Tulane Outbreak – March 22, 2022

Virtual Event Today:

New Variants with Anthony S. Fauci, MD – Washington Post

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An uptick in coronavirus infections in Western Europe and parts of Asia, caused by the subvariant of omicron known as BA.2, has raised concerns about another wave of the pandemic in the United States. On Tuesday, March 22 at 2:00 p.m. ET, join Washington Post Live for a conversation with Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic and the future course of the virus.

Featured Headlines

Covid Tests Show the Omicron BA.2 Subvariant Is Gaining Ground in U.S. – Bloomberg

The omicron subvariant BA.2 is continuing to gain ground in the U.S., according to Covid-19 tests sequenced over the last two weeks. Helix, a San Diego-based genomics firm, has been watching the BA.2 variant since it first popped up in the U.S. in early January. Although it was initially slow to take hold, Helix now estimates that 50% to 70% of all Covid cases nationwide are BA.2.

Dr. Fauci says uptick in U.S. cases is likely; It’s ‘no time at all to declare victory’ – MarketWatch

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Sunday that the BA.2 subvariant of the omicron variant of the coronavirus will probably cause an uptick in U.S. cases similar to the one currently being seen in Europe. Fauci, who is also head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “This Week” that it is “no time at all to declare victory, because this virus has fooled us before and we really must be prepared for the possibility that we might get another variant, and we don’t want to be caught flat-footed on that.”

A rushed exit, and a resurgence in Europe – Bloomberg

Europe sure was in a rush to abandon Covid-19 restrictions. Now, the continent faces a revival of virus risks, showing it can’t leave the pandemic behind just yet.

Deltacron: what scientists know so far about this new hybrid coronavirus – The Conversation

In many countries, as restrictions lift and freedoms are restored, there’s a general feeling that the pandemic is over. There is, however, still the significant concern that a dangerous new variant could emerge.

Covid’s Fifth Wave Shows Us How to Live With the Virus – Bloomberg

Covid cases are on the rise in several European countries. Upticks are visible again in France, Italy and the U.K. Infection rates in both Austria and Germany eclipse previous waves of the virus (based on cases per million). China is grappling with new highs in terms of case counts. The U.S. may soon follow.

NYC COVID Cases Rising, Manhattan Transmission Jumps – NBC News

COVID cases are on the rise again in New York City as the BA.2 variant grows more prevalent, though the numbers are still a tiny fraction of the peaks seen earlier this year.

‘He Goes Where the Fire Is’: A Virus Hunter in the Wuhan Market – NYT

For years, Edward Holmes worried about animal markets causing a pandemic. Now he finds himself at the center of the debate over the origins of the coronavirus.

Vaccine Headlines

How do Omicron-targeted vaccines compare to the original ones? – MedNewsToday

Is there a need for COVID-19 vaccines that are updated to specifically match emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, or can the original vaccines stand the test of an ever-mutating virus? We looked at the existing data and spoke to three experts to try and answer this question.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA to Hold Advisory Committee Meeting on COVID-19 Vaccines to Discuss Future Boosters – FDA

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing a virtual meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Wed., April 6, to discuss considerations for future COVID-19 vaccine booster doses and the process for selecting specific strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for COVID-19 vaccines to address current and emerging variants. Along with the independent experts of the advisory committee, representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health will participate in the meeting.

Doctors finding hurdles to using pills to treat COVID-19 – ABC News

High-risk COVID-19 patients now have new treatments they can take at home to stay out of the hospital — if doctors get the pills to them fast enough.

Many Adults in U.S. Remain Unvaccinated Amid Warnings of New Surge – NYT

When the Covid vaccine first became widely available a year ago, it was a hopeful time, with demand exceeding capacity and millions of Americans jockeying for the nearest appointment slot. But, as of Monday, about a quarter of eligible adults were still not fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

England’s health service starts offering a second booster to vulnerable adults – NYT

The National Health Service in England began offering a second Covid-19 vaccine booster on Monday to around five million people who are considered especially vulnerable to the disease.

Clinical Considerations

A Case Of Shrunken Brains: How Covid-19 May Damage Brain Cells – Forbes

Thanks to a new study from the UK we are now beginning to uncover the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the brain. Comparing brain volume before and after individuals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, this study documents significant cortical gray matter loss, equivalent to nearly 10 years of aging. Gweanaelle Douaud, the study’s first author and Professor at the University of Oxford, says that infected individuals display structural “differences over time above and beyond any potential baseline differences.” Most strikingly, individuals that experienced no or only mild symptoms with Covid-19 displayed specifically significant changes, but cortical damage seems to occur regardless of disease severity, age, sex, or vaccination status. It may be years before the long-term consequences of these structural differences are fully understood.

Official Reporting for March 22, 2022

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update March 15, 2022 (latest release)

New Cases: 1,009,950

Confirmed Cases: 469,212,705

Deaths: 6,077,252

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 472,551,124
Deaths: 6,095,933

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 79,571,321 (+9,011 New Cases)
Total deaths: 969,114 (+77 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

How does the immune system mobilize in response to a COVID-19 infection or a vaccine? – The Conversation

Heading into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have become amateur immunologists, having conversations at the dinner table and in the grocery store aisle about mRNA vaccines, variants, breakthrough infections, “waning” immunity, herd immunity, endemic viruses, booster shots and much more.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Alcohol-Related Deaths Spiked During the Pandemic, a Study Shows – NYT

The deaths were up 25 percent in 2020 compared with 2019, amid heightened stress factors and delayed treatment, according to a new report.

Published Research

The changing epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 – Science

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Research dispels myth that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility, but misinformation persists – The Conversation

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and fertility has propagated online despite the vaccines’ clear safety profile. Fortunately, those considering having kids can relax when it comes to these crucial shots. These claims lack any realistic basis. As a medical doctor and a COVID-19 genetics researcher, I’d like to discuss what the evidence says.

Coping with COVID


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