Lower Humidity Increases the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission

A new study from the University of Sydney, Australia, confirms that lower humidity is associated with a higher number of COVID-19 cases in the community.Lower Humidity Increases the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission

The research was led by Professor Michael Ward, an epidemiologist in the Sydney School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. The team included two researchers from Fudan University School of Public Health in Shanghai, China. It is the second peer-reviewed study of a relationship between weather conditions and COVID-19 in Australia.

Lower humidity in other words can be defined as “dryer air.” The study says that for a 1% decrease in relative humidity, COVID-19 cases might increase by 7-8%.

The researchers explain: “When the humidity is lower, the air is drier and it makes the aerosols smaller. When you sneeze and cough those smaller infectious aerosols can stay suspended in the air for longer. That increases the exposure for other people.”

Stem Cell Study: Coronavirus May Affect the Heart Directly

A new study on stem cells that appeared in the journal Cell Reports Medicine shows that COVID-19 can infect heart cells via the same receptor as the one present in the lungs.Stem Cell Study Coronavirus May Affect the Heart Directly

For the study, scientists programmed the stem cells called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to become heart cells and incubated them with SARS-CoV-2. With the help of microscope and genetic sequencing techniques, they found that the novel coronavirus can directly infect heart cells.

Dr. Arun Sharma, a research fellow at the Regenerative Medicine Institute of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, USA, says: “By blocking the ACE2 protein with an antibody, the virus is not as easily able to bind to the ACE2 protein, and thus cannot easily enter the cell. This not only helps us understand the mechanisms of how this virus functions, but also suggests therapeutic approaches that could be used as a potential treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

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