May 2023-COVID-19 News / Sexually transmitted diseases
1- The president of the United States has signed a Republican-authored bill terminating the national emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic. He had opposed to the GOP-proposed measure which gained bipartisan support in Congress. This will bring changes across US healthcare system. The national emergency over the virus was enacted by the previous administration on March 13, 2020 allowing federal funding to help cities and states in testing and vaccination.
2- This new law will end Title 42 (Pandemic era rule) that has blocked undocumented immigrants from crossing the southern border. A new bill received also bipartisan support in Congress requiring the declassification of the information about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any connection with the lab in Wuhan where the SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged. The bill is expected to be signed by the president Biden.
3- Meanwhile the origins of SARS-C0V-2 virus are still being debated by scientist around the world. If most believe that it originated in bats but transmitted to humans, they are still looking for the intermediate host able to permit the transmission to the humans. Remember that the first cases were discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, linked to a seafood market in the city and closed to the lab. It still remains difficult to have the collaboration of the scientists involved and many of them have disappeared.
4- Genetic analysis of the virus has shown a resemblance to the coronaviruses found in bats particularly in a species known as the “horseshoe bat” such as the pangolins before any possible transmission to the humans. The resolution of such puzzle is still possible while on-going investigations and researches are still ongoing.
5- The country is moving from a pandemic which devastated the world but imposed to the society more than 15 million of adults suffering from Long-COVID. Scientist may still be trying to understand what causes people to develop such complication while others do not show any symptoms. It is understood that there may be a virus reservoir where the virus can stick around long after the person infection.
6- Meanwhile experts are concerned that we may face a new global disease outbreak, possibly worse than COVID-19. Some believe that we can see it coming any day. It is a new avian Influenza virus which may bring a “bird-Flu” H5N1. Researchers are expecting that some mutations of this new flu virus could gain the ability to spread to humans, once the virus is able to swap some of its gene segments. This may become a new pandemic…?
7- A recent study evaluated complications seen three months after Total Joint replacement were performed in patients suffering from COVID-19. Patients were found to have a higher rate of re-admission (14.0 %) with pneumonia (2.2%), Deep vein thrombosis (3.3%), Kidney failure (2.4%) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (1.4%).
8- Neisseria Gonorrhea has developed a resistance to all but one class of antibiotics used to treat Syphilis in the USA. This has been reported by the CDC and categorized as an urgent threat. In 2021, 710,551 cases were reported making Syphilis, the second most common notifiable infectious disease sexually reported to be reported.
9- In Connecticut, more than 22% increase was noted in men and women, in both bisexuals and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and men who have sex with women only.
10- In Massachusetts, the Department of health issued in January 2023 a clinical advisory announcing a novel strain of multidrug-non-susceptible Neisseria Gonorrhea decrease sensibility to a resistance to drugs like ciprofloxacin, penicillin, cefixime, azithromycin. The same strain was traced in tetracycline. Only ceftriaxone 500 mg IM was found suitable and recommended for treatment. Identification of the same strain was discovered through the US and United Kingdom as well as in Asia-Pacific countries. An open sexual history and a travel history should be investigated.
Maxime Coles MD
Boca Raton FL