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From Tower Labs – UCL

By Dr Lucy Thorne, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Virology, University College London, with thanks to discussions and input from UCL Colleagues including Professor Greg Towers, Professor Richard  Milne and Dr Lorena Zuliani R Alverez, and questions from family and friends.

  • What exactly is SARS-CoV-2 and how does it infect you?
  • How does SARS-CoV-2 spread and why do we have to stay 2m apart?
  • How long is SARS-CoV-2 stable and infectious on surfaces and do I still need to wash my shopping?
  • Will wearing masks and gloves protect me from infection?
  • Where did SARS-CoV-2 come from: bats, pangolins or a lab?
  • How does the virus cause disease and why do some people get severe disease but others have no symptoms?
  • How does understanding the disease drivers help us to develop treatments?
  • Why are people of black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and men more affected in the UK?
  • How has computer modelling of the outbreak been used and what can it tell us?
  • What is the ‘R number’ or ‘reproduction rate’ and why does the government care so much about it?
  • What are the different tests and what do they tell us?
  • Is SARS-CoV-2 mutating to become more deadly?
  • Will temperature scanners at airports prevent SARS-CoV-2 spread?
  • What is herd immunity?
  • What is the route to a vaccine and how and when will we know if it works?
  • Will there be a second wave and how do we emerge from lockdown without a vaccine?