Los Angeles County announced Thursday that it will require masks to be worn inside regardless of vaccination status, as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads throughout California.
A new CDC report has detailed how a 47 person Covid-19 outbreak in Oklahoma in spring was caused by the Delta SARS-CoV2 variant. The outbreak took place at a gymnastics facility and affected 23 gymnasts, 3 staff members, and 21 of their household contacts with the age range of infected people being between 5 and 58 years old.
A mix of Covid-19, influenza and a respiratory virus common among children could push the U.K.’s National Health Service to the breaking point this winter, according to a new report.
Dressed in a saffron robe, Thai monk Pongpetch Santijittho, climbs into a white protective suit and sprays disinfectant on a pair of rubber boots. It is a ritual Pongpetch is going through daily at his temple in Pathum Thani on the outskirts of Bangkok, the epicentre of a wave of coronavirus infections that are killing dozens of people each day.
Australia is trying its utmost to contain fresh outbreaks of COVID-19. Most of the country has entered into new snap lockdowns, as cases of the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 spread across several cities. Darwin, Perth, and Brisbane emerged from lockdowns over the weekend.
The coronavirus is sweeping across Africa at a pace not seen before in the pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, highlighting the severity of a third wave driven by the spread of the Delta variant.
The World Health Organization warned Thursday that the surging COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of the world increases the likelihood that new, potentially dangerous variants may emerge in the future.
After his work as a taxi driver dried up because of Indonesia’s new coronavirus restrictions, Ardi Novriansyah offered his driving skills to help his home city’s buckling medical system.
Reports of new coronavirus cases are rising again across the United States, a discouraging trend fueled by the spread of the Delta variant and the sputtering vaccination campaign.
The Australian state of Victoria was ordered into a five-day lockdown on Thursday following a spike in COVID-19 infections, joining Sydney as the country’s two main population hubs battle an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Public health experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stress that studies continue to show that the three vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. protect against COVID-19 disease, including against variants of the virus that are more transmissible. But as effective as the vaccines are, they can’t provide 100% immunity against disease. There is also early evidence that part of the immunity generated by the vaccines—specifically the antibodies created to stick to and block SARS-CoV-2 from infecting cells—could start to wane after about six months.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) has indicated that a third dose of its vaccine may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination, as initial immunity wanes and as new and more aggressive variants of the Coronavirus continue to spread. The company says that it has preliminary data to prove that an additional dose of its original mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 would “preserve the highest levels of protective efficacy.” Although the final call on a third dose will be taken by the U.S. FDA, which is waiting for more data, there appears to be a case for higher dosing.
Children can experience SARS-CoV-2 postviral syndromes, but it is unclear to what extent these individuals are affected by long COVID. Evidence is predominantly limited to select populations without control groups,1-4 which does not allow estimating the overall prevalence and burden in a general pediatric population. We compared symptoms compatible with long COVID in children and adolescents (hereafter “children”) reported within 6 months after SARS-CoV-2 serologic testing.
Doctors have found a concerning link between the rare pediatric complication known as MIS-C and a syndrome related to tampon use. The U.S. fell short of its goal of giving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 70 percent of adults by July 4, but not by much. About two-thirds of everyone above the age of 18 had gotten a shot when the holiday arrived, with coverage among seniors surpassing even that benchmark. That leaves kids—mostly unvaccinated—as the Americans most exposed to the pandemic this summer, while the Delta variant spreads. It’s said that COVID-19 may soon be a disease of the young. If that’s what’s coming, then its effects on children must be better understood.
Nearly half of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced at least one complication, researchers found in a prospective study.
There were 49.7% of patients overall who developed one or more COVID-19 complications, and 43.5% of survivors with a minimum of one complication, reported Ewen M. Harrison, MBChB, PhD, from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and colleagues.
Official Reporting for July 16, 2021
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 188,332,972
Confirmed Cases: 189,024,605
Total cases: 33,797,400 (+33,292 New Cases)
Total deaths: 605,905 (+310 New Deaths)
Science and Tech
Remdesivir, the only antiviral fully approved for COVID-19 treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was associated with a longer hospital stay yet no improvement in survival rates, according to a real-world observational study of military veterans today in JAMA Network Open.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, like other viruses that have RNA as their genetic material, has a tendency to mutate constantly. Consequently, numerous SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged as the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed.
Developing pills that block the novel coronavirus has been challenging. A new Biden administration program aims to boost the effort. COVID caseloads have plummeted in many areas with high vaccination rates. But as the number of people being infected daily worldwide still exceeds 400,000 and the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus spreads rapidly, treatment options are limited. Two of the current best available treatments, monoclonal antibodies and the drug remdesivir, are given by infusion. Patients only benefit during the first week or so of infection, when the virus is still present and replicating in the body. These medications are expensive and often unavailable outside of large teaching hospitals. In many instances, patients are treated too late, after the disease has already shifted to a more dangerous hyperinflammatory state.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
On an overcast late April day in Newark, N.J., after more than a year of pandemic suffering, some 2,000 people queued up at a public college campus to start healing. Inside a hangar-style tennis facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology that had been converted into a mass vaccination site, they came face to face with one of the most remarkable biomedical achievements in history: a safe and highly effective COVID vaccine designed and tested in a 10-month sprint in 2020. During that same period, while scientists were racing to develop this virus blocker, more than 300,000 Americans and nearly two million people worldwide died of COVID.
Protecting the vulnerable: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in immunosuppressed patients with interstitial lung disease – Lancet
Bamlanivimab plus Etesevimab in Mild or Moderate Covid-19 – NEJM
Association of Remdesivir Treatment With Survival and Length of Hospital Stay Among US Veterans Hospitalized With COVID-19 – JAMA
Clinical and virological course of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 in Jiangsu province, China: a retrospective, multi-center cohort study – Virology Journal
Characterisation of in-hospital complications associated with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK: a prospective, multicentre cohort study – The Lancet
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
“The fact of the matter is it looks like natural immunity is as strong if not stronger than vaccinated immunity. … There is a risk to the vaccine. Again, it’s very small, but there are some pretty serious side effects, including death. We are already over 5,200 deaths reported on the VAERS system. That’s a CDC, FDA’s early warning system.” — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), in an interview on “Hannity” on Fox News, July 14
The Surgeon General on Thursday used his first formal advisory to the United States to deliver a broadside against tech and social media companies, which he accused of not doing enough to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation — especially about Covid-19.
More than a quarter of respondents in Wyoming – the site of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases – are hesitant about getting vaccinated, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Coping with COVID
The pandemic was a surprise boost for local businesses centered around floral agriculture.
This is an article close to my heart! I am one of those new flower farmers! Here’s a pic of my harvest last week.