Here Are 5 New Things The World Has Learned About COVID-19 This Week

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its spread across the world, doctors and scientists have been working around the clock to understand more about how the virus is transmitted and functions.

This week has brought new information to light about COVID-19, including more details about its contagion, a promising study on the sun's effect on the disease, lesser known symptoms, and the search for a vaccine.

Sunlight Kills The Virus In Under 5 Minutes

sun over ocean
Unsplash | Rochelle Haines

A new leaked report from the United States government has offered some good news in the midst of the crisis, reportedly claiming that sunlight and humidity can kill COVID-19.

"Sunlight reduced infectious virus to undetectable levels after just 3 minutes of exposure to the solar equivalent of midday sun on a sunny day in the middle latitudes of the [United States]," the study concluded, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.

The report also noted other environmental factors that negatively impacted the virus, such as high levels of humidity.

COVID-19 Might Be Even More Widespread Than Previously Thought

people with coronavirus masks
Getty Images | Linh Pham

Though a staggering 2.3 million people worldwide have been infected with coronavirus, a new study has suggested that the virus might be even more widespread than previously believed.

Earlier this week, it was reported that researchers randomly tested 200 pedestrians in the Boston suburb of Chelsea to see how many had been exposed to coronavirus. The result was that almost one-third of those tested were positive for the disease, even though they were asymptomatic.

Critics have pointed out that the study was extremely small and that the town of Chelsea has the highest number of COVID-19 infections in the state.

However, the results were nonetheless described as "sobering" by the city manager.

Corpses Can Reportedly Transmit The Virus

coronavirus victim on stretcher
Getty Images | Scott Eisen

Another new report has warned that it is not just the living that can spread the disease. Thailand recently reported that a health worker was diagnosed with COVID-19 after handling a dead body that had been infected, per The Inquisitr.

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The new report is a cause for concern as many places, both in the U.S. and the world at large, have struggled to keep up with the growing body count, with reports of bodies lined up in hospital hallways or piled up outside of funeral homes.

Doctors Are Reporting New Atypical Symptoms Of Infection

woman with coronavirus mask
Unsplash | Engin Akyurt

Though most of the public is aware of the typical symptoms of COVID-19 -- such as a fever, dry cough, and tiredness -- doctors are reporting a number of lesser known signs of the disease.

For example, health experts are now sounding the alarm for what they have dubbed "COVID toes," per Today.

According to medical practitioners, many patients who are otherwise asymptomatic have reported that they have red bumps or small purple lesions on their feet and occasionally their hands. Patients also described their feet as being hot or itchy.

"The affected toes were initially painful to touch and a bit sore while walking," one person said.

According to Yahoo! News, another new symptom has been described as a "fizzing" sensation throughout the body.

Many described the sensation as an "electric feeling," a "buzz," or "like bubbles fizzing inside my ribcage."

A Vaccine Is Reportedly On The Horizon

coronavirus testing
Getty Images | Linh Pham

As reported by Science Magazine, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery has counted 115 vaccine programs in the pipeline, with five already in clinical trials.

This week brought the news that two of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the field, GSK and Sanofi, were going to collaborate on vaccine development.

In addition, Pfizer has announced that it hopes to begin human trials in August, and Johnson & Johnson disclosed that it was ready to begin its first human trial in September.