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186 posts

Omicron Delta Comparison

Lindsey Wang, Nathan A. Berger, David C. Kaelber, Pamela B. Davis, Nora D. Volkow, Rong Xu: Comparison of outcomes from COVID infection in pediatric and adult patients before and after the emergence of Omicron [Preprint], in: medRxiv (January 2, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.30.21268495. Abstract Background The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant is rapidly spreading in the US since December 2021 and is more contagious than earlier variants. Currently, data on the severity of the disease caused by the Omicron variant compared with the Delta variant is limited. Here we compared 3-day risks of emergency department (ED) visit, hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) […]

High Vaccine Effectiveness

Ulrike Baum, Eero Poukka, Tuija Leino, Hanna Nohynek, Arto A. Palmu: High vaccine effectiveness against severe Covid-19 in the elderly in Finland before and after the emergence of Omicron [preprint], in: medRxiv (March 13, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.11.22272140. Abstract Background The elderly are highly vulnerable to severe Covid-19. Waning immunity and emergence of Omicron have caused concerns about reduced effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. The objective was to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe Covid-19 among the elderly. Methods This nationwide, register-based cohort study included all residents aged 70 years and over in Finland. The follow-up started on December 27, 2020, […]

Clinical characteristics of long COVID

The PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Group: Clinical characteristics with inflammation profiling of long COVID and association with 1-year recovery following hospitalisation in the UK: a prospective observational study, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (published online: April 23, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(22)00127-8. Summary Background No effective pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions exist for patients with long COVID. The authors aimed to describe recovery 1 year after hospital discharge for COVID-19, identify factors associated with patient-perceived recovery, and identify potential therapeutic targets by describing the underlying inflammatory profiles of the previously described recovery clusters at 5 months after hospital discharge. Methods The Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study […]

Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Sara Y Tartof u. a.: Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine up to 6 months in a large integrated health system in the USA: a retrospective cohort study, in: The Lancet 398, Issue 10309 (16.10.2021), pp. 1407-1416, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02183-8. Abstract: Background Vaccine effectiveness studies have not differentiated the effect of the delta (B.1.617.2) variant and potential waning immunity in observed reductions in effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections. The authors aimed to evaluate overall and variant-specific effectiveness of BNT162b2 (tozinameran, Pfizer–BioNTech) against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions by time since vaccination among members of a large US health-care system. Methods […]

Sentiment alterations

Jianghao Wang, Yichun Fan, Juan Palacios, Yuchen Chai, Nicolas Guette-Jeanrenaud, Nick Obradovich, Chenghu Zhou, Siqi Zheng: Global evidence of expressed sentiment alterations during the COVID-19 pandemic, in: Nature Human Behaviour Vol. 6, Issue 3 (March 1, 2022) pp. 349-358. Abstract: “The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented burdens on people’s physical health and subjective well-being. While countries worldwide have developed platforms to track the evolution of Covid-19 infections and deaths, frequent global measurements of affective states to gauge the emotional impacts of pandemic and related policy interventions remain scarce. Using 654 million geotagged social media posts in over 100 countries, covering […]

14.9 Million Excess Deaths

WHO (ed.): 14.9 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 (released: May 5, 2022), online in: https://www.who.int/news/item/05-05-2022-14.9-million-excess-deaths-were-associated-with-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-2020-and-2021 (date of access: May 9, 2022). “New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million).” These figures show the impact of the pandemic and the need for all countries to create more resilient health systems and stronger health information systems.

Diabetes and Long Covid

Yan Xie, Ziyad Al-Aly: Risks and burdens of incident diabetes in long COVID: a cohort study, in: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Vol. 10, Issue 5 (May 2022), pp. 311-321, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(22)00044-4. Summary Background There is growing evidence suggesting that beyond the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, people with COVID-19 could experience a wide range of post-acute sequelae, including diabetes. However, the risks and burdens of diabetes in the post-acute phase of the disease have not yet been comprehensively characterised. To address this knowledge gap, the authors aimed to examine the post-acute risk and burden of incident diabetes in […]

Transmissibility and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Campbell Finlay u. a.: Increased transmissibility and global spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern as at June 2021, in: Euro Surveillance Vol. 26, Issue 24 (2021), pii=2100509, online in: https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.24.2100509. The authors present a global analysis of the spread of recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants and estimate changes in effective reproduction numbers at country-specific level using sequence data from GISAID. Nearly all investigated countries demonstrated rapid replacement of previously circulating lineages by the World Health Organization-designated variants of concern, with estimated transmissibility increases of 29% (95% CI: 24–33), 25% (95% CI: 20–30), 38% (95% CI: 29–48) and 97% (95% CI: 76–117), […]

Effects of Omicron

Christina Menni, Ana M. Valdez, Tim D. Spector u. a.: Symptom prevalence, duration, and risk of hospital admission in individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 during periods of omicron and delta variant dominance: a prospective observational study from the ZOE COVID Study, in: The Lancet Vol. 399, Issue 10335 (April 23, 2022), pp. 1618-1624. Summary Background The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, omicron, appears to be less severe than delta. The authors aim to quantify the differences in symptom prevalence, risk of hospital admission, and symptom duration among the vaccinated population. Methods In this prospective longitudinal observational study, the authors collected data from […]

T cell response to omicron

Vivek Naranbhai et al.: T cell reactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is preserved in most but not all prior infected and vaccinated individuals, in: medRxiv, online in: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.04.21268586. Abstract The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) contains mutations that mediate escape from infection- and vaccine-induced antibody responses, although the extent to which these substitutions in spike and non-spike proteins affect T cell recognition is unknown. In their article the authors show that T cell responses in individuals with prior infection, vaccination, both prior infection and vaccination, and boosted vaccination are largely preserved to Omicron spike and non-spike proteins. However, the authors […]

Excess mortality 2020/21

COVID-19 Excess Mortality Collaborators (Haidong Wang u. a.): Estimating excess mortality due to the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic analysis of COVID-19-related mortality, 2020–21, in: The Lancet Online (March 10, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02796-3. Summary Background Mortality statistics are fundamental to public health decision making. Mortality varies by time and location, and its measurement is affected by well known biases that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper aims to estimate excess mortality from the COVID-19 pandemic in 191 countries and territories, and 252 subnational units for selected countries, from Jan 1, 2020, to Dec 31, 2021. Methods All-cause […]

WHO recommendation

rme/aerzteblatt.de: WHO empfiehlt IL-6-Antagonisten bei COVID-19 [WHO recommends IL-6 antagonists for COVID-19], in: Aerzteblatt.de (July 7, 2021). This article, published July 7, 2021, in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt [German Medical Journal], discusses the WHO recommendation to use interleukin-6 (IL-6) antagonists to treat patients with covid-19. The use of IL-6 antagonists reduces the risk of death if glucocorticoids are given at the same time. The prices of certain preparations are criticized, which, according to Ärzte ohen Grenzen [Doctors Without Borders], are six to sixty times higher than the manufacturing costs.

Updated graphics

The following graphics were presented by Karl Heinz Roth in March 2022 on his lecture tour for his book Stowaways. Link to the lecture tour announcement Link to the graphics

Vaccine mandate in Austria

Christiane Druml, Herwig Czech: Comment. A Pandemic is no private matter: the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in Austria, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine online (February 17, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(22)00063-7. On February 5, 2022, the first mandatory Covid 19 vaccination law in Europe came into force in Austria. In their commentary, the authors trace the history and path of the law, which represented a sudden about-face by the Austrian government.

Future Pandemics

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (ed.): Editorial. Future pandemics: failing to prepare means preparing to fail, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 10, Issue 3 (March 1, 2022), pp. 221-222, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(22)00056-X. In their editorial, the editors of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine advocate for a global pandemic response with an integrative and multi-pronged approach that includes not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also other current and future pandemics. Many countries, especially those with middle and low incomes, are still heavily involved in the fight against covid-19 and are also inadequately prepared for future pandemics. Investments made through global funds in mechanisms […]

Social Inequalities in France

Stéphanie Vandentorren, Sabira Smaïli u. a.: The effect of social deprivation on the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in France: a population-based analysis, in: The Lancet Public Health 7 (March 2022), S. e240-e249, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00007-X. Summary of the article: “Background Data on health inequalities related to the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in France are scarce. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between an area-based deprivation indicator and SARS-CoV-2 incidence, positivity, and testing rates between May 2020 and April 2021. Methods We analysed data reported to the Système d’Information de Dépistage Populationnel surveillance system between May 14, […]

Study on casirivimab and imdevimab

RECOVERY Collaborative Group (ed.): Casirivimab and imdevimab in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 (RECOVERY): a randomised, controlled,open-label, platform trial, in: The Lancet 339, Issue 10325 (February 12, 2022), S. 665-676, online in: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00163-5. Summary of the study “Background Casirivimab and imdevimab are non-competing monoclonal antibodies that bind to two different sites on the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, blocking viral entry into host cells. The authors aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of casirivimab and imdevimab administered in combination in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Methods RECOVERY is a randomised, controlled, open-label platform trial […]

How Do Pandemics End?

Max Schroeder, Spyridon Lazarakis, Rebecca Mancy, Konstantinos Angelopoulos: How Do Pandemics End? Two Decades of Recurrent Outbreak Risk Following the Main Waves, in: CESifo Working Paper Nr. 9475 (December 2021). Abstract “The risk of recurrent outbreaks following the main waves of a pandemic has been acknowledged. The authors provide evidence of the scale and duration of this outbreak risk. They compile municipal public health records and use national data to model the stochastic process of mortality rates after the main pandemic waves of two historical pandemics across multiple locations. For the 1890-91 influenza pandemic in England and Wales, as well […]

Long-term Cardiovascular Outcomes

Yan Xie, Evan Xu, Benjamin Bowe, Ziyad Al-Aly: Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19, in: Nature Medicine (Februrary 7, 2022), online in: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-022-01689-3. Abstract “The cardiovascular complications of acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are well described, but the post-acute cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19 have not yet been comprehensively characterized. In their study the authors used national healthcare databases from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a cohort of 153,760 individuals with COVID-19, as well as two sets of control cohorts with 5,637,647 (contemporary controls) and 5,859,411 (historical controls) individuals, to estimate risks and 1-year burdens of a set of […]