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Delivering Extra Protection Against COVID-19


27 Jul 2023

What you need to know SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is covered in spike proteins. These spike proteins interact with a protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) that sits on the surface of human cells. By attaching to ACE2, the virus can infect the human cells. Because ACE2 does not change, the part of the spike protein that interacts with ACE2 is unlikely to change or mutate. This makes the development of “decoy” ACE2 proteins — proteins that bind to SARS-CoV-2 before it can attach to human cells — a promising target for new treatments.


What Long COVID Looks Like in Children and Young Adults


22 May 2023

At least 15 million kids have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but it is unclear how many of them have had or are living with long COVID. The ailment includes symptoms that linger after COVID-19 or symptoms that come back after an absence of weeks or months. A person might feel short of breath, lose their sense of smell, be unable to think clearly, be tired all the time, or have other maladies that can be traced back to COVID-19.


Rapid Progression of Dementia Following COVID-19


03 May 2023

What you need to know COVID-19 can cause long-term problems with thinking, concentrating, and remembering. This condition is commonly known as “brain fog.” Brain fog after COVID-19 has been studied mostly by observing previously healthy people. In a small study supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), researchers examined the cognitive impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia. The researchers found that having COVID-19 rapidly accelerated the structural and functional brain deterioration of patients with dementia, regardless of the type of dementia being experienced.


Symptoms of Long COVID Differ for People of Different Racial and Ethnic Groups


06 Apr 2023

What you need to know As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a growing number of people are experiencing long-term symptoms and health problems following SARS-CoV-2 infection, a condition known as Long COVID. However, the likelihood of being diagnosed with Long COVID seems to vary. A study supported by the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative found that the majority of patients from a sample of more than 30,000 patients with a Long COVID diagnosis were White, non-Hispanic, female, and likely to live in more affluent areas with greater access to health care. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected people from racial and ethnic minorities, this finding may mean that people from those groups are living with Long COVID without a formal diagnosis.


Antiviral Treatment Reduces Likelihood of Severe Illness From Omicron


09 Feb 2023

hat you need to know Antiviral drugs can lower the risk of severe illness and death from viral infections. In 2021, a clinical trial showed that Paxlovid — an antiviral treatment known generically as nirmatrelvir and ritonavir — reduces the risk of severe COVID-19. Since then, the antiviral treatment has been administered more than 7.6 million times and is available by prescription at more than 40,000 locations in the United States. The study that showed the effectiveness of Paxlovid occurred when the Delta variant was the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In a new study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer Institute, researchers have found that the drug still reduces risk of hospitalization and death from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.




Articles


Oral Simnotrelvir for Adult Patients with Mild-to-Moderate Covid-19


08 Jan 2024

BACKGROUND Simnotrelvir is an oral 3-chymotrypsin–like protease inhibitor that has been found to have in vitro activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and potential efficacy in a phase 1B trial. CONCLUSIONS Early administration of simnotrelvir plus ritonavir shortened the time to the resolution of symptoms among adult patients with Covid-19, without evident safety concerns. (Funded by Jiangsu Simcere Pharmaceutical; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT05506176. opens in new tab.)




SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers pro-atherogenic inflammatory responses in human coronary vessels


28 Sep 2023

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present increased risk for ischemic cardiovascular complications up to 1 year after infection. Although the systemic inflammatory response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection likely contributes to this increased cardiovascular risk, whether SARS-CoV-2 directly infects the coronary vasculature and attendant atherosclerotic plaques remains unknown. Here we report that SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA is detectable and replicates in coronary lesions taken at autopsy from severe COVID-19 cases. SARS-CoV-2 targeted plaque macrophages and exhibited a stronger tropism for arterial lesions than adjacent perivascular fat, correlating with macrophage infiltration levels. SARS-CoV-2 entry was increased in cholesterol-loaded primary macrophages and dependent, in part, on neuropilin-1. SARS-CoV-2 induced a robust inflammatory response in cultured macrophages and human atherosclerotic vascular explants with secretion of cytokines known to trigger cardiovascular events. Our data establish that SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary vessels, inducing plaque inflammation that could trigger acute cardiovascular complications and increase long-term cardiovascular risk.




Long-Term Dysfunction of Taste Papillae in SARS-CoV-2


06 Sep 2023

Abstract BACKGROUND We sought to determine whether ongoing taste disturbance in the post-acute sequelae of coronavirus disease 2019 is associated with the persistent virus in primary taste tissue. CONCLUSIONS Our data show a temporal association in patients between functional taste, taste papillae morphology, and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and its associated immunological changes. (Funded by Intramural Research Program/National Institute on Aging/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers NCT03366168 and NCT04565067.)




Uninsured and Not Immune — Closing the Vaccine-Coverage Gap for Adults


20 Jul 2023

The U.S. Covid-19 vaccination strategy was simple: get safe and effective vaccines into arms as quickly as possible by making them free and accessible. This strategy worked: more than 670 million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered to more than 270 million Americans by the end of the national public health emergency.




Strategic Masking to Protect Patients from All Respiratory Viral Infections


06 Jul 2023

The end of the public health emergency in the United States is a richly symbolic milestone in the course of the SARSCoV-2 pandemic. During the height of the pandemic, the virus killed millions of people worldwide, upended lives, and radically altered health care. One of the most visible changes in health care was the introduction of universal masking, a measure designed to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission in health care facilities by applying source control and exposure protection to everyone in the facility. With the end of the public health emergency, however, many health care centers in the United States are now stopping universal masking and reverting to requiring masking in only limited circumstances (e.g., when health care workers are caring for patients with potentially contagious respiratory infections).




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