In early 2020 we didn’t know whether a COVID vaccine was possible. And we changed our minds on face masks and surface transmission.
A worker inspects vials of a SARS CoV-2 vaccine for COVID-19 produced by SinoVac at its factory in Beijing on Sept. 24, 2020.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Our first exposure to a pathogen, either naturally or via vaccination, can affect how our immune system responds in the future to the same or similar pathogens.
COVID-19 has not been as devastating in South Africa as initially feared.
Dino Lloyd/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Some insights into previous outbreaks of human coronaviruses may be useful in explaining the comparatively ‘low’ numbers of COVID-19 infections and mortality in people with HIV in South Africa.
We are slowly figuring out which drugs and therapies are effective against the new coronavirus.
Anton Petrus / Getty Images
During the last six months, news reports have mentioned dozens of drugs that may be effective against the new coronavirus. Here we lay out the evidence and reveal which ones are proven to work. Or not.
Korean health workers offer coronavirus testing in the Itaewon nightlife district of Seoul.
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images
South Korea’s mass surveillance to curb the coronavirus pandemic uses technologies and techniques that are grounded in anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
The best-known example of a zoonotic pandemic is HIV/AIDS, which originated from chimpanzees.
Zoologists have known for decades that some of the most devastating viral infections originate from animals. Their data and research can be used in efforts to prevent pandemics.
A camel herder in Kenya.
TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images
This is the first time that camel handlers in East Africa have been shown to have been exposed to MERS.
The Egyptian pipistrelle bat is one of seven bat species associated with spreading the coronavirus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
Bats have been the reservoir for recent disease outbreaks, including SARS and the current COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s human activity that allows the virus to cross over.
Plenty of warm and humid places – including Miami – are seeing the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Winter is flu season – could it be coronavirus season as well? The research is mixed, but other factors besides temperature and humidity have more to do with the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
This Sunda pangolin found throughout Southeast Asia is currently considered to be critically endangered.
Piekfrosch / German Wikipedia
When a new virus emerges and triggers a pandemic, it is important to trace its origins. Knowing more about how the virus jumped species in the first place can help curb future zoonotic diseases.
SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (pink dots) on a dying cell.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH
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.
In the most severe cases, COVID-19 patients need oxygen pumped directly into their airways, or even be hooked up to a machine that does the job of their heart and lungs.
An employee in Nantong, China, checks the production of chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for the treatment of malaria.
Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
A medicinal chemist addresses questions about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine: what it is, whether it is effective against COVID-19 and whether it can treat and/or prevent this disease.
Stray cows rest on a New Delhi street during a one-day civil curfew to combat coronavirus. Cattle may have been central to a coronavirus outbreak in 1890.
Yawar Nazir/Getty Images
Could the 1889-1890 pandemic have been the result of cow coronaviruses jumping to humans?
Scientists need to close the knowledge gap around COVID-19 and the virus that causes it.
African countries need to strengthen their capacity for identifying new cases.
A rendering of the coronavirus.
Getty Images / 4x-image
Many of these new diseases cross over, jumping from wild animals to people.
A worker disinfects the cabin of an Ethiopian Airlines’ aircraft at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A key component of how the coronavirus could be spreading is the environment.
Chinese cobra (
Naja atra) with hood spread.
A new coronavirus related to SARS and MERS has now traveled from China to the United States. A genetic analysis reveals that this deadly pathogen may have originated in snakes.