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IJCSA Updates & Industry News

  • 21 Oct 2022 8:17 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Our Third COVID Winter Is Coming. America Isn't Ready

    Our third American COVID winter is at hand. In the months ahead—with students back in school, temperatures dropping, social life moving indoors, and holiday travel commencing—not to mention the emergence of new and increasingly immune-evasive variants—we can count on another seasonal surge of infections and deaths.

    White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House on October 11, 2022 in Washington, DC. Jha spoke on the new COVID-19 Bivalent vaccine boosters and urged all Americans to take it. (Kevin Dietsch-Getty Images)

    With the experience of last year’s record-breaking Omicron wave, American leaders should now—at least, in theory—be very well equipped to deal with what’s ahead. Health agencies should be preparing clear, actionable messages on COVID measures for the holiday season. Masks, COVID tests, and treatments..

    More at source: Time

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  • 18 Oct 2022 8:06 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    World Faces New Threats From Fast-Mutating Omicron Variants

    Since emerging in late 2021, the highly transmissible omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2 has splintered into a dazzling array of subvariants that are now driving fresh waves of Covid-19 cases around the world. The proliferation of such a diversity of variants is unprecedented, and pits numerous hyper-mutated iterations against each other in a race for global dominance.

    That’s turbo-charged Covid, making it one of the fastest-spreading diseases known to humanity, and further challenging pandemic-mitigation efforts in a global population already weary of frequent booster shots, testing and masking

    Continue reading at Bloomberg

    More info at CDC

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  • 07 Oct 2022 7:34 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Strokes, heart attacks, sudden deaths: Does America understand the long-term risks of catching COVID?

    A 35-year-old acquaintance drops dead from a hemorrhagic stroke. A friend in her 40s, and another in his 70s, experience recurrent spells of extreme dizziness, their hearts pounding in their chests when they stand. A 21-year-old student with no prior medical history is admitted to the ICU with heart failure, while a 48-year-old avid tennis player, previously healthy, suddenly suffers a heart attack. A relative is diagnosed with pericarditis, an inflammation of the protective sac surrounding the heart.

    Is COVID the reason?

    In a study that included patients from the initial wave of the pandemic, scientists from the University of Florida found that survivors of severe COVID-19 had two-and-a-half times the risk of dying in the year following illness compared to people who were never infected. Of note, nearly 80% of downstream deaths were not due to typical COVID complications like acute respiratory distress or cardiac causes.

    More at source: Fortune Magazine

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  • 30 Sep 2022 7:18 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Rising Covid-19 cases in the UK may be a warning for the US

    There are signs that the United Kingdom could be heading into a fall Covid-19 wave, and experts say the United States may not be far behind.

    A recent increase in Covid-19 cases in England doesn’t seem to be driven by a new coronavirus variant, at least for now, although several are gaining strength in the US and across the pond.

    “Generally, what happens in the UK is reflected about a month later in the US. I think this is what I’ve sort of been seeing,” said Dr. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London.

    After seeing a downward trend for the past few weeks, the Zoe study saw a 30% increase in reported Covid-19 cases within the past week.

    More at source: CNN

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  • 22 Sep 2022 7:48 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    A new COVID strain started to create waves among virus trackers this week, outpacing nearly all other variants of interest scientists are tracking in the U.S. this autumn. 

    The Omicron spawn, which scientists have named BF.7—short for BA.—comprised 1.7% of sequenced infections last week in the U.S., according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other variants jockeying for the top spot right now—held by BA.5, at 85%—include BA.4.6, which comprised 10.3% of infections, and BA.2.75, which comprised 1.3%.

    Scientists are taking notice of BF.7 because it’s making headway in an increasingly crowded field of Omicron subvariants. For months they’ve watched BA.2.75—dubbed Centaurus by the Twitterverse—as a variant of interest with potential to surge this fall.

    More at source: Fortune

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  • 12 Sep 2022 7:49 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    This Could Be the Only Way to Beat COVID for Good

    Broadly effective nasal vaccines that offer long-term immunity. Universal vaccines that should work against present and future variants. Or, at least, faster ways of rolling out new boosters.

    There are several nasal vaccines in development, including one at the University of Iowa—and around a dozen major universal vaccines in development, too. The two leading efforts are at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in Norway and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    But all of those efforts depend in part on government support. And the country with the deepest pockets, the United States, is closing the purse strings after years of generous support for COVID research.

    Faster booster rollouts would also depend on government funding—as well as major reforms to the authorization processes in the countries whose regulators tend to lead the way. Again that means the United States, a country not necessarily known for its regulatory efficiency.

    More at source: Daily Beast

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  • 29 Aug 2022 8:22 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Omicron COVID-19 booster shots are coming: Will they be a game-changer?

    The next generation of COVID-19 booster shots — tailored specifically to combat the super-infectious family of Omicron subvariants — could roll out early next month.

    A nurse administers a COVID-19 booster shot.

    The long-in-the-works offering would mark an ambitious new phase in the nation’s vaccination campaign and, officials say, give residents another option to protect themselves ahead of a possible coronavirus resurgence in the fall and winter.

    More at source: LA TIMES

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  • 19 Aug 2022 7:14 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Covid’s Harmful Effects on the Brain Reverberate Years Later

    Covid-19 survivors remain at higher risk of psychotic disorders, dementia and similar conditions for at least two years, according to a large study that highlights the mounting burden of chronic illness left in the pandemic’s wake.

    While anxiety and depression occur more frequently after Covid than other respiratory infections, the risk typically subsides within two months, researchers at the University of Oxford found. In contrast, cognitive deficits known colloquially as “brain fog,” epilepsy, seizures and other longer-term mental and brain health disorders remained elevated 24 months later... 

    More at source: Bloomberg

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  • 12 Aug 2022 7:43 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    CDC eases Covid guidance as U.S. has more tools to fight the virus and keep people out of the hospital

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its Covid-19 guidance on Thursday, saying the virus now poses a much lower risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic.

    The CDC no longer recommends testing people in schools who don’t have Covid symptoms, its previous strategy to catch possible infections and head off outbreaks. But such screening is still recommended in certain high risk settings such as nursing homes, prisons and homeless shelters.

    And people who aren’t vaccinated no longer need to quarantine if they have been exposed to Covid, according to the new CDC guidance. Instead, public health officials now recommend that these individuals wear a mask for 10 days and get tested on day five.

    More at source: CNBC

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  • 09 Aug 2022 8:07 AM | IJCSA - (Administrator)

    Scientists Fear We’re Not Ready for Nightmare New COVID Variant

    How fast that wave comes, and how bad it gets, probably comes down to a genetic competition between different mutations of the novel coronavirus. If we get lucky, a mild form of the virus wins out—and buys us time to prepare for a worse form of the virus that’s almost certainly coming, sooner or later.

    If we’re unlucky, that worse one comes sooner.

    The scientific community is taking nothing for granted. “What we have learned from this pandemic is to expect the unexpected,” Cindy Prins, a University of Florida epidemiologist, told The Daily Beast.

    BA.5, an offshoot of the basic Omicron variant, was still dominant when epidemiologists began looking for the version of COVID that might come after BA.5. They’ve identified two main possibilities.

    More at the source: Daily Beast

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