First human challenge study of Covid-19 yields valuable insights about how we get sick

First human challenge study of Covid-19 yields valuable insights about how we get sick

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Key Facts

  • “Really, there’s no other type of study where you can do that, because normally, patients only come to your attention if they have developed symptoms, and so you miss all of those preceding days when the infection is brewing,” said lead study author Dr. Christopher Chiu, an infectious disease physician and immunologist at Imperial College London.
  • They were medically monitored 24 hours a day and stayed for two weeks in rooms at London’s Royal Free Hospital that had special air flow to keep the virus from escaping.
  • That’s a concern because another recent study found that this loss of smell was tied to changes in the brain.
  • Under these carefully controlled conditions, researchers were able to learn a lot about the virus and how it moves through the body: * Tiny amounts of virus, about 10 microns – the amount in a single droplet someone sneezes or coughs – can make someone sick.

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