Covid-19 was the third-leading cause of death in the United States last year, surpassing accidental deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday.
Severe effects of COVID-19 lingered past discharge, as hospitalized patients had increased rates of multi-organ dysfunction compared to the general population, British researchers found.
Over 100 people in Washington state have tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after becoming fully vaccinated against the disease, officials said.
Trying to remember March 2020 feels like sticking your head into a parallel universe. This time last year, Americans were just going into lockdown—presumably for two weeks—to protect themselves from a mysterious but deadly virus. We disinfected mail but didn’t wear masks. Few of us knew that COVID-19 symptoms could last for months, that you might lose your sense of smell, or that your toes might break out in purple lesions. The possibility that millions would die was real but incomprehensible.
Calling the new, faster-spreading variants of the coronavirus “an epidemic within the epidemic,” French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday extended a lockdown to the entire country and closed schools through the end of April.
There is now a new mutant to add to the global SARS-CoV-2 variant collection, this one in Belgium. This new Belgian variant (B.1.214), first detected in January by researchers at the University of Liege, although it is only a relatively small percentage of cases domestically and abroad, it appears to have the potential to become quite pervasive. It has mutations, not only in the spike protein as many others have, but also in other parts of the genome, all of which may contribute to increased transmission, virulence, and immune evasion.
A startling number of unaccompanied migrant children have tested positive for COVID-19 after being transferred out of border stations, sparking concern over cramped and overcrowded facilities that may allow the virus to spread.
Furry companions, particularly dogs and cats, are in close contact with us humans as they inhabit the same environment. While we constantly fret over the public health concerns of co-existing with domesticated animals at home and in public spaces, humans do not consider the other side — that we are exposing stray cats and dogs to human pathogens — particularly the highly infectious novel coronavirus.
A new satellite image shows smoke rising from North Korea’s main nuclear plant. Experts say it appears that North Korea is about to make more nuclear weapons, or already has.
Workers at a Baltimore plant manufacturing two coronavirus vaccines accidentally conflated the vaccines’ ingredients several weeks ago, ruining about 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and forcing regulators to delay authorization of the plant’s production lines.
Fraudsters prey on people’s fears and concerns by pretending they have a wonder drug or access to a restricted item, then offer it up for sale at a premium. The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to check all the boxes — especially vaccines, when it comes to criminals trying to take advantage of the system. A real-life miracle drug that prevents a real life pandemic, and not enough to go around.
New clinical trials showed that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine elicits “100% efficacy and robust antibody responses” in adolescents from 12 to 15 years old, the drug company announced Wednesday. The trial included 2,260 participants; the results are even better than earlier responses from participants ages 16 to 25.
Baden et al.1 report on a phase 3 clinical trial of the mRNA-1273 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, and they provide information on immediate injection-site reactions, which were observed in 84.2% of the participants after the first dose. The trial also showed that delayed injection-site reactions (defined in that trial as those with an onset on or after day 8) occurred in 244 of the 30,420 participants (0.8%) after the first dose and in 68 participants (0.2%) after the second dose. These reactions included erythema, induration, and tenderness. The reactions typically resolved over the following 4 to 5 days. However, these reactions were not further characterized, and links between reactions after the first dose and those after the second dose were not provided to inform clinical care.
Russia has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for dogs, cats, minks, foxes and other animals, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog said Wednesday. Called Carnivak-Cov, the vaccine was developed by scientists at the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, also known as Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s Tass News Agency said.
Monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab appeared to work for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients in early data from dialysis providers, but there are plenty of questions that remain.
An estimated 10% to 30% of people who get COVID-19 suffer from lingering symptoms of the disease, or what’s known as “long COVID.” Judy Dodd, who lives in New York City, is one of them. She spent nearly a year plagued by headaches, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue and problems with smell, among other symptoms.
MG has received sponsored research agreement funding from Astarte Medical Partners and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. She also participated in a neonatal microbiome advisory board for Abbott Laboratories. None of these sources had any role in this study. The remaining authors also report no conflict of interest.
Official Reporting for April 1, 2021
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 127 877 462
Deaths: 2 796 561
Confirmed Cases: 128,791,500
Total cases: 30,213,759 (+62,726 New Cases)
Total deaths: 548,162 (+807 New Deaths)
Science and Tech
Synthetic mRNA, the ingenious technology behind the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, might seem like a sudden breakthrough, or a new discovery. One year ago, almost nobody in the world knew what an mRNA vaccine was, for the good reason that no country in the world had ever approved one. Months later, the same technology powered the two fastest vaccine trials in the history of science.
A lot of worry has been triggered by discoveries that variants of the pandemic-causing coronavirus can be more infectious than the original. But now scientists are starting to find some signs of hope on the human side of this microbe-host interaction. By studying the blood of COVID survivors and people who have been vaccinated, immunologists are learning that some of our immune system cells—which remember past infections and react to them—might have their own abilities to change, countering mutations in the virus. What this means, scientists think, is that the immune system might have evolved its own way of dealing with variants.
The measles vaccine is one of the safest and most effective vaccines. Introduced in the 1960s, it has been shown to be safe in both children and adults, providing long-term protection against the measles virus. The vaccine uses a live but weakened strain of the measles virus.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
“I did not really understand when people would ask, ‘Why me and why my family?’” a hospice chaplain said. “Now I was asking the same questions.”
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
Extremist organizations are now bashing the safety and efficacy of coronavirus vaccines in an effort to try to undermine the government.
Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)