Coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2: filtering fact from fiction in the infodemic

Q&A with virologist Professor Urs Greber

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As the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) continues to spread across the world, and the associated lung disease COVID‐19 remains difficult to treat, information from media and private communication flows at high speed, often through unfiltered channels. Much of this information is speculative, as it derives from preliminary and inconclusive studies, and creates confusion as well as anxiety. This phenomenon was recently labelled as ‘infodemic’ by the World Health Organization.

We interviewed Dr. Urs Greber, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology and Principal Investigator in Virology at the Department of Molecular Life Sciences of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, to answer some of the most controversial questions about SARS‐CoV‐2 and set the facts straight.

What is the origin of this virus?

Why is it more infectious than most coronaviruses?

Why do children hardly develop severe symptoms?

Is the severity of COVID-19 increasing over time?

How stable is coronavirus on particular surfaces?

What therapeutic approaches are being explored to defeat COVID-19?

Read the full article to find out more.


First published in FEBS Letters, 4 April 2020

How to cite this interview:

Ruffell, D. (2020), Coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2: filtering fact from fiction in the infodemic. FEBS Lett. doi:10.1002/1873-3468.13784


FEBS Letters

FEBS Letters is renowned both for its quality of content and speed of production. Bringing together the most important developments in the molecular biosciences, FEBS Letters provides an international forum for Minireviews, Research Letters and Hypotheses that merit urgent publication.