We describe 3 instances of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission despite medical masks and eye protection, including transmission despite the source person being masked, transmission despite the exposed person being masked, and transmission despite both parties being masked. Whole genome sequencing confirmed perfect homology between source and exposed persons’ viruses in all cases.
New evidence shows that patients with Long COVID syndrome continue to have higher measures of blood clotting, which may help explain their persistent symptoms, such as reduced physical fitness and fatigue. The study, led by researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, is published in Opens in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
The researchers examined 50 patients with symptoms of Long COVID syndrome to better understand if abnormal blood clotting is involved.
They discovered that clotting markers were significantly elevated in the blood of patients with Long COVID syndrome compared with healthy controls. These clotting markers were higher in patients who required hospitalisation with their initial COVID-19 infection, but they also found that even those who were able to manage their illness at home still had persistently high clotting markers.
Individuals with COVID-19 took longer to return to their resting heart rate (RHR), sleep and activity baselines compared with symptomatic individuals who were COVID-19 negative. This difference was most marked for RHR, with COVID-19–positive individuals initially experiencing a transient bradycardia followed by a prolonged relative tachycardia that did not return to baseline, on average, until 79 days after symptom onset. A small subset of COVID-19–positive participants maintained an RHR more than 5 beats per minute greater than their baseline RHR that did not return to their normal for more than 133 days.
Key results: Biological markers of brain injury, neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s correlate strongly with the presence of neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Individuals experiencing cognitive decline post-COVID-19 infection were more likely to have low blood oxygen following brief physical exertion as well as poor overall physical condition.
“These new data point to disturbing trends showing COVID-19 infections leading to lasting cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer’s symptoms,” said Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association vice president of medical and scientific relations. “With more than 190 million cases and nearly 4 million deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has devastated the entire world. It is imperative that we continue to study what this virus is doing to our bodies and brains. The Alzheimer’s Association and its partners are leading, but more research is needed.”
Hospitalizations in areas of Japan with many coronavirus infections could in principle be limited to patients with severe symptoms and those at high risk of developing them, while people not hospitalized would basically be required to recover at home, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on Aug. 2.
People admitted to hotels for recuperation would be limited only to people who are thought to have circumstances that suggest they could spread the coronavirus with others at home.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga decided that only patients with severe cases of COVID-19 can be admitted to hospital, making a policy U-turn. The government had previously said that all patients except for those with mild coughing symptoms should be hospitalized in principle.
US President Joe Biden says Covid long haulers will have access to disability protections – the first world leader to do the right thing on this issue. After yesterday’s video conference with Survivor_Corps where long Covid survivors and their families gave extraordinarily harrowing accounts of their situations (see below), let’s hope Joe Biden is as good as his word. We are all soldiers in a war against an unseen enemy that has taken millions of lives already, with millions more to come. Let’s leave no soldier behind.
Bad news from the Gupta Lab who have been looking at the Delta variant.
“Taking replication we originally showed increased growth of Delta virus in vitro using airway organoids compared to Alpha. Now we show increased virus production in two other systems: Calu-3 epithelial lung cell lines (shown here) and airway epithelial cells”
“We now further define Delta immune evasion using a panel of 38 monoclonal antibodies, showing significant loss of potency of NTD and RBD targeting antibodies. Imdevimab, part of the REGN2 dual monoclonal antibody cocktail is compromised by Delta.”
“We also show loss of activity for casivirimab, part of the Lily dual therapy cocktail. These dual therapies could be less effective against Delta particularly in the setting of immune compromise could lead to escape variants emerging/ transmitting.”
“We also found that the Delta virus appears to be in a predominantly cleaved form as compared to Alpha. This may suggest that each virus particle is more infectious in addition to more virus particles being produced“
Dr Nameet Jerath, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Intensive Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, said most children previously infected with coronavirus have had mild Covid, but stressed that even those who were asymptomatic are having prolonged low grade fevers, weakness, headache even after recovery.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder-Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, said that children are facing the issue of brain fogging and are unable to remember what they studied.
“They do not have much energy left, are stressed, anxious. Parents might confuse brain fogging with children trying to make excuses to not study or attend online classes, but these are real symptoms,” he said.
Bajaj also said that in children who had severe Covid, symptoms like shortness of breath, developing severe heart rate even while going to toilet, severe headaches were found.
“These symptoms were found to be persisting for three to four months,” he added.
Yesterday Anthony Fauci, MD, the chief White House medical adviser and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and said he stands by the CDC and FDA’s assertion that the current available data do not support the need for boosters.
“Given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot, a boost, superimposed upon the two doses you get with the mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine) and the one dose you get with (Johnson & Johnson),” he said.
The UK JCVI’s interim advice, based on existing evidence, is to offer COVID-19 booster vaccines to the most vulnerable, starting from September 2021. The booster programme will aim to provide additional resilience against variants, and maximise protection in those who are the most vulnerable to serious disease from COVID-19 ahead of the winter months, when there is increased pressure on the NHS as non-COVID-19 emergency demand is at its highest.
A booster dose would be offered to groups in 2 stages and, if possible, delivered alongside the annual influenza vaccination. In the first stage, a booster would be offered to:
- adults aged 16 years and over who are immunosuppressed
- those living in residential care homes for older adults
all adults aged 70 years or over
- adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable
- frontline health and social care workers
As soon as practicable after the first stage, the second stage would see a booster offered to:
- all adults aged 50 years and over
- adults aged 16 to 49 years who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at-risk group
- and adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
Doctors from Imperial College London and the Medical University of Warsaw have published a letter online in the journal Gut, exploring the use of stool transplants to treat COVID-19 infection, after they used the procedure in two patients for another bacterial infection.
As well as being infected with Clostridioides difficile (a bacterial gut infection), both patients also happened to have COVID-19 infection, the symptoms of which cleared up rapidly after the stool transplant. Furthermore, while SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) may be detectable in stool for prolonged periods after the infection, researchers found that the virus was no longer detectable within stool after an apparently shorter period than is typically found.
The first case involved an 80 year old who had pneumonia and sepsis (blood poisoning) on top of recurrent C difficile infection. Symptoms indicative of COVID-19 infection, including fever, were confirmed by a positive swab test. He was given remdesivir and plasma containing antibodies to SARS-CoV2 (‘convalescent plasma’): so far, there’s little evidence that either of these treatments work to any great degree in helping the infection to resolve more quickly. Unexpectedly, two days after the transplant, his COVID-19 symptoms cleared up without further worsening of his pneumonia.
The second case involved a 19-year-old with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis) who was being treated with immunosuppressant drugs. He was admitted to hospital because of recurrent C difficile infection. He was treated with antibiotics and given a stool transplant to prevent further recurrence. Fifteen hours later, he developed a suspected COVID-19 infection, which was confirmed by a positive swab test. Subsequently, other than two isolated episodes of fever, his COVID-19 symptoms cleared up. This second patient was not given any other medication to specifically treat his COVID-19.
The stool samples used for the transplant had been tested for SARS-CoV-2, as were both patients on admission. All the tests came back negative.
The Oakland Zoo in California has vaccinated tigers, Black bears, Grizzly bears, mountain lions and ferrets against COVID-19 this week and is poised to inoculate chimpanzees, fruit bats and pigs. The animals are being given experimental doses of the Zoetis vaccine, said Dr. Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at Oakland Zoo. The company is donating 11,000 doses to 70 zoos across the United States.
Covid-19 significantly changes the size and stiffness of red and white blood cells – sometimes over months. These results may help to explain why some affected people continue to complain of symptoms long after an infection (long covid).
Shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches: some patients still struggle with the long-term effects of a severe infection by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus after six months or more. This post Covid-19 syndrome, also called long covid (also post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 or PASC), is still not properly understood. What is clear is that — during the course of the disease — often blood circulation is impaired, dangerous vascular occlusions can occur and oxygen transport in is limited. These are all phenomena in which the blood cells and their physical properties play a key role.
To investigate this aspect, a team of scientists led by Markéta Kubánková, Jochen Guck, and Martin Kräter from the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL), the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the German Centre for Immunotherapy measured the mechanical states of red and white blood cells. “We were able to detect clear and long-lasting changes in the cells — both during an acute infection and even afterwards,” reports Professor Guck, currently managing director of MPL. The research group has now published their results in the renowned journal “Biophysical Journal“.
“What’s been happening over the last year and a half is, people that are trying to tell the truth, people that are trying to get answers, are having a hard time getting their truths communicated, without being vilified, without being ridiculed, without being censored.”
The Republican senator’s Monday news conference in Milwaukee allowed people from around Wisconsin and the country, tell their stories and express concerns he said have been “repeatedly ignored” by the medical community.
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