Category Archives: COVID-19 Member Posts

If the next pandemic has already begun today, how would WHO recognize it?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA One year ago today the World Health Organization convened the first meeting of its emergency committee to advise on whether or not to declare the outbreak first reported in Wuhan a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)” under the International Health Regulations. Only the WHO director general […]

COVID-19: FDA advisory committee needed before more EUAs for monoclonals

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Press release claims benefit in nursing home COVID prevention study By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA  In a press release today Lilly reported that its “neutralizing antibody bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) prevented COVID-19 at nursing homes in the BLAZE-2 trial, reducing risk by up to 80% for residents”.  The release states that the intravenous dose used […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

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 […]

COVID-19: Why did the UK implement strong measures after finding only two patients with the South African variant?

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By Daniel R. Lucey M.D., MPH, FIDSA On Wednesday  (yesterday), United Kingdom Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that two persons in the UK had been diagnosed with the South African variant virus and as a result immediate actions were taken, including strict “quarantine” of anyone who has been in South Africa or even been a […]