Articles on Viruses

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New research hints at why Germany’s death toll from COVID-19 was relatively low while Italy’s and America’s spiked. Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images

Fast-acting countries cut their coronavirus death rates while US delays cost thousands of lives

Over the first 100 days of the pandemic, countries that quickly implemented strong policies successfully lowered their death rates faster. There were also some surprises in the successes and failures.
Masks and social distancing can help protect shoppers from the coronavirus, but gloves aren’t recommended. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Here’s how to stay safe while buying groceries amid the coronavirus pandemic

Should I wear a mask and gloves in the grocery story? Sanitize my food? A food virologist takes on the top questions people are asking as they shop for food amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The relationship between the coronavirus and human genetics is murky. fatido/E+ via Getty Images

Your genes could determine whether the coronavirus puts you in the hospital – and we’re starting to unravel which ones matter

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University found that variations in genes that code for parts of the cellular alarm system might play a role in how well people fight off COVID-19.
What would Darwin consider the best adaptation to protect against the coronavirus? rolbos / Getty Images

What does ‘survival of the fittest’ mean in the coronavirus pandemic? Look to the immune system

Who is most likely to survive an infection of the new coronavirus? Two immunologists explain that it is those who mount exactly the right immune response – not too weak, not too strong.
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In defence of viruses

While a few are killers, viruses are actually important to human health and incredibly useful in medicine.

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