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Studying Long COVID Might Help Others With Post-Viral Fatigue Ailments


08 Aug 2022

For people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), “fatigue” doesn’t just mean being a little tired. It means a brain like molasses, a body exhausted and weak, and legs like jelly. If you are just tired, a typical remedy is to get some exercise or move around a bit to get blood flowing. But for people with ME/CFS, exercise does just the opposite. Physical or mental exertion can debilitate them, requiring recovery time that lasts for days, months, or years. Resting does not help. This symptom, known as post-exertional malaise, is one of the defining features of the disease, and it is poorly understood.


COVID-19 Boosters This Fall to Include Omicron Antigen, but Questions Remain About Its Value


11 Jul 2022

Probably many people who watched or participated in the June 28 virtual US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee meeting about updating COVID-19 vaccines could agree on 1 point, made by the agency’s Peter Marks, MD, Ph.D: “It is science at its hardest.” More New Online Views 8,944 Citations 0 25 Medical News & Perspectives July 8, 2022 COVID-19 Boosters This Fall to Include Omicron Antigen, but Questions Remain About Its Value Rita Rubin, MA Article Information JAMA. Published online July 8, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.11252 related articles icon Related Articles Probably many people who watched or participated in the June 28 virtual US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee meeting about updating COVID-19 vaccines could agree on 1 point, made by the agency’s Peter Marks, MD, PhD: “It is science at its hardest.” The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is shown as green dots budding from a vero mammalian kidney epithelial cell 36 hours after infection. The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is shown as green dots budding from a vero mammalian kidney epithelial cell 36 hours after infection. Steve Gschmeissner/sciencesource.com The FDA convened its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) to discuss whether to add an Omicron component to boosters for the fall. In order to have enough doses by early October, “we will need to very rapidly move to let companies know what that selection will be,” Marks reminded the panelists. (How many doses will be enough isn’t clear—as of June 30, only 51.1% of fully vaccinated US adults aged 18 years or older had received 1 booster shot, while only 27% of fully vaccinated adults aged 50 years or older, for whom a second booster is recommended, had received 2, according to government data.)


COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 5: What Parents Need To Know


19 Jun 2022

After multiple delays, very young children are finally eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. In mid-June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years, as well as to Moderna's vaccine for kids ages 6 months to 6 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) soon after recommended the vaccines, which should become available early next week.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Down to 6 Months of Age


17 Jun 2022

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include use in children down to 6 months of age. For the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, the FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) to include use of the vaccine in individuals 6 months through 17 years of age. The vaccine had been authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older. For the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, the FDA amended the EUA to include use of the vaccine in individuals 6 months through 4 years of age. The vaccine had been authorized for use in individuals 5 years of age and older.


Using AI to Advance Understanding of Long COVID Syndrome


07 Jun 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present considerable public health challenges in the United States and around the globe. One of the most puzzling is why many people who get over an initial and often relatively mild COVID illness later develop new and potentially debilitating symptoms. These symptoms run the gamut including fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, anxiety, and gastrointestinal trouble.




Articles


Risks and burdens of incident diabetes in long COVID: a cohort study


21 Mar 2022

Background There is growing evidence suggesting that beyond the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, people with COVID-19 could experience a wide range of post-acute sequelae, including diabetes. However, the risks and burdens of diabetes in the post-acute phase of the disease have not yet been comprehensively characterised. To address this knowledge gap, we aimed to examine the post-acute risk and burden of incident diabetes in people who survived the first 30 days of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interpretation In the post-acute phase, we report increased risks and 12-month burdens of incident diabetes and antihyperglycaemic use in people with COVID-19 compared with a contemporary control group of people who were enrolled during the same period and had not contracted SARS-CoV-2, and a historical control group from a pre-pandemic era. Post-acute COVID-19 care should involve identification and management of diabetes.




SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank


21 Feb 2022

There is strong evidence for brain-related abnormalities in COVID-191–13. It remains unknown however whether the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection can be detected in milder cases, and whether this can reveal possible mechanisms contributing to brain pathology. Here, we investigated brain changes in 785 UK Biobank participants (aged 51–81) imaged twice, including 401 cases who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 between their two scans, with 141 days on average separating their diagnosis and second scan, and 384 controls. The availability of pre-infection imaging data reduces the likelihood of pre-existing risk factors being misinterpreted as disease effects. We identified significant longitudinal effects when comparing the two groups, including: (i) greater reduction in grey matter thickness and tissue-contrast in the orbitofrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus, (ii) greater changes in markers of tissue damage in regions functionally-connected to the primary olfactory cortex, and (iii) greater reduction in global brain size. The infected participants also showed on average larger cognitive decline between the two timepoints. Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still seen after excluding the 15 cases who had been hospitalised. These mainly limbic brain imaging results may be the in vivo hallmarks of a degenerative spread of the disease via olfactory pathways, of neuroinflammatory events, or of the loss of sensory input due to anosmia. Whether this deleterious impact can be partially reversed, or whether these effects will persist in the long term, remains to be investigated with additional follow-up.




Association of COVID-19 Vaccination With Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Time Since Vaccination and Delta Variant Predominance


14 Feb 2022

Key Points Question How does the association between prior COVID-19 vaccination and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection change with time since vaccination and the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant? Findings In this test-negative, case-control study that included 1 634 271 tests from symptomatic adults, the odds ratio for prior mRNA vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 test positivity was lower before than during Delta variant predominance. The attenuation in effect size related to time since vaccination was greater than the attenuation related to the Delta variant. Meaning The findings are consistent with a steady decline in estimated mRNA vaccine effectiveness over time, separate from variant-specific differences in protection.




Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19


09 Feb 2022

The cardiovascular complications of acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are well described, but the post-acute cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19 have not yet been comprehensively characterized. Here we used national healthcare databases from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a cohort of 153,760 individuals with COVID-19, as well as two sets of control cohorts with 5,637,647 (contemporary controls) and 5,859,411 (historical controls) individuals, to estimate risks and 1-year burdens of a set of pre-specified incident cardiovascular outcomes. We show that, beyond the first 30 d after infection, individuals with COVID-19 are at increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease spanning several categories, including cerebrovascular disorders, dysrhythmias, ischemic and non-ischemic heart disease, pericarditis, myocarditis, heart failure and thromboembolic disease. These risks and burdens were evident even among individuals who were not hospitalized during the acute phase of the infection and increased in a graded fashion according to the care setting during the acute phase (non-hospitalized, hospitalized and admitted to intensive care). Our results provide evidence that the risk and 1-year burden of cardiovascular disease in survivors of acute COVID-19 are substantial. Care pathways of those surviving the acute episode of COVID-19 should include attention to cardiovascular health and disease.




Durability of Anti-Spike Antibodies in Infants After Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination or Natural Infection


07 Feb 2022

COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy generates functional anti-spike (anti-S) IgG antibodies in maternal circulation that are detectable in umbilical cord blood at birth and can protect the newborn and infant from COVID-19.1-4 Anti-S IgG titers in the umbilical cord are correlated with maternal titers and are highest after late second and early third trimester vaccination.2-4 We characterized the persistence of vaccine-induced maternal anti-S IgG in infant blood and compared persistence of infant anti-S IgG after maternal vaccination vs natural infection.




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