(Reuters) – The following is a summary of some of the latest scientific studies on the new coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Vaccinating adults also appears to protect children
New data from Israel, where health officials moved quickly to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech SE, suggests that adult vaccination also protects the unvaccinated people living around them. About a third of the 1.95 million members of Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), all over the age of 16, had received at least a single dose of vaccine by January 30. Analyzing the results in 223 communities, the researchers found that as the number of vaccinated adults increased, infection rates among unvaccinated MHS members in the same community decreased, especially among children. MHS is the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel. “While the observed vaccine-associated protection of the unvaccinated is encouraging, further study is required to understand whether and how it could support the prospect of herd immunity and disease eradication,” the researchers concluded in the study published on Monday. Wednesday on medRxiv before peer review. . (bit.ly/3wnIVVf)
Illinois Bar Opening Event Linked to 46 COVID-19 Cases
An inside celebration of a rural Illinois bar opening in February led to 46 new COVID-19 cases and wider ramifications, according to a US study that serves as a warning as to how these events they can affect local communities. Four attendees had symptoms similar to COVID-19 that day. Of the 46 coronavirus infections linked to the party, there were 26 cases among clients, three in staff members and 17 “secondary cases” in people infected by them, according to a report published Monday in the US Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Secondary cases included children and residents of long-term care facilities. “The broadcast associated with the opening event resulted in the closure of a school affecting 650 children (9,100 person-days missed from school) and the hospitalization of a resident of a long-term care facility with COVID-19,” the researchers said. “These findings demonstrate that opening up environments such as bars, where the use of masks and physical distancing are challenging, can increase the risk of community transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers said. Businesses should “work with local health officials to promote behaviors and maintain environments that reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and develop strategies to safely reopen to prevent outbreaks in the community, such as modifying designs and operating procedures, “they said. (bit.ly/3mtsoKU)
Congenital heart disease does not worsen COVID-19 risks
Adults with congenital heart defects are no more likely than the average person to have severe COVID-19 or to die from it, according to an international study. The risk factors associated with poor outcomes in these people are the same as those associated with poor outcomes in the general public: older age, male gender, history of heart failure, irregular heartbeat, kidney problems, diabetes, and need for extra oxygen before becoming infected with the coronavirus, said study co-author Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn of the UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Center. The researchers analyzed data on 1,044 adults with COVID-19 from 58 centers for congenital heart disease around the world. Even people with very complex heart defects did not appear to be at increased risk for severe COVID-19 as long as they did not already have severe signs and symptoms of heart disease, Aboulhosn said, calling the finding “somewhat surprising.” The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. (bit.ly/2PPhFxQ; bit.ly/2OcdzQ0)
Stroke and COVID-19 Patients Have Worse Outcomes
Among patients who went to a hospital because they were having a stroke, those who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to die there, a new study shows. COVID-19 patients were also more likely to have a more serious stroke and another stroke while hospitalized, the researchers reported in the journal Stroke. They studied about 42,000 patients who came to 458 hospitals with an ischemic stroke, caused by blockages in the arteries that carry blood to the brain. About 3% of patients tested positive for COVID-19. On average, they got to the hospital as fast as patients without coronavirus infection. After that, things slowed down. “Probably due to the need for the use of personal protective equipment and other precautions” by hospital staff, COVID-19 patients took longer to receive anticoagulant treatments that reopened blocked vessels, said study co-author Dr. Gregg Fonarow, University of California, Los Angeles. The study cannot prove that treatment delays caused the worst outcomes. However, Fonarow said, “These findings suggest that stroke protocols need to be further improved to provide more timely diagnosis and treatment for patients with (ischemic stroke) to expedite care while protecting patients. exposure health workers “. (bit.ly/3sLF2Hp)
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Reporting by Nancy Lapid, Marilynn Larkin and Megan Brooks; Editing by Bill Berkrot