Coronavirus Tidbits #200 7/10/22

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.

News 

Covid: 

Emerging omicron subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 are inhibited less efficiently by antibodies

most of the therapeutic antibodies available for treatment of COVID-19 patients do not inhibit BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 at all or only inhibit with reduced potency.

The antibody Bebtelovimab constitutes the only exception, since this antibody blocked all tested variants with high efficiency.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-07-emerging-omicron-subvariants-ba2121-ba4.html

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Persistent spike protein could be a biomarker of long Covid, small study says

STAT July 8, 2022

One of the main theories to explain what causes long Covid is viral persistence, or the continued presence of some part of the coronavirus in the body long after the acute infection ends. (Another, possibly overlapping hypothesis for lingering symptoms posits an overactive immune response that turns into an autoimmune attack on the body’s organs.) Now a new study reports the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein circulating in the blood of more than half of long Covid patients up to 12 months after being diagnosed with an active infection.

That suggests the presence of an active persistent SARS-CoV-2 viral reservoir, the researchers conclude. There are caveats: The study was small, in 63 patients, and it’s a preprint, so it has not been peer-reviewed. But the researchers say this builds on their previous work on a rare Covid complication in children and could represent a biomarker to help diagnose and treat people with long Covid.

https://mailchi.mp/statnews/tk-tncyc6de8v-617588?e=5c09ee46b1

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Monkeypox

Study shows virus isolates on surfaces

Yesterday in Eurosurveillance, researchers reported that environmental sampling from the hospital rooms of two recovered monkeypox patients in Germany showed isolated virus on surfaces, particularly those touched by patients' hands. The highest levels were found in bathrooms, and high loads were also seen on chair seats and on the touch screen of one patient's phone.

"Contaminated surfaces with such viral loads or higher, could potentially be infectious and it cannot be ruled out that their contact with especially damaged skin or mucous membranes, could result in transmission," the authors concluded.

The monkeypox outbreak has grown significantly in Europe, with cases tripling over the past 2 weeks. Today, World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe, Hans Henri P. Kluge, MD, called on member states to ramp up surveillance programs to detect cases.

Though 99% of Europe’s 4,500 cases have been in adult males, Kluge said, "Small numbers of cases have also now been reported among household members, heterosexual contacts, and non-sexual contacts as well as among children."

Ten percent of European cases have required hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/07/new-york-illinois-get-doses-monkeypox-vaccine

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Monkeypox #s. : now 605 cases in the US. New York has the most cases, with 122, followed by California with 116 and Florida with 64. Global cases of the virus increased 77% in the past week.

41% of patients HIV-positive; 60% (1,214 of 2,025) identified as gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.

The WHO also warned that 25 cases have been detected so far among healthcare workers, and said transmission in this setting cannot be ruled out.

The global total stands at 6,027 cases from 59 countries.

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/07/us-monkeypox-cases-top-600-34-states

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https://twitter.com/benryanwriter/status/1545034227120472064?s=20&t=ie2kRwozTXTw_NJ7wSZT-w

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Polio

What polio's UK presence means for global health

A form of polio derived from the vaccine is likely circulating in the UK, highlighting the ongoing need for polio vaccination worldwide.

 a poliovirus strain was detected during routine surveillance of wastewater in February. A mutated version of the same strain was picked up again in the following months, the agency added, suggesting the virus has spread between individuals, allowing it to evolve.

This virus is called ‘vaccine-derived’ poliovirus. It is so-called because it is a strain of (weakened) poliovirus that would have originally been found in oral polio vaccines, but has changed over time to behave more like a 'wild' type, or naturally-occurring poliovirus. Vaccine-derived poliovirus can spread through faeces or respiratory secretions. On rare occasions it can infect the nervous system, causing paralysis and breathing problems in unvaccinated people.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01802-z

 

Enteric (Norovirus) Viruses Shown Capable of Spreading via Saliva

...The transmission of these so-called enteric viruses through saliva suggests that coughing, talking, sneezing, sharing food and utensils, and even kissing all have the potential for spreading the viruses. The new findings “Enteric viruses replicate in salivary glands and infect through saliva,” which still need to be confirmed in human studies, appear in Nature. The researchers believe their discovery could lead to better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases caused by these viruses, potentially saving lives. The study was led by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH.

https://www.genengnews.com/topics/translational-medicine/infectious-diseases/enteric-viruses-shown-capable-of-spreading-via-saliva/

Diagnostics:

Skin Patch Test Detects COVID-19 in Under Three Minutes

A rapid and reliable skin-patch test can now detect the COVID-19 virus, and potentially other infectious agents in under three minutes, without the need to draw blood. This convenience overcomes a current challenge in identifying infected individuals who are averse to blood tests and could help restrict the spread of the pandemic.

The details of the new test were published on July 1, 2022, in an article in the journal Scientific Reports titled, “Anti‑SARS‑CoV‑2 IgM/IgG antibodies detection using a patch sensor containing porous microneedles and a paper‑based immunoassay.”

https://www.genengnews.com/topics/translational-medicine/infectious-diseases/skin-patch-test-detects-covid-19-in-under-three-minutes/

Drugs and Vaccines

If you are immunocompromised, get a 2nd booster

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Devices and Masks:

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On hotels, apartments:

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Epidemiology/Infection control:

https://twitter.com/ChristyCeeCK/status/1544496084139089923?s=20&t=RQd7rCUI3RXBYNpxhGylZw

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1 in 8 adults hospitalized for Covid have weakened immune systems

People with weakened immune systems caused by HIV, transplants, many cancers, or their treatments are more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. A new CDC report estimates that 1 in 8 adults hospitalized for Covid from March 2020 through February 2022 were immunocompromised, and they had a higher risk of ICU admission and dying in the hospital compared to people with healthy immune systems. Being vaccinated helped keep immunocompromised people out of the hospital, but unlike people with healthy immune systems, once admitted, their vaccination status did not make a difference in ICU admission or death.

That seems puzzling, but the researchers say that patients with more medical conditions — and at higher risk for severe outcomes — likely had closer medical follow-up and were vaccinated, which would bias the numbers. The report strongly urges vaccination for patients and those around them, pre-exposure therapeutics such as Evusheld, early testing, and antivirals if they get sick.

https://mailchi.mp/statnews/tk-tncyc6de8v-617588?e=5c09ee46b1

Tips, general reading for public:

Ventilate.

Mask.

Vax.

Politics:

Covid:

 

SCOTUS:

Here is the Joint OAH-AHA Statement on the <i>Dobbs v. Jackson</i> D... | OAH oah.org/insights/posts

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Separation of Church:

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https://twitter.com/jbendery/status/1544718677215510528?s=20

Jan 6

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Women/Abortion:

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https://twitter.com/sadgorlzai/status/1544072032106823689?s=20

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https://twitter.com/Miriam2626/status/1544837234595139584?s=20

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GOP:

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Guns: 

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https://twitter.com/GunOwners/status/1543973121451036674?s=20

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Race:

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Pennsylvania:

https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1543672068033679361?s=20

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Virginia:

California:

Positioning himself for 2024?

Arizona:

Tennessee:

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Mississippi:

Missouri:

Indiana:

New Hampshire:

https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1544291191965065217?s=20

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Florida:

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Ohio:

 

Feel good du jour:

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https://twitter.com/WholesomeMeme/status/1544108803456647170?s=20

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Perspective/Poem

Bits of beauty:

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