Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #206 8/21/22

Announcements:

First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I'm getting.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don't be shy about that.

New Posts: (I've been busy!)

CDC Abdicates Responsibility

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/979280

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Monoclonal Antibody to Prevent Malaria Shows Promise

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/979340

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Do Betadine and Colloidal Silver Inhibit Growth of Biofilms?

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/979256

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Election volunteer opportunities:

Urgent need now to recruit poll observers and judges

NOPE Neighbors: https://www.nopeneighbors.org/volunteer

Power the Vote https://www.powerthevote.org//. I'm a fellow volunteer.
Are you interested in voter protection research? Battleground states including Arizona, Michigan and Texas need help. Volunteers would work with the voter protection program directly on research tasks. Examples include: (i) calling elections offices to get information about certain election plans, so that programs know where and when to send volunteers; (ii) calling elections offices to follow up on public records requests for needed information (such as data on ballot rejections); and (iii) reviewing elections websites to ensure information is accurate and up to date. This volunteer commitment is variable and flexible, but will require an ability to make calls during election offices' business hours. Volunteers will need to be comfortable inputting information into basic spreadsheets.
**If you are interested in joining a research team, please email volunteer@powerthevote.org.** We will be in touch with more detailed information as soon as we can.

If you like calling and talking to voters, Power the Vote is assembling weekly volunteer opportunities. These are remote opportunities that you can do from home! Click on this link to find out more: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v3IQa3qeJMuLaa2MW0ObAoXltpLUyoKu0L7xhd-98zE/edit

News 

Covid:

‘Surprising’ number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 have neurologic complications

About 7% of children hospitalized with COVID-19 at major pediatric hospitals in the United States experienced a neurologic complication of some kind, even if they were otherwise healthy, a study in Pediatrics reported.

Co-author James W. Antoon, MD, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of pediatrics and hospital medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Healio that although it is well known that adults can have “serious neurologic conditions” associated with COVID-19, “the data on kids [have] been pretty minimal.”  They found:

3.8% had febrile seizures  2.3% non-febrile seizures   2.1% encephalopathy

https://www.healio.com/news/primary-care/20220816/surprising-number-of-children-hospitalized-with-covid19-have-neurologic-complications

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Monkeypox:

Could asymptomatic spread fuel the outbreak?

In the first study, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital in Paris conducted monkeypox tests on anorectal swabs that were collected as part of routine sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening in men who have sex with men (MSM), have multiple sexual partners, and are on HIV preexposure prophylaxis or treatment. The samples were collected between Jun 5 and Jul 11.

Of 200 asymptomatic people who were screened and were negative for two STIs, 13 (6.5%) were positive for monkeypox. Two of them developed monkeypox symptoms later.

The authors said it's not clear if viral shedding can lead to transmission. If so, they wrote that postexposure ring vaccination around people with probable or confirmed infections might not be enough to contain the spread of the virus.

In an editorial on the study, Stuart Isaacs, MD, with the division of infectious diseases at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote though it's not clear if the positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results signify infectious virus, it wouldn't be surprising if it did, because asymptomatic infections aren't a new finding.

"However, it raises the question of whether asymptomatic or subclinical infections are contributing to the current worldwide outbreak," he wrote.

ue to the possibility of asymptomatic spread in the current outbreaks, expanded ring vaccination will probably be needed to help curb the spread.

Isaacs emphasized that control will be successful only if vaccination is used alongside other tools such as identifying and isolating cases, making treatments available, and educating the public about ways to reduce exposure risk.

Case report describes different exposure, symptoms

Meanwhile, a newly published case study describes a patient who may have contracted the virus at a crowded gathering, which resulted in a lesion pattern that didn't involve the anogenital region. A group from the Stanford University School of Medicine published their findings yesterday in a letter to Emerging Infectious Diseases.

They said the man in his 20s sought care for a week-long vesicular rash he developed after returning from a trip to the United Kingdom, where he attended a large, crowded outdoor event that involved close contact with others, including dancing. Many attendees wore shorts and sleeveless tops. He shared an e-cigarette with a woman he met at the event.

The event wasn't specifically targeted to gay or bisexual people. And though he identifies as bisexual, he reported no sexual contacts in the United Kingdom or anywhere else during the last 3 months.

Clinical examination found multiple lesions on one of his palms, one of his lips, on the knuckles of both hands, and on his torso and back. Doctors found no penile, testicular, or anal lesions and no cervical, axial, or inguinal lymphadenopathy.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/study-heightens-concerns-about-asymptomatic-monkeypox-spread

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Pets

The Lancet this week published a report describing evidence of human-to-dog monkeypox transmission in France in a household with two positive cases. The likely human-to-animal spillover event stokes fears that, with widespread monkeypox transmission, new animal reservoirs of the virus could be established. Rodents are considered the primary animal hosts.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)01487-8/fulltext

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Introduction and Differential Diagnosis of Monkeypox in Argentina

Of note, South America is experiencing a marked increase in cases of atypical hand-foot-mouth syndrome caused by CV-A6 (8,9). Unlike the classic syndrome, this atypical variant also affects young adults and occurs in unusual regions of the body, including the genital areas, and could easily be confused with monkeypox.

we report 3 cases of monkeypox in patients in Argentina. Six additional patients in Argentina and Bolivia had monkeypox ruled out by differential diagnosis; 4 of those cases were atypical hand-foot-mouth syndrome caused by CV-A6. We recommend considering virological diagnosis of this disease in suspected cases of monkeypox. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility for misdiagnosis related to these viral infections.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/28/10/22-1075_article

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Other:

About our declining vax rate...More than 150 children dead in Zimbabwe measles outbreak

A measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has killed at least 157 children, with more than 2,000 infections reported across the country, the government said on Tuesday.

Cases have been growing rapidly in the southern African nation since authorities said the first infection was logged earlier this month, with reported deaths almost doubling in less than a week.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-08-children-dead-zimbabwe-measles-outbreak.html

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Polio found in NYC wastewater; local circulation likely

The earlier findings were linked to the virus that sickened a man from Rockland County. The Sabin-like type 2 poliovirus has also been identified in similar environmental detections in London and Jerusalem.

No link to Rockland County patient

In a separate update on wastewater sampling, NYSDOH said six positive samples of concern have been found in New York City, two from June and four from July. So far, the samples haven't been genetically linked to virus that sickened the patient in Rockland County.

Sequencing tests so far suggest the virus in New York City wastewater is either vaccine-derived poliovirus or variants of the revertant polio Sabin-like type 2 poliovirus, both of which can cause illness in people.

State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett, MD, MPH, said in the joint news release that for every paralytic polio case identified, hundreds more may be undetected." The detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming, but not surprising."

Officials warned that coverage for routine vaccinations has fallen among New York City children since 2019, putting residents at risk for outbreaks and complications from vaccine-preventable diseases. In New York City, only 86.2% of kids from 6 months to 5 years have received the recommended three doses of polio vaccine. The percentage is lower in some neighborhoods, some with vaccine coverage below 70%.

Three nations report new cases

In international developments, three countries—Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mozambique, and Yemen—reported more polio cases this week, according to the latest update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). All involved vaccine-derived poliovirus types.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/polio-found-nyc-wastewater-local-circulation-likely

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More H3N2v flu cases linked to West Virginia agricultural fair

5 cases so far; none were hospitalized, and all have recovered. So far, no human-to-human spread has been identified.

Aug 12 CDC FluView report
Aug 8 CIDRAP News 
scan

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/news-scan-aug-12-2022

Diagnostics:

Likely last chance to order free Covid tests.

special.usps.com/testkits

Multiple at-home COVID tests needed to confirm negative result

The FDA recommended that people take multiple at-home COVID-19 antigen tests to confirm a negative result, whether they have symptoms or not.

The new recommendation was based on study results collected during the omicron wave that showed repeat testing after a negative at-home antigen result increased the chances of an accurate result, the FDA said.

 According to the recommendation, “people should use multiple tests over a certain time period, such as 2 to 3 days, especially when the people using the tests don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.”

Specifically, the FDA said at least one extra test taken 48 hours later is needed to confirm a negative result in people with symptoms. People without symptoms who think they have been exposed should take at least two additional tests, at 48-hour intervals, after a negative result. People who get three negative results and remain concerned that they are infected may take a fourth test, the FDA said.

https://www.healio.com/news/infectious-disease/20220812/fda-multiple-athome-covid-tests-needed-to-confirm-negative-result

Drugs and Vaccines:

Biden administration will stop buying Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and tests as early as this fall, Jha says

you're going to see the commercialization of almost all of these products..Availability of those products would transition to the regular health-care system, Jha said, so if you need a vaccine or an antiviral treatment, you'd get it from your doctor or from a hospital.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/16/health/biden-administration-covid-19-vaccines-tests-treatments/index.html

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Which COVID boosters to take and when: a guide for the perplexed

The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines is on its way, but those shots will be looking to take a seat at an already crowded table.

On the menu in some countries this autumn will be the familiar standards — mRNA and protein vaccines based on the spike protein from the ancestral version of SARS-CoV-2, which ushered in the pandemic. Alongside them will be a smattering of new specials, including mRNA vaccines with spike sequences both from ancestral virus and from Omicron variants.

It is a luxury of choice that many countries don’t have. But the range of options, which will be available at different times, has left people wondering which vaccines to take, and when. “These are hard questions, and there are no real right answers,” says Kathryn Edwards, a paediatrician and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nature asked specialists what evidence is on hand to help make the decision.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02221-w

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Half of people in poorer countries have now received two vaccine doses against Covid-19, a global vaccine alliance said Thursday, hailing progress in closing the vaccine equity gap.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-08-covid-jab-coverage-poorer-countries.html?

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, did not meet the primary objective of improving oxygen levels, but it did slightly lower the odds that a patient would develop severe COVID,

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https://twitter.com/NobodyImpawtant/status/1560579765223886848?s=20&t=MwSXtakIRnPPWWVrX_u_rQ

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Monkeypox

Racial disparities in vaccine administration

As with Covid... data from New York City show racial disparities among monkeypox vaccine recipients, especially in the Black community. Black vaccine recipients have gotten only 12% of doses yet make up 31% of those eligible for vaccination.

NYC Health said it's adding mobile vaccination units and increased resources in community clinics to address this issue.

Devices:

Study suggests test-to-stay COVID-19 strategy in schools was effective

"We estimated one additional school-acquired case for every 21 TTS participants remaining in school buildings during the entire study period," the authors concluded. "Based on our data, a TTS approach allows more students and staff to remain in the classroom, with a modest increase in subsequent infections in optionally masked settings, even during the circulation of a highly transmissible variant."
Aug 16 Pediatrics 
study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/news-scan-aug-17-2022

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Healthcare workers wearing respirators 40% less likely to contract COVID

A study of more than 2,900 healthcare workers (HCWs) shows that those who wore a respirator were more than 40% less likely to be infected with COVID-19 than those wearing a surgical mask.

Aug 15 JAMA Netw Open research letter

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/news-scan-aug-16-2022

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Epidemiology/Infection control:

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Public transportation workers see high COVID-19 incidence, death rates

According to the authors, 340 COVID-19 outbreaks, 5,641 outbreak-associated cases, and 537 COVID-19–associated deaths occurred in public transportation industries in California.

Outbreak incidence was 5.2 times higher, and mortality was 1.8 times higher in bus and urban transit industries than in all other industries. The cumulative outbreak incidence for all public transportation industries (35.3 outbreaks per 1,000 establishments) was 1.4 times higher than the average for all industries.

..."Regardless of whether exposures occur from interactions with the public, coworkers, or other sources, these observations indicate that public transportation workers represent a vulnerable group who should be prioritized for COVID-19 prevention strategies."
Aug 19 MMWR study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/covid-19-scan-aug-19-2022

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ANYWHERE BUT HERE

China now insists the pandemic didn’t start within its borders. Its scientists are publishing a flurry of papers pointing the finger elsewhere.

[Fascinating story in Science 18 AUG 2022 BYJON COHEN]

...Its goal is to avoid being blamed for the pandemic in any way, says Filippa Lentzos, a sociologist at King’s College London who studies biological threats and health security. “China just doesn’t want to look bad,” she says. “They need to maintain an image of control and competence. And that is what goes through everything they do.”

Police closed the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan in January 2020, shortly after

https://www.science.org/content/article/pandemic-start-anywhere-but-here-argue-papers-chinese-scientists-echoing-party-line

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https://twitter.com/TheAngryEpi/status/1560370338352885760?s=20&t=9-wMosGtyL_QaN5Q5aHTiA

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Long Covid:

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Monkeypox

Evidence of monkeypox virus found on household surfaces

study today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows multiple surface sites testing positive for monkeypox virus genetic material in a household of two people infected with monkeypox in Utah.

The two case-patients, who acquired the disease while traveling internationally, had isolated at home for 20 days before their home was entered for sampling by officials from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (UDHHS). Agents collected samples from 30 objects in nine areas of the home.

Of the 30 specimens, 21 (70%) yielded positive real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results, indicating the presence of monkeypox virus DNA. The swabbed areas included those from all three porous items (cloth furniture and blankets), 17 of 25 (68%) nonporous surfaces (handles and switches), and one of two mixed-surface types (chairs).

The investigators attempted to grow live virus in the lab from PCR-positive samples but noted, "No specimen yielded a positive viral culture result."

The contamination occurred despite the patients reporting showering once or twice each day, performing hand hygiene approximately 10 times daily, laundering bedding and clothing weekly, and performing routine household cleaning, such as mopping and daily use of a multi-surface spray on most high-contact surfaces, the authors said.

Though transmission is primarily driven by close, skin-to-skin contact, this study suggests fomite transmission (from inanimate objects) is possible.

"Persons living in or visiting the home of someone with monkeypox should follow appropriate precautions against indirect exposure and transmission by wearing a well-fitting mask, avoiding touching possibly contaminated surfaces, maintaining appropriate hand hygiene, avoiding sharing eating utensils, clothing, bedding, or towels, and following home disinfection recommendations," the authors concluded.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/08/evidence-monkeypox-virus-found-household-surfaces

The US total now stands at 14,115 cases, after 598 more cases were confirmed yesterday.

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And in another study,

These findings indicate that porous surfaces (e.g., bedding, clothing) may pose more of a MPXV exposure risk than nonporous surfaces (e.g., metal, plastic). Viable MPXV was detected on household surfaces after at least 15 days. However, low titers (<102 PFU) indicate a limited potential for indirect transmission.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/28/10/22-1047_article

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Very disturbing article:

Other

 

Tips, general reading for public:

Ventilate.

Mask.

Vax.

Politics:

Covid:

Great idea:

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CDC:

Abortion/Reproductive rights

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J6/TFG/Weisselberg:

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https://twitter.com/AmoneyResists/status/1561020019525521409?s=20&t=9-wMosGtyL_QaN5Q5aHTiA

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Border wall:

Election:

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Biden:

GOP:

Infrastructure:

Books Bans:

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[see Florida, below, for more]

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Censorship and Privacy/Security:

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Climate change:

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LGBTQ:

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Racism/Extremism:

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Unions/Big Biz:

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All produced w public funding--a travesty

Florida:

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Pennsylvania:

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Feel good du jour:

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https://twitter.com/buitengebieden/status/1558817960801730565?s=20&t=9-wMosGtyL_QaN5Q5aHTiA

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Comic relief:

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Perspective/Poem

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Bits of beauty:


 

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