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Cheap antidepressant shows promise; virus can infect inner ear

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The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that have yet to be certified by peer review.

Cheap antidepressant shows promise against COVID-19

Fluvoxamine, an inexpensive antidepressant, might help keep patients with COVID-19 from developing severe disease, according to a new study published in The Lancet Global Health https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214109X21004484 on Wednesday. Researchers in Brazil recruited nearly 1,500 COVID-19 patients at high risk for complications and randomly assigned half of them to receive fluvoxamine by mouth for 10 days. Everyone received standard COVID-19 treatments. Over the next month, 11% of the fluvoxamine group needed at least six hours of emergency care or were hospitalized, compared to 16% of patients who did not get fluvoxamine, and fewer fluvoxamine patients died, the researchers. The researchers suspect the drug is helping by limiting the ability of the virus to cause inflammation. However, more research is needed to determine the impact of fluvoxamine because “composite outcomes” – where a variety of results are lumped together for analysis – are unreliable, according to an editorial https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214109X21005015 by Otavio Berwanger of Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo.

Reinfection odds higher for unvaccinated COVID-19 survivors

While SARS-CoV-2 infection induces antibodies that protect against reinfection, those antibodies may not protect as well as vaccine-induced antibodies, according to a study of hospitalized adults who displayed COVID-like symptoms. Of 6,328 patients who were vaccinated in the previous three to six months, 5.1% were confirmed to have COVID-19. That compared to 8.7% of 1,020 patients who had contracted the virus in the last three to six months but who had not opted to get vaccinated. After accounting for risk factors, the odds of a COVID-19 diagnosis were more than five-fold higher for the unvaccinated survivors, researchers reported on Friday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7044e1.htm. “All eligible persons should be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, including unvaccinated persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2,” they said.

Ear infection by virus may explain hearing, balance problems

The coronavirus can infect cells of the inner ear, researchers found in a study that may help explain the balance problems, hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears experienced by some COVID-19 patients. Using cellular models of the human ear, plus samples of inner ear tissues from mice and humans, researchers found that inner ear cells “have the molecular machinery to allow SARS-CoV-2 entry” and that the virus can indeed infect those cells, according to a report published on Friday in Communications Medicine https://go.nature.com/3k99DMX by the team from MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital in Boston. The virus might enter the ears via the eustachian tube, which connects the nose to the ear, or it might travel via nerves that carry smells from the nose to brain and from there via nerves that connect to the inner ear, the authors speculate. They hope now to use their human cellular models to test possible treatments for inner ear infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses.

CDC, FDA tally side effects from 300 million vaccines

Safety data from nearly 300 million doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines administered in the first six months of the U.S. vaccination program show the majority of reported adverse events were mild and brief, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week. Between mid-December 2020 and mid-June this year, more than 298 million doses of the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were administered, the researchers reported on Thursday on medRxiv https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.26.21265261v2 ahead of peer review. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received more than 340,000 reports of side effects, of which 6.6% were serious but not deadly and 1.3% were fatal. Among roughly 8 million users of the CDC’s v-safe app, which surveys people about their COVID-19 vaccination experiences, more than half reported some kind of reaction, usually one day after the injection, and more often after the second dose, but fewer than 1% reported seeking medical care. “Based on the most current information,” the report concludes, serious side effects of the vaccines “are rare.”

Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.

 

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Tiffany Wu)

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Drop-in vaccination clinic goes Friday – Prince George Citizen

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Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) is partnering with Northern Health for a COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinic Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The clinic will be at CSFS’s main office in Prince George located at 987 – 4th Ave. (at the corner of Queensway and Fourth, across from the Plaza 400 building). Everyone ages 12 and up are able to attend and no appointment is necessary. Identification is required.

The first, second and booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as well as the annual flu shot. As the different vaccines do not interfere with each other, residents will be able to receive both the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot at the same time.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be available.

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COVID-19 shows up in Canadian wildlife for first time with three Quebec deer infected – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – For the first time, the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Canadian wildlife.

Environment Canada says the virus was detected late last month in three wild white-tailed deer in Quebec.

The department says the deer all appeared healthy and showed no clinical signs of COVID-19.

The discovery follows recent reports of the virus spreading among white-tailed deer in the United States.

There has so far been no known transmission of COVID-19 from deer to humans and Environment Canada says it remains “largely a disease of human concern and typically spreads from human to human.”

Still, until more is known, it says anyone exposed to respiratory tissues and fluids from deer should wear a well-fitting mask and avoid splashing of fluids as much as possible.

COVID-19 has infected multiple species of animals, including dogs, cats, farmed mink and zoo animals. But this is the first time in Canada that it has spilled over into wildlife.

Deer in the Estrie region of Quebec were sampled Nov. 6 to 8. The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease confirmed the virus in three of them on Monday. The World Organisation for Animal Health was notified on Wednesday.

“As this is the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife in Canada, information on the impacts and spread of the virus in wild deer populations is currently limited,” Environment Canada said in a news release Wednesday.

“This finding emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2021.

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KFL&A reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, 304 active – Globalnews.ca

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The Kingston region is once again over the 300 active cases mark, as Wednesday’s 34 new cases bring the daily active case count to 304.

Of the new cases, 10 are in the five-to-11 age group.

Nineteen people remain in hospital, with 11 of those cases are in the intensive care unit. Six people are on ventilators.

Read more:

COVID-19 — Influx of cases causing strain on Kingston hospitals

The cases per 100,000 over the past week is up slightly to 104.7, from 102.8 Tuesday.

The rise in cases locally has also forced the postponing of at least one local event. The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes was scheduled to have its grand opening on Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have significant impacts throughout our communities, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston is committed to supporting the community through this time of heightened risk and uncertainty,” the Marine Museum said in a statement Wednesday.

“We consider the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors paramount.”


Click to play video: 'As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts'



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As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts


As Covid-19 cases rise in the Kingston region the community reacts

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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