The waxing and waning of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe shows new danger areas emerging

Europe has seen major changes in coronavirus case rates over the last two months. In many areas of Europe covid case rates have dropped sufficiently to allow restrictions to be eased, but there are notable exceptions. The Covid-19 rate in Spain now appears to be as bad, if not worse, than two months ago, and the Netherlands has seen a dramatic increase in numbers recently.

In the case of both Spain and the Netherlands, the rates increased following the decision to unlock their countries too quickly, and in both cases those decisions have had to reversed within weeks.  Greece too appears to be seeing a new wave, and these areas now represent the largest threat to Europe’s strategy to keeping infection rates down.

Data maps courtesy of ECDC

 

Spain: 5th wave of coronavirus storms across the country, curfews set to be reintroduced

 

Netherlands: the reproduction R rate is now 2.17 – the highest since February 2020

Germany: Delta #coronavirus infections double in one week

In Germany, the proportion of Delta variant infections is growing significantly.  In a sample, it almost doubled compared to the previous week to 15.1 percent, according to a report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The information refers to the week from June 7th to 13th.

According to the RKI, Delta has been detected in all federal states in the past four weeks. Information from the reporting system was available for around 1,440 cases during this period, it said. The absolute number of weekly delta cases has increased since the 21st reporting week, from around 270 to around 470 in the 23rd reporting week.

Zeit.de report (in German)

 

 

Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay

Angela Merkel: quarantine the British to prevent Delta #coronavirus variant

Angela Merkel has only just returned from the G7 summit in Britain where there was virtually NO social distancing*, NO masks, NO vaccine requirement and NO quarantine on return. Worse, the G7 superspreader event left a massive surge of Delta variant cases in its wake in Cornwall.

Quote: “Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for other European countries follow Germany’s lead and ensure arrivals from badly affected ‘Delta variant areas’ complete a mandatory quarantine.

“In our country, if you come from Great Britain, you have to go into quarantine – and that’s not the case in every European country, and that’s what I would like to see,” Merkel said. “

TheLocal.de report

*Note: There are over 50 people on the beach alone in the photo of the G7 barbecue when the maximum allowed by law was just 30 people.

 

Human and viral protein impurities found in AstraZeneca’s #coronavirus vaccine

“Researchers in Germany report substantial amounts of human and viral proteins in AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. Although the study is not yet peer reviewed, it suggests that these impurities could be linked to the strong reaction seen in many people two to three days after their jab. The preprint also states that it is conceivable, albeit doubtful, that these proteins could be linked to rare blood-clotting events.

The study’s lead researcher, Stefan Kochanek from Ulm University, says he was surprised by the quantities of proteins detected by mass spectrometry in three vaccine lots. ‘At least half of the proteins present in the vaccine are of human origin,’ Kochanek says. One vaccine lot contained about 12.5μg of virus in one dose and about 22μg of non-virus proteins.”

ChemistryWorld.com article

Research letter: Process-related impurities in the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccine

 

 

Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

UK: Delta with K417N – the “mountaineers” variant – PHE #coronavirus Delta-AY.1 update

Of the 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 (mountaineers) variant, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS). 

“Through routine scanning of variation in Delta a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA. There is limited epidemiological information available at present.

International Epidemiology
As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).

Epidemiology
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed sequencing and 1 probable genotyping) plus an additional 10 sequences which include some cases in other UK nations and some genomes for which case data is being sought. The first 5 cases were sequenced on 26 April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey. All these cases were detected in the West Midlands. Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England (Table 21, Figure 26). The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over (Figure 27). Out of the 36 cases, there were 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 cases amongst contacts of travellers). Twelve cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers. Countries of travel included red-list countries (Nepal and Turkey), amber-list countries (Malaysia) and green-list countries (Singapore).

Of the 36 cases, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), when linked on NHS number. Of these, 18 cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated, 2 cases in people who had received their first dose within 21 days of specimen date, 5 cases in people who had received their  first dose more than 21 days after specimen date. There was a total of 2 cases where there were more than 14 days between the second dose of vaccine and a positive specimen. No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.”

PHE download – SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England  – Technical briefing 15 (PDF)

 

UK: The “mountaineers variant” – B.1.617.2 with K417N mutation

 

UK: “Everest climbers could have spread potentially more infectious and vaccine resistant’ variant

 

 

Image by Simon from Pixabay

Sars-Cov-2 #coronavirus for sale online in project financed by the European Commission

Wuhan Institute of Virology viruses for sale – Zika virus at just $500! Add them to your shopping trolley today if you are a “trusted partner”!

  • Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus ($2,000)
  • Zika Virus ($500)
  • Chikungunya virus ($2,000)
  • Human Herpesvirus 1 & 2 ($2,000)
  • Human enteroviruses ($2,000)

Available from other vendors:

  • SARS-CoV Frankfurt 1 RNA ($500)
  • SARS-CoV-2 isolates including B.1.1.7, B.1.351 etc ($2000)

 

EVAg – European Virus Archive – Global

EVAg is an infrastructure project financed by the European Commission.

 

Germany: PEI reports 42 cases of CVST, 23 Thrombocytopenia, 8 dead after AstraZeneca VaxZevria #coronavirus vaccination

“As of April 2, 2021, 42 cases of a central venous / sinus vein thrombosis reported after vaccination with Vaxzevria.  In 23 Thrombocytopenia has also been reported in cases.

In one case where post mortem a central sinus vein thrombosis with cerebral hemorrhage was found, the platelet count could no longer be reliably determined. With the exception of seven cases, they affected all others. Cases in women aged 20 to 63 years. The men were 24 to 58 Year old. Eight patients (5 women, 3 men) died.

For some of the patients who have had post-vaccination sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia, high platelet antibodies  were found which are common with the clinical picture of a disease similar to an autoimmune one Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (aHIT). And a HIT Thromboses can also occur without the administration of heparin.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute has numerically more case reports from Sinus vein thrombosis after vaccination with Vaxzevria in women before (83.3% vs. 16.7%), whereby young women were particularly often affected. However, according to the information provided by Robert Koch Institute, women were also vaccinated more often than men. There were significantly more cases for women aged 20-59 years observed than expected based on the background incidence.”

Report download (PDF):  Suspected side effects and vaccination complications after vaccination to protect against COVID-19 (Verdachtsfälle von Nebenwirkungen und Impfkomplikationen nach Impfung zum Schutz vor COVID-19)

 

Image by Michael Siebert from Pixabay
 

EU: ECHR throws fuel on the #coronavirus vaccination fire – backs mandatory jabs for kids

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that democratic governments can make vaccinations obligatory, in a landmark judgement rejecting complaints brought by Czech families penalised for refusing compulsory jabs for their children.

“The… measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society'” the court ruled, saying that the Czech health policy was consistent with the “best interests” of children.

Our opinion: ** Is there an easier or quicker way of antagonising parents in the middle of a global viral pandemic than encouraging mandatory vaccinations? We can’t think of one. Expect severe blowback **

MedicalExpress.com report

 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Rapid rise of #coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spike mutation T478K found in Mexico and several European countries

We report the distribution of the Spike mutation S:T478K and its recent growth in prevalence in the SARS-CoV-2 population. While there is currently no report of association of this variant with clinical features, S:T478K’s rapid growth may indicate an increased adaption of SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying it, particularly lineage B.1.1.222.

The distribution of this mutation is higher in North America, but we could detect it also in several European countries. The location of S:T478K in the interaction complex with human ACE2 may affect the affinity with human cells and therefore influence viral infectivity.

We detected this growth starting at the beginning of 2021, and S:T478K is, at the time of writing (March 26, 2021) characterizing almost 2.0% of all sequenced SARS-CoV-2

An in silico molecular dynamics study on the protein structure of Spike has predicted that the T478K mutation, substituting a non-charged amino acid (Threonine) with a positive one (Lysine) may significantly alter the electrostatic surface of the protein, and therefore the interaction with ACE2, drugs or antibodies, and that the effect can be increased if combined by other co-occurring Spike mutations.

Another experiment showed that T478K and T478R mutants were enriched when SARS-CoV-2 viral cultures were tested against weak neutralizing antibodies, highlighting, at least in vitro, a possible genetic route the virus can follow to escape immune recognition. Everything considered, we believe that the continued genetical and clinical monitoring of S:T478K and other Spike mutations is of paramount importance to better understand COVID-19 and be able to better counteract its future developments.

Biorxiv preprint

 

Image by Makalu from Pixabay

Germany: no second AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccination for under 60’s – mRNA recommended instead

The German Standing Vaccination Commission recommends that people under the age of 60 for a should receive an RNA vaccine such as that from BioNTech for their second vaccination.

It will be recommended “that these people receive their second, so-called heterologous, vaccination with an RNA vaccine such as BioNTech. Animal experiment data show that the immune reaction is the same after heterologous vaccination,” said the head of the Standing Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens, in an interview with the news magazine Spiegel.

Zeit.de report

RKI announcement

Germany: 9 dead, 31 cases of sinus vein thrombosis after vaccination with AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccine

By March 29, 2021, 31 cases of sinus vein thrombosis after vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) were reported to the Paul Ehrlich Institute as part of the spontaneous recording. Thrombocytopenia was also reported in 19 cases. The outcome was fatal in nine cases.

With the exception of two cases, all reports concerned women aged 20 to 63 years. The two men were 36 and 57 years old. The very rare cases of cerebral vein thrombosis were only reported to the Paul Ehrlich Institute after the first vaccination.

Paul Ehrlich Institute report

 

 

Berlin and Munich stop #coronavirus vaccination with Astrazeneca vaccine for under 60’s – rest of Germany likely to follow

First, as a precaution, Berlin and Munich suspended the vaccinations with AstraZeneca for under 60-year-olds. Now the Standing Vaccination Commission will probably change its age recommendations for the preparation.

According to a draft resolution, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) wants to change its recommendations for the use of AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine. The Stiko Corona vaccinations with AstraZeneca only recommend for women and men over 60 in Germany.

The Berlin clinics Charité and Vivantes had previously announced the vaccination ban with reference to cases of cerebral vein thrombosis. Charité spokeswoman Manuela Zingl said “From the Charité’s point of view, this step is necessary because further cerebral vein thromboses in women in Germany have become known in the meantime.”

Spiegel.de report

 

Image by Brigitte makes custom works from your photos, thanks a lot from Pixabay

Germany #coronavirus: Angela Merkel announces “super lockdown” for Easter

The German federal and state governments decide to tighten the five-day Easter lockdown.

From April 1st to 5th inclusive, i.e. from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday, public, economic and private life is to be largely shut down. The lockdown to combat the corona pandemic will be extended to April 18.

According to the decision, gatherings in public spaces are generally prohibited during this period. Where outside catering is already open, it has to be closed again for these five days. Churches and religious communities are asked to only make online offers for believers at Easter. Only vaccination and test centers should remain open.

Stern.de report

 

Image by herb1979 from Pixabay

EMA: If you have these symptoms after vaccination with AstraZeneca #coronavirus serum seek medical help immediately

“Wheezing, chest or stomach pain, swelling or coldness in an arm or leg, severe headache or worsening or blurred vision after vaccination, persistent bleeding, small multiple bruises, reddish or purplish spots or blisters of blood under the skin” – if you have these symptoms after vaccination against Covid with AstraZeneca serum seek medical help immediately and report that you have recently been vaccinated.

Il Giorno report

 

Image by Usman Yousaf from Pixabay