The woman who discovered the first coronavirus: June Almeida
The person who discovered the first coronavirus to infect humans was June Almeida, the daughter of a Scottish bus driver who left school at the age of 16.
After her first invention, June Almeida went on to become a pioneer of virus imaging. With the advent of the new coronavirus, Almeida’s coronavirus studies have become a focus of research.
Covid-19 is a new disease, but a new variant of coronavirus that Dr. Almeida detected in her St Thomas Hospital Laboratory in London in 1964.
Virologist June, who used the surname Hart before she married, was born in 1930 and grew up in the old building near Alexandra Park, northeast of Glasgow.
She left school with a very restricted education but found a job as a laboratory technician in the histopathology department at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
She then moved to London to further her career and married the Venezuelan painter Enriques Almeida in 1954.
The couple and their young daughter moved to Toronto, Canada, and according to Medical Writer George Winter, It was at the Ontario Cancer Institute that Dr. Almeida developed her immense abilities with electron microscopy.
She pioneered a method for better visualizing viruses in clumps using antibodies.
According to George Winter, speaking to Drivetime from BBC Radio Scotland, June Almeida’s talents were well-known in the United Kingdom and she was recalled to work at St Thomas Medical School in 1964. This is also where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated when he was caught Covid-19.
On her return, she was assigned to research at the common cold unit in Salisbury. She began working with David Tyrrell.
Mr. Winter said that Dr. Tyrell studied the nasal washings from volunteers and discovered that his team found that they could remove several common viruses associated with the common cold, but not all.
One specimen, specifically known as B814, was taken from the nose washings of a pupil at a boarding school in Surrey in 1960.
They discovered they were able to transmit cold symptoms to volunteers but were unable to grow them in routine cell culture.
However, their volunteer work showed that the growth of symptoms was in organ culture, and Dr.Tyrrell wondered if this could be seen through an electron microscope.
They sent samples to June Almeida, who took the virus particles as samples, and she described them as not exactly the same but like the flu virus.
Almeida has also identified the virus, known as the’ first human coronavirus’.
Winter, Dr. He says Almeida has previously seen particles like this when studying mouse hepatitis and the contagious bronchitis of chickens.
But Winter recounted that Almeida’s article was rejected by a journal that was undergoing review by academic colleagues because her reviewers said the images they produced were only bad pictures of flu virus particles.
The new discovery of the b814 invention was written in the British Medical Journal in 1965, and the first photographs of what they saw were published two years later in the General Virology Journal.
Those who called it coronavirus, according to Winter, along with Professor Tony Waterson, who was principal at St Thomas, Dr. Tyrrell, and was Dr. Almedia. The cause of this name was an image of a crown or hale at the top of the image of the virus.
Dr. Almeida then worked at the Postgraduate Medical School in London, where she received her doctorate.
She finished her career at the Wellcome Institute, which adorns her name with various patents in the field of imaging viruses.
After leaving Wellcome, Dr. Almeida became a yoga teacher but returned to virology in the consultation role in the late 1980s, when she helped take new photos of the HIV virus
June Almeida died at the age of 77 in 2007.
Now 13 years after her death, she sees the value she deserves with his pioneering work on the virus that has spread rapidly in today’s world.