This study provides the most conclusive evidence to date that infection with the omicron subvariant BA.1 was inherently less deadly than delta when controlling for a number of key covariates. Combining death certification records with molecular surveillance is the main advantage of this study, which avoids previous biases in covid-19 death designations. Accounting for a broad array of standardised covariates, including sociodemographic variables, pre-existing health conditions, and previous immunity, is another strength.
Researchers say the results are convincing. They are surprised that it has taken this long to establish that transmission can occur, given the scale of the pandemic, the virus’s ability to jump between animal species, and the close contact between cats and people. “We’ve known this was a possibility for two years,” says Angela Bosco-Lauth, an infectious-disease researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Fonager says researchers in Denmark have sequenced viral samples from 40 mink farms and identified some 170 coronavirus variants. He adds that in viral samples from people — representing about one-fifth of the country’s total COVID confirmed cases — they’ve found some 300 people with variants that contain mutations thought to have first emerged in mink. “That is something we really want to keep a close eye on.”
Okinawa, one of the blue zone regions, is highlighted due to its extreme longevity, plant-based diet, and now, the population’s resistance to COVID-19.
People in Okinawa, for example, consume a predominantly plant-based diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants… They also consume abundant green leafy vegetables and soy products, with minimal fat (about 6% of the total energy intake). In addition to their high life expectancy and low mortality from cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers, Okinawans have enjoyed a remarkable resistance to COVID-19 mortality. As of June 16, 2021, the COVID-19 mortality in Okinawa, Japan, was 0.08% (163 deaths out of 19,782 cases), which is one-sixteenth that of Tokyo (mortality rate 1.3%; 2183 deaths out of 167,416 cases).
COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States between March 2020 and October 2021, according to an analysis of national death certificate data by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The study appears July 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Two Omicron subvariants — BA.4 and BA.5 — are propelling the growth of COVID-19 infections this summer as they become the dominant coronavirus strains in the U.S.
These variants now make up 52.3% of infections, with BA.5 accounting for 36.6% of new cases and BA.4 accounting for 15.7% of new cases, according to the latest CDC data. The week before, the subvariants made up about 37.4% of cases…Although hospitalizations and deaths remain low compared to earlier Omicron waves, public health officials have warned about certain severe symptoms seen with the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, as well as the risk for ongoing health problems, particularly as people get reinfected again and again.
These novel subvariants carrying additional mutations in their spike proteins raise concerns that they may further evade neutralizing antibodies, thereby further compromising the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutic monoclonals.
The Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen. It takes immune escape, already extensive, to the next level, and, as a function of that, enhanced transmissibility, well beyond Omicron (BA.1) and other Omicron family variants that we’ve seen (including BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4). You could say it’s not so bad because there hasn’t been a marked rise in hospitalizations and deaths as we saw with Omicron, but that’s only because we had such a striking adverse impact from Omicron, for which there is at least some cross-immunity (BA.1 to BA.5). Here I will review (1) what we know about its biology; (2) its current status around the world; and (3) the ways we can defend against it.
The skeptical cardiologist has contracted what the CDC would define as a “mild” case of COVID-19. Had I not received my second COVID vaccine booster recently my condition likely would be worse. With the emergence of the more highly transmissible omicron variant it became clear in December (as noted by the AP) that all of…
Smith DJ, Hakim AJ, Leung GM, et al. COVID-19 Mortality and Vaccine Coverage — Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, January 6, 2022–March 21, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 8 April 2022. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7115e1
COVIDprotocols.org was launched by a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in March, 2020 to create open access adaptable protocols for the management of COVID19 patients, based on BWH guidelines and multidisciplinary committee discussions. In spring of 2020, Partners In Health (PIH) also published the guides for COVID-19, focused on COVID-19 care in resource-limited settings. In December, 2020, COVIDprotocols.org partnered with UCSF’s Institute for Global Health Sciences and Partners in Health (PIH) to combine the best content from UCSF’s USAID-STAR sponsored OpenCriticalCare.org and the PIH COVID19 Guides to create COVIDprotocols.org v2.0. This updated resource for COVID-19 includes content relevant to all practice settings and presents information in ways to facilitate easier utilization in learning and practice. The BWH-specific protocols still exist and are available at BWH.covidprotocols.org.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and this blog and the information contained herein are intended and designed for educational purposes only. DO NOT rely on this information to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment protocols.