WE STILL HAVE COVID IN THE AREA:
THERE SEEMS TO BE A CLUSTER OF CASES OF COVID IN CASS COUNTY.
FROM HOPKINS, THE WASHINGTON POST, AND NATURE COMMUNICATIONS ( three versions in increasing detail):
1. ‘We are in trouble’: Study raises alarm about impacts of long covid (Washington Post) A new long-covid study based on the experiences of nearly 100,000 participants provides powerful evidence that many people do not fully recover months after being infected with the coronavirus. The Scottish study found that between six and 18 months after infection, 1 in 20 people had not recovered and 42 percent reported partial recovery. There were some reassuring aspects to the results: People with asymptomatic infections are unlikely to suffer long-term effects, and vaccination appears to offer some protection from long covid
”…Large study provides powerful evidence of long covid’s lasting impact…”
”The Scottish study found that between six and 18 months after infection, 1 in 20 people had not recovered and 42 percent reported partial recovery. There were some reassuring aspects to the results: People with asymptomatic infections are unlikely to suffer long-term effects, and vaccination appears to offer some protection from long covid…“It’s one more well-conducted, population-level study showing that we should be extremely concerned about the current numbers of acute infections,” …We are in trouble….Crucially, this study also identified a sub-cohort of 11 percent who deteriorated over time. This is something seen often in patient groups but has not been discussed enough in the public conversation.”
FROM NEJM LETTER TO EDITOR/STUDY
(J. Harris: There is some Covid protection from subvariantants if you have had a prior infection with that strain or a similar strain — which makes sense. Vaccinations make more sense to me.)
FROM HOPKINS SELECTIONS:
1. EMERGING SUBVARIANTS The SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to evolve, with multiple emerging sublineages of the Omicron variant of concern (VOC) poised to play a dominant role in the next surge. As noted above, several sublineages are increasing in prevalence in the US as the current dominant strain, BA.5, begins to wane. At this point, it is unclear if the next principal variant would be capable of evading immunity conferred by vaccination, including Omicron-specific booster doses, or prior infection with other variants, but researchers are already working to identify key mutations and project their impact. In contrast to previous surges, the forecasted fall/winter surge may not be driven by a single variant, as was the case with the Delta and Omicron surges in 2021 and earlier in 2022. In fact, WHO officials recently indicated that they are currently monitoring more than 300 Omicron sublineages.
Several of these sublineages are particularly concerning, including BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 that evolved from BA.5 and BA.2.275 and XBB that evolved from BA.2. The BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 sublineages are currently circulating in Europe, which could forecast a fall/winter surge in other Northern Hemisphere countries. All 4 of these sublineages exhibit resistance to existing treatments and vaccines, and the XBB sublineage, in particular, threatens to render existing vaccines ineffective. In addition to the risk of global spread of a vaccine-resistant vaccine, the decline in testing volume worldwide and barriers to including at-home test results in SARS-CoV-2 reporting systems could make surveillance problematic. And the general absence of COVID-19 protective measures (eg, physical distancing, mask use) could facilitate community transmission. Additionally, governments seem to be unwilling to commit additional funding to COVID-19 responses, including research on future vaccines and therapeutics, as evidenced in the US government’s struggle to secure funding for Project COVID Shield, the follow-on to Operation Warp Speed to develop advanced SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The world is simply in a much different place than it was in 2020 and 2021, which elevates the threat from these emerging sublineages.
As opposed to more radical antigenic “shifts”—like those observed with the emergence of the Delta variant or the original Omicron variant—the new sublineages of the Omicron variant are exhibiting more subtle antigenic “drift.” This is similar to the evolution observed in annual seasonal influenza epidemics, although on a much shorter timeline. New sublineages appear to be acquiring many of the same mutations, in various combinations, which signals that they may be converging on a common set of traits. Despite the recent pattern, however, it is still possible that the virus could take a more substantial shift, which could result in the emergence of a new major variant with much different characteristics.
2. Rising COVID levels in Europe especially affect seniors (CIDRAP) COVID activity continued to rise in many European countries last week, up 14% compared to the previous week in people ages 65 and older, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Friday in a regular update. In the United States, COVID indicators continue to fall, with the BA.5 Omicron variant still dominant, but newer subvariants are slowly making more of a mark.
FOR AREA VETERAN from the VA
It’s That Time of Year Again!
The single best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get the Influenza Vaccination each year.� Good health habits also reduce getting the flu like avoiding people who are sick, covering your cough, and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like flu.
The Overton Brooks Medical Center influenza vaccination opportunity schedule is below.� Quadrivalent Flu shots are free to all enrolled Veterans in these ways:
- During a regular scheduled appointment or any Primary Care as a Flu Walk-In Visit.
- Shreveport Campus Front Circle Drive Thru Flu Clinic on October 8, or October 15, 2022 from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon.
- To find a community pharmacy to receive a flu vaccine, use the VA Facility Community Partner using your zip code: http://www.va.gov/find-locations/
- Longview, Monroe, and Texarkana Community Based Clinics, Walk-In Flu Clinics are Wednesdays, October 5th thru December 28th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. with no appointment necessary, except November 23rd.
- To find a community pharmacy to receive a flu vaccine, use the VA Facility Community Partner using your zip code: http://www.va.gov/find-locations/�Please make sure the Community Partner is aware you are receiving this through the Community Partnership with VA.
- Moderna Vaccines (1st dose, 2nd dose and Bivalent Booster) are available at main campus in Shreveport Drive Thru Flu Clinic.
- Both vaccinations can be received at the same time, per CDC guidance.
- There will be a 15 minute wait after the vaccination.
FROM YOUR LOCAL EPIDEMOLOGIST
Fall boosters, myocarditis, and benefits/risks for young people
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HARRIS: A great way to keep up with Covid since things have “cooled off” a bit it by subscribing the free subscription for all of the Hopkins publications. They are free and increasingly readable and useful. They generally have 1-3 short mailouts weekely. Their mail out today, Oct. 13, is wonderful. You can also subscribe. to the past issues. They run a few days behind some of our mailouts, but their information is still timely and trustworthy. I’d subscribe to all of thier offerings. They are free. They are trustworthy and have provided fabulous information. Alas, they don’t have any jokes. Likely, I will still continue to wart you occasionally. Good Luck.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio :
Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a “gift.”
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile
God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
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