Page 502 of 506 [ 8094 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 499, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506  Next

IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 48,142

20 Jun 2022, 11:54 am

SabbraCadabra wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Personally, I think it could have been EBV.

COVID causes EBV to reactivate, so who knows. Even people who never knew they ever had EBV have said that markers showed up when they were tested.


Thanks for that info. ^

She had symptoms of EBV in the past few months prior to this illness, but was never tested for it.

In retrospect she's been in decline for several months since her third vaccine on NYE.
Everyone treated it like it was just "old age" even though she got weak and had breathing problems.
They did a lot of Covid tests but they were always negative.

She lives alone so it was hard knowing how she was from day to day.
Her Life Alert necklace saved her life when she passed out in early June.
By then she had multiple organ failure.

I had something called Fifths Disease without knowing it.
Her hospital doctors don't seem too concerned about identifying which virus she might have had.
They're more concerned with her current status, which is understandable.

For all we know it wasn't a virus at all, but it seems like that's the current belief.
They're still vacillating between various diseases and even the possibility of lymphoma / leukaemia.



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,635
Location: Long Island, New York

20 Jun 2022, 7:21 pm

A brand new subvariant is starting to surge, and there are signs this one can dodge our immunity.

Quote:
COVID-19 cases are increasing again in the United Kingdom, potentially signaling a future surge in infections in the United States and other countries.

A pair of new subvariants of the dominant Omicron variant—BA.4 and BA.5—appear to be driving the uptick in cases in the U.K. Worryingly, these subvariants seem to partially dodge antibodies from past infection or vaccination, making them more transmissible than other forms of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

There are also some suggestions that the new subvariants have evolved to target the lungs—unlike Omicron, which usually resulted in a less dangerous infection of the upper respiratory tract

But there’s good news amid the bad. While cases are going up in the U.K., hospitalizations and deaths are increasing more slowly or even declining so far. “This could mean higher transmissible variants, BA.4 or 5, are in play, [and] these variants are much less severe,” Edwin Michael, an epidemiologist at the Center for Global Health Infectious Disease Research at the University of South Florida, told The Daily Beast.

The trends could change, of course, but the decrease in deaths is an encouraging sign that, 31 months into the pandemic, all that immunity we’ve built up–at the cost of half a billion infections and tens of billions of dollars’ worth of vaccines—is still mostly holding.

As far as COVID goes, things were really looking up in the U.K. until recently. COVID cases steadily declined from their recent peak of 89,000 daily new infections in mid-March. Deaths from the March wave peaked a month later at around 330 a day.

By early June cases and deaths were near their pandemic lows. Then came BA.4 and BA.5. The grandchildren of the basic Omicron variant that first appeared in the fall of 2021, BA.4 and BA.5 both feature a trio of major mutations to their spike protein, the part of the virus that helps it to grab onto and infect our cells.

Eric Bortz, a University of Alaska-Anchorage virologist and public-health expert, described BA.4 and BA.5 as “immunologically distinct sublineages.” In other words, they interact with our antibodies in surprising new ways.

It doesn’t help that the U.K. like most countries—China is a big exception—has lifted almost all restrictions on schools, businesses, crowds and travel. Those restrictions helped to keep down cases, but were broadly unpopular and came at a high economic cost.

“There’s a disconnect between the actuality of how infections are happening… and how people are deciding not to take very many precautions,” John Swartzberg, a professor emeritus of infectious diseases and vaccinology at the University of California-Berkeley's School of Public Health, told The Daily Beast. He described it as “COVID fatigue… 100 percent of the world’s population must have it by now.”

The combination of a fully reopened economy and new COVID subvariants had an immediate effect. The U.K. Health Security Agency registered 62,228 new infections in the week ending June 10, a 70 percent uptick over the previous week. COVID hospitalizations grew more slowly over the same period, spiking 30 percent to 4,421.

COVID fatalities actually dropped, however—sliding 10 percent to 283. Deaths tend to lag infections by several weeks, of course, so it should come as no surprise if the death rate flattens or bumps up later this month or early next month.

But it’s possible it won’t.

Bortz sketched out one possibility, that BA.4 and BA.5 are “immune-evasive enough to infect, but generally not evasive enough to counteract acquired immunity from vaccines and/or prior infection.”

Tens of millions of U.K. residents have natural antibodies from past infection. 87 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. 68 percent is boosted. All those antibodies might not prevent breakthrough infections, but they do tend to prevent serious breakthrough infections.

How bad the current surge in cases gets depends to a great extent on the durability of those antibodies. Immunity, whether from past infection or vaccines, tends to wane over time. But how fast it wanes, and to what effect, is unpredictable.

It’s possible widespread immunity holds and the swelling BA.4 and BA.5 wave in the U.K. crests in a few weeks without making a whole lot more people sick—or killing them. That’s the best-case scenario given the lack of political will, and public support, for a new round of restrictions. “If higher cases would not lead to significant disease or deaths, then we may be able to live with this virus,” Michael said.

The worst-case scenario is that BA.4 and BA.5 prove more capable of evading our antibodies than experts currently anticipate. Keep an eye on the hospitalization stats. If COVID hospitalizations start increasing in proportion to the growth in cases, it’s a sign the new sublineages are dodging our hard won immunity.

In that case, a big spike in deaths is sure to follow.

That could be a big red flag for the Americas. COVID variants tend to travel from east to west, globally. New variants and subvariants tend to appear in the United States a few weeks after becoming dominant in the U.K. At present, BA.4 and BA.5 account for just a fifth of new cases in the U.S. Expect that proportion to increase.

That could be a big red flag for the Americas. COVID variants tend to travel from east to west, globally. New variants and subvariants tend to appear in the United States a few weeks after becoming dominant in the U.K. At present, BA.4 and BA.5 account for just a fifth of new cases in the U.S. Expect that proportion to increase.

The problem for Americans is that they’re much less protected than Britons. Yes, Americans have a lot of antibodies from past infection, but they’re also a lot less likely to be vaccinated—and even less likely to be boosted. Just 67 percent of Americans are fully vaxxed. A little over a third of the U.S. population has gotten a booster.

So if BA.4 and BA.5 end up causing a surge in deaths in the U.K., they’re likely to inflict an even greater death toll on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. “We’re sort of in this zone now, betwixt and between,” Swartzberg said. “It’s unclear which way things are going to go.”


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


jimmy m
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Jun 2018
Age: 73
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,280
Location: Indiana

21 Jun 2022, 7:59 am

Here is some information about the latest variants:

t only took about a month for BA.2.12.1, an Omicron subvariant, to cause most of the new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. since scientists first spotted it in the country. But even newer iterations of the Omicron variant are spreading rapidly through the U.S. and are poised to outcompete past versions of the virus, reinfect millions of Americans, and extend the country’s current COVID-19 surge.

BA.4 and BA.5 now account for more than 21% of new cases in the U.S., according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates as of June 11. These two new subvariants evolved from the Omicron lineage to become even more contagious and can bypass immunity from a past infection or vaccination, experts say. This means people can be reinfected even if they had Omicron earlier this year.

The newer subvariants can also bypass monoclonal antibody treatments, which use lab-made immune system proteins developed from earlier strains of ​​SARS-CoV-2. “Most of those antibodies that have been made are now obsolete,” Bieniasz says. Only one such treatment made by Eli Lilly, specifically designed to work against Omicron, is now effective and in use. Still, other treatments like the antiviral drug Paxlovid can help minimize severe symptoms from Omicron infections.

The other thing worth noting is that the new variant may be less deadly:

Limited data are available so far on the severity of the newer subvariants, though scientists are optimistic based on reports from South Africa, which had fewer hospitalizations and deaths during its BA.4 and BA.5 waves compared to BA.1.

Source: What to Know About the Newest, Most Contagious Omicron Subvariants


_________________
Author of Practical Preparations for a Coronavirus Pandemic.
A very unique plan. As Dr. Paul Thompson wrote, "This is the very best paper on the virus I have ever seen."


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,635
Location: Long Island, New York

22 Jun 2022, 9:50 am

jimmy m wrote:
It really looks like things are winding down in the U.S. Almost everyone has either been vaccinated or have some build in immunity because they have had COVID a few times and lived to tell the tale.

In light of this I am thinking it is time to retire this thread and replace it with a new thread. It could be called “COVID is a post pandemic world” or “The evolution of COVID”


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 48,142

23 Jun 2022, 3:54 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
Personally, I think it could have been EBV.

COVID causes EBV to reactivate, so who knows. Even people who never knew they ever had EBV have said that markers showed up when they were tested.



This is getting curiouser and curiouser. The doctor now says her illness started with an acute viral attack, "something like Epstein-Barr", and that it caused an auto-inflammatory response which attacked her heart and other organs.

I asked him before if she should have a Covid antibody test but he said they're redundant when the person has received Covid vaccines. She would test positive for antibodies because of the vaccines. I have no idea how she would get EBV living alone and never leaving the house in the past two years. That makes me think she had dormant EBV and it was reactivated at some point by Covid. It's possible she got Covid at a hospital appointment just prior to this illness, and it wasn't caught on testing because a few days elapsed in the interim. That could have activated old EBV, which activated an acute and severe auto-inflammatory attack of her whole body.

Very interesting. Thank you so much.



Misslizard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,486
Location: Aux Arcs

23 Jun 2022, 4:33 pm

/\ One of my unvaccinated older family members caught Covid.Afterwards they had a stroke and was also diagnosed with EBV.


_________________
I am the dust that dances in the light. - Rumi


IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 48,142

23 Jun 2022, 4:46 pm

Active EBV, or the antibodies? ^


This is all starting to make sense. The hospital isn't going to do EBV antibody testing but it makes a lot of sense.
She's had symptoms of EBV quite a few times in her life, especially when she used to work with youth.



Misslizard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,486
Location: Aux Arcs

23 Jun 2022, 4:58 pm

/|Not sure, all she mentioned was being diagnosed with EBV.


_________________
I am the dust that dances in the light. - Rumi


IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 48,142

23 Jun 2022, 5:04 pm

Misslizard wrote:
/|Not sure, all she mentioned was being diagnosed with EBV.


Thanks anyway. I hope your family member is recovering well.

When my mum first went to ER they were anticipating a stroke because her heart rate was so high and she was in A-Fib. They were going to shock her heart but I refused to let them because she's only 98 lbs. They stabilised her with meds instead. The heart scans revealed congenital defects but also suggest she was very close to stroke / heart attack from Endocarditis, caused by the illness.

She's had strokes before but never during illness and she didn't have a known heart issue before.



Misslizard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Age: 58
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,486
Location: Aux Arcs

23 Jun 2022, 6:21 pm

/\ Thank you and hoping your Mom improves.
My relative never had any coronary issues before.She was very healthy for her age, early seventies.


_________________
I am the dust that dances in the light. - Rumi


Double Retired
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 67
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,109
Location: U.S.A.

25 Jun 2022, 4:38 pm

:eew: I AM ON HOLIDAY IN QUARENTINA!

I DON'T wish you were here.

I DO wish I wasn't hereI didn't enjoy the trip to get here and I don't enjoy being here.

:hmph: But at least I seem to be recovering, thank you.


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,635
Location: Long Island, New York

27 Jun 2022, 11:00 pm

Epstein-Barr may play a role in some long COVID; coronavirus can impair blood sugar processing by organs

Quote:
he following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review.

Epstein-Barr virus may play role in some long COVID cases

COVID-19 may reactivate a common virus that lurks unseen in most people, and that effect might increase patients' risk of certain long-lasting symptoms, according to preliminary findings from a study. More than 90% of adults have been infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Most remained asymptomatic, but some developed mononucleosis as adolescents or young adults.

Among 280 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections, including 208 with long COVID, researchers found that at four months after diagnosis, fatigue and problems with thinking and reasoning were more common in study participants with immune cells in their blood showing signs of recent EBV reactivation. These signs of reactivation were not linked with other long COVID findings such as gastrointestinal or heart and lung problems, however. And EBV itself was not found in patients' blood, which suggests any reactivation likely is transient and happens during acute COVID-19, Dr. Timothy Henrich of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues reported on medRxiv ahead of peer review.



SARS-CoV-2 can impair blood sugar processing by organs

Infection with the coronavirus impairs the activity of multiple genes involved in the body's chemical processes, including blood sugar metabolism, and for the first time researchers have seen these effects not just in patients' respiratory tract but elsewhere in the body.

Japanese researchers analyzed blood and tissue samples from patients with mild or severe COVID-19 and from healthy volunteers, evaluating the "expression" - or activity levels - of genes that control the so-called insulin/IGF signaling pathway, which in turn affects many body functions necessary for metabolism, growth, and fertility. "The results were striking," study leader Iichiro Shimomura of Osaka University said in a statement. "Infection with SARS-CoV-2 affected the expression of insulin/IGF signaling pathway components in the lung, liver, adipose tissue, and pancreatic cells." The resulting disruptions in blood sugar metabolism likely contribute to COVID-19's effects on organs, the researchers said.

The changes, which they attribute in part to the immune system's inflammatory response to the virus, were more pronounced in patients with severe COVID-19, they reported in the journal Metabolism. In test tube experiments, dexamethasone - which is known to benefit hospitalized patients with COVID-19 - helped relieve the adverse effects of the virus on the genes.

The new findings might be a clue to why some patients develop metabolic complications during or after COVID-19, such as insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and new onset of diabetes, the researchers said.



New data support 5 days of isolation plus 5 days of masking
A new study supports current guidelines that call for a five-day isolation period for COVID-19 infections followed by five days of strict masking to help prevent transmission from cases that remain culture positive, researchers said.

Boston University School of Medicine researchers collected daily nasal swabs for at least 10 days from 92 vaccinated college students and staff infected with the Delta or Omicron variants of the coronavirus for analysis with PCR and with the kind of rapid-antigen tests that are available for home use. Among these young and otherwise healthy adults, only 17% still tested positive after five days, and no one was infectious beyond 12 days after symptom onset, the researchers reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The results were similar regardless of variant or vaccine booster status, and negative rapid antigen tests were very reliable, according to the report.

While rapid antigen testing "may provide reassurance of lack of infectiousness... a full 10 days is necessary to prevent transmission from the 17 percent of individuals who remain culture positive after isolation," study leader Dr. Tara Bouton said in a statement.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,635
Location: Long Island, New York

29 Jun 2022, 6:31 am

What causes long COVID? Canadian researchers think they’ve found a key clue

Quote:
A team of researchers based at five centres across Ontario have zeroed in on a microscopic abnormality in the way oxygen moves from the lungs and into the blood vessels of long COVID patients in their trial.

This abnormality could explain why these patients feel breathless and are unable to perform strenuous activities, says lead researcher Grace Parraga, Tier 1 Canada research chair in lung imaging at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

“Those feelings of breathlessness are completely consistent with our finding that we’re not moving the oxygen as efficiently as we should,” she said.

Many long COVID sufferers have been stumping doctors as to what’s wrong with them, because routine clinical tests and chest exams come back with normal readings.

It’s very exciting for us to actually find something that’s wrong — that it’s in the patient’s lungs and not in their head,” Parraga said.

The study, which was funded by the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund, looked at 34 patients — 12 who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and 22 others who had not been hospitalized.

The patients were evaluated about nine months after their infection started and were still experiencing a number of debilitating symptoms.

Using an MRI technique developed by Western University that is five times as sensitive and has five times the spatial resolution of a CT scan, the researchers were able to see how tiny branches of air tubes in the lungs were moving oxygen into the red blood cells of their patients.

Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Any disruption in the flow of this oxygen to red blood cells will trigger the brain to say, ‘breathe more’ — resulting in a feeling of breathlessness, Parraga explained.

All 34 of the patients who participated in the study were experiencing problems in the level of oxygen being absorbed by their red blood cells.

And they all had the same result, regardless of the severity of their symptoms or whether they had been hospitalized for COVID-19 — another key find, Parraga said.

“All these patients had this abnormality. They all had really serious symptoms, so their exercise scores were low, they were breathless when they exercised and when we measured the oxygen levels in their blood in the tips of their fingers after exercise, that was also low.”

And these external measurements corresponded to the abnormality the researchers found in their MRI measurement of the lungs, she said.

“The takeaway is that now we know what’s wrong.”

The reason why this anomaly is happening is not yet known. But identifying this as a possible trigger for these patients’ symptoms is an important step in trying to learn more, Parraga said.

Dr. Michael Nicholson, a respirologist with the post-acute COVID-19 program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ont., who co-authored the study, says the findings give patients an identifiable reason why they are still experiencing symptoms months after getting COVID-19.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,635
Location: Long Island, New York

29 Jun 2022, 4:53 pm

This Fall Will Be a Vaccination Reboot

Quote:
In one sense, this is how it was always supposed to go: When viruses evolve, vaccines should follow, and sometimes try to leap ahead. The COVID-19 shots that the U.S. has used to inoculate hundreds of millions of people are simply so new that they’ve never had to undergo a metamorphosis; up until now, their original-recipe ingredients have stood up to SARS-CoV-2 well enough. But the virus they fight has changed quite radically, and this fall, the vaccines will finally, finally follow suit.

Today, an advisory committee to the FDA recommended that our current slate of shots be updated to include a piece of an Omicron subvariant, with the aim of better tailoring the vaccine to the coronavirus variants that could trouble us this fall. Neither the agency nor its outside expert panel has yet reached consensus on which version of Omicron will be the best choice, and whether the next round of shots will still contain the original version of the virus as well. Regardless, a new formulation with any bit of Omicron will constitute a bet that these ingredients will better protect people than another dose of the original vaccine recipe, whose protective powers have been fading for many months.

The virus’s own mutational hijinks will determine, in part, how well that wager pays off. But for it to work at all, people have to actually get the shots. “A vaccine without vaccination is an exercise in futility,” says Stephen Thomas, the director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Health Equity. The protective power of COVID shots will depend heavily on their reach: The more people who get them as recommended, the better they’ll work.

Here in the U.S., vaccine enthusiasm has a pretty dire prognosis. Fewer than half of the vaccinated Americans eligible for a first booster have opted for one; an even paltrier fraction of those who could get second and third boosters are currently up to date on their shots. Among high-income countries, the U.S. ranks embarrassingly low on the immunity scale—for a nation with the funds and means to holster shots in spades, far too many of its residents remain vulnerable to the variants sweeping the globe, and the others that will inevitably come.

Those numbers are unlikely to budge in future inoculation rounds, unless “we do something very dramatically different,” says Kevin Schulman, a physician and economist at Stanford University. The next round of vaccines could start its rollout by early October, depending on its contents, making this autumn the first COVID-shot update of the rest of our lives—and marking one of the ways we’ll have to permanently incorporate SARS-CoV-2 into our thinking. The round of shots rolled out this fall, then, won’t just be a sequel to the injections of the past year and a half; it will be a chance for a true cultural reboot. By year’s end, America will likely set a vaccine precedent, either breaking its pattern of injection attrition or further solidifying it, and letting the virus once again lap us.

From the beginning, the messaging on COVID boosters has been a bungled mess. Originally, it seemed possible that a duo of doses, perhaps even a single shot, would be enough to block all infections, and bring pandemic precautions to a screeching halt. That, of course, was not the case. With the virus still spreading last summer and fall, experts began heatedly debating what purpose extra doses might serve, and who should get them—and if they were needed at all. Caught in the cross fire, the FDA and CDC issued a series of seemingly contradictory communications about who should be signing up for extra shots and when.

Then BA.1—the original Omicron subvariant—arrived. This variant was so mutated that it was tough to stave off with one or two original-recipe doses alone, and suddenly far more experts agreed that everyone would benefit from an immunity juice-up. By the end of 2021, the U.S. had a catchall booster recommendation for adults (and has since expanded it to kids as young as 5), but whatever the benefit of a booster might be, much of the public had disengaged. Many had been infected by then, and even people who had gladly gotten doses one and two couldn’t muster the same urgency or enthusiasm again. “The feeling was, I’ve already gotten one series of shots—I’m not just going to keep getting more,” especially with no obvious end to the injection rigamarole in sight, says Stacy Wood, a marketing expert at North Carolina State University who, with Schulman, has written about the challenges of promoting COVID-19 vaccines.

The shots have also become much harder to get. Mass vaccination sites have closed, especially affecting low-income and rural regions, where there’s a dearth of medical centers and pharmacies. Pandemic funds have dried up, imperiling shot supply. Ever-changing recommendations have also created an impossible-to-navigate matrix of eligibility. Since the booster rollout began, recommendations on when to boost and how many times have shifted so often that many people haven’t realized the shots were actually available to them, or were mistakenly turned away from vaccination sites that couldn’t parse the complex criteria dictating who was allowed an extra dose. Pile onto that the persistent problems that have stymied initial vaccinations—a lack of paid sick leave, fears of side effects, the hassles and costs of scheduling and traveling to a shot—and it sends a message: The shots can’t be so necessary if they’re this cumbersome to get.

The country’s loosened stance on the pandemic as of late has reinforced the shots’ optional status. With COVID death rates near their all-time low—thanks largely to vaccines—infections, which have now hit a majority of Americans, continue to be dismissed as manageably “mild.” Mask mandates, testing programs, and gathering restrictions have evaporated. And so have what vaccination requirements existed.

“People just aren’t as concerned,” says Mysheika Roberts, the health commissioner of Columbus, Ohio. “The fear of the virus has changed a lot.” In an atmosphere of mass relaxation, the urgency of more vaccines—a reminder of the pandemic’s persistent toll—simply doesn’t register. Compared with the pandemic’s early days, we’re now “fighting complacency and fatigue” that wasn’t bogging us down before, says Angela Shen, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Immunization ennui has created cracks into which anti-vaccine misinformation has quickly seeped. “It allowed the dominance of the negative messages,” Schulman told me, with a fervor that pro-vaccine messages have yet to match.

With any vaccine, “there’s going to be a certain percentage drop-off each time you ask people to come back in,” says Elaine Hernandez, a sociologist and health demographer at Indiana University Bloomington. But America’s approach to boosters took that natural chasm and stretched it further out. This year, well-timed boosters, delivered in advance of winter, could blunt the wave that many experts forecast will begin to crash over the nation by year’s end. Recent modeling suggests that SARS-CoV-2 could kill up to 211,000 people from March 2022 to March 2023—making new vaccines essential to stem the tide. As things stand, the U.S. has little planned from now until the fall to make this booster push more successful than the last, and communicating the shots’ benefits will be far more difficult than it was in 2021, when the vaccines were fresh. If anything, the next rollout threatens to be one of the most constrained distribution efforts yet: COVID funding remains in congressional limbo, and federal officials have fretted that “we’re not going to have enough vaccines for every adult who wants one” this fall. If the current trends continue, “I don’t think we’re going to do any better” than the boosting rates the country has already clocked, Shen told me.

The fall boosters will reignite those communication challenges, and add some of their own. The new formulation, selected months ahead of schedule, remains an inherent gamble. “We need an updated shot,” Shen told me. That decision has to happen now, in order for boosters to be manufactured by fall. But there’s no telling what Greek-letter threat will be ping-ponging around the globe by the time winter sets in, or how good a match the shots will be.

The new message has to be that “the virus has changed, and now the vaccines have changed,” says Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota.

The shots’ selling points, though, won’t be the same across the country. Policies specific to one location just can’t be expected “to work the same way somewhere else.”

For enthusiasts—people who can’t wait to dose up again—health officials might do well to play up the novelty of the autumn vaccine recipe, the hottest new model to hit the shelves. “The upgrade mentality is compelling,” Wood, of North Carolina State University, told me. “People like to have the most cutting-edge thing.” That won’t fly with everyone, however. Newness was the very thing some people feared about the COVID vaccines to begin with, Wood pointed out; highlighting an unfamiliar version of an already foreign-seeming product could exacerbate those concerns.

Far more important is “who’s delivering it.” Any successful vaccination effort, he said, survives on maintaining trust long-term. “Once you have trust, everything flows from there.”

His own efforts to increase vaccination have built on that principle—which has meant shifting the venues in which people expect to receive their shots. For more than a year, he and his colleagues have been been partnering with Black barbers and stylists across the country to turn hair salons into COVID immunization sites, where regulars can stop in for a trim, a shave, and a jab, all while getting their questions answered in a space that feels familiar and safe.Messages like “Don’t let COVID come to your family reunion” and “Are your kids max-boosted?” partnered with images of grandmothers and children strongly resonate.

Whatever the scale, the more infrastructure that’s around to support continued immunizations, the better. Reopening vaccination venues, with the help of renewed federal funds, this fall would help; so would reigniting outreach that brings shots to low-resource communities. In Minnesota, she’s been working to deliver vaccines with the help of leaders from local mosques and pharmacies; a year and a half in, “we still find people who want to get their first shots when we talk with them,” she told me. “And there are people who know they want boosters, but haven’t had the opportunity, and people who are on the fence, but can decide to get it pretty quickly in a conversation where they can ask their questions.”

For all the discussions that people have been having about what to put into our next vaccines, Thomas told me, “I’ve not heard anything about how that’s going to be communicated and rolled out.” Those conversations, he said, need to launch now, or risk never getting off the ground at all.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 28,635
Location: Long Island, New York

30 Jun 2022, 12:52 pm

Behind a paywall
Experts: New COVID-19 subvariant leading to more 'breakthrough' cases

Quote:
A new COVID-19 subvariant that is particularly good at infecting vaccinated people or those immune from previous infection is poised to become the next dominant strain, medical experts said Wednesday.

Even so, according to experts, the rise of the BA. 5 subvariant of the omicron strain is unlikely to cause extensive deaths or hospitalizations among those vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

“BA. 5 is the one that is going to eclipse them all in the next month or so," said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of public health and epidemiology for Northwell Health. "It is well on its way."

In the region comprised of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the BA. 2.12.1 subvariant remains dominant at about 53% of confirmed new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

BA. 5 however is increasing steadily, accounting for about 31% of new cases as of the week ending last Saturday, the CDC said. The BA. 4 subvariant accounted for about 12% of new cases.

BA. 5 has not led to a dramatic increase in the numbers of deaths or hospitalizations caused by the virus, experts said. It has led to substantial increase in "breakthrough” cases among the vaccinated and those with prior immunity, said Farber and Sean Clouston, an associate professor of public health at Stony Brook University.

The numbers of new confirmed cases on Long Island appear to have hit a plateau in recent days, though there was a slight uptick that may be connected to end-of-the-school year ceremonies and gatherings, Clouston said.

What remains unclear, he said, is whether this is the start of a new wave, though the next couple of weeks will be key. The hope is, with people moving outdoors for summer activities, the numbers will start to drop, he said.

Both Clouston and Farber said it is hard to accurately predict what will happen next.

“With COVID, every time we get one of these waves I am kind of surprised by something,” Clouston said. “It changes quickly and it changes to adapt to its new conditions.”

Still, Farber said, “I don’t think rates are going to skyrocket until potentially in the fall because we are in a good position in terms of the season and being outdoors.”

As the new subvariants take over, experts said it is likely that the vaccines will have to be tweaked in the fall.

“The current vaccine, which is a long, long outdated vaccine, was made through the Alpha strain, which you can’t find if you wanted to nowadays,” Farber said.


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


SabbraCadabra
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,444
Location: Michigan

01 Jul 2022, 7:44 am

COVID-19 fattens up our body's cells to fuel its viral takeover
Compounds that cut off the flow of fatty fuel stop the virus from replicating in the lab

The virus that causes COVID-19 undertakes a massive takeover of the body's fat-processing system, creating cellular storehouses of fat that empower the virus to hijack the body's molecular machinery and cause disease.


No wonder I've gained so much weight =|


_________________
he had a lot to say, he had a lot of nothing to say
we'll miss him