COVID-19 Scan for Oct 14, 2021

Kids could function COVID-19 reservoirs for variants, research says

Using COVID-19 viral load and viral cultures from 110 kids, researchers recommend that kids could function reservoirs for COVID-19, furthering transmission and viral evolution.

The researchers created a potential cohort of sufferers 21 years or youthful who sought care at Massachusetts General Hospital or its pressing care clinics between April 2020 and 2021 (median age, 10 years). About 56% had been boys, and 38% had been Hispanic. Thirty-six kids (33%) required hospitalization, of whom 18 required supplemental oxygen or respiratory assist of any form.

Thirty sufferers (27.3%) had been asymptomatic, and so they had been extra prone to be youthful than these with gentle illness. Those who had been hospitalized with low oxygen ranges had been considerably older than these in each teams.

Asymptomatic kids and people with gentle illness had considerably larger viral hundreds than adults hospitalized with COVID-19 with comparable symptom period, based on the research. No viral load distinction was seen with hospitalized pediatric COVID-19 sufferers and hospitalized adults of comparable sickness period. Adult affected person information was derived from the Massachusetts General Hospital COVID-19 Biorepository from April to August 2020.

Of 126 pediatric respiratory samples, the researchers cultured dwell virus from 33, together with eight taken from asymptomatic kids. Higher viral load was predictive of dwell virus shedding however just like viral load commentary, age was not related to viral tradition outcomes.

“Our results suggest that the low rates of transmission in settings such as schools and daycares cannot be attributed to low viral loads, low rates of viral shedding, or rapid clearance of virus in younger patient populations,” the researchers write, asking coverage makers to think about how mitigation efforts for vaccinated adults could have an effect on kids. “Our results additionally suggest that pediatric populations have the potential to serve as a community reservoir of actively replicating virus, with implications for both new waves of infection and the evolution of viral variants.”

The researchers observe that SARS-CoV-2 lineages mirrored these in the neighborhood of the time: 57 samples from 54 kids confirmed 4 Alpha (B117) variants, three Iota (B1526.2) variants, and no Delta (B1617.2) variants.
Oct 14 J Infect Dis study


Public-facing COVID consultants obtain harassment, demise threats

In a Nature survey of 321 scientists who spoke out about COVID-19 to the media or on social media, about 42% mentioned they’d emotional or psychological misery afterward, 22% have acquired threats of bodily or sexual violence, and 15% have acquired demise threats.

The survey’s outcomes, which had been included in a Nature information characteristic yesterday, additionally discovered that the extra a scientist was attacked, the extra they had been prone to say their readiness to offer future media interviews was affected.

Overall, greater than two-thirds of researchers had a detrimental expertise because of sharing their opinion or experience. While the survey respondents had been largely from the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States, the outcomes had been just like a smaller, 50-person survey the Australian Science Media Centre in Adelaide despatched to researchers on its COVID-19 media lists in June.

The Nature characteristic was stuffed with anecdotes of scientists receiving residence cellphone calls, emails, suspicious mailed packages, and malicious tweets, in addition to excessive profile examples, resembling when a Belgian navy sniper went on the run after stating he was going to focus on virologists.

According to epidemiologist Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, MPH, a PhD candidate on the University of Wollongong in Australia, two main triggers are statements about vaccines and the unproven COVID-19 drug ivermectin. “It’s anonymous people e-mailing from weird accounts saying ‘I hope you die’ or ‘if you were near me I would shoot you,'” he mentioned.

Two p.c of survey respondents mentioned they’d skilled bodily assaults after their public remark.

About 44% of survey respondents who had been harassed did not inform their employer, however of those that did, virtually 80% discovered their employer to be a minimum of considerably supportive (eg, establishing an e-mail filter, figuring out and warning harassers).

Help doesn’t all the time come, nonetheless. For occasion, Andrew Hill, MD, PhD, a pharmacologist on the University of Liverpool in England, complained to Twitter concerning the litany of abusive tweets directed towards him, together with photos of hanged corpses and coffins, however the firm mentioned they didn’t violate its phrases of use.
Oct 13 Nature feature


Obesity linked to COVID-19 demise, longer ICU keep

High physique mass index (BMI) was independently related to demise and longer intensive care unit (ICU) stays for hospitalized COVID-19 sufferers, based on a research revealed yesterday in PLOS One.

The researchers checked out Sweden’s nationwide ICU inhabitants from Mar 6 to Aug 30, 2020, and located 1,649 adults with COVID-19, of whom 78.3% had been a minimum of obese (25 kilograms per sq. meter [kg/m2] or extra). Besides having an overrepresentation of overweight folks in contrast with Sweden’s normal inhabitants (39% within the cohort), the research group additionally consisted of extra males (74.4%). Mean age was 60.1 years.

Higher BMI was related to the composite end result of demise throughout ICU keep or an ICU keep longer than 14 days in survivors, even after adjusting for age, intercourse, comorbidities, and sickness severity (odds ratio [OR] per commonplace deviation improve, 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16 to 1.44). Those with a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or larger (class 2 or 3 weight problems) had been at double the danger of the composite end result, the researchers observe.

“Based on our findings, we advocate that BMI is included in the severity scoring for patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care, and suggest that individuals with obesity should be more closely monitored when hospitalized for COVID-19,” write the researchers.

“In a large prospective study [by Matthieu Schmidt, et al], 94% of all participating ICUs reported that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a need of extended number of ICU beds,” they add. “Thus, the prolonged [length of stay] is an important factor not only for the individual patient but also as an important factor for health care, putting excess strain on ICUs during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Oct 13 PLOS One study

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