Texas embalmer: “COVID is unlike anything I’ve seen before”

“I was having people that had only been dead for a few hours and there were major clotting issues. The clots were the size of pancakes ― you never, never see those with someone who didn’t die of COVID.”

“These folks were so swollen they were completely unrecognizable.  We get bodies out of ICU regularly, but not in the condition that these COVID bodies are in. They’re tremendously swollen. If they’ve been on a ventilator, that often completely runs down their immune system. It also opens them up to a lot of sepsis and secondary infections that tend to hang around hospitals, like penicillin-resistant staph infections.”

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and pretty much everywhere I’ve worked has been medium to high volume. I’m not one of those embalmers that works at a place that just does 50 or 60 bodies a year. So I’ve done this long enough and I’ve seen enough that I would know when something different pops up. COVID is unlike anything I’ve seen before.”

Huffpost.com report



Image by Gisela Merkuur from Pixabay

USA: Texas sees coinfections with flu and Covid-19

The Nueces County Public Health District in Texas announced that the County has started seeing people who not only have COVID-19, but the flu as well. Health Director Annette Rodriguez said she got that information from a number of area doctors she has spoken with who said test results from their patients showed they had COVID-19 and the flu. “We will do something where we’re giving COVID vaccines probably at the same time that we’re giving flu vaccines,” Rodriguez said. 

Kiiitv.com report


Image by David Mark from Pixabay

USA: more than half of COVID-19 patients at Texas Children’s Hospital also have RSV

Among 45 pediatric COVID-19 patients at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, at least 25 also have respiratory syncytial virus, the Houston Chronicle reported Aug. 11. More than half of the children with both illnesses have been hospitalized. About half of the hospital’s coinfected patients are infants, and most are children under 5, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Children’s has also recently identified its first case of the delta plus variant, which spreads more easily than the original delta strain.




Image by Ratna Fitry from Pixabay

USA: Alabama’s Covid hospitalizations jump by 30% in one night

A report from the Alabama Department of Health’s online dashboard showed 1,883 hospitalized COVID patients, up by 432 over Sunday’s total. That’s an increase of 29.8% in just one day. The total is the highest since Feb. 1, which was during the downward trend of the winter surge in the virus, just as vaccines were first distributed. The pandemic record of 3,084 inpatients was set on Jan. 11. The new total is 11.3 times the low set on June 20 of 166 hospitalized COVID patients and 75% higher than one week ago.

Birminghamwatch.org report



Hospitals in Texas are also swamped with Covid patients




Image by David Mark from Pixabay

USA: At least 125,000 vaccine breakthrough infections, 1,400 dead

At least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 of those have died, according to data collected by NBC News.  The total number of breakthrough cases is likely higher than 125,683, since nine states, including Pennsylvania and Missouri, did not provide any information, while 11, like Florida, did not provide death and hospitalization totals. Four states gave death and hospitalization numbers, but not the full tally of cases.

NBC report


WAPO: 35,000 symptomatic Covid-19 infections per week among 162 million vaccinated Americans

Preprint: Transmission event of Delta coronavirus variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections

Here we describe a transmission of a Delta variant containing SARS-CoV-2 strain, between family members associated with events surrounding a wedding with 92 attendees, near Houston, Texas. Attendance required guests be fully vaccinated and took place outdoors in a large, open-air tent. To date, 6 individuals have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, all patients were symptomatic, one patient severely enough to receive monoclonal antibody infusion treatment (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.) and one patient has died.

Encounter timings and viral sequence similarities suggest the strain containing the Delta variant was transmitted to wedding guests from two patients travelling from India. With no history of vaccine failure in these patients, our observations suggest these are true cases of vaccine breakthrough, mediated by the Delta variant.

Full Medrxiv Preprint: Transmission event of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections 


Israel: Hebrew University study finds Pfizer vaccine just 70% effective against Delta variant


Israel: Pfizer vaccine effectiveness against coronavirus infection has dropped to just 64%


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

USA: Covid-19 can infect testes; evidence of direct infection in organ by #Coronavirus found

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have observed that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can infect the testes of infected hamsters. The findings, published in the journal Microorganisms, could help explain symptoms some men with COVID-19 have reported and have important implications for men’s health.

Some patients have reported testicular pain and some reports have shown decreases in testosterone, a key hormone produced in the testes. Autopsies have also shown significant disruption of the testes at the cellular level, including the presence of immune cells.

“Given the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to investigate how this disease can impact the testes, and the potential consequences for disease severity, reproductive health, and sexual transmission,” said Dr. Rafael Kroon Campos, the study’s lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Shannan Rossi at UTMB.

Eurekalert.org report



Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

USA: New Texas #coronavirus variant BV-1 shows signs of antibody resistance and more severe illness in young people

Scientists at Texas A&M University’s Global Health Research Complex say they’ve detected a new Covid-19 variant that shows signs of a more contagious strain that causes more severe illness and appears to be resistant to antibodies.

The new variant, BV-1, named after its Brazos Valley origin, was found during Texas A&M’s routine coronavirus screening via saliva sample in a young student who had mild cold-like symptoms. The student tested positive for Covid on March 5 and tested positive again on March 25, showing that the new strain may cause a longer infection in younger people. The student’s symptoms resolved by April 2 and a third test on April 9 came back negative.

CNBC news report


** Update** Two more new variants have been discovered by A&M – BV-2 and BV-3, named for the Brazos Valley – were recently identified from samples collected from on campus testing of students and faculty. Mandatory COVID-19 saliva testing for students living, studying, or working on the Texas A&M University campus in Bryan-College Station began back in March.

KBTX.com report


Image by Janet Reddick from Pixabay

USA: about 60 household pets confirmed positive for #coronavirus in Texas study

Researchers at Texas A&M’s Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences department have confirmed a cat and dog living in the same house have contracted the UK variant of COVID-19 B.1.1.7.  All of the animals enrolled in their study, about 450 so far, live in Brazos County and live inside homes where a human tested positive for COVID-19. About 60 animals have been confirmed with COVID-19, and a quarter of those animals showed mild symptoms like lack of energy, sneezing and diarrhea. All of the pets infected have recovered.

ABC13.com report



Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay