We want to help overcome the crisis with our top-level research. A significant part of our work is now focused on studying coronavirus.
Otmar D. Wiestler
We’re facing incredible challenges due to the COVID-19-pandemic, both as a society and as individuals. As Germany’s largest scientific organisation, Helmholtz is making key contributions to overcoming the coronavirus crisis through its top-level research.
The Robert Koch Institute’s (RKI) and Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) figures differ. The JHU team of scientists uses a self-developed tool that accesses data from the World Health Organization (WHO), national authorities, local media and even organizations’ Twitter accounts on a daily basis and generates figures from it. This results in an extrapolation, whereas the RKI only includes figures officially reported by the German health authorities in its statistics.
The Cancer Information Service (German Cancer Research Center) is responding to questions regarding coronavirus and cancer (in German).
Definitions and clarification of terms
What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are part of a large family of viruses that can lead to various respiratory illnesses. Several coronaviruses are known to cause common colds. The pathogens that caused SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2002/2003 and causes MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), which can also lead to pneumonia, are coronaviruses as well. Coronaviruses can also infect various animals, in addition to humans.
What is SARS-CoV-2?
This is the abbreviation for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2. The pathogen that is causing the current pandemic was given this name in February 2020. Sars-CoV-2 is also frequently referred to as the novel coronavirus.
What is COVID-19?
Not everyone who is infected with SARS-CoV-2 will become ill. Those who show symptoms are suffering from COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). Typical symptoms include a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, as well as body aches and fatigue. However, symptoms vary widely from one person to the next.
Spread of the virus in the German states
Researchers at MDC have developed a new online tool that maps the progression of the COVID-19 epidemic in Germany as a whole as well as broken down by the individual federal states. The map and timeline showing the spread of coronavirus are freely available online.
The Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit has compiled a list of online learning opportunities for the home in English. The goal is to better understand the corona pandemic’s outbreak. The offer includes free online courses and open access publications.