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Analysis of the news of May 25, 2022

COVID-19 vaccination linked to less disease spread and shorter virus shedding

Transmission of COVID-19 was significantly lower, and viable virus was detected for a shorter period, in fully vaccinated patients and isolated staff at a South Korean hospital than in their partially vaccinated and unvaccinated counterparts, according to a report. study published yesterday in Open JAMA Network.

A team led by researchers from Ulsan University in Seoul studied the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among 173 healthcare workers, patients and guardians diagnosed with mild COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 to November 6. 2021. The team also measured viral RNA with polymerase chain reaction and cultured daily saliva samples from 45 patients infected with the Delta variant from July 20 to August 20, 2021, to measure viral load and shedding .

Of the 173 adults in the transmission study, the median age was 47, 58% were female, and 29% were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Secondary transmission was significantly less common in vaccinated participants than in unvaccinated participants (3 out of 43 [7%] against 29 out of 110 [26%]).

The median age among the 45 Delta-infected participants was 37 years, 31% were female, 13% were fully vaccinated, and 87% were partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. Although the initial viral RNA load was comparable between the two groups, viable virus in cell culture was detected significantly longer in partially vaccinated or unvaccinated participants than in fully vaccinated participants (8 versus 10 versus 4 days , respectively).

“The data from this study provide important evidence that despite the possibility of breakthrough infections, vaccinations against COVID-19 remain extremely useful in controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2,” the study authors wrote. .

In a related comment, Camden Gowler, PhD; Prabasaj Paul, Ph.D.; and Sujan Reddy, MD; all of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have stated that an understanding of viable viral shedding can lead to better parameterization of mathematical models that inform prevention advice. “With timely analysis and dissemination, rich longitudinal data can inform rapid public health responses to epidemics or pandemics,” they wrote.
May 24 JAMA Netw Open study and comment

MRI shows lung abnormalities in former COVID-19 patients

According to a small British study conducted in Radiology.

The new imaging technique, called Hyperpolarized Xenon 129MRI, or Hp-XeMRI, allows clinicians to assess ventilation and gas exchange in red blood cells, a process that cannot be seen on regular CT scans. Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield have hypothesized that problems with gas exchange could cause persistent shortness of breath in patients with long-term COVID.

To conduct the study, 11 non-hospitalized COVID-19 participants (NHLC) and 12 post-hospitalized COVID-19 participants (PHC) were recruited from June 2020 to August 2021. All participants reported persistent shortness of breath 4 weeks after their diagnosis, and were compared to healthy controls who had never contracted COVID-19.

Both NHLC and PHC patients had normal CT scans, but Hp-XeMRI imaging showed key differences in lung function, but not structures.

“We saw that the ability of gas to transfer from the lungs into the bloodstream was less in non-hospitalized patients compared to those hospitalized with COVID,” said lead author Fergus Gleeson, MBBS, of the department of radiology at Oxford University in a press release from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). “Furthermore, both groups of participants had lower dissolved phase Hp-XeMRI values ​​than healthy participants, indicating potential defects in the lining of the lungs or surrounding blood vessels.”

The authors said these findings could help explain some of the mysteries of long COVID and guide clinicians in developing appropriate treatment plans.
May 24 Radiology study
May 24 RANS Press release

DR Congo reports fifth fatal case of Ebola

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has reported another case of Ebola, bringing the total number of outbreaks in Equateur province to 5, all fatal, although few details of the latest case are available.

Based on a brief update of the situation that the African regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) posted today on Twitter, the patient died from his infection. The case appears to be listed as probable, based on earlier reports that the previous four illnesses have been confirmed.

The outbreak is taking place in two health zones near the city of Mbandaka, the provincial capital. After a lull of almost 2 weeks, the DRC has now reported two cases in the past week. On May 20, officials reported an Ebola death involving a 12-year-old boy from Wangata Health District.

This is the 18th Ebola outbreak in the DRC and the third to hit Equateur province since 2018. Genetic evidence suggests the latest outbreak was likely triggered by a new introduction of the virus from animals to humans.
Tweet from the WHO African Regional Office on May 25
May 23 Analysis of CIDRAP news

CDC reports 36 more unexplained cases of hepatitis in children, 216 in total

In an update on unexplained cases of hepatitis in children, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported 36 more potentially related cases, bringing the national total to 216.

So far, 38 states or jurisdictions, including Puerto Rico, have reported cases. The Utah Department of Health said on Twitter today that it has identified two Utah children under the age of 10 who were treated for unexplained hepatitis and the cases are reflected in the update. CDC day today. Officials said the two children were hospitalized with serious liver disease and both have recovered.

In an earlier update, the CDC said many of the recently reported cases are retrospective, with the investigation covering events reported since October 2021.

So far, scientists have not established a definitive cause, but a possible role for adenovirus infection is a solid lead. Canada recently reported 10 cases in 4 provinces. More than 600 cases have been reported so far worldwide.

In a related development today, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released guidance on testing children with unexplained hepatitis.
CDC Hepatitis Update Page
May 25 Utah Department of Health Tweeter
May 20 update from the Public Health Agency of Canada
25 May Technical advice from ECDC

Bird flu hits more backyard flocks in Idaho and Washington

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today reported two additional outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry, both involving backyard flocks. in the west of the country.

Idaho reported the virus at a facility in Ada County near Boise. Additionally, Washington reported an outbreak at an address in King County in the Seattle area.

The events bring the total number of outbreaks in the country to 353, including 183 in commercial poultry. So far, outbreaks have resulted in the loss of 38.02 million birds in 35 states. They involve the Eurasian H5N1 strain, which has sickened poultry and wild birds in several parts of the world.
USDA APHIS Poultry Outbreak Update Page

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