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EU Commission: Beware of Cyber Attack Amid Coronavirus Crisis

EU Commission Warns of Increased Cybercrime During Coronavirus Crisis

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coronavirus cyber crime
The president of the European Commission is warning EU citizens to beware of on-line scams, particularly for counterfeit medical products and medicines during the coronavirus crisis. Pixabay

The president of the European Commission is warning EU citizens to beware of on-line scams, particularly for counterfeit medical products and medicines during the coronavirus crisis.

In a video message released Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said with more people working from home and spending time online, they have become more susceptible to cyber criminals, particularly those exploiting fears about the virus.

coronavirus cyber crime
President of European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, gives a press conference after EU leaders’ video conference on COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the European Council building in Brussels. VOA

She says European law-enforcement agencies have seized 4.4 million units of illicit pharmaceuticals in recent weeks, seven organized crime groups were dismantled, and 121 arrests were made.

Also Read- The World Unites to Fight the Common Enemy: COVID-19

Von der Leyen said that 2,500 fake links, websites and social media profiles have also been taken down. She urged citizens to double check all websites they visit are maintained by a trusted entity.

Von der Leyen said that if and when actual vaccines or other medicines are proven effective in treating the coronavirus, official government and public institutions will announce it. (VOA)

Next Story

Can TB Vaccine Fight COVID-19? Here is the Answer

TB vaccine a potential new tool to fight COVID-19: Study

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vaccine
Researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease. Pixabay

Examining how the COVID-19 has impacted different countries, researchers have found that Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB), could be a potential new tool in the fight against the disease.

The study that appeared in the pre-print repository medRxiv, proposed that national differences in COVID-19 impact could be partially explained by the different national policies respect to BCG childhood vaccination.

The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines.

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BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children.

vaccine
The BCG vaccine has existed for almost a century and is one of the most widely used of all current vaccines. Pixabay

It has also been reported to offer broad protection to respiratory infections.

For the study, the researchers compared large number of countries BCG vaccination policies with the morbidity and mortality for COVID-19.

“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, the Netherlands, the US) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” said the study conducted by researchers from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine in the US.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US has increased to 142,502, the highest in terms of infections globally, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

The CSSE data showed that at least 34,026 people have died due to the disease in the country.

In Italy, which is one of the worst affected countries, 10,779 people have died due to COVID-19.

In this latest study on impact of BCG vaccination on COVID-19, researchers also found that countries that have a late start of universal BCG policy, for example, Iran had high mortality, consistent with the idea that BCG protects the vaccinated elderly population.

“There was a positive significant correlation between the year of the establishment of universal BCG vaccination and the mortality rate, consistent with the idea that the earlier that a policy was established, the larger fraction of the elderly population would be protected,” said the study.

vaccine
BCG vaccine has a documented protective effect against meningitis and disseminated TB in children. Pixabay

“For instance, Iran has a current universal BCG vaccination policy but it just started in 1984, and has an elevated mortality with 19.7 deaths per million inhabitants.

“In contrast, Japan started its universal BCG policy in 1947 and has around 100 times less deaths per million people, with 0.28 deaths. Brazil started universal vaccination in 1920 and also has an even lower mortality rate of 0.0573 deaths per million inhabitants,” the resulst showed.

Iran announced 2,901 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the total number of confirmed cases soared to 38,309. Also, the death toll from the disease reached 2,640 in Iran, while 12,391 patients have recovered.

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As the numbers of tuberculosis cases dropped in the late 20th century, several middle high and high-income countries in Europe dropped the universal BCG policy between years 1963 and 2010.

“The combination of reduced morbidity and mortality makes BCG vaccination a potential new tool in the fight against COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.

Also Read- Taking Care of Finances Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Gonzalo H. Otazu of NYIT is the corresponding author of the study.

The COVID-19 death toll in Europe climbed to over 21,000 out of more than 360,000 confirmed cases. (IANS)