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These 5 States Have Less Than 10% of ICU Beds Left as Covid-19 Overwhelms Hospitals

August 31, 2021

(CNN) – As Covid-19 cases surge across the US, particularly among unvaccinated Americans, hospitals have been pushed to their limits treating the influx of patients — and five states are nearly out of ICU beds. Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida and Arkansas have less than 10% left of their ICU bed capacity, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. (Read Full Article)

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Judge Sides with Illinois Hospital Refusing to Treat Man with Ivermectin

August 31, 2021

(The Hill) – A judge has sided with an Illinois hospital that refused to treat a man suffering from the coronavirus with ivermectin, an anti-parasite medication most commonly used in animals. A Sangamon County judge on Monday ruled against the wife of Randy Clouse, who wanted Memorial Medical Center to give her husband ivermectin to treat the virus, The State-Journal Register reported. (Read Full Article)

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Sinopharm Covid Vaccine Seen as Less Effective in Bahrain Study

August 30, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – The Covid-19 vaccine made by China’s Sinopharm was less effective than others at preventing infection, hospitalization and death, especially among people over 50, according to a study by the kingdom of Bahrain and Columbia University researchers. Chinese vaccines have become a key tool of Beijing’s international diplomacy, especially in developing nations unable to secure sufficient doses of U.S. and European-made shots. Despite high levels of inoculation with the Sinopharm vaccine, Bahrain in May started giving booster shots to vulnerable citizens using a different shot made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. BNTX -3.11% It now also offers booster shots for other vaccines. (Read Full Article)

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Ida Slams Louisiana Hospitals Brimming with Virus Patients

August 30, 2021

(Associated Press) – Ida struck as hospitals and their intensive care units were filled with patients from the fourth surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, sparked by the highly contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates across Louisiana. Daily tallies of new cases in Louisiana went from a few hundred a day through much of the spring and early summer to thousands a day by late July. Gov. John Bel Edwards told The Associated Press on Sunday that more than 2,400 COVID-19 patients are in Louisiana hospitals, saying the state was in a “very dangerous place with our hospitals.” (Read Full Article)

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As Districts Insist on Vaccines, Some Teachers Push Back

August 30, 2021

(Associated Press) – Some of the biggest school systems in the U.S. are taking a hard line with teachers and staff members who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19: Get a jab or lose your job.  Most teachers already are vaccinated, and national teachers’ unions have endorsed vaccine mandates, but the policies have sparked protests from educators and, in some cases, pushback from local district leaders who fear large numbers of departures.  (Read Full Article)

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Immune Response to COVID-19 Vaccines Declines After Two Months, Study Finds

August 30, 2021

(UPI) – Antibody levels drop by 20% two months after receipt of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in adults previously infected with the virus, a study published Monday by Scientific Reports found. Prior exposure to the virus also does not guarantee high levels of antibodies against it, the data showed. Additionally, those infected with COVID-19 don’t produce a “robust” antibody response after the first dose of the vaccine, an indication that both shots are needed even in those who were sickened earlier in the pandemic. (Read Full Article)

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CDC: Unvaccinated Teach Caused an Outbreak in Classroom

August 30, 2021

(Axios) – An outbreak at an elementary school classroom in Marin County, California, appears to have been caused by an unvaccinated teacher who was occasionally unmasked, a new case study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Why it matters: The outbreak — in which about 50% of the students got infected with COVID-19 — highlights the challenge of sending unvaccinated children back to school, particularly in light of the Delta variant’s increased transmissibility. (Read Full Article)

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U.S. Covid-19 Hospitalizations Approach a Peak as Delta Variant Spreads

August 30, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – Covid-19 hospitalizations nationwide crossed above 100,000 this week for the second time in the pandemic, overwhelming caregiver capacity in several states. Keeping ahead of demand is harder now than during earlier surges, according to doctors, nurses and hospital executives. Patients with other illnesses returned to hospitals this year, leaving fewer open beds as Covid-19 cases soared. The demand is most acute in ICUs, which care for the most-critical patients and need highly trained medical staff. Hospitals are short-staffed and unable to recruit enough nurses and respiratory therapists, who are exhausted as the pandemic wears on. (Read Full Article)

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Long COVID Symptoms Can Persist for More Than 1 Year, Study Shows

August 30, 2021

(Medscape) – Nearly one half of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 suffer at least one lingering symptom 1 year after discharge, according to the largest study yet to assess the dynamic recovery of a group of COVID-19 survivors 12 months after the illness. The most common lingering symptoms are fatigue and muscle weakness. One third continue to have shortness of breath. Overall, at 12 months, COVID-19 survivors had more problems with mobility, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression, and had lower self-assessment scores of quality of life than matched COVID-free peers, the investigators report. (Read Full Article)

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Moderna Complete Submission for Full FDA Approval of Covid-19 Vaccine; Pfizer Seeks Approval for Booster Dose

August 27, 2021

(CNN) – Moderna announced on Wednesday it has completed its submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for full approval of its Covid-19 vaccine for people age 18 and older, and Pfizer and BioNTech announced they have begun submitting data for full FDA approval of a third dose of their vaccine. Moderna said it has requested priority review from the FDA. The company began submitting data for its Biologics License Application, or BLA, to the FDA in June. (Read Full Article)

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‘Tired of Worrying’: As Some Parents Press for Vaccines Off-Label, Pediatricians Call for Patience

August 27, 2021

(STAT News) – Pediatricians across the country are heeding the recommendations to wait, echoed by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They’re concerned about attempting to find the right dosage on their own, given that kids will likely need a different dose, or facing potential liability issues. The CDC says providers who vaccinate off-label may be violating the agreement they signed to provide Covid-19 vaccines and also says providers who vaccinate off-label may also lose immunity under the PREP Declaration, which protects health care providers from liability claims in emergencies like the pandemic. (Read Full Article)

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AP Source: COVID Vaccination Site Opens for Arriving Afghans

August 27, 2021

(Associated Press) – The U.S. government has opened a mass COVID-19 vaccination site for arriving Afghans near Dulles International Airport, where thousands fleeing the Taliban are now arriving daily, a senior administration official said Friday. The site was set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and already has begun administering vaccinations to the Afghan evacuees. The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that a second mass vaccination site is expected to be launched in the coming days for evacuees who will be arriving at the Philadelphia International Airport. (Read Full Article)

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Joint Statement of the Multilateral Leaders Taskforce on Scaling COVID-19 Tools

August 27, 2021

(WHO) – “The global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is progressing at two alarmingly different speeds. Less than 2% of adults are fully vaccinated in most low-income countries compared to almost 50% in high?income countries. These countries, the majority of which are in Africa, simply cannot access sufficient vaccine to meet even the global goals of 10% coverage in all countries by September and 40% by end 2021, let alone the African Union’s goal of 70% in 2022. This crisis of vaccine inequity is driving a dangerous divergence in COVID-19 survival rates and in the global economy. We appreciate the important work of AVAT and COVAX to try and address this unacceptable situation.” (Read Full Statement)

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Afghanistan Almost Beat Polio. Now the Future Is Uncertain

August 27, 2021

(Wired) – For more than a week, global attention to Afghanistan has focused on the Taliban’s stunningly swift return to power, and the international airlift that is getting diplomats, Western workers, and refugees out. But a small cohort of disease experts is riveted by the political turnover for another reason: They worry it could undermine the long campaign to eradicate polio, which hinges on that country—and where, after years of disappointments, success now seems close. (Read Full Article)

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As Hospitals Fill, More Ambulances Forced to Wait

August 27, 2021

(Axios) – It’s not just the hospitals feeling pressure from the Delta wave — this time around, local ambulance companies are overwhelmed, too. Why it matters: Across the U.S., wait times for EMS have skyrocketed. (Read Full Article)

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CDC Alerts Doctors After Sharp Increase in Ivermectin Use for COVID

August 27, 2021

(Medscape) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning physicians to be on the lookout for cases of ivermectin overdose, as people increasingly self-prescribe the drug in an effort to prevent or treat COVID-19. Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that is used to treat river blindness and intestinal roundworm infection in humans and to de-worm pets and livestock.  Lotions and creams containing ivermectin are also used to treat head lice and rosacea. A study published last March showed that ivermectin killed SARS-CoV-2 in cells growing in a lab within 48 hours, and proposed that the medication be investigated as a cheap and easily available treatment for COVID-19. But cells are not people, and subsequent studies have failed to find any benefit. Others have been flagged for fraud.  (Read Full Article)

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Children and COVID: New Cases Soar to Near-Record Level

August 27, 2021

(Medscape) – Weekly cases of COVID-19 in children jumped by nearly 50% in the United States, posting the highest count since hitting a pandemic high back in mid-January, a new report shows. The 180,175 new cases reported during Aug. 13-19 represent the highest 1-week total since the peak of 211,466 during the week of Jan. 8-14. The latest weekly figure represents a 48% increase over the previous week and an increase of over 2,000% in the 8 weeks since the national count dropped to a low of 8,500 cases for the week of June 18-24, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said in their weekly COVID report. (Read Full Article)

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Heart Inflammation More Common After COVID Than After Vaccination

August 27, 2021

(Medscape) – Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, appears to be more common after COVID-19 than after vaccination, according to a new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Based in Israel, the study showed that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is associated with an increased risk of myocarditis, with about 1 to 5 cases per 100,000 people. However, COVID-19 infection was associated with an increased risk of 11 cases per 100,000 people. (Read Full Article)

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The Dwindling Chances of Finding COVID’s Origin

August 26, 2021

(Axios) – A U.S. intelligence review into the origins of COVID-19 has reportedly proved inconclusive, even as WHO experts warn that time is running out to do further studies on the question. Why it matters: We don’t need to know how COVID-19 emerged to finally defeat the pandemic, but clearer answers will help prevent the next big outbreak — whether it comes from nature or human action. (Read Full Article)

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Wuhan COVID-19 Study Finds Some Hospitalized Patients Still Have Health Problems After One Year

August 26, 2021

(Medical Xpress) – Most symptoms of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients are resolved within 12 months, however, around one half still experience at least one persistent symptom, a study of 1,276 patients from Wuhan, China, published in The Lancet, has found. Around one in three people still experienced shortness of breath and lung impairments persisted in some patients, especially those who had experienced the most severe illness with COVID-19 (at 12 months, 35.7% patients who underwent additional lung health tests had diffusion impairments—reduced flow of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream [87/244]). Overall, COVID-19 survivors were less healthy than people from the wider community who had not been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (matched for age, sex and pre-existing conditions). (Read Full Article)

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