Featured COVID Headlines
Hospitalizations remain low, partly a reflection of greater immunity in the population. Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are rising in a majority of American states, in what appears to be the first widespread increase since the peak of the Omicron surge in January.
After two dramatic years plagued with shock, anxiety, chaos, outrage, fatigue and, for the most part, simple boredom, Europeans appear to have decided to collectively move on from the lethal pandemic that upended every single aspect of their daily lives, triggered a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis and forever transformed professional and personal habits.
Understanding when to abandon beliefs and when to recommit to them can help us ride out this pandemic and prepare for the next one. In the spring of 2020, as Americans continued to proclaim their excitement for basketball games and parades, an ER doctor named Dylan Smith watched in dismay. Was everyone else ignoring reality? That March, New York City hesitated to close its schools during the city’s first COVID wave. Smith was horrified. A major pandemic was arriving, and softening its blow would require closing schools, which he believed was the best way to protect kids. “There were a lot of suggestions that kids would be these super–carrier vectors,” he says, “where they would come home and they would infect Mom and Dad and Grandma and Grandpa, and they would infect teachers at school.”
The city moved into the medium risk level, known as yellow, as it sees a troubling increase in cases and the mayor weighs bringing back some restrictions.The city moved into the medium, or yellow, risk category for virus transmission as cases continued their steady rise, a development that could trigger the return of public health restrictions, although they are not required to be reinstated at this point.
During those terrifying early days of the pandemic, scientists offered one piece of reassuring news about the novel coronavirus: It mutated slowly. The earliest mutations did not appear to be consequential. A vaccine, if and when it was invented, might not need regular updating over time.
The spread of two newly discovered subvariants has doctors watching closely. Coronavirus cases are surging again in South Africa, and public health experts are monitoring the situation, eager to know what’s driving the spike, what it says about immunity from previous infections and what its implications are globally.
While the Delta virus wiped out the variants that preceded it, Omicron has not eliminated Delta, according to a new study from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
While it’s tempting to say much of life is getting back to normal, it’s probably more accurate to say it feels more comfortable and normal living alongside Covid-19.
Beijing reopened the Xiaotangshan hospital, which has more than 1,000 beds, after recording a few hundred cases in recent weeks. On Monday, officials announced 50 new cases in the city of 22 million, down from the 59 reported on Sunday.
Emerging Infectious Disease Headlines
Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of influenza A(H5N1) bird flu in humans with exposure to poultry after a Colorado inmate tested positive for the highly pathogenic strain, the CDC announced late Friday.
Three children in Indonesia have died from a mysterious liver disease, the country’s health ministry said, raising to at least four the global death toll of a fatal ailment puzzling doctors from the U.S. to Asia. This severe strain of acute hepatitis has been identified in nearly 170 children across 11 countries in recent weeks — raising concerns from the World Health Organization (WHO) of the disease’s “unknown origin.”
A top Food and Drug Administration official pledged Friday not to delay the rollout of coronavirus vaccines for the youngest children and said at least one of the two shots under review could become available in June.
Frank Talarico, a 47-year-old police sergeant, was hospitalized for 49 days with the coronavirus. “If I was vaccinated,” he said, “I have to think I wouldn’t have gotten as sick as I did.”
The relentless evolution of the COVID-causing coronavirus has taken a bit of the shine off the vaccines developed during the first year of the pandemic. Versions of the virus that now dominate circulation—Omicron and its subvariants—are more transmissible and adept at evading the body’s immune defenses than its original form. The current shots to the arm can still prevent serious illness, but their ability to ward off infection completely has been diminished. And part of the reason may be the location of the jabs, which some scientists now want to change.
Case raises concerns about long-term consequences of undetected myocardial involvement. A 23-year-old man presented to an outpatient cardiology clinic reporting pain on the left side of his chest with physical activity that persists for 30-60 minutes. He had no preexisting conditions and had previously had an active lifestyle that included running two miles a day, 6 days a week without any problems. Three months prior to presentation, though, he said, he had “mild” COVID-19 that had been treated conservatively in an outpatient setting.
Many people recover quickly from COVID-19. But for some, symptoms can continue months after recovery and may involve multiple organs. This is known as Long COVID, or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC). SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
According to a massive study, even mild COVID can significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Official Reporting for April 29, 2022
World Health Organization
Weekly Epi Update April 27, 2022(latest release)
New Cases: 264,440
Confirmed Cases: 511,479,320
Confirmed Cases: 514,426,762
Total cases: 81,227,576 (+57,020 New Cases)
Total deaths: 991,178 (+307 New Deaths)
Science and Tech
The very same immune system proteins that trigger excess mucus production and closing of airways in people with allergic asthma may erect a shield around vulnerable airway cells, researchers report in the April 19 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding helps explain why people with allergic asthma seem to be less susceptible to COVID-19 than those with related lung ailments, and could eventually lead to new treatments for the coronavirus.
The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal.
For some time now, it’s been established that the primary root of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is airborne. Research suggests that contagious particles are released into the air and linger for several minutes to hours. Inhaling these particles is what leads to infection. People have experimented with ways to sterilize the air from infectious particles. Here we describe work that shows, in addition to ventilation and filtration, how Far-UVC light inactivates the virus in a way that is harmless to us.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Millions of new dog owners want workplaces that include their furry friends. But not everyone is a fan. As offices start reopening and thousands of workers are being called back for the first time in two years, some companies are allowing employees to bring their pets. About 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Kayla Phaneuf has flown all over the country from her home in Virginia — from Los Angeles to Phoenix to Boston. But one week after the federal mask mandate ended on planes and other transportation, the 24-year-old found herself on one of the most stressful flights of her life.
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
The FDA is aware of counterfeit at-home over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 diagnostic tests being distributed or used in the United States. These counterfeit tests should not be used or distributed.