As the world continues to be rocked by the current coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19), researchers are reportedly working on a possible vaccine to combat the illness, with one in the works due to Bill Gates' funding.
The virus, which started in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, attacks one's respiratory system and symptoms typically include a sore throat, fever, dry cough, and sometimes shortness of breath.
A vaccine funded by Bill Gates is currently being tested.
According to numerous reports, a small Pennsylvania-based biotech company, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, has received clearance to start testing a possible vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is reportedly funding the clinical testing, and volunteers have allegedly begun injections.
Business Insider reported that Inovio has enrolled about 40 healthy adult volunteers from Philadelphia and Missouri. The participants "will receive two doses of the vaccine, four weeks apart." The company claims they should have the safety results by late summer. If everything goes well, Inovio will begin testing the "vaccine's efficacy against the virus."
While companies have begun testing a vaccine, according to experts, it will take at least one year for citizens to receive any sort of treatment. Director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, previously stated that the earliest the country could obtain a vaccine to disperse to the people will be around 12 to 18 months, "at least."
Will the coronavirus go away in the summer?
While you have hoped your time inside self-quarantining would only last a few weeks or months, it may just be a bit longer.
Don't be organizing your summer plans just set. Just because the seasonal flu typically thrives in colder climates, that doesn't mean the new coronavirus follows the same pattern.
According to Marc Lipsitch, DPhil, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it is not safe to assume COVID-19 will go away on its own when the temperature gets warmer.
Dr. Lipsitch breaks down the important factors that could influence the coronavirus, which include: the environment, human behavior, a person's immune system, and the virus' peak and eventual depletion of hosts.
"Even seasonal infections can happen 'out of season' when they are new," Dr. Lipsitch states. "New viruses have a temporary but important advantage – few or no individuals in the population are immune to them." He then explains that old viruses have a "thinner margin" of infecting individuals as most people are immune, which means the conditions have to be favorable to the virus.
Therefore newer viruses, such as COVID-19, are able to operate on a larger margin, outside the "normal" seasonal conditions.
The best way to prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus is with thorough hand washing and social distancing. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, which include persistent cough (usually dry), fever, shortness of breath, and fatigue, please call your doctor before going to get tested. For comprehensive resources and updates, visit the CDC website. If you are experiencing anxiety about the virus, seek out mental health support from your provider or visit NAMI.org.