The next is a roundup of a number of the newest scientific research on the novel coronavirus and efforts to seek out remedies and vaccines for Covid-19, the sickness attributable to the virus.
Coronavirus can harm the mind with out infecting it
The brand new coronavirus doesn’t must instantly invade mind tissue to break it, a brand new examine suggests. Researchers examined the brains of 19 sufferers who died from Covid-19, specializing in tissues from areas regarded as extremely prone to the virus: the olfactory bulb, which controls the sense of odor, and the brainstem, which controls respiratory and coronary heart charge.
In 14 sufferers, one or each of those areas contained broken blood vessels – some clotted, and a few leaking. The areas with leakage have been surrounded by irritation from the physique’s immune response, they discovered. However the researchers noticed no indicators of the virus itself, they report in The New England Journal of Medication.
“We were completely surprised,” mentioned co-author Dr Avindra Nath of the Nationwide Institute of Neurological Problems and Stroke in an announcement. The harm his crew noticed is normally related to strokes and neuroinflammatory illnesses, he mentioned.
“So far, our results suggest that the damage … may not have been caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus directly infecting the brain,” Dr Nath mentioned.
“In the future, we plan to study how Covid-19 harms the brain’s blood vessels and whether that produces some of the short- and long-term symptoms we see in patients.”
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Hair loss surges in NYC minority communities throughout pandemic
Pandemic stress could also be inflicting individuals to lose their hair, in response to a brand new examine. By mid-summer, charges of a hair-shedding situation referred to as telogen effluvium (TE) had surged greater than 400% in a racially numerous neighborhood in New York Metropolis, researchers report within the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
From November 2019 by means of February 2020, the incidence of TE circumstances was 0.4%. By August, that charge had climbed to 2.3%, they discovered. “It is unclear if the increase in cases of TE is more closely related to the physiological toll of infection or extreme emotional stress,” mentioned co-author Dr Shoshana Marmon of Coney Island Hospital.
The rise was due primarily to TE in individuals of shade, notably within the Hispanic group, “in line with the disproportionately high mortality rate of this subset of the population due to Covid-19 in NYC,” the authors mentioned.
TE charges rose in smaller non-white minorities as properly, however not amongst Blacks, who additionally have been severely impacted by Covid-19. Dr Adam Friedman of George Washington College of Medication and Well being Sciences, who was not concerned within the analysis, mentioned he too is seeing will increase in TE “and the timing makes plenty of sense, as the onset of shedding is typically three months following the traumatic event,” which might correspond to the rise of the pandemic.
Researchers argue for one vaccine dose to boost provide
A single dose of one of many presently accessible Covid-19 vaccines, even when much less efficient than two doses, could have larger inhabitants profit, three analysis teams argued on Tuesday in three papers in Annals of Inner Medication. In giant trials, two-dose regimens of the vaccine from Pfizer and associate BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc’s shot each demonstrated almost 95% efficacy in stopping sickness from the coronavirus.
Yale College of Public Well being researchers says a less-effective single-dose may confer larger inhabitants profit than a 95%-effective vaccine requiring two doses.
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College of Washington researchers say doubling vaccine protection by giving a single dose to extra individuals would hasten pandemic management by reducing transmission charges. Stanford College researchers say delaying second doses in some individuals may allow tens of millions extra to obtain a vaccine.
“In a public health emergency, a powerful argument exists for doing something with less-than-perfect results if it can help more persons quickly,” mentioned Thomas Bollyky of the Council on Overseas Relations in an editorial revealed with the papers.
“However, whether alternative approaches with current vaccines would accomplish this goal is far from clear.” The US Meals and Drug Administration mentioned on Monday the thought of fixing the approved dosing or schedules of Covid-19 vaccines was untimely and never supported by accessible knowledge.