Emerging Infectious Disease Headlines
North Korea reported a new “epidemic” of an intestinal disease on Thursday, an unusual announcement from the secretive country that is already contending with a COVID-19 outbreak and severe economic turmoil. It’s unclear how many people are infected in what the official Korean Central News Agency said was “an acute enteric epidemic” in southwestern Haeju city.
A special committee will meet next week to advise on the spread in non-endemic countries, Hans Kluge, regional director of the WHO for Europe, said at a media briefing Wednesday. A PHEIC is the WHO’s highest alert level, and such a declaration can be used to encourage nations to cooperate on countermeasures, while letting the agency recommend steps such as travel advisories.
The monkeypox virus is normally endemic to Africa but has recently been found on other continents. It spreads through prolonged, direct contact with infected people or their bedding, clothing and towels.
The experts will meet on June 23 to assess whether the continuing outbreak represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the highest level of global alert, which currently applies only to the COVID-19 pandemic and polio.
Protection against symptomatic BA.1 or BA.2 COVID-19 infection was similar between individuals who received three doses of an mRNA vaccine and those who had either a prior infection or some form of hybrid immunity, a national case-control study from Qatar found.
It was not immediately clear how much the State Health Department’s decision not to take part in distributing the pediatric shots would impede access to them in Florida in the coming days.
A panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday unanimously voted to recommend Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for children under 6 years old and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech SE’s (22UAy.DE) for children under 5
Times readers with babies, toddlers or preschoolers who are unvaccinated against the coronavirus wrote in about worries and strains, loneliness and lost time.
Most people who had neurologic long COVID symptoms continued to have them for at least 6 months, pilot data from a prospective study showed. Of 27 people with neurologic post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) in the NeuCOVID cohort, memory impairment and decreased concentration were the most prevalent symptoms at 6 months, reported Jacqueline Shanley, BA, and Jennifer Graves, MD, PhD, both of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and co-authors, in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
Official Reporting for June 17, 2022
World Health Organization
Weekly Epi Update June 15, 2022(latest release)
New Cases: 609,158 ⬆︎
Confirmed Cases: 535,248,141
Confirmed Cases: 538,069,250
Total cases: 85,825,048 (+102,750 New Cases) ⬇︎
Total deaths: 1,007,964 (+265 New Deaths) ⬇︎
Science and Tech
Updated findings from a nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) trial in standard-risk COVID-19 suggest the antiviral’s benefits are less clear for those not at high risk of severe outcomes.
Using machine learning, researchers from Stanford Medicine and their collaborators found specific genetic signals in people who develop severe coronavirus infection.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Port congestion should ease next year as new container vessels are delivered and demand from shippers softens from pandemic highs, but not enough to restore global supply-chain flows to where they were before Covid, according to the head of DHL’s freight-forwarding unit.
Immunogenicity and reactogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBV152) in children aged 2–18 years: interim data from an open-label, non-randomised, age de-escalation phase 2/3 study – Lancet
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
Dr. Simone Gold, founder of the group America’s Frontline Doctors, known for spreading debunked claims about Covid-19 was sentenced on Thursday to 60 days in prison for illegally entering and remaining in the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection.
Coping with COVID