A Kentucky State University professor recently co-authored a peer-reviewed paper on COVID-19.
Dr. Alexander Lai, associate professor of biology, co-authored the paper, “COVID-19: Epidemiology, Evolution, and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives,” with collaborators in China and Germany. The paper is published in Trends in Molecular Medicine.
Lai said there were three major findings in this paper.
First, he said, “this novel coronavirus was from bats, but it was likely a recombinant virus involving a pangolin virus. Therefore, it was a rare event, and most likely from a ‘point source,’ the wet market in Wuhan where different wildlife species were kept in close proximity.”
Second, Lai noted there was a higher mortality rate at the initial phase of the pandemic.
“Third, a short peptide, by interfering virus binding to the host receptor, could be used as a potential antiviral drug,” Lai said.
Lai said observing a lockdown for a period could be crucial in defeating the virus.
“This virus could be defeated because asymptomatic virus carriers would be cleared,” Lai said. “If there were no further importation of virus to our community, we could resume normal activities. However, we need to remain vigilant: good personal hygiene by washing our hands often and keep social distancing.”