June 2022 COVID-19 Chronicle
A- We are in a new phase of the pandemic, noticing an increase in new case numbers and hospitalizations. The number of deaths from the disease will increase as well. At John Hopkins, the experts are believing that this new surge will be of short duration and will not look like the previous waves. This new surge is not expected to be as severe as the previous one, but in anyway more than 300 Americans are still dying every day. The average case of COVID-19 is getting milder probably more because of the built-up immunity of the population against the disease. This virus remains a dangerous one for the unvaccinated.
B- A person’s general health can determine the way he/she will fight off the infection. The conditions in the household, the ventilation, the pre-existing conditions and the immunes responses can all play a role in the transmission of the disease. Many believe that we are going to face a summer surge and further implementation of previous preventive measures in wearing masks and even isolation may be needed.
C- People should be aware of individual-and household-level prevention behaviors based on the individual’s risk for severe disease. Omicron sub lineages continue to account for cases in the United States. COVID-19 rebound is reports almost a week after the initial recovery and remain characterized by a positive viral test after such person was tested negative. In a brief return case, treatment should be initiated with Paxlovid regardless the vaccination status. This drug is still recommended for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. CDC recommends a single COVID-19 dose of the vaccine. There is a “Test to Treat” initiative being offered to the publica way to get tested and receive treatment immediately in pharmacies that fill COVID-19 antiviral prescriptions. US household are now able to order 8 free at-home test a COVID.gov/tests.
D- The CDC called for one-third of Americans to wear masks again as the Omicron transmissible subvariant drive a rise again in some part of the country. Hospitalizations have begun to pick again across the country. In the USA, it appears that we are going to our fourth biggest Covid surge. We are averaging more than 95,000 cases every day for the last two months. It looks like, we are underestimating the true burden of infection perhaps by a 30-fold as reported by a New-York professor of epidemiology, Denis Nash. It is believed that one on five adult New-Yorkers are likely to contract COVID between April and May 2022 which mean 1.5 million adults in a two-weeks period. It is worrisome.
E- Most COVID patient in a survey reported that they did not know Paxlovid, this antiviral highly effective in preventing death and hospitalization. This medication is packaged by Pfizer/Reuters. Many do not realize that the USA is in the midst of a serious surge of the COVID-19. Two million people in United Kingdom are living with Long COVID. The long COVID threat is going to be with us for a while. At least, it is expected that 20 to 30% of cases will become long Covid or will develop re-infection. Vaccine may protect in 15% of cases.
F- How the mRNA vaccine works… The vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use mRNA to fight the virus. This was a new concept used for the first time to fight COVID-19 but the concept derives from studies done in 1990’s. They have that ability to deliver specific instructions to the host cells in order to induce an immune response allowing us them to fight a virus. The first studies were performed on deadly diseases like Ebola, Influenza and SARS. Traditional vaccines used weakened or inactivated germs to trigger the immune response in our body while mRNA vaccines are using genetically engineered molecules able to teach our cell how to attack and destroy the viral protein. This viral protein penetrates the cell body and attaches to the cell to replicate and spread the disease while the mRNA vaccine teaches the cell how to build antibodies again such protein and prevent the infection. The mRNA also produces a foreign particle which showed up on the cell’s surface signaling to the immune system that it is time to bring the antibodies. The mRNA does not contain live virus and breaks down right after it delivers its instructions to the cells. Potentially mRNA can ve used to fight disease like Malaria, Zika, Cystic Fibrosis, HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and even some type pf cancer.
Maxime J-M Coles MD
Boca Raton FL