World failed to learn SARS lessons for coronavirus fight

first_imgThe novel coronavirus outbreak has exposed a lack of global research on ways to combat the spread of infectious diseases, with health authorities failing to learn lessons from previous flare-ups, experts said Tuesday.The last outbreak of worldwide significance was the SARS virus scare of the early 2000s, which killed 774 people. More recently the Mers virus killed more than 850 people, although the outbreak was largely contained to the Middle East. Although scientists responded to both diseases, formulating treatment plans and eventually vaccines, experts say the new coronavirus epidemic shows there has not been any sustained, coordinated efforts on infectious diseases. “Too often, the surge of research attention and investment that novel outbreaks generate quickly wane when those outbreaks subside and other priorities take their place,” Jason Schwartz, assistant professor at Yale’s Department of Health Policy and Management, told AFP.”SARS and Mers demonstrated the global health threat posed by coronaviruses and the need for a sustained investment in better understanding these viruses with an eye toward prevention and treatment strategies.”Bruno Canard, a virologist at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, said that some countries, notably European Union members, launched coordinated research programs following SARS.But the financial crisis of 2008 squeezed out funding, he said, lamenting a “scientific world on financial life support.” For Johan Neyts, professor of virology and president of the Belgian-based, International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR), the world missed a chance after SARS, which is closely related to the new coronavirus.”If we had invested starting in 2003 at the SARS epidemic looking for a medication that would be active against coronas by now we could have had a stockpile that would have been active against this new one,” he told AFP. “We missed an opportunity. It’s a terrorist attack of a virus which we could have prevented, more people are going to die, it’s really a shame.” There are now seven known coronaviruses that are transmissible among humans. Canard said coordinated research could have produced a broad-spectrum treatment against all of them, given their genetically similar profile. Cost ‘peanuts’But to do so scientific efforts would need government funding. Neyts estimated the cost of finding a coronavirus treatment safe to administer at scale to be 250-300 million euros (US$275-325 million).”This is basically peanuts, if you compare that to the human suffering that we seeing now, and also to the economic losses,” he said.As well as funding, medical research also takes time. Years, in fact. And Canard said the world is now reacting against the novel coronavirus from a standing start. “To develop a molecule [against coronaviruses], that takes years,” he said. “You need to have clinical trials and for that you need people who are sick with the virus.”He warned that more coronaviruses are likely to spread among humans in years to come as we continue to destroy the habitats of species that carry the diseases.”We let down our guard and the acceleration of these viruses emergencies is going to be faster and faster due to climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation,” said Canard.center_img Topics :last_img read more

L.A. Dodgers’ Chris Hatcher now rolling along in fine fashion

first_img• Photos: Arizona Diamondbacks defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0 MLBHatcher has self-analyzed a lot, saying “I’ve covered it 50 times since I’ve been back.”Manager Don Mattingly, while discussing Hatcher late last week, said that Hatcher has “kind of pushed himself into that spot,” meaning set-up man. But Hatcher isn’t taking a thing for granted.“No, bullpens are a thing that you kind of take the hot hand at the time, and I guess you could say I’ve got a hot hand right now,” Hatcher said Tuesday before the Dodgers took on the Arizona Diamondbacks. “But that could change in one day, so I don’t think there is any established thing in a bullpen, so to speak, unless you’re a closer.“So you just keep fighting and keep working to maintain where you’re at and get better.” Hatcher, 30, most recently appeared in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh. He gave up an RBI double to Aramis Ramirez in the eighth inning that proved to be the winning run. The run was charged to Clayton Kershaw, however, as Kershaw had given up a leadoff double to Gregory Polanco.Still, as recent times go, it was a rare failing for Hatcher.Hatcher did a rehab stint at Oklahoma City before being reactivated. He only pitched 4 1/3 innings there, with an ERA of 8.31. But he was there with a purpose, Mattingly said at the time.“He’s going to be pitching in Oklahoma and continuing to pitch different-type settings, from one (inning) plus, to back-to-back (games), just trying to … put a lot of different things on his plate so he fits back in with our club,” he said Aug. 9. “… Now it’s just a matter of him sequencing, pitching, getting sharp.” Mission accomplished.Turner updateThird baseman Justin Turner has not played since coming out of Saturday’s game with left knee soreness. An MRI on Monday revealed a bone bruise and inflamed tendon.Mattingly sounded optimistic about a quick return.“We see him out here today,” Mattingly said during infield drills. “He hit a little bit in the cage, did his warmups, going to take some ground balls. So, obviously, he’s feeling better and we’ll see how this day affects him and how we make decisions going forward.”Rollins close to returningShortstop Jimmy Rollins has not played in the field since Sept. 6 because of an injured index finger on his throwing hand. Mattingly expects Rollins back at his position any day now.“You see him working again today, and I’m hoping Jimmy is available in the next couple of days,” Mattingly said.Rollins had been used as a pinch-hitter the past three games.Liberatore recalledThe Dodgers on Tuesday recalled southpaw reliever Adam Liberatore, who last pitched in a postseason game for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sept. 11.Mattingly said that even though he has plenty of arms in the bullpen with the expanded roster, he wanted Liberatore because Jim Johnson and his wife are expecting a baby any day and Johnson figures to be gone for a few days.Liberatore is 2-2 with an ERA of 4.15 in 35 games for the Dodgers this season. He went 0-1 with three saves and an ERA of 3.74 in 19 games at Triple-A. When Chris Hatcher went on the disabled list in mid-June with a left oblique strain, the Dodgers relief pitcher had an ERA of 6.38 with two saves, seven holds and two blown saves.He was activated in mid-August, and going into Tuesday’s game had an ERA of 1.25 in 16 innings since then to reduce his ERA to a respectable 3.93. The set-up man now has three saves and 11 holds.To Hatcher, not much has changed in the way he has gone about his business, the much-improved numbers notwithstanding.“No,” he said, when asked if he has made any changes. “Making better pitches, getting a little better luck and things are going my way.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more