Study Finds Teenage Boys Six Times More Likely To Suffer Heart Problems From Vaccine Than Be Hospitalized by COVID

Authors; Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Research conducted by the University of California has found that teenage boys are six times more likely to suffer from heart problems caused by the COVID-19 vaccine than to be hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 itself.

“A team led by Dr Tracy Hoeg at the University of California investigated the rate of cardiac myocarditis – heart inflammation – and chest pain in children aged 12-17 following their second dose of the vaccine,” reports the Telegraph.

“They then compared this with the likelihood of children needing hospital treatment owing to Covid-19, at times of low, moderate and high rates of hospitalisation.”

Researchers found that the risk of heart complications for boys aged 12-15 following the vaccine was 162.2 per million, which was the highest out of all the groups they looked at.

This compares to the risk of a healthy boy being hospitalized as a result of a COVID infection, which is around 26.7 per million, meaning the risk they face from the vaccine is 6.1 times higher.

Even during high risk rates of COVID, such as in January this year, the threat posed by the vaccine is 4.3 times higher, while during low risk rates, the risk of teenage boys suffering a “cardiac adverse event” from the vaccine is a whopping 22.8 times higher.

The research data was based on a study of adverse reactions suffered by teens between January and June this year.

In a sane world, such data should represent the nail in the coffin for the argument that teenagers and children should be mandated to take the coronavirus vaccine, but it obviously won’t.

In the UK, the government is pushing to vaccinate 12-15-year-olds, even without parental consent, despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advising against it.

Meanwhile, in America, Los Angeles County school officials voted unanimously to mandate COVID shots for all

Does this enzyme raise the chance of COVID-related death?

Researchers discovered an enzyme that is genetically related to a key enzyme in snake venom and was found in COVID-19 fatalities in doses 20 times the safe amount.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF   SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 19:37

A study from the University of Arizona discovered that an enzyme with a key role in severe inflammation may be a vital mechanism in COVID-19 severity and could provide a new target for medicine development.The researchers collaborated with Stony Brook University and Wake Forest School of Medicine to analyze blood samples from two COVID-19 patients and discovered that the circulation of the sPLA2-11A enzyme may be an important method in predicting which patients would die of COVID-19.At high levels, the enzyme has the ability to “shred” the membranes of vital organs. “It’s a bell-shaped curve of disease resistance versus host tolerance,” said Floyd (ski) Chilton, senior author on the paper and director of the U Arizona Precision Nutrition and Wellness Initiative at the university. “In other words, this enzyme is trying to kill the virus, but at a certain point it is released in such high amounts that things head in a really bad direction, destroying the patient’s cell membranes and thereby contributing to multiple organ failure and death.” “The idea to identify a potential prognostic factor in COVID-19 patients originated from Dr. Chilton,” said Maurizio Del Poeta, a co-author of the study. “He first contacted us last fall with the idea to analyze lipids and metabolites in blood samples of COVID-19 patients.” The research team analyzed thousands of patient data points. The team focused on traditional risk factors like age, body mass index and preexisting conditions, but they also focused on biochemical enzymes and patients’ levels of lipid metabolites.

“In this study, we were able to identify patterns of metabolites that were present in individuals who succumbed to the disease,” said Justin Snider, an assistant research professor at the University of Arizona and lead study author. “The metabolites that surfaced revealed cell energy dysfunction and high levels of the sPLA2-11A enzyme. The former was expected but not the latter.”The analysis showed that most healthy people have approximately half a nanogram of the enzyme per milliliter, 63% of people who had severe COVID-19 and died had more than 10 nanograms per milliliter.”Some of the patients who died from COVID-19 had some of the highest levels of this enzyme that have ever been reported,” said Chilton.Previous research into the enzyme shows that it has similar genetic ancestry to a key enzyme contained in snake venom. “Like venom coursing through the body, [the enzyme] has the capacity to bind to receptors at neuromuscular junctions and potentially disable the function of these muscles,” said Chilton.”Roughly a third of people develop long COVID, and many of them were active individuals who now cannot walk 100 yards,” he added. “The question we are investigating now is: if this enzyme is still relatively high and active, could it be responsible for part of the long COVID outcomes that we’re seeing?”

Risk of severe COVID-19 disease with ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers: cohort study including 8.3 million people

  1. Julia Hippisley-Cox1, Duncan Young2,3, Carol Coupland4, Keith M Channon5, Pui San Tan6, David A Harrison7, Kathryn Rowan8,  Paul Aveyard6, Ian D Pavord9, Peter J Watkinson5,10
  2. Correspondence to Prof Julia Hippisley-Cox, Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 

Abstract

Background 

There is uncertainty about the associations of angiotensive enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) drugs with COVID-19 disease. We studied whether patients prescribed these drugs had altered risks of contracting severe COVID-19 disease and receiving associated intensive care unit (ICU) admission.

Methods 

This was a prospective cohort study using routinely collected data from 1205 general practices in England with 8.28 million participants aged 20–99 years. We used Cox proportional hazards models to derive adjusted HRs for exposure to ACE inhibitor and ARB drugs adjusted for sociodemographic factors, concurrent medications and geographical region. The primary outcomes were: (a) COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnosed disease and (b) COVID-19 disease resulting in ICU care.

Findings 

Of 19 486 patients who had COVID-19 disease, 1286 received ICU care. ACE inhibitors were associated with a significantly reduced risk of COVID-19 disease (adjusted HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.74) but no increased risk of ICU care (adjusted HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.06) after adjusting for a wide range of confounders. Adjusted HRs for ARBs were 0.63 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.67) for COVID-19 disease and 1.02 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.25) for ICU care.

There were significant interactions between ethnicity and ACE inhibitors and ARBs for COVID-19 disease. The risk of COVID-19 disease associated with ACE inhibitors was higher in Caribbean (adjusted HR 1.05, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.28) and Black African (adjusted HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.59) groups than the white group (adjusted HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.70). A higher risk of COVID-19 with ARBs was seen for Black African (adjusted HR 1.24, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.58) than the white (adjusted HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.62) group.

Interpretation 

ACE inhibitors and ARBs are associated with reduced risks of COVID-19 disease after adjusting for a wide range of variables. Neither ACE inhibitors nor ARBs are associated with significantly increased risks of receiving ICU care. Variations between different ethnic groups raise the possibility of ethnic-specific effects of ACE inhibitors/ARBs on COVID-19 disease susceptibility and severity which deserves further study.

Model predicts 100,000 more COVID deaths unless U.S. changes its ways

AUGUST 27, 2021 / 7:50 AM / AP

The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and December 1, according to the nation’s most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.

In other words, what the coronavirus has in store this fall depends on human behavior.

“Behavior is really going to determine if, when and how sustainably the current wave subsides,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. “We cannot stop Delta in its tracks, but we can change our behavior overnight.”

That means doubling down again on masks, limiting social gatherings, staying home when sick and getting vaccinated. “Those things are within our control,” Meyers said.

The U.S. is in the grip of a fourth wave of infection this summer, powered by the highly contagious Delta variant, which has sent cases, hospitalizations and deaths soaring again, swamped medical centers, burned-out nurses and erased months of progress against the virus.

Deaths are running at over 1,100 a day on average, turning the clock back to mid-March. One influential model, from the University of Washington, projects an additional 98,000 Americans will die by the start of December, for an overall death toll of nearly 730,000.

The projection says deaths will rise to nearly 1,400 a day by mid-September, then decline slowly.

But the model also says many of those deaths can be averted if Americans change their ways.

“We can save 50,000 lives simply by wearing masks. That’s how important behaviors are,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle who is involved in the making of the projections.

Already there are signs that Americans are taking the threat more seriously.

Amid the alarm over the Delta variant in the past several weeks, the slump in demand for COVID-19 shots reversed course. The number of vaccinations dispensed per day has climbed around 80% over the past month to an average of about 900,000.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday that in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, “more people got their first shots in the past month than in the prior two months combined.”

Also, millions of students are being required to wear masks. A growing number of employers are demanding their workers get the vaccine after the federal government gave Pfizer’s shot full approval earlier this week. And cities like New York and New Orleans are insisting people get vaccinated if they want to eat at a restaurant.

Half of American workers are in favor of vaccine requirements at their workplaces, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Early signs suggest behavior changes may already be flattening the curve in a few places where the virus raged this summer.

An Associated Press analysis shows the rate of new cases is slowing in Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas, some of the same states where first shots are on the rise. In Florida, pleas from hospitals and a furor over masks in schools may have nudged some to take more precautions.

However, the troubling trends persist in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming, where new infections continue to rise steadily.

Mokdad said he is frustrated that Americans “aren’t doing what it takes to control this virus.”

“I don’t get it,” he said. “We have a fire and nobody wants to deploy a firetruck.”

One explanation: The good news in the spring — vaccinations rising, cases declining — gave people a glimpse of the way things used to be, said Elizabeth Stuart of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and that made it tough for them to resume the precautions they thought they left behind.

“We don’t need to fully hunker down,” she said, “but we can make some choices that reduce risk.”

Even vaccinated people should stay vigilant, said Doctor Gaby Sauza, 30, of Seattle, who was inoculated over the winter but tested positive for COVID-19 along with other guests days after an Aug. 14 Vermont wedding, even though the festivities were mostly outdoors and those attending had to submit photos of their vaccination cards.

“In retrospect, absolutely, I do wish I had worn a mask,” she said.

Sauza, a resident in pediatrics, will miss two weeks of hospital work and has wrestled with guilt overburdening her colleagues. She credits the vaccine with keeping her infection manageable, though she suffered several days of body aches, fevers, night sweats, fatigue, coughing and chest pain.

“If we behave, we can contain this virus. If we don’t behave, this virus is waiting for us,” Mokdad said. “It’s going to find the weak among us.”

Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State/Territory

Reported to the CDC by State or Territory; Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates Mon-Sat by 8 pm ET

Select a state or territory here to view current statistics: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailycases

The United States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana. Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (excludes NYC), New York City, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Palau, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Republic of Marshall Islands, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, The United States

View(left axis):                                           Cumulative Deaths                                 Cumulative Cases                                           Daily Cases                                           Daily Deaths         Daily Test Volume      

                                  


Show:7-Day moving average


View(right axis):                                             select one                                             Total Cases Per 100,000                  7-Day Cases Per 100,000           Total Deaths Per 100,000                              7-Day Deaths Per 100,000               Testing 7-day Percent Positivity                                              % ED Visits Diagnosed COVID       7-Day Avg Total Doses Daily                                              7-Day Avg People Receiving at Least 1 Dose       7-Day Avg People Fully Vaccinated                                             Total Vaccines Administered                                     New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions                                             Current Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients  

The blue bars show daily cases. The red line is the sum of cases over the last 7 days.Daily Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases in The United States Reported to CDC Jan 23, ’20Apr 28, ’20Aug 2, ’20Nov 6, ’20Feb 10, ’21May 17, ’21Aug 25, ‘21050k, 100k150k, 200k250k, 300kDaily Cases Jan 23, ’20Aug 25, ’21

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Footnotes

Wondering what all the data mean?CDC’s new COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review helps you stay up-to-date on the pandemic with weekly visualizations, analysis, and interpretations of key data and trends.Where can I see the number of deaths from death certificate data?Death certificate data are reported directly to CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics by state vital record offices as part of the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). You can use NVSS data to look at trends in total deaths, COVID-19 deaths, leading causes and excess deaths by geography, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and comorbidities.How many COVID-19 cases are there in your county?View your county’s data in the County View tabView and Download COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Use Data with Geography

Ultra-Vaxxed Israel’s Crisis Is a Dire Warning to America

“I don’t want to frighten you,” Israel’s COVID czar Dr. Salman Zarka told parliament this week. “But… unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie.”

Authors: Noga TarnopolskyUpdated Aug. 24, 2021 7:51AM ET / Published Aug. 24, 2021 3:38AM ET 

JERUSALEM—The massive surge of COVID-19 infections in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries on earth, is pointing to a complicated path ahead for America.

In June, there were several days with zero new COVID infections in Israel. The country launched its national vaccination campaign in December last year and has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 80 percent of citizens above the age of 12 fully inoculated. COVID, most Israelis thought, had been defeated. All restrictions were lifted and Israelis went back to crowded partying and praying in mask-free venues.

Fast forward two months later: Israel reported 9,831 new diagnosed cases on Tuesday, a hairbreadth away from the worst daily figure ever recorded in the country—10,000—at the peak of the third wave. More than 350 people have died of the disease in the first three weeks of August. In a Sunday press conference, the directors of seven public hospitals announced that they could no longer admit any coronavirus patients. With 670 COVID-19 patients requiring critical care, their wards are overflowing and staff are at breaking point.

“I don’t want to frighten you,” coronavirus czar Dr. Salman Zarka told the Israeli parliament this week. “But this is the data. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie.”

What happened?

The complex and sobering truth is that no single policy or event brought Israel to this crisis, Hagai Levine, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor of epidemiology, told The Daily Beast. A deadly set of circumstances came together to put Israel on the precipice, most of which can be summed up as: “We are still in the midst of a pandemic, and there is no silver bullet.”

“All the vectors have influenced the rise in morbidity,” he said.

But the principal causes of Israel’s current predicament are the dominance of the extremely infectious Delta variant, which was carried into the country by Israelis returning from foreign vacations during the weeks in which Israel dropped all restrictive measures—along with the worrisome decrease in vaccine efficacy after about six months.

Israel vaccinated its population almost exclusively with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which received full FDA approval on Monday and remains the gold standard for the prevention of severe illness due to the coronavirus.

It is not an Israeli problem. It is everywhere.

But in early July, with citizens over the age of 60 almost completely vaccinated, Israeli scientists began observing a worrisome rise in infections—if not in severe illness and death—among the double-vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated people with weakened immune systems appeared particularly vulnerable to the aggressive Delta variant.

By mid-July, Sheba Hospital Professor Galia Rahav began to experiment with booster shots for oncology patients, transplant patients, and the hospital’s own staff. A group of 70 elderly vaccinated Israelis with transplanted kidneys were the first to receive a third dose.

The success of Rahav’s trials in boosting immunity at about the sixth-month mark contributed to the Centers for Disease Control decision, announced last week, to begin offering booster shots to Americans in September.

In order to keep severe illness and the number of COVID deaths down, and avoiding a fourth national lockdown, Israel has embarked on an aggressive effort to provide all adults with boosters in a matter of weeks.

As of this week, all Israelis over 30 will be eligible to receive booster shots. By the end of the month, they are expected to be universally available to anyone over the age of 12 who received their second vaccine five months or more ago.

Israel will then reconfigure its Green Passports, granting them only to the triple-vaccinated, and limiting their validity to six months. In anticipation of this change, the number of unvaccinated Israelis getting their first shots has tripled since the beginning of August.

The World Health Organization has asked wealthy countries to halt all third vaccines for a period of two months, hoping that a moratorium will allow poorer countries, where few citizens have received even a first inoculation, to catch up. The United States rejected the call and Israel has ignored it.

Asked what has brought Israel to peak transmission even as the country has already provided third doses of vaccines to 1.5 million citizens, Rahav, who has become one of the best known faces of Israel’s public health messaging, sighed, saying, “I think we’re dealing with a very nasty virus. This is the main problem—and we’re learning it the hard way.”

“It is a combination of waning immunity, so that inoculated people get reinfected, and at the same time the very transmissible Delta variant,” Rahav said, adding that Israelis lacked the discipline to revert to mask usage as the numbers began rising. “But it is not an Israeli problem,” she added. “It is everywhere.”

For More Information: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ultra-vaccinated-israels-debacle-is-a-dire-warning-to-america

Delta variant: What is happening with transmission, hospital admissions, and restrictions?

Authors: Elisabeth Mahase BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1513 (Published 15 June 2021)Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1513

Are covid-19 hospital admissions increasing?

Yes. The number of new cases of covid-19 has been rising in the UK for the past few weeks, and admissions of patients to hospital are following suit. As of 9 June the number of people in hospital each day with covid-19 exceeded 1000, after having fallen to the hundreds in the middle of May after the previous wave.1

Is this because of the delta variant?

Cases were expected to rise at least a little as restrictions eased, but the new delta variant seems to have complicated matters.2 Public Health England figures show that the variant now accounts for 90% of UK cases, with the total number exceeding 42 000. Research indicates that delta is associated with an estimated 60% higher risk of household transmission than the alpha variant, which was already much more transmissible than the original version of the virus. There are also suggestions that delta could carry a much higher risk of hospital admission.

Speaking to the BBC on 13 June, Andrew Hayward, an adviser to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London, said, “I think it’s now very clear that we will have a substantial third wave of covid infections. The really big question is how much that wave of infections is going to translate into hospitalisations. The fact that we’ve got 55% of the adult population double vaccinated means that this will be substantially less bad than it could have been, but we still don’t know exactly how bad it could be.

“Sixty per cent more infectious is extremely worrying—that’s the main thing that will drive the speed with which the next wave comes along. And the fact that the level of hospitalisations from this infection appear to be maybe up to double those of the previous infection is of course also extremely concerning.”

Another concern is that the covid vaccines seem to be less effective against the delta variant, especially after one dose. A PHE preprint found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca 60% effective against the delta variant two weeks after the second dose, but both vaccines were only 33% effective against symptomatic disease from delta three weeks after the first dose.3 However, the most recent PHE analysis of 14 019 delta cases (14 June) indicates that two doses of either vaccine are still highly effective against hospital admission: 96% for Pfizer-BioNTech and 92% for Oxford-AstraZeneca.4

Speaking at a Science Media Centre briefing on 9 June, Neil Ferguson, director of the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Global Infectious at Imperial College London, said, “There’s still quite a lot of uncertainty about what the vaccine efficacy against the delta will be for those more severe forms of disease. It’s well within the possibility that we could see another third wave, at least comparable in terms of hospitalisations, maybe not as severe as the second wave.

“Almost certainly I think that deaths probably will be lower. The vaccines are having a highly protective effect, and cases in hospital are milder, but still it could be quite worrying. There is a lot of uncertainty.”

What is different about the delta variant?

In some ways the delta variant is an “improved” version of the alpha variant, making it more easily transmissible and more of a concern.

Speaking at the Science Media Centre briefing, Wendy Barclay, professor of virology and head of infectious disease at Imperial College London, explained, “The delta variant has got two important mutations in its spike protein, or sets of mutations. One is at the furin cleavage site, which we think is quite important for the fitness of the virus in the airway. The virus that emerged in Wuhan was suboptimal in that respect, so it transmitted, but perhaps not as well as it might. The alpha variant took one step towards improving that with a certain mutation, and the delta variant has built on that and taken a second step now, a bigger step, towards improving that feature.”

Why is delta able to transmit more easily?

Barclay said that the current data indicated that the virus was “fitter in human airway cells,” meaning an increased amount of the virus in the infected person, and so they may expel more virus out into the air to pass on to the next person. This is supported by the testing data, which show that the CT value (cycle threshold)—the number of amplification cycles needed for the virus to be detected—seems to be lower in samples from delta infected people, meaning they contain more virus.

Another suggestion is that if this variant is better at infecting human airway cells, people may become infected after a lower exposure.

Does delaying the easing of covid-19 restrictions make a difference?

Yes, because it allows more people to receive two doses of the vaccine. Barclay said, “Any delays, just from a purely scientific basis, will help, because they will allow more time for people to get the second dose. And also just having the second dose is not quite enough. You need to get around seven days after the second dose for the vaccine to really boost the immune response up to the levels that you’d like it to be.”

The final stage of lockdown easing in England, which had been expected to be on 21 June, has now been delayed to 19 July.

Even if the death rate with delta is lower, could the healthcare system still be overwhelmed?

Absolutely. Rising hospital admission rates would increase pressure on the already exhausted health system and could overwhelm it. Writing in BMJ Opinion, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said, “Given current NHS pressures, any increase in covid-19 admissions will set back progress on tackling the care backlog. Are we ready to accept this trade off?”5

This message has been echoed by other health leaders, including NHS Confederation deputy chief executive Danny Mortimer, who told the media the current situation was “extremely precarious.”

He said, “Health leaders are all too aware that rising infections, and especially at such a rapid rate, can easily lead to major rises in hospital admissions. Even a slight increase in admissions will affect capacity and could put recovery efforts at risk. Covid-19 hospital admissions are already going up, and that will put capacity under strain, especially as the latest performance figures showed 5.1 million people are waiting to start treatment.”

Are more children becoming ill?

There are no official figures on this, although leaders in the area of child health have refuted suggestions made by members of the Scottish government that children were now more at risk from covid-19 and that many had been admitted to hospital.

Steve Turner, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health registrar and consultant paediatrician at Royal Aberdeen Children’s hospital, said, “As it stands there are very few children in hospital in Scotland and across the whole of the UK due to covid. We’re not seeing any evidence of an increase in paediatric admissions with covid. A very small number of admissions who test positive for covid is what we’d expect.

“Our experience over the last 15 months is that many children who test positive have come into hospital for something else, like broken bones. At the moment the situation in the UK is stable. The number of children in hospital with covid remains very low.”6

Here’s what we know so far about the long-term symptoms ofCOVID-19

July 26, 2020 3.56pm EDT

We’re now all too familiar with the common symptoms of COVID-19: a fever, dry cough and fatigue. Some people also experience aches and pains, a sore throat, and loss of taste or smell.

Sufferers with mild illness might expect to get better after a few weeks. But there’s mounting evidence this isn’t the case, and COVID-19 may leave a long-lasting impression on its victims – not just the most severely affected or the elderly and frail.

It’s not just an infection of the lungs

On the surface, COVID-19 is a lung disease. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infects cells of the respiratory tract and can cause life-threatening pneumonia.

However, the full range of symptoms affects multiple parts of the body. An app that records daily symptoms developed at King’s College London has tracked the progress of more than 4 million COVID-19 patients in the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States.

Besides the well-described symptoms of fever, cough and loss of smell are other effects, including fatigue, rash, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. People who develop more severe forms of the disease also report confusion, severe muscle pains, cough and shortness of breath.

About 20% of those infected with COVID-19 require hospitalisation to treat their pneumonia, and many need assistance with oxygen. In about 5% of cases the pneumonia becomes so severe patients are admitted to intensive care for breathing support.

It trips the immune system

People with severe COVID-19 seem to show an altered immune response even in the disease’s early stages. They have fewer circulating immune cells, which fail to efficiently control the virus, and instead suffer an exaggerated inflammatory response (the “cytokine storm”).

This is increasingly recognised as one of the main factors that makes the disease so serious in some patients. Suppressing this exaggerated response with the immunosuppressant dexamethasone remains the only treatment that reduces death rates in those who require oxygen support or intensive care.


Read more: Dexamethasone: the cheap, old and boring drug that’s a potential coronavirus treatment


Patients with severe COVID-19 describe a far more complex range of symptoms than would normally be seen with pneumonia alone. This can include brain inflammation (encephalitis), causing confusion and reduced consciousness. Up to 6% of severe sufferers may have a stroke.

Pathology studies and autopsies of patients who died from COVID-19 reveal the expected features of severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with extensive inflammation and scarring. ARDS occurs when there’s sudden and widespread inflammation in the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath and blueish skin.

Uniquely, however, they also reveal the virus seems to directly cause inflammation of the small capillaries or blood vessels, not just in the lungs but in multiple organs, leading to blood clots and damage to the kidney and heart.

Persistent symptoms ‘deeply frustrating’

Anyone with a severe disease would be expected to suffer long-lasting consequences. But COVID-19 seems to have persistent symptoms even in those with milder forms of the illness.

Social media is replete with stories of survivors afflicted by ongoing symptoms. Support groups have emerged on Slack and Facebook hosting thousands of people, some still suffering more than 60 days after infection. They call themselves “long-termers” or “long-haulers”.

One of the most well-known sufferers is Paul Garner, an infectious disease specialist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK. He was infected in late March and his symptoms continue. In a blog post published by the British Medical Journal he describes having a:

…muggy head, upset stomach, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), pins and needles, breathlessness, dizziness and arthritis in the hands.

These symptoms have waxed and waned but not yet resolved. He says this is:

…deeply frustrating. A lot of people start doubting themselves… Their partners wonder if there is something psychologically wrong with them.

So far, only one peer-reviewed study has reported results on the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 infection: a single group of 143 survivors from Rome. Most of them did not need hospitalization and all were assessed at least 60 days after infection. They reported a worsened quality of life in 44.1% of cases, including symptoms of persistent fatigue (53.1%), breathlessness (43.4%), joint pain (27.3%), and chest pain (21.7%).

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

Authors: By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNNUpdated 2:18 a.m. ET, August 22, 2020

What you need to know

  • A CDC ensemble forecast now projects nearly 195,000 people will die from coronavirus in the United States by Sept. 12.
  • As students return to US campuses, at least 15 states are reporting positive coronavirus cases at universities. Meanwhile, the White House also has officially designated teachers as “essential workers.” 
  • Just weeks after many European countries opened their borders to travelers within the continent, some are closing again, seemingly undermining efforts to salvage the continent’s vital summer tourism economy.

US coronavirus deaths could top 6,000 a day by December in worst-case scenario, expert predicts

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States could spike to as high as 6,000 people a day by December in the worst-case scenario, according to Dr. Chris Murray, the chair of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

Currently, about 1,000 people are dying daily from the coronavirus in the US.

In a new model released Friday, researchers at IHME predicted the number of daily deaths will decrease slowly in September — then rise to nearly 2,000 a day by the start of December.

But Murray told CNN that, “depending on what our leaders do,” things can get worse.

“We have a worse scenario in what we release and that’s many, many more deaths,” he said. “And in fact, by the time December rolls around, if we don’t do anything at all, the daily death toll in the US would be much higher than the 2,000 deaths a day by December. It could be as high as 6,000 deaths a day.”

The new IHME forecast projects 310,000 deaths by December — 15,000 more than the previous forecast two weeks ago. That’s because while coronavirus infections are dropping in some areas, the death rate is not.

“In some states — California is a good example — cases peaked, are coming down, but deaths haven’t,” Murray said. “We’re seeing upswings in transmission in places like Kentucky and Minnesota, Indiana.”

If mask use increased in the US to 95%, the number of deaths could drop by almost 70,000, Murray added.

For More Information: https://edition.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-08-21-20-intl/index.html

Circulating mitochondrial DNA is an early indicator of severe illness and mortality from COVID-19

Authors: Davide Scozzi,1Marlene Cano,2Lina Ma,2Dequan Zhou,1Ji Hong Zhu,1Jane A. O’Halloran,3Charles Goss,4Adriana M. Rauseo,3Zhiyi Liu,1Sanjaya K. Sahu,2Valentina Peritore,5Monica Rocco,6Alberto Ricci,7Rachele Amodeo,8Laura Aimati,8Mohsen Ibrahim,1,5Ramsey Hachem,2Daniel Kreisel,1Philip A. Mudd,9Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni,2,10 and Andrew E. Gelman1,11

Abstract

Background

Mitochondrial DNA (MT-DNA) are intrinsically inflammatory nucleic acids released by damaged solid organs. Whether circulating cell-free MT-DNA quantitation could be used to predict the risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes remains undetermined.

Methods

We measured circulating MT-DNA levels in prospectively collected, cell-free plasma samples from 97 subjects with COVID-19 at hospital presentation. Our primary outcome was mortality. Intensive care unit (ICU) admission, intubation, vasopressor, and renal replacement therapy requirements were secondary outcomes. Multivariate regression analysis determined whether MT-DNA levels were independent of other reported COVID-19 risk factors. Receiver operating characteristic and area under the curve assessments were used to compare MT-DNA levels with established and emerging inflammatory markers of COVID-19.

Results

Circulating MT-DNA levels were highly elevated in patients who eventually died or required ICU admission, intubation, vasopressor use, or renal replacement therapy. Multivariate regression revealed that high circulating MT-DNA was an independent risk factor for these outcomes after adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidities. We also found that circulating MT-DNA levels had a similar or superior area under the curve when compared against clinically established measures of inflammation and emerging markers currently of interest as investigational targets for COVID-19 therapy.

Conclusion

These results show that high circulating MT-DNA levels are a potential early indicator for poor COVID-19 outcomes.

For More Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7934921/