41 posts

Covid 19 situation in China

World Health Organization (ed.): Summary of the update on the COVID-19 situation released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on 25 January 2023, in: COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update 127 (January 25, 2023), pp. 11-13. On January 25, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) released an update on the Covid 19 situation in the country (all subsequent references to China exclude Taiwan and the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions). The WHO weekly report on the epidemiological situation of the covid-19 pandemic summarized the CCDC reports. WHO has not yet been able to conduct […]

Infected and Deceased in China January 2023

WHO (ed.): COVID-19 Explorer, online in: (as of 11.4.2022). The following summary graph incorporates the official, absolute numbers of people infected with Covid-19 in China and those who have died from it. The graph covers the period from January 1, 2020 to January 6, 2023.

Reinfection and Post-COVID-19-Immunity

Scott Burkholz, Michael Rubsamen, Luke Blankenberg, Richard T. Carback III, Daria Mochly-Rosen, Paul E. Harris: Increasing Cases of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Reinfection Reveals Ineffective Post-COVID-19 Immunity in Denmark and Conveys the Need for Continued Next-Generation Sequencing [preprint], in: medRxiv (September 14, 2022), online in: Abstract SARS-CoV-2 has extensively mutated creating variants of concern (VOC) resulting in global infection surges. The Omicron VOC reinfects individuals exposed to earlier variants of SARS-CoV-2 at a higher frequency than previously seen for non-Omicron VOC. An analysis of the sub-lineages associated with an Omicron primary infection and Omicron reinfection reveals that the incidence of Omicron-Omicron […]

WHO estimates of excess mortality

William Msemburi, Ariel Karlinsky, Victoria Knutson et al.: The WHO estimates of excess mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, in: Nature (December 2022), online in: Abstract The World Health Organization has a mandate to compile and disseminate statistics on mortality, and the authors have been tracking the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of 2020. Reported statistics on COVID-19 mortality are problematic for many countries owing to variations in testing access, differential diagnostic capacity and inconsistent certification of COVID-19 as cause of death. Beyond what is directly attributable to it, the pandemic has caused extensive collateral damage […]

Impact of omicron subvariants in South Africa.

Waasila Jassat et al.: Trends in Cases, Hospitalization and Mortality Related to the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 Sub-Variants in South Africa, in: Clinical infectious diseases (December 1, 2022), online in: Abstract Background: This study compared admission incidence risk across waves, and the risk of mortality in the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 wave, to the Omicron BA.1/BA.2 and Delta waves. Methods: Data from South Africa’s national hospital surveillance system, SARS-CoV-2 case linelist and Electronic Vaccine Data System were linked and analysed. Wave periods were defined when the country passed a weekly incidence of 30 cases/100,000 people. In-hospital case fatality ratios (CFR) in the Delta, […]

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome & Post-Intensive Care Syndrome

Amy L. Bellinghausen, Robert L. Owens: Recovering from COVID ARDS and post-intensive care syndrome, in: The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine vol. 10 (15. Juli 2022) issue 10, pp. 932-933, online in: In their article, the two authors focus on Beatrice Garcia Diaz, who suffered from a lung disease due to SARS-CoV-2 and whose recovery was extremely difficult. Garcia Diaz developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and later struggled with the consequences of the intensive life support treatment required. She was initially hospitalized for pneumonia and respiratory failure and received non-invasive positive pressure ventilation. Beginning on the tenth day of her […]

Uncoupling of All-Cause Excess Mortality

Jeremy Samuel Faust, Benjamin Renton, Alexander Junxiang Chen, Chengan Du, Chenxue Liang, Shu-Xia Li, Zhenqiu Lin, Harlan M. Krumholz: The uncoupling of all-cause excess mortality from Covid-19 cases and associated hospitalizations in late winter and spring of 2022 in a highly vaccinated state, in: medRxiv (July 12, 2022), online in: Abstract Introduction Since March 2020, all-cause excess mortality—the number of all-cause deaths exceeding the baseline number of expected deaths—has been observed in waves coinciding with Covid-19 outbreaks in the United States. The authors described high levels of excess mortality in Massachusetts during the initial 8-week Omicron wave. However, whether […]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome among Children and Adolescents

Anna-Lisa Sorg, Selina Becht, Marietta Jank u. a.: Association of SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivity With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Among Children and Adolescents in Germany, in: JAMA Network Open Vol. 5, Issue 9 (September 27, 2022) p. e2233454, online in: Key Points The authors asked, if SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity is associated with symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis and/or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in children and adolescents. In their cross-sectional study of hospital-based SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence surveys in Germany the authors compared seropositive and seronegative children and adolescents and identified an excess of possible ME/CFS symptoms with serological evidence of preceding SARS-CoV-2 infection. This association almost […]

Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Worry, Loneliness & Long Covid.

Siwen Wang, Luwei Quan, Jorge E. Chavarro et al.: Associations of Depression, Anxiety, Worry, Perceived Stress, and Loneliness Prior to Infection With Risk of Post–COVID-19 Conditions, in: JAMA Psychiatry Vol. 79 (2022) Issue 11, p. 1081-1091, online in: Abstract Few risk factors for long-lasting (4 weeks) COVID-19 symptoms have been identified. The study’s objective was. to determine whether high levels of psychological distress before SARS-CoV-2 infection, characterized by depression, anxiety, worry, perceived stress, and loneliness, are prospectively associated with increased risk of developing post–COVID-19 conditions (sometimes called long COVID). This prospective cohort study used data from three large ongoing, […]

Outcomes of Reinfection

Ziyad Al-Aly, Benjamin Bowe, Yan Xie: Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection [Preprint] (June, 2022), online in: Abstract First infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with increased risk of acute and post-acute death and sequelae in the pulmonary and extrapulmonary organ systems. However, whether reinfection adds to the risk incurred after the first infection is not clear. In their Study, the authors used the national health care databases of the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a cohort of people with first infection (n = 257,427), reinfection (2 or more infections, n = 38,926), and a non-infected control group (n = 5,396,855) to estimate risks and 6-month […]

Neutralization of BA.1 and BA.2 by vaccines.

John E. Bowen et al.: Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 neutralizing activity elicited by a comprehensive panel of human vaccines [Preprint], in: bioRxiv. The Preprint Server for Biology (March 16, 2022), online in: Abstract At the time of publication of the study, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern comprises three sublineages designated BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3, with BA.2 steadily replacing the currently globally dominant BA.1. The authors show that the large number of BA.1 and BA.2 spike mutations severely dampen plasma neutralizing activity elicited by infection or seven clinical vaccines, with cross-neutralization of BA.2 being consistently more potent than that […]

Immune Escape of BA.4/BA.5

Khadija Khan et al.: Omicron sub-lineages BA.4/BA.5 escape BA.1 infection elicited neutralizing immunity, in: medRxiv (May 1, 2022), online in: Abstract The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant first emerged as the BA.1 sub-lineage, with extensive escape from neutralizing immunity elicited by previous infection with other variants, vaccines, or combinations of both. Two new sub-lineages, BA.4 and BA.5, were emerging in South Africa with changes relative to BA.1, including L452R and F486V mutations in the spike receptor binding domain. The authors isolated live BA.4 and BA.5 viruses and tested them against neutralizing immunity elicited to BA.1 infection in participants who were […]

Neutralization Escape by Omicron Variants

Nicole P. Hachmann u. a.: Neutralization Escape by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 [Preprint], in: (May 19, 2022), online in: Abstract Multiple lineages of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) have emerged, and BA.1 and BA.2 have demonstrated substantial escape from neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). BA.2.12.1 has now become dominant in the United States, and BA.4 and BA.5 have become dominant in South Africa. The authors’ data show that BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 substantially escape NAbs induced by both vaccination and infection. Moreover, BA.4/BA.5 NAb titers, and to lesser extent BA.2.12.1 NAb titers, were lower than BA.1 and BA.2 […]

Immune Escape of Omicron Sublineages

Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Yunlong Cao et al: BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 escape antibodies elicited by Omicron infection, in: bioRxiv (June 14, 2022), online in: Abstract SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility over BA.2. The new variants’ receptor binding and immune evasion capability require immediate investigation. In this study, coupled with Spike structural comparisons, the authors show that BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 exhibit comparable ACE2-binding affinities to BA.2. Importantly, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display stronger neutralization evasion than BA.2 against the plasma from 3-dose vaccination and, most strikingly, from post-vaccination BA.1 infections. To delineate the underlying antibody evasion […]

Omicron & Delta Comparison

Gunadi et al: Comparative analysis of the outcomes of COVID-19 between patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants: a retrospective cohort study [Preprint], in: medRxiv (May 3, 2022), online in: Abstract Background The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has replaced the previously dominant Delta variant because of high transmissibility. It is responsible for the current increase in the COVID-19 infectivity rate worldwide. However, studies on the impact of the Omicron variant on the severity of COVID-19 are still limited in developing countries. In this study, the authors compared the outcomes of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants and […]

Subvariants & Immune Evasion

Gretchen Vogel: New Subvariants are masters of immune evasion, in: Science 376, Issue 6594 (May 13, 2022), pp. 679-680, online in: In her article, Gretchen Vogel highlights the immune invasion of the Omicron sublines. While the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants caused a surge in cases in South Africa, the BA.2.12.1 subvariant is spreading on the East Coast of the United States. All three variants, like earlier Omikron versions, have the remarkable ability to evade immunity acquired through vaccination or infection. However, vaccinations and previous infections at least protect against severe disease in most cases, so while the new strains […]

Hospitalizations Forecast

CDC (ed.): COVID-19 Forecasts: Hospitalizations, online at: (as of June 07, 2022). On its website (, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides reported and projected hospitalization figures for the U.S. and individual U.S. states for the next month on an ongoing basis.

Severity of Omicron

Ana Cecilia Ulloa, Sarah A. Buchan, Nick Daneman, Kevin A. Brown: Early estimates of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant severity based on a matched cohort study, Ontario [Preprint], Canada, in: medRxiv (January 2, 2022), online in: Abstract While it was evident in January 2022 that Omicron is rapidly replacing Delta, largely due to immune escape, it was less clear how the severity of Omicron compares to Delta. In Ontario, the authors sought to examine hospitalization and death associated with Omicron, as compared to cases infected with Delta. The authors conducted a matched cohort study, considering time to hospitalization or death as […]

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: 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) […]

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: 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 […]