Coronavirus Tidbits #151 8/1/21

Quick links

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.

Politics Trumping Science Is Increasingly Disheartening

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/955487 and

Summer, Saltwater, And Sickness From Vibrio

Untreatable, Drug-Resistant Fungus (C. auris) Found in Texas and Washington, DC

 

News 

New Covid cases reported on July 23, 2020 => 70,006

New Covid cases reported on July 23, 2021 => 81,732

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Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Vermont & Florida have banned schools from requiring masks.

#Texas passed #NewYork in #COVID19 deaths

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Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

ACOG and SMFM Recommend COVID-19 Vaccination for Pregnant Individuals

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM),

Data from tens of thousands of pregnant people show vaccines are safe during pregnancy, but a COVID infection puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe complications & death. Only about 22% of pregnant people have received one or more doses of the COVID vaccine.

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Vaccine effective for elderly in Brazil facing COVID-19 Gamma variant

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being widely used in Brazil and elsewhere in response to an epidemic wave of the SARS-CoV-2 Gamma (P1) variant, affords significant protection to the elderly when the vaccine’s full two-dose schedule is completed.

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Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

To stop a pandemic in its tracks, coordinate across borders

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After many months of zero or few pediatric COVID cases, we are seeing infants, children, and teens with COVID pouring back into the hospital, more and more each day. These patients ranged in age from 2 weeks old to 17 years.

COVID admissions in our medical center are up 500% and currently 80% of cases in our hospital are due to the highly contagious Delta variant. I worry that the Delta variant, in addition to being more contagious, *may* also be more virulent in children.

This time around I’m seeing more COVID pneumonia in younger children (previously was seeing COVID pneumonia mainly in tweens and up), now seeing in neonates to preschoolers.

So we are on the front end of a huge COVID surge. But the difference this time compared to previous surges is we are simultaneously dealing with an unheard of summertime #RSV surge-creating a “surge upon surge” situation.

This year the virus made a resurgence in the summertime, when children’s hospitals have lighter staffing. We are now having winter-level patient volumes of acutely ill infants/toddlers with RSV and I worry that we will run out of beds and staff to handle the surge upon surge.

To help handle the predicted sustained increased patient volume and high acuity of cases, my pediatric colleagues and I are all being called to work mandatory overtime shifts in the coming months.

Some children admitted this time have co-infection with COVID plus other viruses such as RSV which could definitely make them sicker, we didn’t see much COVID/RSV co-infection during prior waves and we worry what this combination of viruses could look like.

We know from prior waves that MIS-C typically lags behind the acute COVID cases by a few weeks. Children who have mild/asymptomatic COVID absolutely can and do go on to later develop MIS-C. When the #MISC cases start coming they will add to the high volume/high acuity situation.

We continue to see sustained high volume of pediatric mental health crisis admissions, further contributing to the high patient volumes as psychiatric hospitals that accept children remain full.

All pediatric COVID patients I cared for this week were unvaccinated, some because they are not yet eligible due to age and some were eligible to receive it but had not been vaccinated yet. All family members >12 should vaccinate to protect younger family members.

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Survey on vaccinating children:

Findings from the surveys were published in the Journal of Pediatrics (U.S.) and Vaccine (NYC).

The survey was conducted in a sample of 2,074 U.S. and 1,119 NYC parents in March and April of 2021 as vaccine roll-out among adults was expanding. Among all U.S. parents surveyed, only 49 percent reported planning to vaccinate their youngest child when a Covid-19 vaccine is approved for children, while 26 percent of parents said they were unsure and 25 percent said they will not vaccinate their child.

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No particular risk of infection of Sar-Cov-2 from cash

Fear of contagion is driving much more contactless payments during the pandemic. It wouldn’t be necessary.

How long do coronaviruses remain infectious on banknotes and coins? Is it possible to become infected through contact with cash? Experts at the European Central Bank, in collaboration with the Department of Medical and Molecular Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, wanted to clarify this question. The researchers led by Professor Eike Steinmann and Dr. Daniel Todt developed a method specifically to test how many infectious virus particles can be transferred from cash to the skin in real-life conditions. Conclusion: under realistic conditions, the risk of contracting Sars-Cov-2 from cash is very low. The study has been published in the journal iScience from 26 July 2021.

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in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

Samples were obtained opportunistically as part of wildlife damage management activities conducted by APHIS Wildlife Services across 32 counties in the 4 states. These samples were tested at APHIS’ National Wildlife Research Center and National Veterinary Services Laboratories. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33% of the 481 samples collected from January 2020 through 2021. None of the deer populations surveyed showed signs of clinical illness associated with SARS-CoV-2.

It is important to note that this surveillance was designed to determine exposure of deer to SARS-CoV-2 in their natural environment. It was not designed to determine whether the deer were replicating and shedding SARS-CoV-2.

… Studying the susceptibility of certain mammals, such as deer, to SARS-CoV-2 helps to identify species that may serve as reservoirs or hosts for the virus, as well as understand the origin of the virus, and predict its impacts on wildlife and the risks of cross-species transmission.

Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Politics:

According to the cybersecurity firm CynergisTek’s annual report of over 1,000 hospitals, 76% of healthcare systems failed on supply chain security.

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Feel good du jour:

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https://twitter.com/CBSSunday/status/1416761294158536709?s=20

Comic relief:

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Perspective/Poem

https://twitter.com/SimonChapman6/status/1419405083070980097?s=20

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Bits of beauty:

 

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