Covid-19 News

  • New findings in COVID-related kids' syndrome, Kawasaki disease


    https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/new…syndrome-kawasaki-disease


    Two studies today describe new findings in the COVID-19–associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and the distinct but similar Kawasaki disease (KD).


    Low blood pressure, shock, heart dysfunction

    In the first study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, a team led by researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used lab data to compare geographic and temporal distribution of MIS-C from March 2020 to January 2021 with that of COVID-19 over the same period.


    In the largest known cohort of MIS-C patients and their distributions across the United States, the cumulative incidence was 2.1 per 100,000 people 21 and younger and varied by state, from 0.2 to 6.3 per 100,000. The death rate was 1.4%.


    Of the 1,733 MIS-C patients, 90.4% had involvement of at least four organ systems, 54% had low blood pressure or shock, 58.2% required intensive care, and 31.0% had abnormal heart function. Pericardial effusion (fluid buildup in the sac around the heart) occurred in 23.4%, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) in 17.3%, and coronary artery dilatation or aneurysm (ballooning of a vessel wall) in 16.5%.


    Patients 18 to 20 years had the most severe MIS-C signs and symptoms, with 30.9% having myocarditis, 36.4% having pneumonia, and 18.2% having acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This age-group was also most likely to report having a previous coronavirus-like illness (63%). In contrast, children 0 to 4 years old had the fewest severe MIS-C signs and symptoms, but 38.4% had low blood pressure or shock, and 44.3% required intensive care.


    Gastrointestinal symptoms, rash, and conjunctival hyperemia (an inflammatory eye condition) occurred in 53% to 67% of MIS-C patients. Other common symptoms included fever, vomiting, rash, and diarrhea. Among all MIS-C patients, 57.6% were boys, 71.3% were Hispanic or Black, and the median age was 9 years.


    Delayed immune response to coronavirus

    States with the heaviest burden of MIS-C were generally in the West and Midwest. The first two nationwide peaks of MIS-C occurred 2 to 5 weeks after COVID-19 spikes and viral spread from urban to rural areas.


    Most cases of MIS-C are thought to occur after asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 infections, with an outsized inflammatory response coinciding with peak antibody production several weeks later, the authors said.


    "The geographic and temporal association of MIS-C with the COVID-19 pandemic suggested that MIS-C resulted from delayed immunologic responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection," they wrote. "The clinical manifestations varied by age and by presence or absence of preceding COVID-19."


    The researchers called for development of lab markers or diagnostic tests to distinguish MIS-C from severe COVID-19 and other inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease. "Physicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for MIS-C to promptly diagnose and treat these patients," they concluded.


    In a commentary in the same journal, Jennifer Blumenthal, MD, and Jeffrey Burns, MD, MPH, both of Boston Children's Hospital, said that the study findings show that the lack of prior coronavirus symptoms, especially in younger children, shouldn't reassure pediatricians that MIS-C hasn't affected their hearts.


    "If the entirety of the world’s pediatric population is at risk for COVID-19 and vaccination will be delayed in the pediatric population compared with adults, this potentially severe outcome must remain at the forefront of the differential diagnosis for pediatricians across the world pending further outcome research," they wrote.


    Kawasaki disease spread likely airborne

    Published in JAMA Network Open, the second study was led by researchers at Fukuoka Children's Hospital in Japan to determine the role of droplet versus contact transmission of KD. The longitudinal study involved 1,649 patients with KD and 15,586 patients with infectious diseases hospitalized at six centers from 2015 to 2020.


    KD is an acute illness that affects mostly children 6 months to 5 years old—median age in the KD cohort was 25 months—and features inflammation of small and medium blood vessels. Although the cause of KD is unknown, it is believed to occur in genetically predisposed children after exposure to an environmental trigger such as an infection.


    The researchers found that the number of hospitalizations for KD didn't change significantly between April and May in 2015 to 2019 compared with the same months in 2020 (mean, 24.8 vs 18.0 admissions per month; 27.4% decline; adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 0.73).


    Over the same time, however, hospitalizations for droplet- or contact-transmitted respiratory tract infections fell from a mean of 157.6 to 39.0 admissions per month, a 75.3% decline (aIRR, 0.25), as did those for gastrointestinal infections (43.8 to 6.0 monthly admissions), an 86.3% decrease (aIRR, 0.14), for 12,254 fewer infections.


    As a result, the ratio of KD to droplet- or contact-transmitted respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections increased significantly in April and May 2020 (ratio, 0.40 vs 0.12).


    "These findings suggest that transmission by contact or droplets is not a major route for KD development in Japan and support the findings of previous epidemiological studies indicating that KD may be associated with airborne disease in most cases. More extensive studies are warranted for further understanding of this intriguing disease," the authors wrote.

  • Why do we use risky RNA vaccines (Pfizer,Moderna) that in the long haul for sure will lead to autoimmune diseases?

    Wouldn't a Covid-19 infection in a non-vaccinated person not result in the same autoimmune deseases, if true? Is the "mechanism" of having antobodies and T-cell responses not similar?

    There are for sure a lot of "unknowns" still for the "Long Covid" sufferers...

    Would be good to find something to read and better understand...

  • As Variants Have Spread, Progress Against the Virus in U.S. Has Stalled


    https://www.nytimes.com/intera…s-cases-spread.htmlUnited States coronavirus cases have increased again after hitting a low point late last month, and some of the states driving the upward trend have also been hit hardest by variants, according to an analysis of data from Helix, a lab testing company.


    The country’s vaccine rollout has sped up since the first doses were administered in December, recently reaching a rolling average of more than three million doses per day. And new U.S. cases trended steeply downward in the first quarter of the year, falling by almost 80 percent from mid-January through the end of March.


    But during that period, states also rolled back virus control measures, and now mobility data shows a rise in people socializing and traveling. Amid all this, more-contagious variants have been gaining a foothold, and new cases are almost 20 percent higher than they were at the lowest point in March.


    “It is a pretty complex situation, because behavior is changing, but you’ve also got this change in the virus itself at the same time,” said Emily Martin, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

  • A third of COVID survivors suffer neurological or mental disorders: study


    https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2BT2ZI


    One in three COVID-19 survivors in a study of more than 230,000 mostly American patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, suggesting the pandemic could lead to a wave of mental and neurological problems, scientists said on Tuesday.


    Researchers who conducted the analysis said it was not clear how the virus was linked to psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression, but that these were the most common diagnoses among the 14 disorders they looked at.


    Post-COVID cases of stroke, dementia and other neurological disorders were rarer, the researchers said, but were still significant, especially in those who had severe COVID-19.

    Although the individual risks for most disorders are small, the effect across the whole population may be substantial," said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford University who co-led the work.


    Max Taquet, also an Oxford psychiatrist who worked with Harrison, noted that the study was not able to examine the biological or psychological mechanisms involved, but said urgent research is needed to identify these "with a view to preventing or treating them".


    Health experts are increasingly concerned by evidence of higher risks of brain and mental health disorders among COVID-19 survivors. A previous study by the same researchers found last year that 20% of COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within three months.


    The new findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, analysed health records of 236,379 COVID-19 patients, mostly from the United States, and found 34% had been diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric illnesses within six months.


    The disorders were significantly more common in COVID-19 patients than in comparison groups of people who recovered from flu or other respiratory infections over the same time period, the scientists said, suggesting COVID-19 had a specific impact.


    Anxiety, at 17%, and mood disorders, at 14%, were the most common, and did not appear to be related to how mild or severe the patient's COVID-19 infection had been.

  • Pandemic has severely impacted human rights of millions around the world, says Amnesty


    https://www.washingtonpost.com…pdates-us/?outputType=amp


    Amnesty International warned in its annual report Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on the human rights of millions of people around the globe.


    The virus has exposed and entrenched widespread inequalities, collapsed health and welfare systems, worsened the conditions of already marginalized groups and facilitated crackdowns on dissent, according to the London-based organization.


    The report described how “decades of toxic leadership have left ethnic minorities, refugees, older persons, and women disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic.” It criticized wealthier nations for almost entirely monopolizing the world’s supply of vaccines, leaving the countries with the fewest resources to face the worst health and human rights outcomes.

  • A novel variant of interest of SARS-CoV-2 with multiple spike mutations detected through travel surveillance in Africa


    https://www.medrxiv.org/conten…3.30.21254323v1.full-text


    Abstract

    At the end of 2020, the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) detected a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) in South Africa (501Y.V2 or PANGO lineage B.1.351)1. 501Y.V2 is associated with increased transmissibility and resistance to neutralizing antibodies elicited by natural infection and vaccination2,3. 501Y.V2 has since spread to over 50 countries around the world and has contributed to a significant resurgence of the epidemic in southern Africa. In order to rapidly characterize the spread of this and other emerging VOCs and variants of interest (VOIs), NGS-SA partnered with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Society of Laboratory Medicine through the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative to strengthen SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance across the region.


    Here, we report the first genomic surveillance results from Angola, which has had 21 500 reported cases and around 500 deaths from COVID-19 up to March 2021 (Supplemental Fig S1). On 15 January 2021, in response to the international spread of VOCs, the government instituted compulsory rapid antigen testing of all passengers arriving at the main international airport, in addition to the existing requirement to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. All individuals with a positive antigen test are isolated in a government facility for a minimum of 14 days and require two negative RT-PCR tests at least 48 hours apart for de-isolation, whilst all travelers with a negative test on arrival proceed to mandatory self-quarantine for 10 days followed by a repeat test.


    In March 2021, we received 118 nasopharyngeal swab samples collected between June 2020 and February 2021, a number of which were from incoming air travelers (Supplemental Fig S1). From these, we produced 73 high quality genomes (>80% coverage), 14 of which were known VOCs/VOIs (seven 501Y.V2/B.1.351, six B.1.1.7, one B.1.525), 44 of which were C.16 (a common lineage circulating in Portugal), and twelve of which were other lineages (Supplemental Fig S2). In addition, we detected a new VOI in three incoming travelers from Tanzania who were tested together at the airport in mid-February. The three genomes from these passengers were almost identical and presented highly divergent sequences within the A lineage (Figure 1A & 1B). The GISAID database contains nine other sequences reported to be sampled from cases involving travel from Tanzania, two of which are basal to the three sampled in Angola (Figure 1A, Supplemental Table S1).

  • Israel and Chile both led on Covid jabs, so why is one back in lockdown?


    https://amp.theguardian.com/wo…y-is-one-back-in-lockdown


    As mass vaccination programmes take hold around the world, some countries have begun to get on top of the virus while others have continued to struggle. Two countries that have streaked ahead with immunisations are Israel and Chile, but as Israel edges back to a new normal, Chile has been plunged back into lockdown. Can the UK and other countries repeat Israel’s success and avoid the setbacks of Chile?


    What is happening in Israel?

    Israel has recorded dramatic falls in rates of infection, hospital admissions and deaths after running what was the world’s fastest Covid vaccination campaign. The country of 9 million people has administered two shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to more than half its population. Daily life has returned almost completely to a pre-pandemic situation, with shops, hotels, concerts and cinemas open again. That said, restrictions are still in place, such as the need for face masks outside the home and limits on gatherings indoors.


    An analysis by Eran Segal, a computational biologist at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, reported that since a January peak in infections, the country had seen daily drops of 96% in cases, 90% in critically ill patients and 85% in deaths. According to health ministry statistics, daily infections have plummeted to the low hundreds – a massive decline since January, when there were 10,000 confirmed infections a day at one point. On Tuesday, the total number of active cases was roughly half that figure.



    What is happening in Chile?

    Chile is in the enviable position of having vaccinated faster than any other country in the Americas. More than a third of the country’s 18 million people have received at least one shot of either Pfizer/BioNTech or China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine. However, cases have soared to the point of overwhelming the health system and strict lockdown measures are back in place.


    What went wrong?

    The speedy vaccination programme appears to have instilled a false sense of security that led the country to ease restrictions too soon without people appreciating the ongoing risks. The country reopened its borders in November and in January introduced permits for Chileans to go on summer holiday. Without strict controls on people entering the country, and the lack of an efficient contact-tracing system, travellers may have brought infections back into the country that were not picked up.


    The virus would have had more chance to spread when the schools reopened along with restaurants, shopping malls, casinos, gyms and churches. With transmission rates now so high in the country, a far greater proportion of the population will need to be vaccinated to get on top of the epidemic.



    Are the two countries comparable?

    Israel’s case has a key difference to that of Chile’s in that it has exclusively administered Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, whereas Chile is using Pfizer/BioNTech and Sinovac Biotech shots. It is unclear what difference, if any, that may have, but the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been one of the strongest performers in clinical trials. Other differences between the countries – with vastly different societies and demographics, and possibly different virus variants in circulation – can also make comparisons misleading.


    It may also be a question of time for Chile. While Israel is enjoying low infection rates now, the effect of the vaccine appeared to have taken longer to establish itself than first thought. In fact, the country suffered its worst rise in infections during the pandemic even after its vaccine drive was in train, with a strict and weeks-long lockdown imposed. That lockdown, similar to the one just put in place in Chile, will also have had an effect on infection rates.


    It's simple, covid is seasonal, the southern hemisphere is experiencing the same surge seen here from november- January.

  • Wouldn't a Covid-19 infection in a non-vaccinated person not result in the same autoimmune deseases, if true? Is the "mechanism" of having antobodies and T-cell responses not similar?

    The basic body immune system relies on T-cells. Antibodies are a reaction that occurs after an infection! Nobody should have antibodies for the ACE-2 key as this signaling path is used for other purposes too. (See decrease in immune reaction after first jab..) The immune system will remove the antibodies to prevent the harm theses may cause. The same discussion has been made in the Regeneron antibody cocktail presentation, where one conclusion was, possibly we have to filter out the excess anti bodies once the infection is over.

    Thus your own bodies reaction will normally not produce any long time harm, but potentially it could also happen due to some cross talk with other antigens. But this is also possible for vaccines too.

    Researchers who conducted the analysis said it was not clear how the virus was linked to psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression, but that these were the most common diagnoses among the 14 disorders they looked at.

    CoV-19 infects all endothelial cells also in the brain (heart, kidneys,etc..) . So this is no surprise at all. Only Ivermectin can help here.

    the country had seen daily drops of 96% in cases, 90% in critically ill patients and 85% in deaths.

    I here only see a sharp drop in IQ of the reporting doctor....


    The weekly drop in cases in Israel was a bit lower than 50%. See worldometer data.

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.351 and P.1 escape from neutralizing antibodies


    https://www.cell.com/cell/full…21003676%3Fshowall%3Dtrue


    Highlights

    B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 do not show augmented host cell entry

    Entry inhibitors under clinical evaluation block all variants

    B.1.351 and P.1 can escape from therapeutic antibodies

    B.1.351 and P.1 evade antibodies induced by infection and vaccination

    Summary

    The global spread of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 is devastating health systems and economies worldwide. Recombinant or vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies are used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa), and P.1 (Brazil) harbor mutations in the viral spike (S) protein that may alter virus-host cell interactions and confer resistance to inhibitors and antibodies. Here, using pseudoparticles, we show that entry of all variants into human cells is susceptible to blockade by the entry inhibitors soluble ACE2, Camostat, EK-1, and EK-1-C4. In contrast, entry of the B.1.351 and P.1 variant was partially (Casirivimab) or fully (Bamlanivimab) resistant to antibodies used for COVID-19 treatment. Moreover, entry of these variants was less efficiently inhibited by plasma from convalescent COVID-19 patients and sera from BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may escape neutralizing antibody responses, which has important implications for efforts to contain the pandemic.

  • Nasal spray and Ivermectin


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  • Correction: viral proteins appear to go to brain, heart

    But viral replication only seems to be in nose and lung.

    https://pathology.weill.cornel…nals-diagnostic-pathology

  • But viral replication only seems to be in nose and lung.

    One nasty side effect of CoV-19 is the triggered autoimmune response, that leads to an increase in ACE-2 receptors expression. This will make any virus hosting cell a center of attack for the immune system.

    Most likely this happens only in people with a genetic precondition. There was once paper from Bangladesh or Malaysia where a large group of people lives that follows this path.

    CoV-19 is nasty. Complain with Fauci. He authorized the Wuhan lab AIDS add-on's!

  • One nasty side effect of CoV-19 is the triggered autoimmune response, that leads to an increase in ACE-2 receptors expression. This will make any virus hosting cell a center of attack for the immune system.

    Most likely this happens only in people with a genetic precondition. There was once paper from Bangladesh or Malaysia where a large group of people lives that follows this path.

    CoV-19 is nasty. Complain with Fauci. He authorized the Wuhan lab AIDS add-on's!

    What's the mechanism here?

    One nasty side effect of CoV-19 is the triggered autoimmune response, that leads to an increase in ACE-2 receptors expression.



  • What's the mechanism here?

    You have to dig out the paper (key word hijacking, expression etc..) - quite some time ago. In some patients additional ACE-2 receptors are presented what speeds up the infection chain. I guess the same effect did kill most young people during the Spanish flue. This reversal of the immune response is difficult to treat.

  • Look at Sweden: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/


    Near peek number of cases. All time low in death 4/day last week.


    What is wrong there??


    Their death rate overall is typical - around 2%, similar to Japan's rate. UK is around 3%. Such differences are often due to the differences in the registration of deaths and deciding what precisely appears on a death certificate. For example, in the UK stats Covid is 'cause od death' only when it appears first on the death certificate. If however the doctor writes 'Cause of death - Chronic Asthma aggravated by Covid 19. - then you didn't die of Covid. The same two causes written the other way around means you did- but only if confirmed by a positive test within the 28 days before you died.

  • A new SARS-CoV-2 lineage that shares mutations with known Variants of Concern is rejected by automated sequence repository quality control


    doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.05.438352


    or


    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.05.438352v1


    We report a SARS-CoV-2 lineage that shares N501Y, P681H, and other mutations with known variants of concern, such as B.1.1.7. This lineage, which we refer to as B.1.x (COG-UK sometimes references similar samples as B.1.324.1), is present in at least 20 states across the USA and in at least six countries. However, a large deletion causes the sequence to be automatically rejected from repositories, suggesting that the frequency of this new lineage is underestimated using public data. Recent dynamics based on 339 samples obtained in Santa Cruz County, CA, USA suggest that B.1.x may be increasing in frequency at a rate similar to that of B.1.1.7 in Southern California. (not peer reviewed).

  • Brazil finds new virus variant combining 18 mutations

    Strain in Belo Horizonte city has common characteristics with variants that already circulate in country, says virologist


    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/ameri…ning-18-mutations/2201998


    ANKARA


    Scientists in Brazil have discovered a new variant of coronavirus that combines 18 mutations, rubbing salt in the wound of the South American epicenter.


    The new strain from Belo Horizonte city "has characteristics in common with the variants that were already circulating in Brazil but it also has new characteristics," Virologist Renato Santana from the Federal University of Minas Gerais told local daily G1 on Wednesday.


    "It is as if these variants were evolving," Santana said, adding the new variant includes the same genes modified by Brazil's Manaus, known as P1, British and South African variant.


    Noting that it is early to assess whether the new strain more transmissible or deadly, he said that it has mutations in common with variants that are already associated with a higher risk of death.


    The new super variant made headlines at a critical time when Brazil registered record-high single-day COVID-19 deaths with more than 4,000.


    The grim milestone points to an uncontrolled advance of the virus in Brazil, which accounts for one-quarter of the world’s daily virus-related deaths, although it only accounts for 2.7% of the global population.

  • Look at Sweden: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/


    Near peek number of cases. All time low in death 4/day last week.


    What is wrong there??

    It's hard to say, but both Sweden and Canada are showing much lower mortality than they used to, perhaps because nursing homes are not hit as hard? As an aside, Sweden's "active cases" , about 813,000, is very different than Canada's active cases, about 63,000, while our daily new cases are the same at about 7,500. Different ways of accounting I suppose.

    Anyways, Canada is now entering into our third wave, with Toronto as the epicentre. Toronto has just entered into its third stay at home order, schools now closed and only essential businesses open to the public. I hear that Toronto has been the most locked down city in North America over the course of the pandemic. (What have our lockdowns and mask mandates gotten us?) Most cases in Toronto now are the new "variants of concern" which apparently infect younger people more readily. This may also be why our mortality rate is down : more young people are getting infected.