Hope: Good coronavirus news to brighten your day

Ada Zanusso, 104, has become the world’s oldest person to survive coronavirus.

It is easy to feel down and overwhelmed with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to rage. But countries following official guidelines, including staying at home and social distancing, are seeing positive results with the virus slowing.

China, where COVID-19 originated, has reported continual drops in new cases while Singapore has also managed to contain the virus, reports CNET.

The likes of South Korea and Germany have seen slow spreads due to rigorous testing programmes.

Hong Kong and Taiwan have also demonstrated the importance of investing funds in thorough outbreak prevention measures, having learned valuable lessons during the SARS pandemic in 2002.

Clinical trials of the potential vaccines are underway in China and the first US clinical trials have now got underway in Seattle, which proved an early hot spot in February.

READ ALSO: How you can tell the difference between coronavirus and common cold

Biotech firm Moderna has used a piece of genetic code present in other coronaviruses and combined it with fatty nanoparticles as part of a possible vaccine.

Similarly, Imperial College London is working on another solution using virus RNA genetic code, and Pennsylvania biotech firm Inovio is making DNA strands intending to stimulate an immune response.

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, meanwhile, is looking at combining COVID-19 DNA with harmless virus genetic material as part of an effort to produce a vaccine alongside US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Similarly, Johnson & Johnson has also teamed up with the authority to deactivate SARS-Cov-2 as part of its work to find a vaccine.

But with a vaccine likely to be months or even years away, pre-existing antiviral drugs - including remdesivir and favipiravir - are believed to potentially be effective in treating COVID-19.

This comes as engineers from Mercedes' F1 team are working with University College London to create a breathing device so patients don't have to go to ICU.

Mercedes' F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Photo: AFP.

And despite the death tolls, each day people are recovering from the virus - including many of the most vulnerable patients. They include 104-year-old Ada Zanusso who caught the killer bug at her care home in Biella, northern Italy. Ada Zanusso, 104, has become the world’s oldest person to survive coronavirus. Twenty of her fellow residents have died from the virus, though Ada - who also survived the Spanish flu against the odds as a child - has "lost none of her lucidity and intelligence" say doctors.

READ ALSO: Doctor's advice on how to spot symptoms of coronavirus

And while it's not exactly clear what treatment Ada received before recovering, doctors in India have found success using a cocktail of drugs designed to fight HIV, swine flu and malaria.

Doctors in China and Japan, meanwhile, have reported encouraging results from treating patients with blood plasma from those who have already recovered.

More efficient testing methods are also being developed, including at John Hopkins University where researchers are working on a nasal swab test which could analyse hundreds of people each day and bring back results in a matter of hours.

Lockdown is also having a resounding effect on the environment, with China seeing a 25 per cent decrease in C02 emissions, which scientists believe could save 77,000 lives - 20 times the amount of COVID-19 fatalities.

 


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