Eastern states that were affected early by the highly contagious variant have seen especially pronounced declines, with the seven-day daily average of new cases down more than 70 percent over the last two weeks in New York and New Jersey, according to a New York Times database.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that health workers coping with mask shortages can reuse respirator masks up to five times…Based on the five-day rule for health workers, and assuming they wear the mask all day over an eight-hour shift, that suggests about 40 hours of use per mask…”
”…The smartphone-based LAMP assay detection system consists of a hot plate, cardboard box, and LED lights.
The system is inexpensive to set up and portable; it can be fabricated for less than $100 (in addition to the smartphone cost, which is approximately $200 used or approximately $400 new). The smartphone-based LAMP assay thus offers the potential to leverage a readily accessible technology to inexpensively deliver state-of-the-art nucleic acid diagnostics for quantitative pathogen detection at the POC. As reported in this study and by others, SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in saliva samples.27,45,46 Saliva testing has numerous advantages relative to nasopharyngeal swabs, including cost and ease of use (self-collection vs trained personnel and PPE for sample collection). Furthermore, saliva sampling circumvents the need for specialized swabs and reagents, test components that are vulnerable to supply-chain disruptions and resource limitations…….Moreover, as new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus emerge, testing and detection remain at the forefront of pandemic control efforts. The smartphone-based LAMP assay thus offers the potential to provide a critical tool to mitigate further stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the LAMP assay can be readily engineered to address novel CoV-2 variants and other pathogens with pandemic potential, including influenza.
|Global Health Security 1. ECDC Details Covid Vaccine Payoffs, Plan For Post-Peak Phase (CIDRAP) In Europe, the Omicron variant is fueling infection rates that are three times higher than at any other stage of the pandemic, and vaccination is the key to preventing serious health outcomes and disruptive staff shortages, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today in its latest COVID-19 risk assessment. Vaccine uptake across the European region has only reached 70%, and booster dosing is increasing rapidly, but has only reached 50% of adults, the ECDC said. Vaccine uptake among European populations is uneven, and countries with the lowest vaccination rates will face the highest pressure, the group said. The ECDC suggests booster doses be given 3 months after the primary series, a shorter interval than recommended by some health groups. Modeling estimates suggest that booster dosing though early January cut hospitalization admissions by 500,000 to 800,000. The ECDC also estimates that extending boosters to all previously vaccinated people could reduce admissions by another 300,000 to 500,000. 2. African Coronavirus Surveillance Network Provides Early Warning for World (Nature Biotechnology) South Africa’s swift genomic sequencing was instrumental in alerting the world in December to an unusual genome profile present in samples tested for coronavirus. The Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa first spotted the mutated variant in sequencing data from Botswana. As the outbreak continues, national laboratories and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) have joined efforts to ramp up Africa’s sequencing response. This larger Africa-wide network for viral sequencing, which was launched by Africa CDC, the World Health Organization and a group of public, private and non-profit organizations in October 2020, has made rapid progress on the continent. The aim is not only to accelerate surveillance for COVID-19, but also to build the infrastructure and the expertise in next-generation sequencing to confront future epidemic threats as well as to tackle endemic diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and cholera. |
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