Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

1.5 million children have lost parents to pandemic; potential brain gateway for virus found

Stock MarketsJul 21, 2021 03:46PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A child looks at the "Naming the Lost Memorials," as the U.S. deaths from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are expected to surpass 600,000, at The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 10, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) - The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

1.5 million children lost parents to COVID-19 so far

During the first 14 months of the pandemic, an estimated 1.5 million children worldwide experienced the death of a parent, custodial grandparent, or other relative who cared for them, as a result of COVID-19, according to a study published in The Lancet https:// on Tuesday. The orphanhood estimates are drawn from mortality data from 21 countries that account for 77% of global COVID-19 deaths and from the United Nations Population Division. "For every two COVID-19 deaths worldwide, one child is left behind to face the death of a parent or caregiver," Dr. Susan Hillis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team, who led the study, said in a statement. The number of COVID-19 orphans will increase as the pandemic progresses, she added. There is an urgent need to prioritize these children and "support them for many years into the future," Hillis said. Said study coauthor Lucie Cluver of Oxford University: "And we need to respond fast because every 12 seconds a child loses their caregiver to COVID-19."

Potential brain gateway found for coronavirus

Researchers have found a potential route of entry for the coronavirus into the human brain that may help explain the effects of COVID-19 on the brain and nervous system that have plagued many patients. To date there is no evidence that the virus directly infects neurons - the brain cells that receive and send messages to and from the body. In a new study, experimenting with an artificially grown mass of cells created to resemble the brain, researchers found that neurons seemed "impervious" to the coronavirus, said Joseph Gleeson of the University of California, San Diego. But cells called pericytes, which wrap around blood vessels and carry the surface protein the virus uses for entry, proved to be a different story. When researchers added pericytes to their artificial brain and then added the virus, "we found incredibly robust infection," not just of the pericytes but also of the neurons, Gleeson said. They report in Nature Medicine https://go.nature.com/3eHmumt that the pericytes served as "factories" for the virus, from which it could multiply. The primary targets were astrocytes, which have crucial roles in regulating the brain's electrical impulses, providing neurons with nutrients, and maintaining the "blood-brain barrier" that shields the brain from foreign substances. The findings, Gleeson said, suggest "pericytes could serve as an entry point for SARS-CoV-2," which could either lead to local increases in the virus or to inflammation of blood vessels that can cause stroke.

Vaccine boosters not yet needed, researchers say

Two doses of an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) are effective at neutralizing the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus that is or will soon be dominant in most places, suggesting immediate booster doses are not likely needed, researchers said. They did not measure the vaccines' ability to protect against infection in the real world. In their lab experiments using blood samples from vaccinated volunteers, however, Delta's mutations caused only low reductions in the proportion of antibodies that could neutralize the virus, they said. Mutations in the less prevalent Beta and Gamma variants reduced antibody neutralization capacity more significantly, but not to a point where vaccine recipients would appear to be unprotected, the researchers reported on Sunday in a paper posted on medRxiv https:// ahead of peer review. Vaccine boosters may be needed in the future to help overcome some variants, coauthor Akiko Iwasaki of Yale University said in a tweet on Tuesday. Her team also found that overall, neutralizing antibody levels after vaccination were higher in COVID-19 survivors than in uninfected vaccine recipients. "This is not surprising," Iwasaki told Reuters, "because infection itself induces immune responses, which were boosted by the two doses of vaccines."

Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.

1.5 million children have lost parents to pandemic; potential brain gateway for virus found
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email