Featured COVID Headlines
Implications of the emergence and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern BA.4 and BA.5 for the EU/EEA – ECDC
Most European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries have detected low proportions of the SARS-CoV-2 variants BA.4 and BA.5, however many have seen an increase in recent weeks. In Portugal, BA.5 has become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant and the increasing proportions of BA.5 have been accompanied by a surge in COVID-19 cases. The growth advantage reported for BA.4 and BA.5 suggest that these variants will become dominant throughout the EU/EEA, probably resulting in an increase in COVID-19 cases in coming weeks.
I Just Recovered From BA.2. Can I Get BA.4/5? – MedPageToday
Most people who have been infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. in the past couple of months likely had the BA.2 or BA.2.12.1 variant, both lineages of the original Omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2.
Omicron poses about half the risk of long COVID as delta, new research finds – NPR
The omicron variant is much less likely than delta to cause long COVID, according to the first large-scale study published about the long-term risks posed by omicron. But almost 5% of people who catch omicron still experience fatigue, brain fog, headaches, heart problems or other health issues at least a month after getting infected, the study found.
COVID-19 deaths rise, reversing a 5-week decline – ABC News
After five weeks of declining coronavirus deaths, the number of fatalities reported globally increased by 4% last week, according to the World Health Organization. In its weekly assessment of the pandemic issued on Thursday, the U.N. health agency said there were 8,700 COVID-19 deaths last week, with a 21% jump in the Americas and a 17% increase in the Western Pacific.
Fauci Has His First Positive Test for the Coronavirus – NYT
Dr. Fauci tested positive on a rapid antigen test, the agency said in a statement. It added that he was fully vaccinated against the virus and had been boosted twice. He is taking Paxlovid, the Pfizer antiviral therapy authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of Covid-19, an agency spokeswoman said.
China turns Winter Olympic villages into Covid quarantine camps – Financial Times
Facilities used to house foreign athletes during February Games converted into isolation centres
Emerging Infectious Disease Headlines
N. Korea reports another disease outbreak amid COVID-19 wave – ABC News
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.
WHO to Convene Emergency Meeting on Monkeypox Amid Spread – Bloomberg
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.
Answers to your questions about monkeypox – Stanford Medicine
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.
WHO to determine if Monkeypox should be declared ‘Emergency of International Concern – UN
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.
How Vaccine Immunity, Prior Infection Hold Up Against BA.2 – MedPageToday
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.
Forty-nine states preordered vaccine doses for very young children. Florida did not. – NYT
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.
What to know about COVID vaccines for young children – Reuters
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
Parents Anxious to Vaccinate Young Children Describe an Agonizing Wait – NYT
Times readers with babies, toddlers or preschoolers who are unvaccinated against the coronavirus wrote in about worries and strains, loneliness and lost time.
Brain Symptoms Persist in Long COVID – MedPageToday
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
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Total cases: 85,825,048 (+102,750 New Cases) ⬇︎
Total deaths: 1,007,964 (+265 New Deaths) ⬇︎
Science and Tech
Paxlovid Misses in Standard-Risk COVID-19 – MedPageToday
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.
Researchers identify more than 1,000 genes linked to severe COVID-19 – Stanford Medicine
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
DHL Warns Supply Chain Won’t Recover to Pre-Covid Days in 2023 – Bloomberg
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
Doctor known for spreading Covid misinformation is sentenced to prison for role in US Capitol attack – CNN
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