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Paintings by Jon Cowan from the Radiant Void series © The artist. Courtesy Laurence Miller Gallery, New York City

Researchers determined that the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged from horseshoe bats rather than a biowarfare lab, and generally agreed that pangolins, rather than snakes, were the likely intermediary carriers, although some support was voiced for turtles. Scientists cautioned that multiple species could act as intermediaries for the bat reservoir, pointing to evidence that linked the emergence, in 2002, of SARS-CoV-1 to the palm civet cat, the ferret-badger, and the raccoon dog, which scientists fear may serve as a pathogen superhost as it invades Europe. A Walloon housecat, Wuhan stray and hospital cats, two Hong Kong dogs, deliberately infected ferrets, and tigers and lions in the Bronx Zoo all tested positive for COVID-19, but screening of more than four thousand other canine, equine, and feline samples produced no positive results. Disease ecologists warned that the virus might spread to the great apes.

Vaccine researchers investigated proprietary nanoviricides, a trimetric S-protein vaccine, a defensin mimetic, a CCR5 antagonist, a TB vaccine, a modified MERS vaccine candidate, a modified avian-flu vaccine, a modified horsepox vaccine, a recombinant measles vaccine, a chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine vector, the human recombinant protein AT-100, monoclonal antibodies, and an investigational anticancer drug abandoned in the 1960s. Therapeutic investigations included acyclovir, darunavir, favipiravir, lopinavir, oseltamivir, remdesivir, ritonavir, and umifenovir; adalimumab, bevacizumab, eculizumab, emapalumab, mepolizumab, PD-1 mAb, sarilumab, siltuximab, and tocilizumab; interferon, novaferon, methylprednisolone, and dexamethasone; jakotinib, ruxolitinib, azvudine, triazavirin, baloxavir marboxil, dihydroartemisinin, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, vancomycin, moxifloxacin, carriomycin, suramin, ivermectin, itraconazole, dipyridamole, ebastine, colchicine, acetylcysteine, bromhexine, ACE inhibitors, lipoic acid, diammonium glycyrrhizinate, vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide, Viagra, fingolimod, thalidomide, leflunomide, meropenem, pirfenidone, tissue plasminogen activators, tranilast, probiotics, intestinal flora, convalescent plasma, hyperimmune plasma, nebulized amniotic fluid, umbilical stem cells, Wharton’s jelly, dental-pulp stem cells, menstrual-blood stem cells, goat horn, and bear bile.

Avian flu was diagnosed in a boy in Hong Kong; among canaries, chickens, ducks, geese, and pheasants in Baden-Württemberg; in a greater white-fronted goose in Brandenburg; and in a northern goshawk in Poland. A presumptive case of rat-to-human Seoul virus transmission was reported in Colorado, a case of typhus was reported at Kentucky’s Briarwood Elementary School, and a man who died traveling on a bus from Yunnan to Shandong tested positive for hantavirus. Japanese encephalitis made its way from Thailand to Belgium. New cases were reported of Middle East respiratory syndrome in the Middle East, of Ebola and monkeypox in the Congo, of monkey fever in India, and of wild poliovirus type 1 in Pakistan. Mystery pneumonia was killing Afghans in Badakhshan province, and Kenya announced a shortage of yellow fever vaccine. Scientists analyzed an outbreak of Marburg virus among Egyptian bats in Sierra Leone; Iran reported its first case of parsley severe stunt associated virus; and Greece reported its first case of African swine fever (which was spreading among boars near the Korean DMZ) in a dead fattening pig. A foreign strain of rabies infiltrated France via a smuggled Moroccan dog. Lumpy skin disease broke out in Bangladeshi cattle, mad cow disease reemerged in Switzerland, and bovine ephemeral fever struck Australian cows. An outbreak of African horse sickness killed at least 131 Thai horses. Equine enteric coronavirus was diagnosed in an Arizona horse, and in Barn 29 of the Saratoga Harness Track, five horses presented with fevers and mild coughs.

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June 2020