France: Sars-CoV-2 detected in domestic rabbits

We tested 144 pet rabbits in France between November 2020 and June 2021 for antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

We found one sample seropositive for both antigens and another positive only for RBD. For positive rabbits, at the time of sampling, no particular symptom consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted by the veterinarians.

MDPI.com study: First Evidence of Natural SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Domestic Rabbits 

 

 

 

Image by Onkel Ramirez from Pixabay

USA: White tailed deer positive for Sars-CoV-2 in New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania

Two free-ranging deer have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 in New Jersey.  Deer in six other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, also tested positive. They were tested as part of an ongoing surveillance project, the NJDEP said

In a separate report, nine of 142 (6.3%) wild deer tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in a study by the University of Minnesota.

New Jersey report from the Dailyvoice.com

Minnesota report from the University of Minnesota

 

 

 

 

Photo by Prazanthy Ramesh on Unsplash

France: Two wild badgers and three martens test positive for Sars-CoV-2

In Brittany, seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 was detected in five wild mustelids out of 32 animals tested.

In the French region of Brittany, mainly in the department of the Côtes d’Armor, during the first semester of 2021, seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 was detected in five wild mustelids out of 32 animals tested. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG against at least four out of five recombinant viral proteins (S1 receptor binding domain, nucleocapsid, S1 subunit, S2 subunit and spike) were detected using automated western blot technique in three martens (Martes martes) and two badgers (Meles meles)

All the mustelids studied lived in anthropized and non-isolated rural areas. From one or more index cases, transmission spread directly between mustelids. This is certain for the badgers from Perret, Côte d’Armor.

Biorxiv preprint: Evidence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in wild mustelids from Brittany (France) 

 

 

Cattle infected with Covid

 

 

Image by PBarlowArt from Pixabay
Image by gruberthecat from Pixabay

 

Denmark: Omicron, BA.1 and BA.2 Risk Assessment for January 2022

The full document “Risk assessment for the development of the Covid-19 epidemic” from Denmark’s SSI, dated 22nd January 2022, translated into English. Includes details of Omicron, BA.1, BA.2 infections.

 

Risk assessment for the development of the Covid-19 epidemic translated

 

The chart below is from the report:

Figure 2 shows the development in the Covid-19 related hospital occupancy per day divided into total, psychiatry, intensive care and hospitalized on a respirator. Figure 2 shows that an increasing proportion of the inpatients are patients admitted to a psychiatric ward.

SSI Risk Assessment web page (in Danish)

SSI Risk Assessment PDF download (in Danish)

 

 

 

 

Image by iris Vallejo from Pixabay

Denmark: 715 Covid deaths in the double and triple vaccinated, 607,000 breakthrough infections

From a vaccinated population of around 4.7 million people, 715 double and triple vaccinated individuals have died of Covid-19 in Denmark. There were a further 326 deaths in people with a single dose of vaccine, making a total of 1,041 breakthrough deaths.

434,803 people who have received two doses of vaccine have had breakthrough Covid infections, and 105,271 people with booster doses have also had a breakthrough infection. A further 67,749 infections in people with a single dose of vaccine, making a total of 607,823 breakthrough infections.

Breakthrough infections seem to be running at about 150,000 a week in Denmark.

 

 

 

Denmark’s SSI Breakthrough infections and vaccine efficacy report (In English and Danish)

SSI Webpage (in English)

 

Denmark: About 75% of Covid hospitalizations are fully vaccinated *13 UPDATES*

Cattle infected with Covid

Eleven cows from different farms in Germany test positive for Sars-CoV-2.

Here, we serologically investigated 1000 cattle samples collected in late 2021 in Germany. Eleven sera tested antibody-positive, indicating that cattle may be occasionally infected by contact to SARS-CoV-2-positive keepers, but there is no indication of further spreading.

All bovine samples were tested by an RBD-based multispecies ELISA performed as described previously. During the initial test validation and during an experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection study in cattle, it could be shown that the ELISA does not cross-react with the bovine coronavirus (BCoV)

Resulting double infections of individual animals could potentially lead to recombination between both viruses, a phenomenon well-described for other coronaviruses. Although, the emergence is highly unlikely due to the low susceptibility of cattle for SARS-CoV-2, a conceivable chimera between SARS-CoV-2 and BCoV could represent an additionally threat. Hence, also ruminants should be included in outbreak investigations and regular screenings should be performed to exclude any spread of new variants in the livestock population.

Biorxiv Preprint: Serological screening suggests single SARS-CoV-2 spillover events to cattle

 

UPDATE 1 – 26th January 2022:

From a separate study:

“In this study, none of the animals shed detectable infectious virus during the course of the study, while several individual animals (1 calf, 2 goats, and one rabbit) had RT–PCR positive nasal and/or oral swabs, which suggests that these animals may be minimally permissive to infection. Live virus was isolated from the trachea of one calf necropsied on 3 DPI, but no other tissues were positive in that animal, suggesting local infection of the upper respiratory tract during acute infection.”

Susceptibility of livestock to SARS-CoV-2 infection (Angela M. Bosco-Lauth et al)

 

UPDATE 2 – 26th January 2022

“Investigations on ACE2 polymorphism indicate that the list of SARS-CoV-2 susceptible species may also include the Macaca mulatta (monkey), Felis catus (cat), Canis lupus (dog), Oryctolagus cuniculus (rabbit), Mustela putorius furo (ferret), Mesocricetus auratus (hamster), Bos taurus (cow), Bubalus bubalus (buffalo), Capra hircus (goat), Ovis aries (sheep), and the Mustelidae family (minks), all found to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the virus was efficiently transmitted from one infected animal to another via respiratory droplets.”

Coronavirus Evolution, Cross-Species Transmission and Recombination

 

 

Sars-CoV-2 – checkmate to the virus in four moves

 

 

 

Photo by Doruk Yemenici on Unsplash

Preprint: 75% of Covid ICU patients report symptoms after one year

Of 246 patients who were alive 1 year following ICU treatment for COVID-19, 74.3% reported physical symptoms, 26.2% reported mental symptoms, and 16.2% reported cognitive symptoms.

Physical, mental, and cognitive symptoms were frequent 1 year after ICU treatment for COVID-19.

Jama Network Preprint: Clinical Outcomes Among Patients With 1-Year Survival Following Intensive Care Unit Treatment for COVID-19

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay

Israel: 4th vaccine dose recommended for all adults

A panel of health experts advising the Israeli cabinet on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic has recommended that a 4th vaccine dose be administered to the population over the age of 18 if at least five months passed since receiving the third jab.

Ynetnews.com report

 

 

Israel: Fourth dose of vaccine gives limited protection against Omicron infection

 

 

 

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Hong Kong: Thousands of hamsters, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs killed to prevent Covid outbreak

More than 2,000 hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and chinchillas have been euthanised after some that were imported from the Netherlands were found to be COVID-positive.

A range of small animals found in pet shops with the imported hamsters were seized and put down by authorities, including guinea pigs and rabbits.

Hong Kong authorities said Sunday that just one of over seventy hamsters handed in by pet owners for a COVID cull has tested positive, as thousands of city residents remain under lockdown to combat an outbreak.

The AseanPost.com report

 

 

 

Photo by Arif L on Unsplash

Omicron can survive longer on human skin and plastic

The Omicron COVID-19 variant can survive longer than earlier strains of the virus on plastic surfaces and human skin, new research by Japanese scientists has found.  The study by a team from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, which is not yet peer reviewed, found that the variants survived much longer than the original strain following a series of laboratory tests.

Euronews report

Biorxiv preprint: Differences in environmental stability among SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: Omicron has higher stability

 

 

 

Image by Zhivko Dimitrov from Pixabay

WHO: The end of the pandemic is plausible

The Covid-19 pandemic has entered a new phase with the Omicron variant, which could infect 60 percent of people in Europe by March, and could bring it to an end, the WHO Europe director said Sunday. “It’s plausible that the region is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame.”

 

Really? Has anyone told the virus yet?
This is Europe:

This is America:

This is South America:

This is Asia:

 

This is the WHO:

 

The WHO have played a pretty steady hand during the pandemic so far, but this statement is dumber than a bag of rocks.

 

 

Los Angeles: Just 3 weeks between Covid infection and death

Of 102 deaths in Los Angeles County reported Thursday, 90% involved people who became ill with Covid-19 after Christmas, and 80% were among those who fell ill after New Year’s Day, indicating a high likelihood of Omicron infection, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

The death toll was the highest single-day tally since March 10, 2021. It appears that people who are dying from the Omicron variant are deteriorating much quicker than those infected by earlier variants, Ferrer told reporters.

LAtimes.com report

 

 

 

 

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Serbia: 97.5% Covid positivity rate at a childrens clinic in Vranje

Thirty nine out of 40 children tested for coronavirus at the Children’s Covid Clinic in Vranje were positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, confirmed the Health Center (ZC) in Vranje. The percentage of infection is 97.5 percent. Only one child had a negative test result.

Fourteen children are of preschool age, and 25 are of school age.

Vranjenews.rs report (in Serbian)

 

 

 

Image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay

Europe: Another huge Covid wave is building right across the continent

Almost every country in Europe is now seeing a big increase in Covid cases. In many instances, the waves are already higher than the December 2021 wave.

The chart above shows the situation in Europe at the moment. The pandemic seems to have shifted into an entirely different gear. 

The chart below shows a comparison with previous Covid waves:

 

The current wave in Europe is not entirely made up of Omicron cases either. In some countries, more than 50% of cases are still Delta variant.

 

Last year’s winter wave of 2020/2021 showed signs of having had a double peak, one in November/December 2020, the other in January 2021, with a further lift in cases in March 2021, but all of them were on a much smaller scale than this new winter wave:

 

Under the circumstances, removing all Covid mitigations now, as the UK is proposing to do, would be completely insane.

 

So what can we do? Well, we can do what we should have been doing since February 2020!
  • FREE masks – FFP2 minimum
  • FREE testing
  • FREE ventilation installations, particularly schools and shops
  • Full sick pay for self-isolation of up to 14 days
  • Smaller classrooms located across communities to protect our kids
  • Working from home wherever possible
  • Less contact, reducing unnecessary interactions
  • Less meetings, less flights, less travel, less cruises, less holidays
  • Less festivals, less concerts, less sports events, less garden parties
  • Eat a better diet
  • Support each other
  • Stop hoping big pharma will bail us out – they won’t, they can’t

The virus has outsmarted us, it has outwitted us, and it’s winning hands down. It’s hardly surprising given how dimwitted and clumsy our response has been so far.

It’s a pandemic. Do we really have to wait for our fourth or fifth infection to work this simple shit out?