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Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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How to Boost Your Immune System During Cold and Flu Season

4 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Ahead of #Cold & #Flu Season • Exercise • Get enough sleep • Eat healthy diet • Exercise • Get enough sleep • Eat healthy diet • Keep up pandemic precautions As the days shorten and people trade their tank tops and shorts for sweaters and tights, the turn of autumn signals another new beginning: the start of flu and cold season, and #Covid winter No. 3. According to Dr. Helen Chu, an epidemiologist and infectious-disease physician at the Un

Are ‘COVID toes’ actually caused by the coronavirus?

A surge in people with discolored toes does not seem to be linked to #COVID19. New report suggests that #COVID toe could have been caused by something unrelated to the #coronavirus. For example, people in lockdown “being at home, not wearing shoes and socks”. In March 2020, just as COVID-19 cases began to surge in Boston, Massachusetts, Esther Freeman noticed something peculiar — a deluge of people with discoloured toes requesting appointments. Freeman, director of global h

First Possible Case of Covid-19 Spreading From Deer to Humans

Scientists in Canada discovered the 1st potential case of deer passing #coronavirus to a human, according to a preprint. The discovery underscores importance of monitoring wildlife for diseases that could jump to humans but isn’t yet cause for panic. #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #COVID #zoonosis #zoonoses Scientists in Canada have discovered the first potential case of deer passing coronavirus to a human, according to the new research that hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed. The event has

‘I Had Never Felt Worse’: Long Covid Sufferers Are Struggling With Exercise

And experts have some theories as to why. #COVID19 #COVID #LongCovid #coronavirus By Melinda Wenner Moyer When Natalie Hollabaugh tested positive for Covid-19 in March 2020, her recovery felt extremely slow. Eighteen months later, she was still suffering from a litany of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches and joint pain. She saw a cardiologist and a pulmonologist, who both ruled out other health problems, she said. And they advised her to start exerci

Making it easier to be a patient in times of a pandemic

by David Chambers, Michelle Brady, David Ojcius, Evelyn Cuny #COVID19 #COVID #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus #dentistry #dental 1 PROBLEM What responses are needed when a public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupts continuity of care in a dental school clinic? To what extent do fears regarding safety during treatment deter patients from attending appointments in dental school clinics and can the school control these factors to ensure educational experiences? Much attention h

COVID's endgame: Scientists have a clue about where SARS-CoV-2 is headed

#coronavirus #COVID #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 Back in the 1980s, scientists in the U.K. performed an experiment that — at first glance — sounds unethical. "Volunteers came into the lab, and someone squirted virus up their nose," says computational biologist Jennie Lavine. The researchers took a liquid packed with coronavirus particles and intentionally tried to make 15 volunteers sick. Ten people got infected. The other five fought off the virus, says Lavine, who's now at the biotec

France first big EU nation to start widespread booster jabs

#France #Europe #COVID #Vaccines #coronavirus France on Wednesday started administering booster shots of #COVID19 #vaccine to people over 65 and those with underlying health conditions as the #DeltaVariant spreads in the country. France is the first big EU country to introduce widespread booster shots, and several other European countries are expected to follow suit. Many countries are still struggling to administer first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the World Health Organ

Probiotic Protection? Gut Bacteria Discovered That Protects Intestines From Invasion of COVID virus

#Probiotic #COVID #COVID19 #commensals #microbiota #probiotics #coronavirus #SARSCoV2 Researchers from Yonsei University in South Korea have found that certain commensal bacteria that reside in the human intestine produce compounds that inhibit SARS-CoV-2. The research will be presented on June 20 at World Microbe Forum, an online meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), and several other societies th

Novavax Offers US a Fourth Strong Covid-19 Vaccine

#Novavax #COVID19 #coronavirus #COVIDVaccines #COVIDVaccine #COVID The company’s large U.S. trial found an efficacy rate of about 90 percent. But at this point, the nation is awash in other shots. Novavax, a small American company buoyed by lavish support from the U.S. government, announced on Monday the results of a clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine in the United States and Mexico, finding that its two-shot inoculation provides potent protection against the coronavirus.

The indirect effect of mRNA-based Covid vaccination on unvaccinated household members

#COVID #COVIDvaccine #COVID19 #vaccines Abstract This paper studies the direct and indirect effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines among vaccinated healthcare workers and their unvaccinated adult household members in a mass vaccine program in Finland. Methods We used national databases that record all polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and mRNA-based (BNT162b2 by Pfizer-BioNTech or mRNA-1273 by Moderna) vaccine doses administered in Finland since the

Widespread vaccination of adults helps protect unvaccinated children

#COVIDvaccine #COVID19 #COVID #coronavirus The study, based on anonymized Israeli medical records, showed that vaccination's benefits extend to people who have not received a shot. New data from Israel, which had the fastest Covid-19 vaccine rollout in the world, provides real-world evidence that widespread vaccination against the coronavirus can also protect people who are unvaccinated. The Israeli study, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine on Thursday, took a

SARS-CoV-2 evades neutralizing antibodies and rapidly spreads by cell fusion, finds study

#COVID19 #COVID #coronavirus #SARSCoV2 #cellbiology #microbiology Once a virus infects a cell, neighboring cells are likely to become infected by interactions that are dependent on the cell and the virus in question. For example, cell-to-cell spread is facilitated in HIV by viral synapses, which also allow for escape from neutralizing antibodies. Low-level drug inhibitors are able to suppress infection if applied before the first cell is infected, but not after, demonstrating

Don't Drop the Ball on Long COVID — We can prepare today for an influx of future patients

#COVID19 #LongCovid #COVID So far, the response to this pandemic has been focused on addressing the acute manifestations of COVID-19 -- but that is only the tip of the iceberg. We must not ignore what's beneath the surface: the lingering health and mental health implications of long COVID. Long after the initial infection should have resolved, a substantial number of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 continue to experience lingering health problems. Some patients even experienc

Africa is not ready for imminent third coronavirus wave, says WHO

#COVID19 #COVID #coronavirus #Africa #COVIDvaccine With vaccine deliveries at a near-standstill and lacking key resources in frontline care, Africa is poorly prepared for the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the UN warned on Thursday. "Many African hospitals and clinics are still far from ready to cope with a huge rise in critically ill patients," the World Health Organization's regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said. "The threat of a third wave in Afr

Africa could see a 3rd COVID wave after a rise in cases, WHO warns

#COVID19 #coronavirus #COVID #COVIDVaccine #Africa A sharp rise in COVID-19 cases could be a portent of deeper trouble for the continent, where immunization drives have been cripped by shortfalls in funding and doses. A sudden, sharp rise in coronavirus cases in many parts of Africa could amount to a continental third wave, the World Health Organization warned on Thursday, a portent of deeper trouble for a continent whose immunization drives have been crippled by shortfalls i

As the US starts a return to normal, some countries have their worst COVID outbreaks yet

#COVID19 #coronavirus #COVID As the US starts to return to normal, COVID19 cases are surging in some countries in Asia & South America. The authorities in Malaysia have barred people from venturing more than about six miles from home. Covid-19 patients are spilling into the hallways of overcrowded hospitals in Argentina. In Nepal, 40 percent of coronavirus tests are positive, suggesting that the virus is racing through the population. All three nations are experiencing their

India’s COVID crisis flags need to forecast variants

#India #COVID19 #COVID #coronavirus #SARSCoV2 The rise of more-transmissible viral mutants demands new ways to prevent, detect, track and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. As head of one of India’s main genomics laboratories, I am part of the consortium that first reported the B.1.617 strain of SARS-CoV-2 as a potential variant of concern. I keep asking myself how we might have predicted its danger sooner, tracked it rapidly and stalled its spread. This year, I saw what felt like

Seven European countries begin issuing a digital Covid certificate for travel

#COVID19 #COVID #coronavirus #Europe #SARSCoV2 A digital Covid certificate system that will facilitate travel within the European Union became operational in seven countries on Tuesday — ahead of schedule — previewing what could become a standard for post-pandemic global mobility. The document, known as a digital green certificate, records whether people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, recovered from the virus or tested negative within 72 hours. Travelers

Countries Are Scrambling for COVID Vaccines. Mongolia Has Plenty.

#COVID #COVID19 #COVIDVaccine At a time when most countries are scrambling for #coronavirus vaccines, Mongolia now has enough to fully vaccinate its entire adult population, in large part thanks to deals with both China and Russia. Mongolia, a country of grassy hills, vast deserts and endless skies, has a population not much bigger than Chicago’s. The small democratic nation is used to living in the shadow of its powerful neighbors, Russia and China. But during a pandemic, be

Could targeting immunometabolism be a way to control the burden of COVID-19 infection?

This review portrays the metabolic consequences of #COVID19 infection at different stages of the clinical syndrome. It also describes how events can change when patients with metabolic problems are infected and the effects that diet and nutrition might play to influence the outcome of infection. We also discuss the types of maneuvers that could be used to reshape metabolic events and question if this approach could be a practical therapy used alone or in combination with othe

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