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Coronavirus Updates

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Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group & Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India    16 July 2022

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev

BA.5 fast becoming the globally dominant strain

The dominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 strain across the world continues to be the Omicron variant with 84% of samples testing positive for Omicron in the last one month, according to the latest weekly epidemiological update on Covid-19. While the BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 are declining, the incidence of BA.4 and BA.5 are fast increasing. BA.4 increased from 11% to 14% and BA.5 rose from 42% to 50%…(Source: WHO, July 13, 2022)

US FDA grants EUA to Novavax vaccine

Earlier this week, the US FDA authorized the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine, adjuvanted for emergency use for persons aged 18 years and older. The vaccine components are the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and Matrix-M adjuvant. The vaccine is given in two doses in a gap of 3 weeks. The adjuvant contains saponin extracts obtained from the bark of the Soapbark tree…(Source: US FDA, July 13, 2022)

The pandemic is not over yet: WHO 

Even in its third year, the Covid-19 continues to be a global health emergency, says the WHO. The recent rise in the cases worldwide, continuous and unpredictable emergence of new and highly transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 pose challenges. Whether the already overwhelmed health services are ready to meet the challenges of another future Covid-19 pandemic remains ambiguous. Highlighting a disconnect in COVID-19 risk perception between scientific communities, political leaders and the general public, Dr Tedros A Ghebreyesus, Director General WHO said that the pandemic is “nowhere near over”…(Source: UN, July 12, 2022).

WHO recommends against use of fluvoxamine and colchicine in mild to moderate Covid-19

In its latest “Therapeutics and COVID-19: living guideline”, the WHO has advised against the use of fluvoxamine, an antidepressant drug, in patients with mild or moderate Covid-19. The guideline also strongly recommends against the use of colchicine in non-severe Covid-19…(Source: WHO, July 14, 2022).

Study links persisting gut antigen to post-Covid-19 in IBD patients

Persistence of the SARS-CoV-2  antigen in the GI tract of patients with IBD is associated with postacute Covid-19, according to findings of an endoscopy study of IBD patients with confirmed Covid-19 published in the journal Gastroenterology. The viral RNA continued to be detected in the gut mucosa up to 7 months after a mild Covid-19 infection in in 32 of 46 patients. The N protein was detected in gut mucosa and CD8+ T cells in 24 of the 46 study subjects…(Source: Medscape, July 11, 2022) 

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