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Hamster tests shed light on COVID-19 research

Yuen Kwok-yung
Prof. Yuen Kwok-yung explains the new animal model using hamsters. (Screenshot from i-Cable News)

A latest animal test on hamsters conducted by HKU researchers shows that the blood serum from hamsters recovered from COVID-19 have significantly reduced the viral loads in other subjects.

Major findings:

  • Hamsters infected with COVID-19 could pass the virus to the healthy ones when housed in the same cage, which is similar to how the virus can spread within a family.
  • The coronavirus caused severe damage to the lungs, trachea, immune system, and intestines of the infected hamsters within the first seven days of infection.
  • Hamster could recover from the coronavirus if they are strong enough to survive the first seven days after the onset.
  • All 45 hamsters used in the test recovered after the first week.
  • The blood serum from the recovered hamsters, when injected into a new subject, helped lower the viral loads by 10 times inside the subject.

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