THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO PLAY IT COOL, MAN. EAST TEXAS COVID COUNTS ARE HIGH, BUT NOT HOSPITAL NUMBERS, YET.
FROM THE MNM AND JUDGE SIMS:
”…Olfactory dysfunction is a common symptom of COVID-19, with reported rates as high as 70%. This symptom can be associated with mild COVID-19, mostly occurs within 5 days after symptom onset, and can persist for a few days to several months after infection resolution.1 The mechanism of SARS-CoV-2–related olfactory dysfunction is not completely understood…Host genetics,2 acute inflammation in the olfactory epithelium,3 local ACE2 expression,4 and downregulation of olfactory receptors5 seem to play a role; however, the viral contribution remains to be explored. We conducted a retrospective analysis of individuals with mild COVID-19 during different SARS-CoV-2 variant waves to assess the prevalence of self-reported olfactory dysfunction.
This study found that individuals with mild COVID-19 infected during the Gamma and Omicron waves had lower odds of reporting olfactory dysfunction than individuals infected during the period of the original lineages. These results suggest that the type of SARS-CoV-2 variant might be a risk factor for olfactory dysfunction, along with host genetic susceptibility. The association with Omicron also was observed after controlling for vaccination status, supporting its independence of host immunologic factors…”
FROM HOPKINS SELECTIONS:
1. FROM HOPKINS:
1. Covid-19 Vaccines Prevented Nearly 20 Million Deaths in a Year, Study Estimates (STAT News) Covid-19 vaccines cut the potential global death toll by more than half in the first year they were available, according to a study published Thursday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study modeled the spread of the disease in 185 territories and countries and found that without Covid vaccines, 31.4 million people would have died of the disease between December 2020 and 2021. While the pandemic has taken a devastating toll around the globe, with more than 3.5 million deaths since the first vaccine was administered in December 2020, the study estimated that vaccinations also prevented 19.8 million deaths.
2. Hospitalization and Emergency Department Encounters for COVID-19 After Paxlovid Treatment — California, December 2021–May 2022 (CDC MMWR) COVID-19–related hospital admissions and emergency department (ED) encounters occurring 5–15 days after Paxlovid treatment were described using data from a large integrated health care system. Reports of such hospitalizations or ED encounters occurred infrequently, representing <1% of Paxlovid-treated patients over the study period. When administered as an early-stage treatment, Paxlovid might prevent COVID-19–related hospitalization among persons with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at risk for progression to severe disease.
3. Association of Kidney Comorbidities and Acute Kidney Failure With Unfavorable Outcomes After COVID-19 in Individuals With the Sickle Cell Trait (JAMA Internal Medicine) In this genetic association study of 2729 persons with SCT and 129 848 who were SCT negative, individuals with SCT had a number of preexisting kidney conditions that were associated with unfavorable outcomes following COVID-19. The presence of SCT was associated with increased risk of mortality and acute kidney failure following COVID-19. Results strongly support the inclusion of SCT as an adverse prognostic factor for COVID-19.
THREE VACCINE ARTICLES AND MORE NEWS TO COME TODAY:
Pfizer and BioNTech Announce Omicron-Adapted COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates Demonstrate High Immune Response Against Omicron (Pfizer) Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech announced positive data evaluating the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of two Omicron-adapted COVID-19 vaccine candidates: one monovalent and the other bivalent, a combination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and a vaccine candidate targeting the spike protein of the Omicron BA.1 variant of concern. Data from the Phase 2/3 trial found that a booster dose of both Omicron-adapted vaccine candidates elicited a substantially higher immune response against Omicron BA.1 as compared to the companies’ current COVID-19 vaccine. The robust immune response was seen across two investigational dose levels, 30 µg and 60 µg.
Sanofi, GSK Variant-specific COVID Shot Found Effective Against Omicron (Reuters) Late-stage data on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine from Sanofi and GSK has showed the shot confers protection against the Omicron variant of the virus, the companies said on Friday. The so-called bivalent vaccine targets the Beta variant – first identified in South Africa – as well as the original Wuhan strain of the virus. In a trial involving 13,000 adults, the vaccine demonstrated an efficacy rate of 64.7% against symptomatic COVID, and 72% efficacy against infections specifically caused by the Omicron variant. When used in people who previously had COVID, the results were stronger. The vaccine generated an efficacy rate of 75.1% against symptomatic COVID and 93.2% in Omicron-confirmed symptomatic cases, the companies said.
China’s First mRNA Vaccine is Close — Will That Solve Its COVID Woes? (Nature) China is getting closer to approving its first mRNA vaccine to protect people against COVID-19. In a small clinical trial, the Chinese vaccine candidate triggered a stronger antibody response in vaccinated adults when given as a booster shot than did a jab containing inactivated SARS-CoV-2, the vaccine platform that the country has mostly relied on so far. The experimental jab, called ArCoV, is a strong candidate to become China’s first approved mRNA vaccine. But what it would mean for the government’s handling of the pandemic is hard to know, say researchers. A highly effective mRNA vaccine would reduce the chances of widespread serious infections that could overwhelm hospitals. However, it is unlikely to bring an end to the country’s strict ‘zero COVID’ strategy, which uses mass testing and lockdowns to quash all infections.
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