Author Archives: IDSA Contributor

WHO designates “Lambda” as global variant of interest

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA In its weekly COVID-19 epidemiology update this week the World Health Organization stated that the “Lambda” was designated a variant of interest “based upon evidence of continued emergence and suspected phenotypic implications” (boldtype below was added). “Authorities in Peru reported that 81% of COVID-19 cases sequenced since April 2021 […]

HHS cites increasing rate of variants P.1 and B.351 in recommending use of Regeneron (but no longer Lilly) monoclonal antibody combination in eight states

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Wednesday (May 26) the Department of Health and Human Services made the clinically-relevant important update below.  (I anticipate more than these eight states to be included in the weeks and months ahead as the variants P.1. and B.1. 351 continue to spread in the United States). ​“Important […]

As substance use disorders rise in the midst of a pandemic, a new law is needed now to facilitate treatment

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While America’s epidemic of opioid use was already a burgeoning health crisis, it has worsened markedly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between September 2019 and September 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates, deaths caused by opioid overdoses have increased by nearly a third. Dr. Ellen Eaton, of the Outpatient-Based […]

Will the China report on 266 patients Nov. 17-Dec. 31, 2019 be made public by China, WHO, or by WHA resolution next week?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA In a recent Science paper by Pekar, Worobey and colleagues titled “Timing the SARS-CoV-2 index case in Hubei province” the authors conclude “Our results define the period between mid-October and mid-November 2019 as the plausible interval when the first case of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Hubei province.” Referencing reporting […]

Variant B.1.617 spreads in India and UK, and arrives in US: get vaccinated ASAP

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 variant “B.1.617”, first recognized in India, a “variant of concern” May 10. The United Kingdom did the same May 7 for the sublineage “B.1.617.2.” The United States has found and reported only a small number of cases, in at least five […]

Changing the narrative: Caring for Asian American and Pacific Islander patients with HIV

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Wednesday, May 19 is National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Founded by the Banyan Tree Project, the day serves to raise awareness of the impacts of HIV stigma on Asian and Pacific Islander people. Here, Los Angeles-based physician Dr. Jen Chang discusses the importance of work that provides the support of a community […]

Seychelles reports rising cases in vaccinated and unvaccinated: Global implications for variants vs. vaccines?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Tuesday, May 4, the Seychelles news agency reported: “There are currently 1,068 active cases numbers, among which 84 percent are Seychellois and 16 percent are foreigners. Some 65 percent of the active cases are unvaccinated or have received only one dose, whilst the remaining have taken both […]

Merck announces agreement with India for investigational oral drug molnupiravir with potential implications for over 100 countries

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On April 27 Merck issued a press release titled, “Amid Humanitarian Crisis in India, Merck Announces Voluntary Licensing Agreements with Five Indian Generics Manufacturers to Accelerate and Expand Global Access to Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Therapeutic for the Treatment of COVID-19.” Merck stated that it “has entered into […]

WHO provides update on India’s surging epidemic second wave and variant B.1.617

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On April 27 the World Health Organization included in its very helpful weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 a section on variants, including the one termed “B.1.617” (formerly mis-termed “double mutant”). WHO placed into context the rapidly rising numbers of cases in India with the lower and decreasing numbers […]

Fighting COVID- 19 in Jordan, from early declared victory to extreme burden

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By Mahmoud Shorman, MD, FIDSA, MHA After the reports of the spread of a novel coronavirus in China in the first part of 2020, Jordan was no exception as countries worldwide began putting measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. By Jan. 26 a protocol designed by Jordan’s Health Ministry with the […]