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 […]

When unusually severe COVID is seen, rapid identification-and-virus-sequencing are needed world-wide

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Thursday (Dec. 31), the World Health Organization posted a review on four SARS-CoV-2 variants identified in 2020 and related WHO activities and advice. While in 2020 none of these variants have proven to be more clinically severe, WHO states of the current South African variant: “at this […]

COVID-19 “Nigeria variant”: NO cause for alarm from initial data

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The following five reasons support why there is no cause for alarm regarding the “Nigeria variant” announced Thursday (Dec. 24). In contrast with the two different virus variants linked separately with increasing cases in the UK and South Africa, the variant in Nigeria has: NOT been linked with […]