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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


Development of a Definition of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection


25 May 2023

Key Points Question What symptoms are differentially present in SARS-CoV-2–infected individuals 6 months or more after infection compared with uninfected individuals, and what symptom-based criteria can be used to identify postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) cases? Findings In this analysis of data from 9764 participants in the RECOVER adult cohort, a prospective longitudinal cohort study, 37 symptoms across multiple pathophysiological domains were identified as present more often in SARS-CoV-2–infected participants at 6 months or more after infection compared with uninfected participants. A preliminary rule for identifying PASC was derived based on a composite symptom score. Meaning A framework for identifying PASC cases based on symptoms is a first step to defining PASC as a new condition. These findings require iterative refinement that further incorporates clinical features to arrive at actionable definitions of PASC.




11 clinical trials that will shape medicine in 2023


23 Dec 2022

2022 has been a rollercoaster year for biopharma, as it has faced an industry-wide slowdown and late-stage clinical trial failures, as well as breakthroughs and regulatory approvals. COVID-19 has continued to disrupt nearly all aspects of clinical trial infrastructure, from patient recruitment to supply chains, but despite this, 2023 promises to bring many new readouts from different branches of medicine (Table 1). Nature Medicine asked 11 leading experts for their top clinical trials to watch in the coming year




Association of Baseline Adherence to Antihypertensive Medications With Adherence After Shelter-in-Place Guidance for COVID-19 Among US Adults


20 Dec 2022

Question: Does baseline antihypertensive medication adherence identify individuals at risk for poor adherence during sheltering for COVID-19? Findings This cohort study assessed antihypertensive medication adherence as the proportion of days covered (PDC) from filled prescriptions claims for 6 months before and after COVID-19 sheltering guidance in a random sample of 27 318 US adults. Poor adherence (PDC < 50) during sheltering occurred in 73% with poor baseline adherence, 32% with fair baseline adherence (PDC 50-79), and 10% with good baseline adherence (PDC ≥ 80). These findings suggest that adherence-promoting interventions may be helpful irrespective of sheltering for poor baseline adherence and during sheltering for fair baseline adherence.




Changes in the Relationship Between Income and Life Expectancy Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic, California, 2015-2021


07 Jul 2022

Key Points Question How did the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic affect life expectancy in California and the relationship between census tract income and life expectancy relative to prepandemic years? Findings In this retrospective analysis of 1 988 606 deaths in California during 2015 to 2021, life expectancy declined from 81.40 years in 2019 to 79.20 years in 2020 and 78.37 years in 2021. Life expectancy differences between the census tracts in the highest and lowest income percentiles increased from 11.52 years in 2019 to 14.67 years in 2020 and 15.51 years in 2021. Meaning This ecological study of deaths in the state of California demonstrated that life expectancy declines in 2020 increased in 2021 and that the life expectancy gap by income level increased during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic relative to the pre-pandemic period.




Four Vaccine Doses Prevented Severe Omicron COVID-19 Better Than 3


10 May 2022

Older patients in Israel who received a fourth dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine were more than 3 times less likely to develop severe COVID-19 than those who received only 3 doses. But while protection against severe disease did not wane during the testing period, protection against confirmed infection appeared short-lived.




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