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Virology Of COVID-19: How The Coronavirus Works Inside Our Bodies

A researcher works on the diagnosis of suspected coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on March 26, 2020. (DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)
A researcher works on the diagnosis of suspected coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, on March 26, 2020. (DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)

To beat COVID-19 we have to understand how it spreads in communities and how it works inside individual bodies. We’ll take a look at the virology and serology of the coronavirus.

Guests

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. Cancer physician and researcher. Author of “ The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.” ( @DrSidMukherjee)

Stanley Perlman, professor of microbiology, immunology and pediatrics at the University of Iowa. He has studied coronaviruses for nearly 40 years. ( @UIowaMicrobio)

Helen Branswell, infectious diseases and global health reporter for STAT News. ( @HelenBranswell)

From The Reading List

STAT News: “ A $30 billion gamble: Pandemic expert calls for making Covid-19 vaccines before we know they work” — “There’s a one-word exit strategy for the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, which is crippling economies around the world: vaccines.”

Axios: “ Serological coronavirus testing could be key to economic reopening” — “America’s economy won’t reopen anytime soon, despite frantic CEO whispers, but a glimmer of hope may be emerging in the form of serological testing.”

STAT: “ The ‘certified recovered’ from Covid-19 could lead the economic recovery” — “Re-opening a nightclub in New York seems crazy at this point, as that’s just the kind of setting in which Covid-19 can spread like wildfire. But it wouldn’t be crazy if all of the workers and patrons had previously had Covid-19 and recovered from it.”

The New Yorker: “ How Does the Coronavirus Behave Inside a Patient?” — “In the third week of February, as the covid-19 epidemic was still flaring in China, I arrived in Kolkata, India. I woke up to a sweltering morning—the black kites outside my hotel room were circling upward, lifted by the warming currents of air—and I went to visit a shrine to the goddess Shitala.”

The New York Times: “ In Italy, Going Back to Work May Depend on Having the Right Antibodies” — “There is a growing sense in Italy that the worst may have passed. The weeks of locking down the country, center of the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, may be starting to pay off, as officials announced this week that the numbers of new infections had plateaued.”

The Los Angeles Times: “ A coronavirus immunity test is essential for the U.S. But will it work?” — “It’s a potential saving grace salvaged from a pandemic: As people recover from the coronavirus, they may develop immunity that could allow them to return to school or work, helping place the U.S. on the road to recovery.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.