Common coronaviruses appear to be highly seasonal


A recent study concludes that the four most common human coronaviruses follow distinct seasonal patterns.A recent study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor tracked a group of participants over 8 years. The team looked in detail at the prevalence of the four most common human coronaviruses in the population.
The research, which now appears in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, shines a light on an understudied aspect of coronaviruses and may prove valuable for scientists trying to make sense of the current pandemic.
Over the past 20 years, researchers have primarily focused on a handful of coronaviruses that emerged from animals and transmitted to humans.
These have typically resulted in more severe respiratory illnesses or posed a threat of pandemic, including SARS-CoV-1, which emerged in the early 2000s, and MERS-CoV, which emerged in 2012. SARS-CoV-2 also emerged from animals and transmitted to humans.
However, coronaviruses have circulated in human populations for decades, and they tend to be associated with less severe illnesses.
The researchers wanted to look in more detail at these older coronaviruses because they are relatively understudied compared with influenza, rhinoviruses, and other coronaviruses that have emerged in recent years.
Ebola drug continues to show promise: We reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global mega-trial that involves testing four potential treatments for COVID-19. Remdesivir, initially developed to treat Ebola, was one of those four potential treatments.
Now, scientists from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, say that remdesivir is showing promise in in vitro experiments.
The same team had previously demonstrated that remdesivir effectively combatted another coronavirus, MERS-CoV. It did so by blocking polymerases, which are enzymes that allow the virus to replicate.
These coronavirus polymerases are sloppy, and they get fooled, so the inhibitor gets incorporated many times, and the virus can no longer replicate.
Still, the author cautions, “We’ve got to be patient and wait for the results of the randomized clinical trials.”
Atherosclerosis rapidly develops between ages 40 to 50: A study has found that fatty plaques in the arteries that supply the heart, brain, and legs with blood rapidly build up in people between the ages of 40 and 50 years.