Author Archives: IDSA Contributor

The COVID variants arrived at the Navajo Nation: Will it be able to stave off the third wave?

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By Kwan Kew Lai, MD, DMD Navajo Nation had its first COVID wave in May of 2020 and on May 18, it quickly surpassed New York as having the highest infection rate. The second wave started in November and by mid-February 2021, it was slowly brought under control. I had the occasion to volunteer with […]

State Leaders’ Messages on Pandemic Stand in Contrast to Messages from Medical Frontlines

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“Recently, doctors in both Chicago and Nashville described seeing pediatric intensive care beds filled by adult COVID-19 patients . . .” By Barbara D. Alexander, MD, MHS, FIDSA This week, President Biden and members of his administration urged states to maintain or reinstate mask wearing mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They were countering […]

Four problems with the lab origin hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2 and the WHO-China study

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the Joint WHO-China Study 14 January-10 February 2021 for the “WHO-convened Global Study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part” was posted on the World Health Organization’s website.  Zero patients with COVID were reported before December 8, 2021, yet 174 patients were found between Dec. 8 to 31, […]

As Variant B.1.427/B.1.429 spreads in California, Nevada and Arizona, HHS stops direct ordering of the monoclonal Bamlanivimab

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month has provided helpful updates on its website focusing on SARS-CoV-2 variants and their prevalence state-by-state. This information helps clinicians understand where variants are as well as make decisions on use of monoclonal antibodies that have U.S. Food […]

“The mutating H5N8 strain of avian flu has a high risk of human-to-human transmission” Russian authorities warn March 12.   

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Feb. 20, 2021 Russia reported the first-ever human infections with H5N8 avian influenza involving seven poultry farm workers in the southern region of Astrakhan Oblast.  They were infected after a Dec. 3-11, 2020 outbreak of H5N8 on a poultry farm. Although Russia reported a government lab was […]

Will the next “WHO-convened Global Study of the origins of SARS-CoV-2” be in SE Asia, Europe, or the Americas?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA By July 31, 2020 the World Health Organization and China had agreed in writing to a highly-consequential document with long-term implications titled “WHO-convened Global Study of the Origins of SARS-CoV-2: Terms of References for the China Part”. This title, as well as multiple statements in the text such […]

First multivalent vaccine with a variant (B.1.351) begins: Will it protect against other E484K variants?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On March 10 Moderna announced that it had begun vaccinating volunteers in a study of 60 persons previously “vaccinated with mRNA-1273 to receive a single booster dose of either: 20 µg of a variant-specific booster candidate, mRNA-1273.351, based on the B.1.351 variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa (N=20) […]

Brazil’s Minister of Health works to purchase more COVID Vaccine doses

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Thursday (March 4) a release on the PAHO COIVD-19 website stated: “The Brazil Ministry of Health announced the purchase of new COVID-19 vaccines; 138 million doses are expected to be incorporated in the National Immunization Program starting May 2021.” The day before (on March 3) the Brazil Ministry of Health […]

Ghana kicks off Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

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by Bertha Serwa Ayi, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, MBA With eyes tightly shut in anticipation of his injection, Dr. Frederick Kwarteng, Head of Department of the Orthopedics, Accident and Emergency at the Korlebu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana became one of the first medical doctors in Africa to receive the first dose of COVISHIELD. Ghana became […]

Will survivors of variant P.1 have antibodies that also neutralize B.1.351 — and vice versa?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The SARS-CoV-2 variants first described in Manaus, Brazil “P.1.” and in South Africa “B.1.351” share at least five mutations including the antibody-evading changes at amino acids 484 and 417 in the spike protein. Potential cross-protection against the P.1 variant by the new Moderna-NIH B1.351 variant vaccine has been […]