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Experimental mRNA Vaccine May Protect Against All 20 Influenza Virus Subtypes


06 Dec 2022

Flu season is now upon us, and protecting yourself and your loved ones is still as easy as heading to the nearest pharmacy for your annual flu shot. These vaccines are formulated each year to protect against up to four circulating strains of influenza virus, and they generally do a good job. What they can’t do is prevent future outbreaks of more novel flu viruses that occasionally spill over from other species into humans, thereby avoiding a future influenza pandemic.


Researchers Discover Potential New Antiviral Against COVID-19


30 Nov 2022

What you need to know Antivirals are medications that can help your body fight off viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They work by preventing the virus from infecting healthy cells, which helps your immune system fight off infection. But viruses like SARS-CoV-2 can mutate, and antivirals may not be effective against viral variants. In a study supported by several NIH Institutes and Centers, researchers used an animal model to identify a drug that can stop SARS-CoV-2 from entering healthy cells in a way that viral variants won’t be able to evade. If it is safe and effective for humans, it may become another powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, especially as new viral variants arise.


Study Shows Benefits of COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters


18 Oct 2022

As colder temperatures settle in and people spend more time gathered indoors, cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses almost certainly will rise. That’s why, along with scheduling your annual flu shot, it’s now recommended that those age 5 and up should get an updated COVID-19 booster shot [1,2]. Not only will these new boosters guard against the original strain of the coronavirus that started the pandemic, they will heighten your immunity to the Omicron variant and several of the subvariants that continue to circulate in the U.S. with devastating effects.


F.D.A. Authorizes Updated Covid Booster Shots for Children 5 to 11


12 Oct 2022

Federal regulators on Wednesday broadened access to updated coronavirus booster shots to include children as young as 5, hoping to bolster protection against the now-dominant version of the virus.


Long COVID


09 Aug 2022

What Is Long COVID? Many people recover fully within a few days or weeks after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But others have symptoms that linger for weeks, months, or even years after their initial diagnosis. Some people seem to recover from COVID-19 but then see their symptoms return, or they develop new symptoms within a few months. Even people who had no symptoms when they were infected can develop symptoms later. Either mild or severe COVID-19 can lead to long-lasting symptoms. Long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-COVID-19 condition, chronic COVID, and post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) are all names for the health problems that some people experience within a few months of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Symptoms of long COVID may be the same or different than symptoms of COVID-19. Long COVID can also trigger other health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease.




Articles


Association of Race/Ethnicity With Likeliness of COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Among Health Workers and the General Population in the San Francisco Bay Area


30 Mar 2021

Surveys have demonstrated racial differences in the public’s willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine1,2 but have not directly compared vaccine intentions among health workers and the general public.3 We investigated COVID-19 vaccine intentions among racially and ethnically diverse samples of health workers and the general population.




SARS-CoV-2 infection of the oral cavity and saliva


25 Mar 2021

Despite signs of infection—including taste loss, dry mouth and mucosal lesions such as ulcerations, enanthema and macules—the involvement of the oral cavity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is poorly understood. To address this, we generated and analyzed two single-cell RNA sequencing datasets of the human minor salivary glands and gingiva (9 samples, 13,824 cells), identifying 50 cell clusters. Using integrated cell normalization and annotation, we classified 34 unique cell subpopulations between glands and gingiva. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral entry factors such as ACE2 and TMPRSS members were broadly enriched in epithelial cells of the glands and oral mucosae. Using orthogonal RNA and protein expression assessments, we confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the glands and mucosae. Saliva from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals harbored epithelial cells exhibiting ACE2 and TMPRSS expression and sustained SARS-CoV-2 infection. Acellular and cellular salivary fractions from asymptomatic individuals were found to transmit SARS-CoV-2 ex vivo. Matched nasopharyngeal and saliva samples displayed distinct viral shedding dynamics, and salivary viral burden correlated with COVID-19 symptoms, including taste loss. Upon recovery, this asymptomatic cohort exhibited sustained salivary IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Collectively, these data show that the oral cavity is an important site for SARS-CoV-2 infection and implicate saliva as a potential route of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.




Assessment of protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 among 4 million PCR-tested individuals in Denmark in 2020: a population-level observational study


17 Mar 2021

The vast majority of people who recover from Covid-19 remain protective immunity from the virus for at least six months, researchers reported on Wednesday in a large study from Denmark. The study revealed protective immunity to be approximately 80–83% in people younger than 65 years. We found no difference in immunity over the study period. Among those aged 65 years and older, immunity was estimated to be approximately 47%.




SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines


26 Feb 2021

Shortly after SARS-CoV emerged at the turn of the 21st century, the spike (S) protein (particularly in its prefusion [native] conformation) was identified as the immunodominant antigen of the virus. Evaluation of patients with SARS-CoV-2 revealed that binding and neutralizing antibodies primarily target the receptor-binding domain of the S1 subunit.




SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern in the United States—Challenges and Opportunities


17 Feb 2021

. SARS-CoV-2, like other RNA viruses, constantly changes through mutation, with new variants occurring over time. Generally, when new variants become more common, they do so because of some selective advantage to the virus.




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