(J. Harris: Good quick current Omicron summary.)
FROM REITERS (NEW)
”… Senior citizens who received a second booster of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination had a 78% lower mortality rate from the disease than those who got one only, a study from Israel showed on Sunday…Some 58% of participants had received a second booster – or two shots in addition to the basic two-shot regimen. The remainder had received only one booster. Researchers recorded 92 deaths among the first group and 232 deaths among the second, smaller group…The report was issued as a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed. The research excluded people who received rival Moderna’s vaccine and those who had taken oral anti-COVID therapy…”
(J. Harris: That’s still a lot of deaths. I believe I’ll try and be careful in addition to taking a 4th Jab.)
”…The highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2 is helping to drive another surge of coronavirus cases in Europe and is responsible for about a third of new cases in the United States, but health officials have said they do not anticipate a major surge caused by the subvariant……Federal health officials have hotly debated the way forward, with some strongly in favor of a second booster now and others skeptical. But they appear to be coalescing around a plan to give at least older Americans the option, in case infections surge again before the fall. It was unclear how broad the group would be. In the fall, officials say, Americans of all ages should get another shot. …A second booster is at best a stopgap measure. Many experts argue that the existing coronavirus vaccines need to be modified because the virus’s variants are diminishing their power; the question is how to reconfigure them. A surge in the fall is considered highly likely, whether it comes in the form of the Omicron variant, a subvariant like BA.2 or a new lineage entirely.
”… China has recorded over 29,000 cases so far in March. That represents a significant spike for the country, which has kept cases low since quashing the world’s first outbreak, which began in the city of Wuhan, in 2020…The outbreak has fanned a rising debate in China over whether the government should rethink its stringent “zero Covid” strategy of eliminating all infections with relentless force, rather than finding a way to cope with higher levels of infection, as most countries have….“Exhausting social resources, degrading the quality of life and existence, dragging down economic development and urban vitality — where’s the sense in this pandemic prevention,” one commenter wrote. “The zero-infection strategy needs thinking over.”
1. White House Diverges from CDC, Focuses on Aerosol COVID Spread (CIDRAP) Yesterday the White House published a blog post titled “Let’s Clear the Air on COVID,” describing the virus as primarily transmitted through aerosols—small, tiny airborne particles.Though some experts around the world have been arguing that point for years, and subsequently advocating for respirator use and enhanced ventilation systems, this is the first time the White House has formally acknowledged that aerosol transmission has been the primary driver of the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, it has turned away from the language used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
2. South Korea is Still the World’s COVID-19 Hotspot, Reporting Nearly 400K Cases Today (Outbreak News Today) The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported an additional 395,598 confirmed COVID-19 cases today, bringing the country total to 10,822,836 since the beginning of the pandemic and 8,323,648 cases in the past 28 days alone–the most on the planet. Today’s total is down from the 490,000 cases reported yesterday. 470 fatalities were reported, with a cumulative death toll of 13,902 (fatality rate of 0.13%).
Conclusions and Relevance These findings suggest that CICT programs likely had a substantial role in curtailing the pandemic in most jurisdictions during the 2020 to 2021 winter peak. Differences in outcomes across jurisdictions indicate an opportunity to further improve CICT effectiveness. These estimates demonstrate the potential benefits from sustaining and improving these programs.
Question Is early aspirin use in hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19 associated with lower odds of in-hospital mortality?
Findings In a cohort study of 112 269 patients with moderate COVID-19, early aspirin use during the first day of hospitalization was associated with lower 28-day in-hospital mortality and pulmonary embolism incidence when compared with patients who did not receive early aspirin.
Meaning This study suggests that early aspirin use may be associated with lower odds of in-hospital mortality among hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19; these findings warrant further study in a randomized clinical trial that includes diverse patients with cardiovascular comorbidities.
MORE FROM REITERS:
2. FDA says current dose of GSK-Vir COVID therapy unlikely to work against BA.2 variant
The U.S. health regulator said on Friday the current authorized dose of GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s COVID-19 antibody therapy is unlikely to be effective against the Omicron BA.2 variant.
3. Italy reports 75,616 coronavirus cases on Friday, 146 deaths
Italy reported 75,616 COVID-19 related cases on Friday, against 81,811 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 146 from 182.
LASTLY: The Norwegian said no more dancing jokes, but my lovely sister, Janie, just sent me some great new jokes.
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