What are the medical advances against coronavirus?

The medical field is working against the clock to find a way to curb the spread of the human coronavirus COVID-19. Scientists around the world are looking for the vaccine to end this crisis. What’s new?

The new coronavirus, COVID-19, is a virus that everyone knows unfortunately. Its origin dates back to November 2019 when the first cases appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

This virus is transmitted at a dizzying rate because its contagion rate, according to the World Health Organization, is 2 or 3 new infections per person.

In this situation, many countries have declared a state of alarm. For example Italy, Spain, Germany and France since they have decreed the confinement of the population except in exceptional cases.

A great challenge in the field of medicine

Doctors from all over the planet are working side by side to provide medical services to those affected. Furthermore, laboratories are working at high speed to find a coronavirus vaccine.

An example of this is the Polish professor Maciej Drag, from the Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland).

His research team, together with scientists from the University of Lübeck (Germany), have found an enzyme inhibitor that destroys the virus. This enzyme is unique and is not found in people, therefore it would not cause negative effects in patients.

“If we treated this enzyme as a lock, we would have found the key, although millions of combinations have to be tested for this,” said Drag.

These results are under review and it has not been patented so that the scientific community has free and open access in order to add contributions and thus find a definitive solution.

Vacuna contra el coronavirus

Creating a vaccine

Meanwhile in Spain, two teams from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) are working to get a coronavirus vaccine.

These investigations have two objectives: one to find a vaccine that protects against infection and the other to develop a treatment to cure those affected.

Scientific groups have already developed vaccines in the previous coronaviruses that posed a threat in recent years: MERS and SARS. Now the goal is to get a vaccine that protects 100% throughout life.

The tests are currently in vitro. During this procedure, the CSIC has shown that the drug Aplidin, used to treat multiple myeloma, is able to stop the multiplication of the coronavirus.

“The result is promising because this drug is highly effective, but it remains to be proven against the deadly human coronavirus,” says virologist Luis Enjuanes, who is leading the investigation with Isabel Sola and Sonia Zuñiga in the coronavirus laboratory at the Center. National Biotechnology, in Madrid.

They also indicate that the procedure to check this drug in humans is long and it is estimated that it could be “a matter of two or three months” according to Enjuanes.

China and the United States begin their clinical trials on people

The United States takes a step forward in advances in the coronavirus vaccine. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) they have already started the first human clinical trial to test a vaccine that protects against COVID-19.

In this test, the vaccine was applied to 45 volunteers, all of them healthy people with an age range between 18 and 55 years. This initial phase will last around six weeks to check the evolution of the volunteers.

On the other hand, China said in a statement from its defense ministry that it had successfully developed a vaccine to kill the strain of the new coronavirus.

Once this news was known, the government of the Asian country has given the green light to carry out the first tests on people and then begin large-scale production as soon as possible.

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