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Deltacron: the story of the variant that wasn’t

21 Jan 2022

News of a ‘super variant’ combining Delta and Omicron spread rapidly last week, but researchers say it never existed and the sequences may have resulted from contamination. On 7 January, virologist Leondios Kostrikis announced on local television that his research group at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia had identified several SARS-CoV-2 genomes that featured elements of both the Delta and Omicron variants.

How One Change to The Coronavirus Spike Influences Infectivity

18 Jan 2022

Since joining NIH, I’ve held a number of different leadership positions. But there is one position that thankfully has remained constant for me: lab chief. I run my own research laboratory at NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). My lab studies a biochemical process called O-glycosylation. It’s fundamental to life and fascinating to study. Our cells are often adorned with a variety of carbohydrate sugars. O-glycosylation refers to the biochemical process through which these sugar molecules, either found at the cell surface or secreted, get added to proteins. The presence or absence of these sugars on certain proteins plays fundamental roles in normal tissue development and first-line human immunity. It also is associated with various diseases, including cancer.

Shipments of free coronavirus tests will take at least a week, U.S. officials say

14 Jan 2022

Americans will be able to order free rapid coronavirus tests online at beginning on Wednesday, but the tests will take time to arrive: they will typically ship within 7 to 12 days after being ordered, senior Biden administration officials said on Friday.

Starting later this week, some at-risk Americans become eligible for a 4th shot.

13 Jan 2022

Some people with a weakened immune system can get a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine as early as this coming week, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were updated last week. The C.D.C. endorsed a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for moderately or severely immunocompromised people on Aug. 13, but said this would be considered a part of the primary immunization, not a booster shot.

Is It Flu, COVID-19, Allergies, or a Cold?

12 Jan 2022

Feeling sick can be especially concerning these days. Could your sniffles be caused by COVID-19? Or the flu? A cold? Or maybe allergies? Determining the cause of an illness can be tricky because many share some symptoms. They can leave you sniffling, coughing, and feeling tired. But there are important differences.


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.

Rates of COVID-19 Among Unvaccinated Adults With Prior COVID-19

20 Apr 2022

Risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection among unvaccinated people with prior COVID-19 is a subject of debate.1,2 We performed a survival analysis in a large US population to assess the degree and duration of protection associated with natural immunity in unvaccinated individuals.

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