The corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) has definitely changed the world we live in. Many millions of people have already fallen ill with Covid-19, the clinical consequence of the infection - many of them have recovered and some have unfortunately died. So far (as of June 2020), neither drugs nor vaccines have been developed, as the pandemic is still young and the development of such drugs and vaccines takes time. Also, little is known about why some people are so severely affected by the virus or even die from it and why some people experience little or no symptoms. Further questions are whether there is immunity after an infection and if so, how long it lasts. What exactly happens to the immune system when the pathogen encounters human cells? How many people have actually been infected in Switzerland? Are children possibly less affected by the virus and perhaps even worse carriers or recipients of the virus compared to teenagers or adults? Does adherence to the recommended public health measures released from the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health such as “keeping your distance” or “wearing a mask if distancing is not possible” really help against increased infection rates?
The severity with which the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has hit mankind within a few months makes it necessary for us to answer these important questions quickly and efficiently - on the one hand to save human lives and on the other hand to react with adequate measures to possible further SARS-CoV-2 waves, to make political, but also health-related decisions based on well-conducted studies and to develop strategies on how to react to possible future pandemics with other pathogens.
The EBPI is participating in research on the pandemic with the following important projects: