Tulane Outbreak – April 12, 2022

Featured Headlines

Philadelphia brings back mask indoor mandate as covid cases rise – Washington Post

Public health officials in Philadelphia announced on Monday that the city’s indoor mask mandate would return beginning April 18 as coronavirus cases there rise, making it the first major U.S. city to reinstate a mask mandate this spring.

Covid Could Be Surging in the U.S. Right Now and We Might Not Even Know It – Bloomberg

Experts warn America is missing data that could prevent it from being ready for the next wave. Testing and viral sequencing are critical to responding quickly to new outbreaks of Covid. And yet, as the country tries to move on from the pandemic, demand for lab-based testing has declined and federal funding priorities have shifted. The change has forced some testing centers to shutter while others have hiked up prices in response to the end of government-subsidized testing programs.

Is This What Endemic Disease Looks Like? – NYT

For months, some American and European leaders have foretold that the coronavirus pandemic would soon become endemic. Covid-19 would resolve into a disease that we learn to live with. According to several governors, it nearly has.

Study details COVID’s toll on essential workers, health workers – CIDRAP

Of all essential workers in Sweden in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals and immigrants were at highest risk for infection, hospitalization, and admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), according to a study late last week in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

U.S. orders consular staff to leave Shanghai amid COVID surge – NPR

The U.S. has ordered all non-emergency consular staff to leave Shanghai, which is under a tight lockdown to contain a COVID-19 surge. The State Department said the order is an upgrade from the “authorized” departure issued last week that made the decision voluntary.

A BA.2 Surge Could Wreak Unequal Havoc – MedPage Today

Weeks after political leaders and media elites put the U.S. on a course to “return to normalcy,” the country finds itself again contending with an uptick in cases fueled by the highly transmissible BA.2 Omicron subvariant and the ending of public health measures. Some regions and cities, like Washington, D.C. and New York, are seeing particularly sharp rises in new daily cases. Many lawmakers and Biden administration officials have tested positive in recent weeks, including from a super-spreader event at the Gridiron Club.

COVID-19 cases rising in Northeast, partly fueled by BA.2, experts say – ABC News

Four of the five states with the highest seven-day case rates per 100,000 are in the Northeast. In the 10 states with the highest seven-day rates, seven are Northeastern, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WHO on alert over new omicron subvariants – DW

The World Health Organization has announced it is monitoring two new subvariants. A politician in Thailand could be jailed for criticizing the monarchy in relation to the country’s vaccine campaign. DW has the latest.

What to Know About the XE Variant – Time

A new strain of Omicron, called XE, is spreading in the U.K., and a few cases have been identified elsewhere in the world. Here’s what we do—and don’t—know about the variant.

Should We Be Worried About XE, The New COVID Hybrid? Here’s The Science – Science Alert

XE is a combination of the highly transmissible BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron variants and was first detected in the UK in mid-January. Its spike protein derives from BA.2, which is potentially good news for New Zealand since this is the dominant variant (more than 90 percent of recent infections) and people who have been infected should have some protection against XE.

Much of Europe remains at the CDC’s highest travel risk as other regions improve – CNN

For the third week in a row, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not add a single new destination to its highest-risk Level 4 category for travel.
In fact, seven destinations in Asia and the Caribbean moved to the CDC’s lowest-risk category for travel during the pandemic, which is Level 1. Moving into that enviable ranking on Monday were island getaways the Philippines and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Virus outbreaks are pushing some U.S. universities to reinstate mask mandates – NYT

A small number of U.S. colleges and universities are reinstating mask policies, citing coronavirus outbreaks on campus. Their regulation changes come as a highly transmissible Omicron subvariant, known as BA.2, has become the dominant version among new U.S. cases, which are ticking up.

Study sheds light on death spike in Hong Kong COVID-19 surge – CIDRAP

The recent Omicron variant surge in Hong Kong came with a mortality rate among the world’s highest yet in the pandemic, a troubling development in a region known for its strong pandemic measures, and today researchers from the United States, Hong Kong, and China who dug into the data suggest that vaccination lapses in older people played a major role.

72 people at high-profile D.C. dinner test positive for Covid – NBC News

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo were among the guests at the annual Gridiron Dinner.

Vaccine Headlines

The next leap in coronavirus vaccine development could be a nasal spray – Washington Post

As the omicron variant of the coronavirus moved lightning-fast around the world, it revealed an unsettling truth. The virus had gained a stunning ability to infect people, jumping from one person’s nose to the next. Cases soared this winter, even among vaccinated people.

Moderna recalls thousands of COVID vaccine doses in Europe – Reuters

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) said on Friday it was recalling 764,900 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine made by its contract manufacturer Rovi (ROVI.MC) after a vial was found contaminated by a foreign body.

Clinical Considerations

In the Eye of the Storm: How Covid-19 Impacts the Eye – Forbes

While Covid-19 is commonly associated with infection of the lungs, heart and other vital organs, a growing body of evidence suggests that infection can also impact the eye. Approximately 1 in 10 people exposed to Covid-19 experience at least one eye problem, such as dryness, redness, blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” may also appear in the early stages of infection, suggesting that it may be one the first markers of Covid-19 infection. Given the direct connection between the eye and brain via the optic nerve, infection of the retina could open a window to the rest of the brain. Thanks to a study published by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Germany we may now have a better picture of how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells in the eye and the possible consequences to the rest of the nervous system.

CDC: Some People Got Delta and Omicron Just 3 Months Apart

Official Reporting for April 12, 2022

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update April 5, 2022 (latest release)

New Cases: 1,157,995

Confirmed Cases: 493,392,853

Deaths: 6,165,833

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 500,280,791
Deaths: 6,183,197

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 80,218,444 (+28,927 New Cases)
Total deaths: 982,809 (+500 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

New Antiviral Pills Help Treat Covid. Here’s How to Get Them. – NYT
Experts answer common questions about the drugs, including how they work, who’s eligible, where to find them and more. Earlier this month, President Biden announced an initiative called “test to treat,” which would allow people to visit hundreds of qualified pharmacy-based clinics, community health centers and long-term care facilities across the country to get tested for the coronavirus and, if positive, receive antiviral medication on the spot. Here are some of the most common questions about the new antiviral pills, and how the new program works.

The ‘successful failures’ of Apollo 13 and Covid-19 vaccination – STAT

Doomed from the start. That phrase neatly describes the Apollo 13 mission, which launched this day in 1970, and the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination effort in the U.S. Yet both can be seen as “successful failures.”

Psychological and Sociological Impact

None Today

Published Research

Occupation and COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalisation and ICU admission among foreign-born and Swedish-born employees: a register-based study – BMJ

Myopericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination and non-COVID-19 vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis – The Lancet

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in a Young Adult Following COVID-19 Infection: A Case Report – Cureus

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Coping with COVID

Back to work? Bingo! Take these cards with you and make the losers clean the fridge – NPR

Are you returning to work this spring? As you slowly shed your feral habits, re-learn to make eye contact IRL and remember how loudly your cubemate chews, grab some dried-out Sharpies and see who gets bingo.



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