(Note: State data runs about 2 days behind. Newspapers and NPR provide the quickest updates.)
FROM MNM AND JUDGE SIMS:
”…New data from South Africa suggests the omicron COVID-19 variant may cause less severe infections than delta, though more research is needed to confirm this finding…
In a Dec. 4 report, the South African Medical Research Council outlined the early experience of 42 COVID-19 patients treated at several hospitals in the province where omicron was first detected….In the last two weeks ending Dec. 2, 70 percent of patients did not need supplemental oxygen, and few have developed COVID-19 pneumonia. Four patients required a high level of care, and one patient was placed in intensive care. Overall, the average length of stay was 2.8 days compared to the 8.5 day-average seen in COVID-19 patients in the last 18 months…Thus far, it does not look like there is a great degree of severity to it, but we really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe,” Dr. Fauci told CNN Dec. 5.”
The finding comes after scientists with the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium released early data Dec. 3, suggesting the omicron variant may spread more than twice as quickly as delta. The findings have yet to be peer-reviewed.
From the Washington Post this morning:
”…Researchers from Nference, a Cambridge, Mass.-based firm that analyzes biomedical information, sequenced omicron and found a snippet of genetic code that is also present in a virus that can bring about a cold. They say this particular mutation could have occurred in a host simultaneously infected by SARS-CoV-2, also known as the novel coronavirus, and the HCoV-229E coronavirus, which can cause the common cold. The shared genetic code with HCoV-229E has not been detected in other novel coronavirus variants…As a virus evolves to become more transmissible, it generally “loses” traits that are likely to cause severe symptoms,… But … much more data and analysis of omicron was needed before a definitive determination could be made, adding that unequal distribution of vaccines globally could lead to further mutations of the coronavirus.
From the NYT:
”…Researchers at a major hospital complex in Pretoria reported that their patients with the coronavirus are much less sick than those they have treated before, and that other hospitals are seeing the same trends. In fact, they said, most of their infected patients were admitted for other reasons and have no Covid symptoms…But scientists cautioned against placing too much stock in either the potential good news of less severity, or bad news like early evidence that prior coronavirus infection offers little immunity to Omicron. The variant was discovered just last month, and more study is needed before experts can say much about it with confidence.”
”…The Texas health authorities said in a statement that a woman in Harris County, which includes the Houston area, tested positive for Covid-19 and was found to have the Omicron variant…The other states are Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.”
Our findings suggest that COVID-19 is a risk factor for acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. This indicates that acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke represent a part of the clinical picture of COVID-19, and highlights the need for vaccination against COVID-19.
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”…California-based Vir Biotechnology, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline plc today announced an update to non-peer-reviewed preclinical data demonstrating that sotrovimab, an investigational monoclonal antibody, retains in vitro activity against the known Omicron spike protein, the new SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.1.529).
The preclinical data was generated through pseudo-virus testing of the combined known mutations of the Omicron variant, which included the maximum number of changes (37 mutations) identified to date in the spike protein.
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