September 2022- COVID-19 Chronicle
A- A fresh wave of COVID-19 infection is expected in the USA The transmissible variant BA 5 appears to be the most dominant in the United States, hitting as well people who have recovered from the disease already. The variant BA-4 is still claiming victims as well with admissions to the hospital. The cases are under-reported because the ease of ordering a home-kit to perform a COVID-19 test.
B- Nearly 2000 cases of Monkeypox are now reported across the United States especially in states like New-York, California and Florida. The first outbroke of this disease was in 2003 and nobody should take it lightly. Although rare and originally from Central and West Africa, it can be as well detected in Europe. After a three-week incubation, we should see even more cases in those states.
C- Monkeypox is the new public healthcare to deal with. We need to keep it in memory because if uncontrolled it will strike vulnerable population. We have already stated that more than 95% of Monkeypox cases are found in men having sex with men and its fatality rate is near zero in non-African countries. Monkeypox becomes a threat when it starts spreading in the vulnerable population of children, the pregnant women and the immunocompromised individuals as stated by the ECDC (European Center for Disease Control). Twelve (12) monkeypox cases have been reported in the less than 18 population in the United States and at least one pregnant woman is known to have caught the disease. More than 1300 cases have been diagnosed in Los Angeles. Monkeypox was declared on July 23rd 2022 a Public Health Emergency of International concern. As of today, 21,000 cases have been reported and confirmed worldwide in 78 countries. If uncontrolled, the disease will strike the vulnerable population like children, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals.
D- BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are still predominant. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to assume that re-infections tend to be milder. It is not always the case. Many have called the BA.5, Delcatron to describe a delta-omicron but we were lucky this did not appear to be a bad sub-variant. People are getting hospitalized but they are not dying.
E- Experts have cautioned about the possibility of repeated vaccinations exhausting T-cells and even through rare, we should watch for it. This phenomenon is seen in chronic diseases like Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and cancer where the T-cells are constantly activated and at the end, unable to clear the treat. It may be what we see with the COVID vaccines as well but it remains unlikely.
F- AN interesting study showed that SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive for a month in frozen meats under temperature of -20 degrees C. It is because of the new COVID-19 outbreaks in the Southeast Asia that the study was performed. SARS-CoV-3 can replicate within the gut as well as in the respiratory tract as discussed by Emily Bailey PhD at Campbell University in NC. The transmission can be secondary to poor disinfection protocol on the surfaces, hands or the knives.
Maxime J-M Coles MD
Editeur en chef AMHE Newsletter