virus?

There has been at least one phylogenetic study of 48 near complete samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. and a more up to date link at Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus https://arxiv.org/abs/2002....
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