Monthly Archives: January 2021

If dual infections occur with two SARS-CoV-2 viruses, will recombination result in more contagious or deadly variants?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Persistent infection with one SARS-CoV-2 virus in a person with an autoimmune disease receiving extensive immunosuppression, was documented in detail last month by more than 30 authors from Boston. This patient also had “accelerated viral evolution”, with mutations particularly in the spike (S) protein (57%), including the receptor-binding […]

Mapping one dose and two dose COVID vaccine efficacy for virus variants: Data to inform policy decisions

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The last month saw three timelines overlap: global recognition of SARS-CoV-2 “variants”, worsening of the pandemic, and COVID-19 vaccine authorizations in many nations. As a result, policy decisions have been made regarding use of two doses of vaccine at varying intervals, and discussion of using only one dose […]

How much and how long will one dose of COVID vaccines prevent virus variants?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA In December, distinct SARS-CoV-2 virus variants with multiple mutations in the spike (S) protein were reported in the UK (“B.1.1.7”) and South Africa (“B.1.351”), and then, on Jan. 10, in travelers from northern Brazil arriving in Japan (“B.1.1.248”).  A crucial question is whether any COVID vaccine will have […]

How do I know which adolescent girls are at greatest risk for HIV?

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Innovative approaches can help find vulnerable young women in need of HIV prevention services The following is a guest post by Michelle Li, MS, and Quinn Lewis, MIA, of Data.FI project In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are disproportionately impacted by HIV and are more likely to become infected, compared to their male […]

COVID-19: The vaccine is here! Now we need to get it out, and into arms

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In a county where as much as 7% of the population work in health settings, how does the vaccine reach everyone who needs it first? Julie Vaishampayan, MD, MPH, FIDSA is the public health officer for Stanislaus County, California. Here she talks to Science Speaks about challenges in the vaccine rollout’s first phase. THE EMERGENCY […]

COVID carnage spreads in U.S. with 4,180 people dead in one day

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Over 368,000 total deaths include more than 1,200 healthcare personnel By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Friday, Jan. 8, the CDC COVID Data Tracker website reported 4,180 deaths the day before. This is the first time the number of known COVID-19 deaths has exceeded 4,000 persons in 24 hours in the United States. […]

COVID-19: As community rates rose, analysis shows impacts in nursing homes across the U.S.

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From the first recognized outbreak of the novel coronavirus in a Seattle-area long-term care facility in February, the tragic impacts that COVID-19 could have on the oldest most vulnerable people and on those who care for them were clear. They also were swiftly replicated in nursing homes across the country as illnesses among staff and […]

COVID-19: More than 55 UK variant cases across eight U.S. states

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   No South African variant cases reported (yet) By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 52 cases of the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 (“B.1.1.7”) in five states. On the CDC COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants website, which, it says, will be updated every Tuesday and […]

Advances since 2001 include FDA-approved anthrax antitoxins available now

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With most eyes on COVID-19, it would be prudent to remain vigilant for older threats at the same time By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA A major difference in treatment and prophylaxis for inhalational anthrax since the attacks of 2001 is the availability of three U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved antitoxins. Several key […]

COVID-19: Why a “U.S. variant” will likely be identified in early 2021

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Last month the more transmissible “UK variant (B.1.1.7)” and “South African variant (B.1.351)” were reported to be spreading quickly in their respective countries, and were found in multiple other countries in the past 10 days. Additional variants with similar increased contagiousness should be expected in 2021, especially in […]