Coronavirus Tidbits #222 12/4/22
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.
Learn To “See” C. Difficile To Protect Yourself From This Serious Infection
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What Can We Learn From The Growing Measles Outbreak In Ohio?
US markers show upward trends
In the United States, the 7-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases is at 43,692, up nearly 8% compared to the week before, according to the Washington Post tracker. Daily averages for new COVID hospitalizations and deaths are also up, 21% and 24%, respectively.
In other developments, Twitter announced last week that it will no longer enforce a policy put in place to curb COVID-19 misinformation.
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FDA ended its emergency authorization for bebtelovimab
the only remaining Covid-19 antibody therapy cleared for use, saying variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 that render it ineffective are now dominant in the United States.
[NO monoclonal antibodies are effective any more]
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COVID-19 patients show liver injury months after infection
Liver stiffness is a marker of liver damage, such as inflammation or fibrosis. Fibrosis is the buildup of scar tissue in the liver. Over time, healthy liver tissue diminishes, and the liver can no longer function properly. Progressive fibrosis can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.
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Overweight women most likely to suffer long COVID
Overweight women are more likely to experience symptoms of long COVID according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
The new study, published today, is one of the largest studies on long COVID in the U.K. It shows that having a higher BMI is linked with the condition, and that women are more likely to experience long COVID than men.
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NYC rats can carry different variants of COVID-19
A new study indicates COVID-19 mutations have been found in New York City's rat population.
The report by scientists at the University of Missouri and the USDA identified the virus in rats. The report also says rats can carry different COVID-19 variants.
Experts studied 80 Norwegian rats in Brooklyn and found about 16% of them had antibodies for the coronavirus.
Officials are concerned the mutation could jump from rats to humans because it is clear the virus has already gone from humans to animals.
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Africa to receive its first mpox vaccine doses
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) announced this week that Africa will receive its first batch of mpox vaccine, which is coming from a donation from South Korea's government.
Officials see replay of COVID vaccine rollout
Mpox has been endemic in a number of African countries for decades. A large international outbreak prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in July, and several countries have rolled out vaccine campaigns. Africa, however, hasn't received any vaccine, despite the serious ongoing health threat in the region.
Africa CDC said African countries are seeing a replay of COVID-19 vaccine deployment, during which wealthier nations bought available vaccines, leaving African nations at the back of the line.
the Biden administration is considering whether to end the public health emergency declaration for mpox,
Currently, the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) is reporting just a few dozen cases each day. Yesterday it reported 42 new cases, bringing the national total to 29,367, of which 15 were fatal.
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Warning of global outbreak
“We had always warned that in favourable circumstances, like what led to this outbreak, the disease could pose a great threat to global health,” says Adesola Yinka-Ogunleye, an epidemiologist at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja, who led the country’s investigation and response to a 2017 monkeypox outbreak.
Now, with more than 80,000 confirmed cases in over 100 countries, monkeypox is a stark reminder of what happens when such warnings go unheeded.
Ebola Outbreak In Uganda Is Waning,
and showing signs that transmission may now be under control. Only six active cases are currently being treated in specialized Ebola treatment units.
In the current outbreak, fifty-six people have died and eighty have recovered, for a raw case fatality rate of 39.4%. This is lower than the average 65.4% for Ebola outbreaks,...
It is estimated that the incubation period for acute infections — the delay between the time a person is infected and when they begin to show symptoms — may be as long as twenty-one days. One distressing statistic is that the follow-up rate for contacts has dropped to less than 70% from a high around 95% during most of October and November. Although declining cases in the last few weeks means that there have been fewer contacts to trace, a large number remain unaccounted for. If there are infections among this group, they could be the cause of a third transmission wave.
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Haiti confirmed cholera cases top 1,000.
Among confirmed cases with available age and sex information, 45% are aged 19 years or younger. The most affected age group is 1 to 4-year-olds, followed by 30 to 39-year-olds.
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FDA approves first microbiome drug Rx for C. difficile
The drug, called Rebyota, is given as a one-dose treatment for clostridium difficile infections, commonly known as C. diff., in which the toxin-producing bacteria disrupts the normal balance in a person’s digestive system. Rebyota is designed to restore balance by introducing good bacteria taken from donor stool samples.
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‘Superbug’ Candida auris linked to 63 deaths in Nevada
Flu season is raging in the US—and hospitalizations are rising
The elevated flu season comes as COVID-19 and RSV continue to impact thousands of Americans across the country, leaving some hard-hit areas dealing with a “tripledemic” of all three illnesses.
Flu by the numbers
So far this year, the CDC has reported at least 6.2 million illnesses, 53,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from the flu, according to the latest data. In total, there have been 12 pediatric flu deaths this season, including five within the last week. By the end of October, the U.S. saw the highest number of hospitalizations for the flu in the last decade. The last time hospitalizations were so high was in 2009, when the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic swept the nation.
this year’s vaccine is matching up well with the positive flu strains being detected
Dutch study last week of 3600 positive cases showed antigen tests correctly caught 27% of the known positive cases missing 73%. SF Chronicle picked it up. Every gov & every media outlet shld have had it as their #1 story.
Covid blood-thinner drug treatment dangerous and does not work – study
Overwhelming evidence of outdoor transmission of Omicron. At least 32 unmasked people were infected by a man jogging through a park without a mask. Nothing beats a surveillance state for contact tracing. Details in the thread.https://t.co/x194Dwj6iU pic.twitter.com/p9RN7kVGR7— Bob Morris, MD, PhD (@rdmorris) November 27, 2022
1. It's Friday. Time for a #flu 🧵— Helen Branswell 🇺🇦 (@HelenBranswell) December 2, 2022
So #influenza-like illness is still rocking the country. This year's epi curve - the one to the far left - is incredibly high & sharp. That's not all flu & it tells us nothing about severity. It does tell us a lot of people have ILIs these days. pic.twitter.com/eVG0PxKHXD
Tips, general reading for public:
has just published a swatch of revisions to its COVID guidance for congregate settings Among changes, the agency has dropped its recommendation that all shelters require indoor masking
Students from the elite school Tsinghua University protested with Friedmann equation. I have no idea what this equation means, but it does not matter.— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 (@nathanlawkc) November 27, 2022
It's the pronunciation: it's similar to "free的man" (free man)—a spectacular and creative way to express, with intelligence. pic.twitter.com/m5zomeTRPF
Here’s the map the @GOP and the @NRA don’t want you to see. pic.twitter.com/J8mKTjvidd— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 29, 2022
I did a… certain tweet two weeks ago. Something about insulin. You probably saw it.— Sean Morrow (@snmrrw) November 22, 2022
Anyway, here’s why I did it: pic.twitter.com/fuPQW7KtMC
Take note of all of the Republican Senators who voted against this. https://t.co/8zxLArIGWR— Victor Shi (@Victorshi2020) November 29, 2022
Watch NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pick apart this reporter's question during a joint press conference with Finnish PM Sanna Marin. He asked the pair 'are you two meeting because you're similar in age and got a lot of common stuff there?'— SBS News (@SBSNews) November 30, 2022
Read more: https://t.co/eTtJEqJoFZ pic.twitter.com/UBEZs1kzvF
Feel good du jour:
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A man found a goose that was shaking with cold in Montana. As he got closer he realized, wrapped up in her wings, was a puppy she was shielding from the freezing cold. We have so much to learn from animals.(The goose & the puppy recovered & were adopted together— peace1. 💙 🟧🟦 (@peace1) November 29, 2022
Life With Animals pic.twitter.com/tJTi3ShXoR
According to his owner, "He constantly thinks the screen door is closed, so we have to pretend to open it for him to come inside." pic.twitter.com/ZhHKOMhA7n— B&S (@_B___S) November 27, 2022
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Apparently, someone put a Christmas sweater on the T-rex at the national history museum in London. It’s ridiculous and adorable. pic.twitter.com/phmRwLwQcX— Contra Whit (@ContraWhit) November 22, 2022
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I've watched this on an endless loop for 15 minutes. pic.twitter.com/M9PXZayZXj— Alex M. Kintner (@AlexKintner3) November 28, 2022
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Your Highness. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/Jlqf1tL02w— Dave (@SpotTheLoon2010) November 30, 2022
“Finish every day and be done with it.”— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) November 25, 2022
(Ralph Waldo Emerson writes to his daughter in 1854)#NightNight pic.twitter.com/NmSyNkhsMD
Bits of beauty: