Coronavirus Tidbits #195 6/5/22

Quick links

News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty

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.

Post:

Medicines For Monkeypox – Antivirals And Vaccines Are Available

While monkeypox is spreading globally, there is no need for the level of alarm that we had with Covid-19. Why? First, monkeypox is not nearly as transmissible as Covid and requires close contact. There is a <10% household transmission. Second, is that we have several medicines and vaccines at our disposal. The first case of monkeypox in this outbreak was noted on May 6. Since then, it has traveled globally, with the UK, Spain, and Portugal in the lead, followed by others, including Canada and Germany. https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/05/28/medicines-for-monkeypoxantivirals-and-vaccines-are-available/

News 

Covid:

Kiddie vaccine in sight!

Pfizer filing sets scene for FDA consideration

Pfizer and BioNTech said yesterday that they have finished submitting an application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use their COVID-19 vaccine in kids ages 6 months through 4 years old, according to the Washington Post.

The developments sets the scene for FDA vaccine advisers to consider the application on Jun 15, when they will also consider an EUA for the Moderna vaccine in kids ages 6 months through 5 years old.

Pfizer’s EUA submission comes in the wake of findings about 2 weeks ago that found strong efficacy and good tolerability for a three-dose regimen of a child-sized dose in young children. In February, the companies abruptly delayed the EUA application for the vaccine in youngsters after a two-dose regimen showed underwhelming immune response in kids ages 2 and older, suggesting that three doses would be better.

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Study says dogs 97% sensitive at detecting COVID-19 in patients

Compared with reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, dogs can detect COVID-19 infections via scent with high sensitivity (97%)-though lower specificity (91%)-even when patients are asymptomatic, according to a study in PLOS One yesterday.

The study authors conclude, “Our results show the excellent sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 detection by dogs using nasopharyngeal RT-PCR as the reference for comparison. These results are consistent with the results obtained previously in proof of concepts studies using sweat in hospitalized patients.”

The authors cite four studies conducted in 2020 and 2021, but an additional study published just last month demonstrated how trained dogs can detect COVID-19 in airline travelers.
Jun 1 PLOS One study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/06/news-scan-jun-02-2022

~ ~ ~

COVID-19 superspreader events found to originate from small number of carriers

by American Institute of Physics  MAY 31, 2022

Among several infectious disease terms to enter the public lexicon, superspreading events continue to make headlines years after the first cases of the COVID-19 pandemic. How features of the SARS-CoV2 virus lead to some events becoming superspreading events while leaving others relatively benign remains unresolved.

In Physics of Fluids, researchers in Canada and the United States created a model to connect what biologists have learned about COVID-19 superspreading with how such events have occurred in the real world. They used real-world occupancy data from more than 100,000 places where people gather across 10 U.S. cities to test several features ranging from viral loads to the occupancy and ventilation of social contact settings.

They found that 80% of infections occurring at superspreading events arose from only 4% of those who were carrying the virus into the event, called index cases. The top feature driving the wide variability in superspreading events was the number of viral particles found in index cases, followed by the overall occupancy in social contact settings.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-covid-superspreader-events-small-carriers.html

~ ~ ~

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: Pregnancy Misinformation 

There have been reports of widespread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and its effects on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and fertility. With pregnant women excluded from initial COVID-19 vaccine trials and conflicting early messages about whether they should get the vaccine, vaccination uptake among those who were pregnant lagged that of adults overall. Though the CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people, the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds that one in seven adults (14%) have heard that pregnant women should not get the COVID-19 vaccine and believe it to be true, rising to nearly one in four (24%) among women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

The CDC also recommends COVID-19 vaccines for those who are breastfeeding, though about one in ten adults (10%) and about one in six women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (17%) say they have heard and believe that it is unsafe for women who are breastfeeding to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Another 7% of adults overall, rising to 16% of women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, say they have heard and believe that the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to cause infertility.

https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/poll-finding/kff-covid-19-vaccine-monitor-pregnancy-misinformation-may-2022/

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

2/ All autopsies were performed & samples collected within 24 hours of death. “SARS CoV-2 can replicate within tissue for over 3 months after infection in some individuals, with RNA failing to clear from multiple compartments for up to 230 days.”

3/ He says they found indirect evidence of replication competent virus in the brain.

4/ “There were populations of viral variants found in the brain that were not detected in the respiratory tract suggesting there is seeding of the virus in the brain and ongoing replication in the brain”

5/ “The brain is an immune protected site that would allow replication and evolution of the virus.” They are now looking for direct evidence of replication competent in the brain.

More at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04569-5

[US Government/others/CDC’s whole support of “urgency of normal” and denial of long-term consequences of Covid looks worse and worse]

Monkeypox:

Cases and communication:

Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York City now have initial or additional monkeypox cases, suggesting the poxvirus is spreading in the United States, and experts discuss how to communicate risks without stigmatizing sexual minority groups.

New cases in several cities

New York City officials said today they have identified a fifth presumptive case of monkeypox in a person who tested positive for orthopoxvirus. In Chicago, a man was isolating at home while waiting for confirmatory test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Los Angeles County officials have also identified a case in an adult resident.

“The patient … recently traveled and had a known close contact to a case. Although the patient is symptomatic, they are doing well and not hospitalized. They are isolated from others,” the county said in a press statement.

16 of 17 initial US cases in MSM

There are now 21 confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States. Today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the CDC offered details of the first cases.

The MMWR report tracks the first 17 cases found in nine states through May 31. Sixteen of the 17 cases were in men who have sex with men (MSM). Fourteen of the 17 reported recent international travel. …

New Jersey-based risk communication expert Peter Sandman, PhD, said agencies such as the CDC and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) are working to counter stigmatizing MSM in their messages on monkeypox, but in doing so may be doing a disservice to communities most at risk for catching the virus….

Yesterday the ECDC and the World Health Organization’s European office released new risk communication guidance on the virus. Sandman said the guidance makes several good points but is lacking in certain important respects.

“Strangely missing from every list of target audiences in this report: people who have sex with MSM. Bisexual people are one obvious transmission path from the MSM community to everyone else,” he told CIDRAP News in an email. “There is nothing here about warning women (other than sex workers) of the risk that a bisexual male sex partner may have monkeypox.”

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/06/major-us-cities-report-new-monkeypox-cases

~ ~ ~

Genetic data indicate at least two separate monkeypox outbreaks underway, suggesting wider spread

STAT By Helen Branswell June 3, 2022

there are at least two distinct monkeypox outbreaks underway outside Africa – a surprise finding that one official said suggests international spread is wider, and has been occurring for longer than has been previously realized.

Three of 10 viruses the CDC has sequenced from recent U.S. monkeypox cases – two from 2021 and eight from 2022 – are different from the viruses that have been sequenced by several countries involved in the large outbreak that is spreading in and from Europe. That outbreak is currently being driven by infections in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

https://www.statnews.com/2022/06/03/genetic-data-indicate-at-least-two-separate-monkeypox-outbreaks-underway-suggesting-wider-spread

Statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe

…we do not yet know if we will be able to contain its spread completely. For that, we need a significant and urgent reduction in exposures through clear communication, community-led action, case isolation during the infectious period, and effective contact tracing and monitoring.

[Given that, the reluctance of some contacts to be vaccinated, the lack of adequate contact tracing, and that monkeypox can infect and become a reservoir in animals, I am not optimistic that it will be contained. It will not be another Covid, because transmission is more limited.]

https://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/sections/statements/2022/statement-monkeypox-in-the-european-region-what-we-know-so-far-and-how-we-need-to-respond

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines

Research scientists publish first head-to-head comparison of four COVID-19 vaccines

Scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have published the first analysis of how four types of COVID-19 vaccines prepare the body to fight SARS-CoV-2. Their in-depth look at how T cells, B cells, antibody levels shift in the six months following vaccination is critical for understanding of how to protect people in the ongoing pandemic.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-scientists-publish-head-to-head-comparison-covid-.html

~ ~ ~

The mandate effect: Official mandates can motivate the vaccine-hesitant to seek vaccination

Public health authorities seek to increase vaccine uptake, especially among those who are hesitant. But there is little evidence as to the best way to achieve this. New research suggests that rather than direct incentives, such as money, government-imposed mandates requiring vaccination to access certain public spaces could be the key. To explore this, researchers used the variation in the dates of mandates and subsequent COVID-19 vaccine uptake across Canadian provinces and European countries.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06-mandate-effect-mandates-vaccine-hesitant-vaccination.html?

~ ~ ~

Mandating flu jab, but not COVID-19 jab, ethically justified for healthcare staff

Mandating the flu jab for healthcare staff is ethically justified, but the same can’t be said of the COVID-19 jab, argue leading ethicists in an extended essay published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-mandating-flu-jab-covid-ethically.html?

~ ~ ~

Three doses of the same or mixed COVID jabs work equally well against infections

Three doses of either the same vaccine or a combination of different vaccine types work comparably well in preventing COVID-19 infections, even against different variants, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-doses-covid-jabs-equally-infections.html?

~ ~ ~

Devices and Masks:

~ ~ ~

Epidemiology/Infection control:

COVID kidney injury may be twice as common as diagnosed

A University of Queensland-led study has found millions of COVID-19 patients may have undiagnosed acute kidney injury (AKI).

AKI is a condition where the kidneys suddenly fail to filter waste from the blood, which can lead to serious illness or even death.

Existing data indicates approximately 20 percent of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 develop AKI, rising to roughly 40 percent for those in intensive care.

But UQ Ph.D. candidate and kidney specialist Dr. Marina Wainstein said the true numbers could be double those figures.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06-covid-kidney-injury-common.html

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Tips, general reading for public:

Ventilate.

Mask.

Vax.

Politics:

Covid:

GOP:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Corporations/misc:

~ ~ ~

Alabama:

Pennsylvania:

~ ~ ~

Disastrous!

~ ~ ~

Florida:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Georgia:

~ ~ ~

Kentucky:

~ ~ ~

North Carolina:

~ ~ ~

Ohio:

Texas:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Supremes:

Guns:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Abortion:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

LGBT

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Ukraine/Russia:

Feel good du jour:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

https://twitter.com/TheFigen/status/1532747394403782657?s=20&t=SEDDazBbd0EpB1FYWBuJEA

~ ~ ~

Comic relief:

https://twitter.com/buitengebieden/status/1532018597085822978?s=20&t=SEDDazBbd0EpB1FYWBuJEA

~ ~ ~

https://twitter.com/silverpebble/status/1531966573786832902?s=20&t=SEDDazBbd0EpB1FYWBuJEA

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

 

Perspective/Poem

~ ~ ~

Bits of beauty:

Share this post: