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HealthNews RoundUp - 3rd Week of March 2022
Another CoVid Wave IS Coming
The OmicronBA.2 subvariant is spreading rapidly, and it will trigger another wave, actually a tsunami, of CoVid cases. I am here to warn you, not to scare you, but if a 4 alarm siren is what you need, so be it.
I’ve been talking about this OmicronBA.2 subvariant for several weeks now as it has been spreading around Europe and is wreaking havoc in Hong Kong and mainland China. This subvariant has a transmissability factor, a so-called R0, of about 12. This puts the OmicronBA.2 in a class with the most infectious virus known to man, the measles virus, with R0s ranging from 12 to 18. OmicronBA.2 is easy to catch, even outdoors, in a crowd, and certainly indoors.
But wait, I’m vaccinated and boosted you say. So am I, and I continue to be worried. Why? Because, the protective antibodies triggered by even the best of our Covid vaccines, the mRNA Pfizer and Moderna, don’t protect against OmicronBA.2 that well, say only about 40-50%, and the protection they do offer wanes quickly over a 3 month period. They work better against serious or deadly CoVid, but there is a debate about how well. The study I’m reporting this week from NYC’s Cornell states 70-80% protection that jumps to 90% after a boost. Sounds good, but an Israeli study just published in the New England Journal looking at healthcare workers who received not one but two boosts, 4 shots of either Pfizer or Moderna, only enjoyed 11-30% protection against any infection and only 31-43% prevention against symptomatic disease.
Meanwhile, federal, state and local governments, even here in NY, and businesses are throwing precautions to the wind. Indoor masking and vaccination requirements are being cancelled. On the streets, few are wearing masks in crowds and many, many are eating indoors in restaurants. Given that the concentrations of highly infectious virus are on the rise, that’s dangerous.
I’m here to warn you to be smarter than they are. Make sure you’re vaccinated and boosted and try to have had a recent booster within the past 3-4 months if possible. Assume, though, that you’re not going to have much help from the vaccine in preventing a CoVid infection. And you don’t want that since many CoVid infections spawn Long CoVid and we’re just beginning to catalog the horrors of that affliction.
Act like we’re back in the pre-vaccine era but with a far more infectious CoVid virus since that’s the fact. Avoid indoor activities and forget about indoor dining. Mask indoors and outdoors in crowds especially if the winds are calm. Assume that you can pick up OmicronBA2 from surfaces, so wash your hands and decontaminate packages coming from the outside.
Please listen to this heads up and take action. Mark my words—- you ain’t seen nothing yet!
#CoVid #omicron #BA1 #BA2 #hospitalization #death #masking #sanitizing
CoVid #omicron, BA1, BA2, hospitalization, death, masking, sanitizing
mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness Against Omicron Subvariants
Just how effective are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for protection against the two Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2? The answer comes from a collaborative study from the epidemiologists at Cornell Medicine-Qatar following their study of 1,308,926 individuals who received the Pfizer and 894,142 who received the Moderna. Of these groups, only 27% received the Pfizer booster and 16% received the Moderna booster.
Both mRNA CoVid vaccines were only about 45% protective against a symptomatic infection by either Omicron subvariant and only for about 3 months after the 2 dose vaccination. It required a booster to maintain that protection longer-term. Protection against a severe or deadly Omicron infection was 70-80% after the 2 dose vaccination longer-term but rose to more than 90-% after a booster.
In this first set of graphs, we can see that both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines worked about the same against OmicronBA1 and OmicronBA2. The performance of the Moderna vaccine was a bit better but more variable than the Pfizer often performing better against the OmicronBA1 than OmicronBA2.
In the second set of graphs, we see that the 2 dose vaccination worked better against a severe or deadly infection than a milder infection over time, but the addition of the booster worked even better. Again, the performance of the Moderna vaccine was somewhat better but more variable than the Pfizer.
The bottom line: To maintain the best protection against either Omicron subvariant, you need the 2 shot vaccination plus the booster. Even with those, you might develop a mild infection but you’ll obtain fairly good protection against a hospitalization or death.
Keep in mind though, you don’t want any CoVid infection due to the chances of Long CoVid. Now that another wave is upon us, you’ll need to mask indoors and on transit, and you should stay out of unmasked crowds.
#CoVid #omicron #BA1 #BA2 #hospitalization #death
CoVid #omicron, BA1, BA2, hospitalization, death
Teaching Your Kids To Be Creative
Creativity CAN be taught to children, and professors of English at the Ohio State University now report a better method. The traditional approach called divergent thinking that focuses on problem-solving and working memory expansion hasn’t cut it. Instead the OSU profs recommend the narrative method successfully used by novelists.
This narrative method uses 2 techniques. The first is to encourage children to create new worlds in their minds. This meshes with their love of other worldly video games. The other is perspective-shifting that encourages the child to pretend they are someone else and create a story from another’s point of view.
Studies have shown that young children are naturally more creative than adults. Their creativity appears to be blunted by our formal educational systems that emphasizes rigid logic and rote fact memorization. We as parents and grandparents must oppose that tendency by playing creativity coaches during the precious early years we have with our children. Use the narrative techniques to do just that.
#creativity #divergent #narrative #storytelling
creativity, divergent, narrative, storytelling
Long CoVid in Children and Teens
One in every four children under the age of 18 develops symptoms of long CoVid following a given CoVid infection. An international collaborative group that includes Harvard, Emory, Cornell, Rutgers, Swedish and Mexican universities performed a meta-analysis of 21 published studies covering some 80,071 children and adolescents 0 to 18 years of age.
The crunched numbers reveal that 25.4% of all children diagnosed with CoVid developed one or more symptoms of long CoVid lasting 4 weeks or longer. For those who required hospitalization, the prevalence was higher at 29.2%. Children with long CoVid had multiple symptoms, and the most common were anxiety and depression in 16.5%, sleep disorders in 8.4%, persistent headache in 7.8%, breathing problems in 7.6%, excess chest and nasal mucus in 7.5%, thinking problems in 6.2%, loss of appetite in 6%, exercise intolerance in 5.7%, and smell and taste issues in 5.6%. Compared with uninfected children, those who contracted CoVid were 2.7 times more likely to have shortness of breath, 10.6 times more likely to have smell and taste problems, and 2.2 times more likely to suffer persistent fevers.
With CoVid Omicron now driving substantial numbers of infants, children, and teens to the hospital, in part because far too many are unvaccinated and if vaccinated unboosted, it’s too soon to be dropping indoor masking and avoidance of crowds, especially indoors. The latest Omicron subvariant, BA.2, is nearly as contagious as the measles, but the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines plus boosters will keep those children eligible to get them from the tragedy of long CoVid.
#CoVid #longcovid #children #adolescents #infants
CoVid, longcovid, children, adolescents, infants
Short Shorts: 3rd Week March 2022
Short Shorts are cutting edge medical and healthcare discoveries not quite ready for the clinic, but worth knowing about now.
Spiders may help us cure cancer. The intracellular protein p53 is one natural defense against cancer-triggering mutations. Problem is that p53 is in short supply since cells naturally make very little of it and it tends to be unstable. That’s where our creepy spider friends come in. Tumor biologists at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute find that a small section of synthetic spider silk protein attached to p53 before reintroducing it into cells stabilizes the p53 enhancing its ability to prevent cancer-causing mutations. Could be the basis for a new treatment.
A new type of CoVid vaccine repurposes red blood cells to carry the viral spike proteins that trigger a effective immune protection. A team at Canada’s McMaster University starts with normal red blood cells, RBCs for short, empties their insides, and then attaches spike proteins to the remaining cell membranes. These modified RBCs can carry an abundance of different spike proteins permitting vaccination and boosting against many variants.
We know that indoor air filtration is an essential tool in our battle against CoVid. Now the UK’s University of Birmingham has developed antimicrobial air filters that combine the high air flow filters with the germicide chlorhexidine digluconate. This hybrid system can kill CoVid virus in the air passing through it while treating a high volume of room air.
In an effort to better understand the forces that create concussive brain injuries in athletes, UK engineers have developed a high tech mouthguard equipped with accelerometers and triaxial gyroscopes that can gather data capable of measuring impact velocities. Hopefully this type of wearable can better help prevent CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, that has plagued professional football players.
There you have the latest. When additional information about these developments becomes available, I’ll pass it on to you.
#spiders #p53 #cancer #erythrocytes #CoVid #vaccine #variants #airfiltration #chlorhexidine #mouthguard #wearables #cte
Spiders, p53, cancer, erythrocytes, CoVid, vaccine, variants, airfiltration, chlorhexidine, mouthguard, wearables, cte
Sirrus Bikes Crank Up Injuries
The CPSC and Specialized Bicycle Components now recall Sirrus, Sirrus X and Sirrus Sport Bicycles with alloy cranks. The crank arm on these bikes may disengage causing the rider to lose control, fall, and sustain injuries. About 19,000 of these bicycles were sold. If you have one of them, stop riding it immediately and contact your nearest authorized Specialized retailer for a free repair. For more information, contact the company by phone at 1-800-808-8154 or via the email email@example.com.
#specialized #cirrus #crank #disengagement #fall #recall
specialized, cirrus, crank, disengagement, fall, recall
B. Toys Wooden Activity Walker Chokes
The CPSC and the Maison Battat company are recalling B. toys Wooden Activity Walker – Walk ‘n’ Learn. The wheels, axles, and attachment hardware may detach from the walker, break into pieces, a create a choking hazard for infants, toddlers, and young children. About 17,000 of these walkers were sold in the US and about 2400 were sold in Canada. If you have one of these at home, do not allow your children to use it. Contact Battat by phone at 1-844-963-2479 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a free repair kit consisting of replacement wheels, attachment hardware and installation instructions. Battat can also provide you more information about this recall.
#battat #walklearn #wheels #foreignbodies #choking #recall
battat, walklearn, wheels, foreignbodies, choking, recall
RH Illuminated Mirrors Overheat
The CPSC and RH, formerly known as Renovation Hardware, are recalling RH Illuminated Mirrors. The mirror’s bulb sockets are defective, may short-circuit and overheat, and create fire, burns, and shock hazards. About 3300 of these mirrors were sold in the US and about 111 were sold in Canada. Round, rectangular, and so-called leaner shaped mirrors are included in this recall. If you have been gazing into one of these mirrors at home, unplug it and contact RH for either a full refund, a merchandise credit or a replacement mirror. Reach RH at 1-833-694-2947 or via email at email@example.com.
#rh #illuminatedmirror #bulbsocket #shortcircuit #burn #fire #recall
rh, illuminatedmirror, bulbsocket, shortcircuit, burn, fire, recall
Airborne Gummies’ May Explode
The CPSC and Reckitt now recall Airborne Gummies in the 63 and 75 count bottles in various flavors. Pressure may build up within these containers and forcefully eject the lid and underlying seal creating an injury. About 3.74 million of these jars containing what is described as an immune support supplement were sold in the US at Target, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, Walmart and other stores as well as online at Amazon.com and www.schiffvitamins.com. If you have an unopened container, don’t open it. Contact Reckitt by phone at 1-888-266-8003 to receive a postage-paid envelope to return the product for a full refund. If you opened the container and hopefully didn’t sustain an injury, you may continue to consume the contents.
#airbournegummies #supplement #explosion #injury #recall
airbournegummies, supplement, injury, recall, explosion
Unauthorized FlowFlex CoVid Test is Recalled
The FDA and ACON Laboratories are warning consumers not to use the Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test packaged in a blue box. This test is unauthorized for importing or use in the US. The product “Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test in a white box is FDA approved for use in the US and the recipient of an Emergency Use Authorization. The Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test is approved in Europe while the US test is not. So in summary, the approved US test has the word “Home” in it and the European-approved test has the word “Rapid” in it. The FDA states that the European test will not provide accurate results if used in the US. If you obtained the FlowFlex test in the blue box, return it to the place of purchase. For more information, contact ACON Laboratories Customer Support at 1-800-838-9502 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#flowflex #covidtest #fda #us #europe
flowflex, covidtest, fda, us, europe
Schwan’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip is on Recall
The FDA and Fairmont Foods, Inc. are recalling Schwan’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip #802 Product Information Code P82013 xxxx. This product contains undeclared soy and wheat. Those with soy or wheat allergies could develop serious or life-threatening allergic reactions should they ingest this product. If you bought this, contact Fairmont Foods by phone at 1-507-238-9001 (Ext 6125) or via email at email@example.com.
#schwans #spinachartichokedip #soy #wheat #allergy #recall
schwans, spinachartichokedip, soy, wheat, allergy, recall
Recalled are Albanese Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans
The FDA and the Albanese Confectionary Group, Inc. have recalled Albanese Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans. This product contains undeclared peanuts. Those with peanut allergies could develop serious or life-threatening allergic reactions should they eat these dark chocolate expresso beans. It turns out that the company’s Dark Chocolate Panned Peanuts were mistakenly packed in the Dark Chocolate Espresso Bean tubs. This product was sold in: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. If you bought this product, return it to the place of purchase for a refund. For additional information about this recall, contact the Albanese Confectionery Group by phone at 1-219-472-6303 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#albanese #darkchocolateexpressobeans #peanuts #allergy #recall
albanese, darkchocolateexpressobeans, peanuts , allergy, recall