Tulane Outbreak – May 13, 2022

Featured COVID Headlines

How fast omicron’s BA.2 variant is spreading around the world – Washington Post

BA.2 has overtaken the original omicron version of the coronavirus that quickly dominated the world this winter

Subvariants fueling COVID rises in more than 50 countries – CIDRAP

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) today warned that rising COVID-19 cases are creating a volatile situation, posing the most risk for countries with low vaccination coverage.

Had Covid At Christmas? You Could Get It Again Now – Bloomberg

As a stealth wave of Covid makes its way across the US, those who have so far evaded the virus are now falling ill — while others are catching Covid for a second, third or even fourth time.

You don’t have to wear a mask on planes. Do it anyway, experts say. – Washington Post

The federal requirement to mask up on planes and other forms of transportation was tossed Monday by a federal judge in Florida. But health experts say those who want to protect themselves from the coronavirus as cases rise again should continue to cover their faces — with the best possible mask.

It’s Almost Impossible to Find Out Which Covid Variant You Got – Bloomberg

Tracking down why Americans can’t access their variant results was almost as hard as finding someone to sequence snot

North Korea admits to coronavirus outbreak for the first time – Washington Post

North Korea on Thursday reported its first coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began almost two years ago, with state media declaring a “most serious national emergency.”

Related: North Korea faces its first covid outbreak without any vaccines – Washington Post, and North Korea Says 6 Dead as Covid-19 Spreads at an ‘Explosive’ Rate – NYT

South Africa’s COVID-19 spike intensifies – CIDRAP

As daily COVID-19 cases in South Africa topped 10,000 cases today, officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said today that an uptick there and in a few other African countries is an early warning sign for other nations to step up their preparedness.

Emerging Infectious Disease Headlines

North Carolina up to 9 reported cases of hepatitis in children – North Carolina Local News

State health officials are warning parents to be on the lookout for rare cases of hepatitis in their children. As of Wednesday, there are nine pediatric cases in the state — up from four last week.

CDC Updates Testing Recommendations for Unknown Hepatitis in Kids – MedPageToday

Clinicians should continue to test for adenovirus among any child with “acute hepatitis of unknown etiology,” and collect blood, respiratory, rectal, and potentially liver tissue specimens.

Zoonotic Disease Headlines

Not just chickens: In Ontario, bird flu has killed bald eagles, Canada geese — and juvenile red foxes – CBC

The deadly strain of avian flu ravaging Canada’s poultry industry is also felling an unusual number of wild birds and has even jumped to mammals, killing a pair of juvenile foxes near St. Marys Ont., according to wildlife experts.

COVID Vaccine Headlines

U.S. licenses key Covid vaccine technology to WHO so other countries can develop shots – CNBC

The NIH has licensed its stabilized spike protein technology to the WHO, President Joe Biden said. The technology is key component of the current Covid-19 vaccines. The spike protein is the component in the vaccines that induces an immune response, prompting the body to fight the virus. The license would help the WHO work with manufacturers around the world to produce their own Covid-19 vaccines.

This is how many lives could have been saved with COVID vaccinations in each state – NPR

One tragic fact about the nearly 1 million people who died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is that a huge share of them didn’t have to. In Tennessee, 11,047 of the people who died could have survived if everyone in the state had gotten vaccinated. In Ohio, that number is 15,875. Nationally it’s nearly 319,000, according a new estimate.

Clinical Considerations

Severe COVID-19 may cause cognitive deficits equivalent to 20 years of aging – Medical News Today

A recent study suggests a connection between severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalization and deficits in cognitive function that persist 6–10 months after illness onset. The cognitive deficits in COVID-19 survivors were of a similar magnitude to the decline in cognitive function that normally occurs in individuals between the ages of 50 to 70 years.

55% of Hospitalized COVID Patients Still Had Symptoms at 2 Years – MedPageToday

The proportion of COVID-19 survivors with at least one sequelae symptom 2 years later came in at 55%, and the most frequent symptoms were fatigue or muscle weakness, reported Bin Cao, MD, of China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues.

Coronavirus ‘ghosts’ found lingering in the gut – Nature

Scientists are studying whether long COVID could be linked to viral fragments found in the body months after initial infection. n the chaos of the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, oncologist and geneticist Ami Bhatt was intrigued by widespread reports of vomiting and diarrhoea in people infected with SARS-CoV-2. “At that time, this was thought to be a respiratory virus,” she says. Bhatt and her colleagues, curious about a possible link between the virus and the gastrointestinal symptoms, began to collect stool samples from people with COVID-19.

COVID in Newborns Linked With Necrotizing Enterocolitis Risk – MedPageToday

Of the cohort’s 125 newborns, five were diagnosed with NEC — a condition that causes intestinal tissue to die and which mostly affects preterm infants — only one of whom survived, reported Risa Etika, PhD, of the Airlangga University in Surabaya, Indonesia, and colleagues.

The Promising Treatment for Long COVID We’re Not Even Trying – The Atlantic

Early anecdotes about Paxlovid’s effects on long COVID are intriguing, but no one’s testing them in clinical trials yet. To date, no established treatments exist for long COVID. But in recent weeks, a smattering of long-haulers—McGovern among them—have been surprised to feel their sicknesses subside after taking Pfizer’s new drug.

 

Official Reporting for May 13, 2022

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update May 11, 2022(latest release)

New Cases: 363,925

Confirmed Cases: 516,922,683

Deaths: 6,259,945

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 520,135,354
Deaths: 6,260,457

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 82,087,117 (+84,778 New Cases)
Total deaths: 996,376 (+272 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Do Not Use Skippack Medical Lab SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test: FDA Safety Communication – FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people not to use the Skippack Medical Lab SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Colloidal Gold). This test is not authorized, cleared, or approved by the FDA for distribution or use in the United States. The FDA is concerned about the risk of false results when using this test because SML Distribution LLC has not provided the FDA with adequate data to show the test works correctly.

Want to prevent pandemics? Stop spillovers – Nature

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic, has evolved to have a wide range of hosts, including non-human primates, wild and domestic animals. The ACE2 protein has a high level of conservation and is the common receptor invertebrate species for a viral infection to occur; this receptor could give rise to anthroponotic events.

Want to prevent pandemics? Stop spillovers – Nature

Decision-makers discussing landmark agreements on health and biodiversity must include four actions to reduce the risk of animals and people exchanging viruses. Spillover events, in which a pathogen that originates in animals jumps into people, have probably triggered every viral pandemic that’s occurred since the start of the twentieth century1. What’s more, an August 2021 analysis of disease outbreaks over the past four centuries indicates that the yearly probability of pandemics could increase several-fold in the coming decades, largely because of human-induced environmental changes2.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Doctors and grief experts on the milestone of 1 million COVID deaths – NPR

President Biden marks the approaching 1 million death toll from COVID in the U.S. More people have died from COVID-19 than died from AIDS in the US since that pandemic began decades ago.

Gun deaths surged during the pandemic’s first year, the C.D.C. reports. – NYT

Soaring rates were driven largely by gun-related homicides, which rose 35 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Published Research

Human-to-dog transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Colombia – Nature

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

How misinformation and the partisan divide drove a surge in U.S. COVID deaths – PBS Newshour

As the death toll from the coronavirus nears 1 million Americans, we’ve been exploring why the u.S. Suffered such a terrible loss, especially when compared to other nations similar to us. While there are many reasons for this, one of them is that many Americans have not wanted to be vaccinated. William Brangham reports.

Coping with COVID

 

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