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

Slovakia: The Sputnik V #coronavirus vaccine batches used in the preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as the vaccine batches imported into Slovakia

The vaccine batches used in the preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as the vaccine batches imported into Slovakia. According to published reports, Sputnik V should be used in about 40 countries around the world, but these vaccines are only associated with the name. The comparability and consistency of different batches produced at different locations has not been demonstrated. In several cases, they appear to be vaccines with different properties (lyophilisate versus solution, single-dose ampoules versus multi-dose vials, different storage conditions, composition and method of manufacture).

The assessment of quality, efficacy and safety is always performed separately for a specific vaccine in a specific pharmaceutical form and composition. Therefore, information on the use of Sputnik V in other countries cannot be applied to batches of vaccine imported into Slovakia.

Spravy.pravda.sk report

 

Image by Lubos Houska 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

EMA: Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the Astrazeneca vaccine

European Medicines Agency (EMA), the corona vaccine from the manufacturer Astra-Zeneca can cause severe allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the vaccine citing , the EMA said on Friday, several such cases in the UK.

FAZ.net report

 

Image by torstensimon from Pixabay

B.1.258∆, a #SARSCoV2 variant with ∆H69/∆V70 in the Spike protein circulating in the #Czech Republic and #Slovakia

We analyzed SARS-CoV-2 samples collected from various regions of Slovakia between November and December 2020 that were presumed to contain the B.1.1.7 variant due to traveling history of the virus carriers or their contacts. Sequencing of these isolates revealed that although in some cases the samples were indeed confirmed as B.1.1.7, a substantial fraction of isolates contained another ∆H69/∆V70 carrying mutant belonging to the lineage B.1.258, which has been circulating in Central Europe since August 2020, long before the import of B.1.1.7. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the early sublineage of B.1.258 acquired the N439K substitution in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike protein and, later on, also the deletion ∆H69/∆V70 in the Spike N-terminal domain (NTD). This variant is particularly common in several European countries including Czech Republic and Slovakia, and we propose to name it B.1.258∆.

 

 Image by LionFive from Pixabay