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The replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be prevented by several existing drugs, according to a global team of scientists.
Due to the lengthy vaccination development process, repositioning clinically evaluated drugs has been recognised as a practical strategy for identifying treatments of new infectious diseases like COVID-19. A range of clinical studies has focused on repurposing several antiviral therapies. Remdesivir has already been granted emergency use authorisation for the treatment of COVID-19, as a reduction in time to recovery has been demonstrated in clinical trials.
Published in Nature, an international team of scientists analysed one of the world’s largest collections of known drugs. This library included approximately 12,000 clinical-stage or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved small molecules. Laboratory tests confirmed that 100 of these molecules had antiviral activity, and 21 were found to be effective at a concentration safe for humans. Four of the drugs were also found to work in harmony with Remdesivir, which, is already a coronavirus treatment that aids in shorter recovery time.
Extensive tests were performed on human lung biopsies to evaluate the antiviral activity, the dose-response, and the interaction with Remdesivir. Twenty-one of the drugs were effective in blocking the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Two of these drugs are already FDA approved for other conditions, and one of the four drugs that work in synergy with Remdesivir has already reached phase 3 clinical trials.
As some of the drugs already have clinical safety data in humans, this bodes well for finding possible therapeutic options for treating COVID-19. Although some are already being tested in clinical trials, the others may be additional candidates, opening up a wider variety of treatment options. The urgency remains to find drugs that can work alongside Remdesivir in the treatment of COVID-19, or that can be offered prophylactically at the first sign of infection.
All 21 molecules continue to be tested in small animal models and, if successful, will then be put to the FDA for approval to enter clinical trials for the treatment of coronavirus. It is suggested that with the known human safety profiles of these molecules, it will allow for accelerated clinical evaluation of these drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.
Written by Helen Massy, BSc.
EurekAlert!. 2020. Nature Study Identifies 21 Existing Drugs That Could Treat COVID-19. [online] Available at: <https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/sbpm-nsi072320.php> [Accessed 27 July 2020].
Riva, L., Yuan, S., Yin, X. et al. Discovery of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drugs through large-scale compound repurposing. Nature (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2577-1
Image by Omni Matryx from Pixabay
How followers on Instagram can help to navigate your brand during a pandemic
People around the globe are indeed trying to accept the new norms of social distancing. Even a small business owner and Instagram marketing managers are undertaking pivotal campaigns to make changes on content calendars to launch products or services. They are working on new ideas to ensure the engagement of the audience. It is indispensable to stay connected on Instagram more than ever, as most businesses presently rely on social media.
It is through the proper marketing channels of Instagram that you will be able to connect to the world. You can even use Instagram for entertainment, but you must understand that businesses rely on Instagram’s marketing channels due to a pandemic outbreak. Now the most obvious question that pops up is how to use Instagram in the era of COVID-19?
Is it necessary to buy followers on Instagram to push your brand?
Just because there is an outbreak of pandemic does not mean you have to stop marketing or selling your brand. You have to continue posting on Instagram to entice the audience consistently. Since your audience is spending more time on Instagram than ever, it is an excellent opportunity for you to grab their attention and convert them into loyal customers. Pandemic brought with itself a unique opportunity for marketers to strengthen the relationship with the audience and increase affinity towards their brand. However, you cannot run the business through the usual channels.
There is a lot of anxiety and sensitivities among the masses. As such, you have to change methods of brand promotion to go with the flow. Change is something that has become constant in the world presently. Brand managers have to devise ways to embrace the uncertainty of present times by consistently dealing with unique challenges. Small business owners are finding it very difficult to juggle between selling and marketing to stay in business. Now the question arises what kind of content to post on Instagram presently?
The present scenario exposes a brand new market or territory for all social media managers today in a competent manner. You need to understand that the situation that is confronting the world is something very new and unique. The marketing managers do not have an idea about how to market their products or Instagram during a global pandemic. As such, you cannot find tried and tested strategies for selling your products and services during such a challenging time. However, particular suggestions can help you sustain in the market during a period of crisis.
Guiding principles to market your brand or Instagram during a pandemic.
Learn to accept the new normal
It is not a good idea for marketers to ignore the norms of the new normal. It would help if you inform your followers about the latest social distancing norms and encourage them to abide by it.
It is effortless for you to convey to your audience that you know what is happening around and are concerned about the present situation. Many celebrities have smartly put up that it is very awkward to promote your products and services during such a crisis, but they had plans to do so because they have to provide for their employees.
Many marketers have mentioned that it is an effort to sustain the jobs of their employees. Thus they have to boost their sales on Instagram. Therefore it was a smart move to market products while showing concern for the employees. All you do is acknowledge the current crisis to humanize your brand effectively.
Be consistent with your content
You need to understand that your followers are devoting more time to social media than ever before. Thus it has become much easier for you to connect to your followers and market your products and services. Try to upload content that aligns with the values of your brand to engage consumer prospects. The caption that you upload is also essential because it gives a context to your content that would remain forever. Try to use captions that would acknowledge the crisis while proactively giving solutions to sanitization concerns. However, it would be best to encourage your followers regarding social distancing and isolation to abide by the new normal.
As you know, the pandemic is affecting everybody around the globe in various matters. Thus it would help if you extended your sympathy beyond your situation. It would help if you expressed empathy; add compassion for your followers to make a bond. Do not just post engaging memes without showing concern for your followers. You do not need to speak about COVID-19 in all your captions and post, but the tone should express concern about people worldwide.
It would help if you acknowledged that some of your followers might have become jobless, some must have lost their loved ones, some might be struggling to work from home, etc. As such, your content should acknowledge your followers’ struggles and appreciate their efforts.
Some social media managers believe you must buy followers on Instagram to expand your clientele base during the crisis.
Source: Andrew Thompson is a content developer and online marketing guru. Having worked at an SEO expert company for the last three years, He also advises helping on Instagram to expand your clientele base and share effective SEO tips, strategies, and the latest developments and sure-shot strategies people can take to climb SERP rankings.
Europe Imposes New Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Soar
New regulations and social-distancing rules are being introduced across multiple European countries in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus as a second wave of the pandemic accelerates across the continent. Europe reported more than 1.3 million new cases this past week, its highest single week count yet, according to the World Health Organization.
Spain and France each surpassed 1 million cumulative confirmed cases last week, becoming the sixth and seventh countries to do so globally. Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom are also experiencing record numbers — threatening to overwhelm countries’ abilities to test, trace and contain the virus. Polish President Andrzej Duda tested positive for the virus over the weekend, as cases have doubled there in recent weeks.
Europe’s infection rate has been rising for over 90 days, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. As authorities and experts worry that the situation in Europe may soon spin out of control, governments are imposing curfews and social restrictions in an attempt to avoid full-scale lockdowns that could hurt the economy and dim the upcoming holiday season.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez declared a national state of emergency on Sunday, which included a nighttime curfew and possible travel restrictions between regions. Italy also announced new measures to curb the virus, the harshest since its lockdown in the spring, when the country was the global epicenter of the pandemic.
U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a move to a “high” alert level for London and other cities as of Oct. 17, banning residents from mixing with people from other households indoors and restricting outdoor gatherings to six people or fewer.
Last week, Ireland became the first country in Europe to reimpose a lockdown in the face of soaring cases.
Wales began a 17-day lockdown this weekend, shuttering all nonessential businesses and requiring people to remain home, with few exceptions. “If we do this now and if we then have a consistent set of national rules, to keep the transmission and the intensity of the virus at a lower level, then we can have a much more normal Christmas season for businesses,” Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, told BBC Radio Wales.
France has become the worst-hit country in Europe’s second wave, with over 40,000 new cases every day the past few days. Nightly curfews have been in place in several cities since mid-October, and this weekend, multiple new curfews were enacted, bringing the total number of people affected to around 46 million, or about two-thirds of France’s population.
“The second wave is here,” said Prime Minister Jean Castex at a press conference when the new restrictions were announced. “The situation is grave.”
Universal Mask Wearing Could Save Some 130,000 Lives In The U.S., Study Suggests
Universal mask wearing in public could greatly reduce the number of Americans who die by COVID-19 by February, a study published Friday in the journal Nature Medicine projects.
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation made estimates based on some assumptions under different scenarios.
In what they describe as the worst-case scenario, they project that COVID-19 deaths could exceed a million between September 2020 and February 2021 if what they call “the current pattern of easing” restrictions continues in states.
In a second scenario that they think is more likely, they say 511,000 could die between September and February under the assumption that “states would once again shut down social interaction and some economic activity” for six weeks once deaths reach a certain threshold per million residents.
But in a third scenario where 95% of the population dons face coverings and social restrictions are in place, the projection is for deaths to be about 381,000 — or about 130,000 fewer than under the second scenario.
If that mask percentage changes to 85% of Americans with restrictions, it could still save some 96,000 lives, they say.
The study analyzed previous COVID-19 deaths and cases between Feb. 1 and Sept. 21. Researchers also pulled information from various surveys — including ones by Facebook and YouGov — to estimate that as of Sept. 21, only 49% of Americans reported always wearing a mask.
The study also assumed a 40% reduction in risk of COVID transmission due to a mask usage. Earlier studies estimated masks can reduce transmission by at least 30%.
Researchers also noted that changes in policies and behavior could affect outcomes and that epidemics progress in a way that is are “difficult to observe directly and at scale.”
“It is unreasonable to expect any model to do everything well, so each model makes compromises to serve a purpose, while maintaining computational tractability,” researchers wrote.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 224,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus.
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