For people with long COVID, finding a place to get appropriate medical care is a challenge.
The October 21, 2022 cover story this week steps back from the news agenda to explore the impact of living with long Covid. For millions of people worldwide who have survived initial infection with the virus, recovery is slow. Symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and loss of smell or taste persist for months and, as our science editor Ian Sample explains, treatments that work for some may not be successful for others.
This week delegates to the Chinese Communist party’s 20th congress are in Beijing where they are expected to rubber stamp Xi Jinping’s historic third term as leader. Our big story looks at what the president’s supremacy means for the country and its closest neighbour – Taiwan – which lives in the shadow of Xi’s avowed intention to bring the island back under China’s tutelage.
Meet the protein arsenal wielded by the pandemic virus
Authors were dropped from broader Lancet review
SARS-CoV-2 wields versatile proteins to foil our immune system’s counterattack
A fuel cell gains more power from ion-conducting, porous covalent organic frameworks
Even mild COVID-19 is at least correlated with a startlingly wide spectrum of seemingly every illness. We need a much better taxonomy to address people’s suffering.
From The Atlantic, October 5, 2022:
The cases of long covid that turn up in news reports, the medical literature, and in the offices of doctors like me fall into a few rough (and sometimes overlapping) categories. The first seems most readily explainable: the combination of organ damage, often profound physical debilitation, and poor mental health inflicted by severe pneumonia and resultant critical illness.
This serious long-term COVID-19 complication gets relatively little media attention despite its severity. The coronavirus can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, the gravest form of pneumonia, which can in turn provoke a spiral of inflammation and injury that can end up taking down virtually every organ. I have seen many such complications in the ICU: failing hearts, collapsed lungs, failed kidneys, brain hemorrhages, limbs cut off from blood flow, and more. More than 7 million COVID-19 hospitalizations occurred in the United States before the Omicron wave, suggesting that millions could be left with damaged lungs or complications of critical illness. Whether these patients’ needs for care and rehabilitation are being adequately (and equitably) met is unclear: Ensuring that they are is an urgent priority.
Genetically diverse mice and cross-species comparison uncover links to longevity
Emerging subvariants are more immune evasive than ever
After doubts grew, blockbuster Nature paper is withdrawn over objections of study team
Tenure delays and pandemic impact statements could backfire, some fear
Leader of Russia’s largest chipmaker elected president after incumbent’s sudden withdrawal
Judges reject claims that defendants defrauded agencies by not disclosing China ties
Deaths and sufferings are not a failure of technology or knowledge, but a failure of will.
But carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the global reservoir-building spree in the 1960s and 1970s are falling.
A fossilized pile of small bones is probably a meal that an animal heaved up 150 million years ago.
Surrounding an ion of curium with radiation-resistant clusters of other ions allows scientists to study the scarce substance.
Some female white-necked jacobins nab good feeding spots by adopting the flashy plumage of their bigger, brasher male counterparts.
A high-sugar diet unbalances the microbiome, so the body makes fewer of the gut immune cells that help to prevent metabolic disorders.
The vaccine, called Convidecia Air, changes the liquid form of the vaccine into an aerosol using a nebuilzer. The vaccine can then be inhaled through the mouth using the nebulizer machine. The needle-free vaccine “can effectively induce comprehensive immune protection in response to SARS-CoV-2 after just one breath,” Cansino said in a statement.
Fortune.com on September 5, 2022 – China’s government approved the world’s first inhaled vaccine against COVID-19, the vaccine’s maker Cansino Biologics announced on Sunday.
In July, Chinese scientists published a pre-print study showing that people who received one booster dose of Cansino’s inhaled vaccine after two doses of the inactivated jab from Chinese maker Sinovac developed more antibodies than people who received three Sinovac shots. Four weeks after receiving the inhaled booster, 92.5% of people had developed neutralizing antibodies for Omicron.
Those who got three doses on Sinovac’s jab did not demonstrate any neutralizing antibodies for Omicron, either four weeks or six months after getting a booster.
Russia turns down Switzerland’s offer to represent Ukraine’s interests in Moscow. Plus: North Korea declares victory over coronavirus, the latest on Kenya’s general election and highlights from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In December 2020, a week before cardiologist Stuart Katz was scheduled to receive his first COVID-19 vaccine, he came down with a fever. He spent the next two weeks wracked with a cough, body aches and chills. After months of helping others to weather the pandemic, Katz, who works at New York University, was having his own first-hand experience of COVID-19.
On Christmas Day, Katz’s acute illness finally subsided. But many symptoms lingered, including some related to the organ he’s built his career around: the heart. Walking up two flights of stairs would leave him breathless, with his heart racing at 120 beats per minute. Over the next several months, he began to feel better, and he’s now back to his normal routine of walking and cycling. But reports about COVID-19’s effects on the cardiovascular system have made him concerned about his long-term health. “I say to myself, ‘Well, is it really over?’” Katz says.
In one study1 this year, researchers used records from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to estimate how often COVID-19 leads to cardiovascular problems. They found that people who had had the disease faced substantially increased risks for 20 cardiovascular conditions — including potentially catastrophic problems such as heart attacks and strokes — in the year after infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers say that these complications can happen even in people who seem to have completely recovered from a mild infection.
Some smaller studies have mirrored these findings, but others find lower rates of complications. With millions or perhaps even billions of people having been infected with SARS-CoV-2, clinicians are wondering whether the pandemic will be followed by a cardiovascular aftershock. Meanwhile, researchers are trying to understand who is most at risk of these heart-related problems, how long the risk persists and what causes these symptoms.
“Roughly two and a half years into the pandemic, White House officials and health experts have reached a pivotal conclusion about Covid-19 vaccines: The current approach of offering booster shots every few months isn’t sustainable.
Though most vaccines take years to develop, the Covid shots now in use were created in record time—in a matter of months. For health authorities and a public desperate for tools to deal with the pandemic, their speedy arrival provided a huge lift, preventing hospitalizations and deaths while helping people to escape lockdowns and return to work, school and many other aspects of pre-Covid life.”