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Articles on Virology

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A pandemic from a century ago doesn’t necessarily chart the course of the pandemic happening now. National Photo Company Collection/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Compare the flu pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19 with caution – the past is not a prediction

Differences in the viruses' biology and societal contexts mean there's no guarantee today's pandemic will mirror the 'waves' of infection a century ago.
Rapid blood tests for coronavirus could fill a large gap in knowledge. Taechit Taechamanodom/Moment via Getty Images

Coronavirus tests are pretty accurate, but far from perfect

Expanding coronavirus testing is one of the most important tasks public health officials are tackling right now. But questions over accuracy of the two main types of tests have rightly caused concern.
Design Cells/Shutterstock

In defence of viruses

While a few are killers, viruses are actually important to human health and incredibly useful in medicine.
SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink dots) on a dying cell. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

What the coronavirus does to your body that makes it so deadly

The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, spreads faster than the H1N1 influenza virus and is much deadlier. SARS-CoV-2 is particularly skilled at keeping cells from calling out for help.
Monitoring sewage for virus allows for a quick public health response if any polio is detected. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Sewage surveillance is the next frontier in the fight against polio

Polio can be circulating through a community long before anyone is paralyzed. Monitoring sewage for the virus lets public health officials short-circuit this 'silent transmission.'
Ebola vaccination team member administering Ebola vaccine in Beni, North Kivu, DRC. UNICEF/MARK NAFTALIN HANDOUT

DRC may provide model for containing future Ebola outbreaks

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been hit with another Ebola outbreak. This may be the test case for how to deal with future outbreaks.

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