These are the 3 latest news you may have missed regarding the outbreak of coronavirus. While engrossed in search of its vaccines and the case rate. You might have ignored the long term effect of the virus.
1.World population is likely to shrink after mid-century, major shifts in global population and economic power.
The new population forecasts contrast to projections of ‘continuing global growth’ by the United Nations. Population Division, and highlight the huge challenges to economic growth of a shrinking workforce, the high burden on health and social support systems of an aging population. The impact on global power linked to shifts in world population.
The new study also predicts huge shifts in the global age structure, with an estimated 2.37 billion individuals over 65 years globally in 2100. Compared with 1.7 billion under 20 years, underscoring the need for liberal immigration policies in countries with significantly declining working age populations.
The global TFR is predicted to steadily decline, from 2.37 in 2017 to 1.66 in 2100. Well below the minimum rate (2.1) considered necessary to maintain population numbers (replacement level). The rates falling to around 1.2 in Italy and Spain, and as low as 1.17 in Poland.
Even slight changes in TFR translate into large differences in population size in countries below the replacement level. Increasing TFR by as little as 0.1 births per woman is equivalent to around 500 million more individuals on the planet in 2100.
The study also suggests that population decline could be offset by immigration, with countries that promote liberal immigration better able to maintain their population size and support economic growth, even in the face of declining fertility rates.
The model predicts that some countries with fertility lower than replacement level, such as the USA, Australia, and Canada, will probably maintain their working-age populations through net immigration . Although the authors note that there is considerable uncertainty about these future trends.
“While population decline is potentially good news for reducing carbon emissions and stress on food systems, with more old people and fewer young people, economic challenges will arise as societies struggle to grow with fewer workers and taxpayers, and countries’ abilities to generate the wealth needed to fund social support and health care for the elderly are reduced,” says Vollset.
2.New types COVID-19-causes virus dominating global infections
Two independent lines of experimental evidence that support these initial results are included in today’s paper. These additional experiments, led by Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., at the La Jolla Institute, and by Professor David Montefiori, Ph.D., at Duke University, showed that the D614G change increases the virus’s infectivity in the laboratory. These new experiments, as well as more extensive sequence and clinical data and improved statistical models, are presented in the Cell paper. More in vivo work remains to be done to determine the full implications of the change.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has a low mutation rate overall (much lower than the viruses that cause influenza and HIV-AIDS). The D614G variant appears as part of a set of four linked mutations that appear to have arisen once and then moved together around the world as a consistent set of variations.
Fortunately, “the clinical data in this paper from Sheffield showed that even though patients with the new G virus carried more copies of the virus than patients infected with D, there wasn’t a corresponding increase in the severity of illness,” said Saphire, who leads the Gates Foundation-supported Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium (CoVIC).
Korber noted, “These findings suggest that the newer form of the virus may be even more readily transmitted than the original form — whether or not that conclusion is ultimately confirmed, it highlights the value of what were already good ideas: to wear masks and to maintain social distancing.”
3.COVID-19 vaccine safe, generates immune response
The ongoing Phase 1 trial is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The experimental vaccine is being co-developed by researchers at NIAID and at Moderna, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Manufactured by Moderna, mRNA-1273 is designed to induce neutralizing antibodies directed at a portion of the coronavirus “spike” protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter human cells.
In April, the trial was expanded to enroll adults older than age 55 years; it now has 120 participants. However, the newly published results cover the 18 to 55-year age group only.
Regarding safety, no serious adverse events were reported. More than half of the participants reported fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia or pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common following the second vaccination and in those who received the highest vaccine dose. Data on side effects and immune responses at various vaccine dosages informed the doses used or planned for use in the Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of the investigational vaccine.