Coronavirus

The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 novel virus, originated in Wuhan, China before rapidly spreading around the world.


COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease, with a high rate of transmissibility. Symptoms of infection include fever, joint and muscle aches, respiratory distress, loss of the sense of taste, cognitive fog, fatigue, sore throat, and more. Senior citizens are most at risk of dying from the disease, though secondary pre-existing conditions like obesity can make some patients more susceptible to danger. In severe cases, patients undergo respiratory distress and require intubation on ventilators. 


In response to the coronavirus pandemic, governments have initiated several policies to prevent spread. Many countries have severely restricted flights or entry into their state, with some like Israel adopting color systems to rank the risk posed by each destination. Contact tracing has become the norm, with citizens being obligated to quarantine after they have come into contact with an infected person. Social distancing and mask mandates have also become popular in many countries to prevent spread of infection. Early in the pandemic, lockdowns were used to prevent interaction between the public, in a severe attempt to halt transmission. Perhaps most controversial were the introduction of coronavirus passports, which would allow vaccinated citizens to move freely with a new form of ID. Critics assert that coronavirus passports represent an extreme violation of liberties.


There is an ongoing debate as to the origin of the coronavirus. Initially, it was accepted that the coronavirus originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, within bats sold as food. However, it has been suggested that the virus may have originated from a virus research lab in Wuhan.


Several pharmaceutical companies have developed innovative mRNA vaccines to counter the coronavirus. Pfizer, Biontech, Astrazeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and others have produced vaccines, however there is ongoing debate about their efficacy against new strains of the virus. Other pharmaceutical companies have developed treatments and drugs to alleviate and combat coronavirus symptoms.


The coronavirus is prone to mutations, and has already produced several well known variants, including the Delta and Lambda strains. The pandemic and virus may also colloquially be known as corona and COVID.

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Cancer diagnoses lag after screenings fall during COVID pandemic - study

Diagnoses of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers dropped by roughly 6% to 7% between 2019 and 2020 and by an additional 5% to 6% between 2020 and 2021.

By REUTERS
17/11/2022

Did tourism in Jerusalem recover over the High Holy Days?

During the months of September and October, the streets of Jerusalem were full of visitors – tourists from abroad, pilgrims and families of Israelis who returned to visit the capital.

12/11/2022

Can this eye-disease drug help stop COVID-19? New study thinks so

The FDA-approved drug Verteporfin may be able to stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, by blocking YAP activity and allowing the Hippo pathway to work.

09/11/2022

Israel supplied with faulty COVID-19 masks, legal document shows

According to the counterclaim, MGM and TAR committed to providing anti-coronavirus masks meeting specific parameters specified in a public tender bidding process which they won.

COVID-19: When your pandemic outdoor minyan folds up - opinion

While obviously ecstatic that COVID has been tamed, I’m saddened that this minyan – a positive outgrowth of the plague – is being shut down.

30/10/2022

Current common COVID-19 symptoms are harder to distinguish from colds

While the symptoms are similar for most people all over the world, there are some subtle differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

By Walla!
28/10/2022

Have a toxic workplace? It may harm physical, mental health - report

A new US surgeon general report points out how much a toxic workplace can harm the physical and mental health of workers and proposed a framework to fix it.

23/10/2022

Reflections on antisemitism during the holidays: Here's what happened - opinion

Kanye West, COVID-19, and politics were discussed at this year's holiday tables. Everyone agreed that Jew-hatred is becoming more pervasive in the US.

New Omicron vaccines proven safe and effective

The new boosters are suited to two COVID-19 strains of the Omicron virus variant that represents the vast majority of infections, according to the FDA.

Coronavirus variant BQ.1.1 spreading in US, Europe

While BQ.1.1 is growing in the US and Europe, the XBB variant is gaining ground in east Asia.

16/10/2022
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