Therapeutic treatments (in addition to what we already have for the sickest patients) will come before vaccines. When someone gets the new coronavirus, his or her body’s immune system launches a defense, including producing antibodies that circulate in the blood to help identify infectious attackers. These circulating antibodies offer some protection against future infections (how long we still do not know). Researchers have now constructed clones of these antibodies – what we call monoclonal antibodies – and they are showing that they are effective both therapeutically and in preventing infection. They work by attacking the nail protein from the coronavirus, which is how this virus enters our cells. Prevent this from happening, and the virus cannot replicate inside the body.
Fast and cheap saliva tests are also coming, and as my colleagues Michael Mina and Laurence J. Kotlikoff recently pointed out, they are a game changer. Why? These are like home pregnancy tests but for covid-1