COVID-19 can ravage the body, targeting the lungs, heart and blood vessels. To curb this wide-ranging attack, scientists are focusing on another part of the body: the nose.The virus that causes the illness, SARS-CoV-2, gains its foothold by infecting certain nasal cells, studies suggest (SN: 6/12/20). As a result, the nose has emerged as a key battleground in the war against COVID-19. Slowing or stopping that nasal invasion might ultimately be powerful enough to change the course of the pandemic, some scientists suspect.
So far, no such therapies exist. But people who study the nose and its contents bring fresh perspectives about the early stages of COVID-19 infections. Scientists are developing and testing ways to prevent the virus from settling in to prime nasal real estate. These include a nose spray that smothers and inactivates a key viral protein, disinfectants that are commonly used before sinus surgeries, and even dilute baby shampoo misted up the nose.
WHO Praises AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Pause
A World Health Organization official on Tuesday said that the decision by AstraZeneca to pause global trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine after an unexplained illness showed the firm was prioritising safety.
“This is what we want to see with trials, it is a well-run trial. Safety is always critical, it is crucial and they have looked at that in an appropriate manner,” Margaret Harris told journalists in Geneva.Asked to react to experimental COVID-19 vaccine use in China and Russia, she said: “The WHO would like to see vaccines go head to head so we can have clear information and to see these results against each other.”