The CEO of Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna warned Wednesday that the coronavirus that has brought world economies to a standstill and overwhelmed hospitals will be around “forever.”
Indonesia kicked off its mass inoculation drive using a vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in a key test for the Chinese-developed shot amid questions over its efficacy.
Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Just when we thought the SARS-CoV-2 virus couldn’t get any more insidious, a new study from investigators at the Yale School of Medicine describes the mechanisms that allow the coronavirus to directly infect the central nervous system. The new study was performed using both mouse and human brain tissue, and the results were published recently in the Journal of Experimental Medicine through an article entitled “Neuroinvasion of SARS-CoV-2 in human and mouse brain.” The study authors are optimistic that their findings may help other researchers develop treatments for the various neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19.
GOOD NEWS from covid-19 wards is hard to come by these days. A relentless surge in infections is overwhelming hospitals around the world. But the results from clinical trials of two drugs announced today just improved the prognosis, for both patients and hospitals.
Antibodies normally attack pathogens, but sometimes rogue antibodies instead besiege bodily components such as immune cells. Now, a new study adds to the growing body of research tying these ‘autoantibodies’ to poor outcomes in people with COVID-19.
To the known risk factors for developing severe COVID-19—age, male sex, or any of a series of underlying conditions—a new study adds one more: high levels of the virus in your saliva. Standard COVID-19 tests sample the nasal passage. But several new tests look for SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic coronavirus, in saliva, and the new work finds a striking correlation between high virus levels there and later hospitalization or death. If the results are confirmed, saliva tests could help doctors prioritize which patients in the early stages of the disease should receive medicines that drive down levels of the virus.
Passive immunotherapy has been used since the late 19th century, and in 1901, the first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for serum therapy for patients with diphtheria. During the 1918 pandemic, serum from convalescent patients was used to treat influenza, with some apparent success.1 Today, the use of immunoglobulins has been established for the prophylaxis and treatment of a variety of infections, including those with respiratory syncytial virus, cytomegalovirus, and hepatitis B or hepatitis A virus. More recently, passive immunotherapy has been evaluated for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome, and Ebola virus disease. Intravenous human immunoglobulin has revolutionized the management of immunoglobulin deficiency states.
Official Reporting for January 14, 2021
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 90 335 008
Deaths: 1 954 336
Confirmed Cases: 84 532 824
Deaths: 1 845 597
Confirmed Cases: 92,272,647
Total cases: 22,740,142 (+217,393 New Cases)
Total deaths: 379,255 (+4,131 New Deaths)
Science and Tech
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Elevated plasma IL-6 and CRP levels are associated with adverse clinical outcomes and death in critically ill SARS-CoV-2 patients: inflammatory response of SARS-CoV-2 patients – Annals of Intensive Care
Convalescent Plasma Antibody Levels and the Risk of Death from Covid-19 – NEJM
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): a Systemic Infection – Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
There’s no evidence that the new vaccines against COVID-19 cause infertility, yet that’s a worry that’s been cited by some health care workers as a reason they’re reluctant to be first in line to get the shots.
Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)