At one point last month, children were admitted to Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital with a startling range of seven respiratory viruses. They had adenovirus and rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus, influenza and parainfluenza, as well as the coronavirus — which many specialists say is to blame for the unusual surges.
The emergency phase of the pandemic may be fading per the World Health Organization, the European CDC, and U.S. public health officials. But the pandemic is not over. We have the tools at our disposal to continue to save lives and keep the burden on our hospitals low. This is what we need to do next.
The United States appears to be in the midst of another biological baton pass between Covid-19 variants. The Omicron lineage BA.2 and its spinoff, BA.2.12.1, drove cases this spring, building into waves of infections in places like the Northeast and parts of California. Now, two other forms of Omicron, BA.4 and BA.5, are eating into the BA.2 group’s dominance.
There’s a new omicron subvariant taking over: BA.5. Scientists expect it will soon be responsible for most COVID-19 infections. But how dangerous is it? And what protection can vaccines offer?
A veterinarian in Thailand likely contracted the coronavirus from an infected pet cat last year, researchers concluded in a new study. It is the first documented case of suspected cat-to-human transmission, although experts stress that the risk of cats infecting humans with the virus remains low overall.
COVID-19 is spreading again in Germany. Medical experts are already looking ahead to the colder months and fear that Germany will not be prepared for the virus to return with force.
Emerging Infectious Disease Headlines
British health officials have detected another 104 cases of monkeypox in England in what has become the biggest outbreak beyond Africa of the normally rare disease.
Poxviruses that infect humans range from life-threatening smallpox virus to the very contagious but benign molluscum contagiosum virus. Beginning in May 2022, hundreds of cases related to another poxvirus, monkeypox, have been reported from more than 30 countries around the world, including the US.
A monkeypox outbreak continues to grow in countries where the virus isn’t normally found, putting global health officials on high alert.
Food and Drug Administration staff said Sunday the coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, for children younger than 5 is effective in producing a virus-blocking response and did not raise safety concerns, a prelude to a crucial review this week by the agency’s independent advisers.
As the world pretends the pandemic is over, at least a half-million children in the U.S. are struggling with the mysterious disease.
Researchers found that damage to the brain’s white matter after COVID-19 resembles that seen after cancer chemotherapy, raising hope for treatments to help both conditions.
Official Reporting for June 10, 2022
World Health Organization
Weekly Epi Update June 8, 2022(latest release)
New Cases: 605,118 ⬇︎
Confirmed Cases: 533,816,957
Confirmed Cases: 536,273,909
Total cases: 85,402,874 (+103,821 New Cases) ⬇︎
Total deaths: 1,006,592 (+276 New Deaths) ⬇︎
Science and Tech
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exploded onto the world stage in late December 2019. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a heretofore unknown pathogen in humans, caused a myriad of clinical presentations ranging from asymptomatic to severe respiratory failure and death. In mid-January 2020, within weeks of the announcement of this new disease out of China, the sequence of this novel human pathogen was released (1). One week after the release of the sequence, development of a prototype vaccine using mRNA technology was created. Of note, mRNA vaccines had never been used previously to treat or prevent any other disease. Within days, preclinical testing of this unique vaccine candidate began at the National Institutes of Health in collaboration with Moderna. In parallel, investigators at BioNTec, a pharmaceutical company in Germany, developed its own prototypic mRNA vaccine, for which they later partnered with Pfizer to conduct clinical development.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Cross-sectional studies found high levels of depression and anxiety symptoms, and loneliness during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reported increases were lower in longitudinal population-based findings. Studies including positive outcomes are rare. This study analyzed changes in mental health symptoms, loneliness, and satisfaction.
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
Understanding how different online communities engage with COVID-19 misinformation is critical for public health response. For example, misinformation confined to a small, isolated community of users poses a different public health risk than misinformation being consumed by a large population spanning many diverse communities. Here we take a longitudinal approach that leverages tools from network science to study COVID-19 misinformation on Twitter. Our approach provides a means to examine the breadth of misinformation engagement using modest data needs and computational resources.
Coping with COVID