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COVID-19 Infected Many More Americans in 2020 than Official Tallies Show


07 Sep 2021

At the end of last year, you may recall hearing news reports that the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States had topped 20 million. While that number came as truly sobering news, it also likely was an underestimate. Many cases went undetected due to limited testing early in the year and a large number of infections that produced mild or no symptoms. Now, a recent article published in Nature offers a more-comprehensive estimate that puts the true number of infections by the end of 2020 at more than 100 million [1]. That’s equal to just under a third of the U.S. population of 328 million. This revised number shows just how rapidly this novel coronavirus spread through the country last year. It also brings home just how timely the vaccines have been—and continue to be in 2021—to protect our nation’s health in this time of the pandemic.


Vaccines prevented up to 140,000 COVID-19 deaths in U.S.


24 Aug 2021

Three highly effective COVID-19 vaccines are available in the U.S. These vaccines have been shown to slow the spread of the virus and reduce COVID-19 deaths. About half of the population has been fully vaccinated as of August 2021. But vaccination rates have varied across the country, with some states proceeding much faster than others.


U.S. to Advise Boosters for Most Americans 8 Months After Vaccination


18 Aug 2021

The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after they received their second shot, and could begin offering third shots as early as the third week of September, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.


How gut microbes could drive brain disorders


13 Aug 2021

Scientists are starting to work out how the gut microbiome can affect brain health. That might lead to better and easier treatments for brain diseases.


F.D.A. to Authorize Third Vaccine Dose for People With Weak Immune Systems


12 Aug 2021

The decision to expand the emergency use of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is meant to help transplant recipients and others whose immune systems are similarly compromised.




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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