Coronavirus Information Bulletin – Times of India



  • India Tuesday reported 4,369 Covid cases and 20 deaths. The cumulative number of cases is 4,45,04,949 (46,347 active cases) and 5,28,185 deaths
  • Worldwide: Over 609 million cases and over 6.51 million deaths.
  • Vaccination in India: Over 2.15 billion doses. Worldwide: Over 12.19 billion doses.
Long Covid linked to persistent SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in blood
Long Covid linked to persistent SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in blood
  • The cause and management of long Covid, which can affect up to 25% of those infected, remains a medical challenge to this day. The race is therefore on to identify potential biomarkers that could help categorize patients most at risk of developing this debilitating disease.
  • In a new study, researchers from Harvard Medical School aimed to assess SARS-CoV-2 antigen and cytokine levels to identify a potential blood biomarker that appears in the majority of patients with long-term Covid, or post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) as it is officially called.
  • The study: The team analyzed plasma samples from a cohort of 63 Covid survivors, including 37 patients with PASC and 26 patients with acute Covid-19. Most members of the PASC group were women.
  • Blood samples were taken 2-3 times over a period of one year for the PASC cohort while for the others they were taken up to five months after the initial diagnosis of Covid.
  • The results: Approximately 67% of PASC patients had one of the viral antigens (S1 spike subunit, full-length spike, and nucleocapsid (N) antigens) present in their plasma at any time after recovery from acute infection.
  • “We detected a circulating SARSCoV-2 peak in the majority of PASC patients, but in none of the Covid-19 patients. Although our sample size is small, the detection of a peak at multiple time points 2 to 12 months after infection is compelling,” reads the study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
  • Antigens were found in nearly 75% of patients with acute cardiovascular, systemic, musculoskeletal, or gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as those with head, eye, ear, nose, or throat symptoms. throat. When more organs were affected, antigen detection was more likely.
  • Consequences : “The presence of a circulating spike supports the hypothesis that an active virus reservoir persists in the body [of long Covid patients]“, reads the study.
  • At the very least, detection of the spike protein could be used to predict the onset of PASC after an episode of Covid, allowing the timely deployment of prevention and treatment strategies.
Covid drugs in sewage pose risk to aquatic organisms
Covid drugs in sewage pose risk to aquatic organisms
  • During the pandemic, wastewater monitoring has been used as a powerful tool to monitor health at the community level. But now, such surveillance also brings bad news for aquatic organisms.
  • According to a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality.
  • The study by Pennsylvania State University researchers analyzed weekly influent (input) and effluent (output) samples from two central Pennsylvania wastewater treatment plants between May 2020 and May 2021 for a variety of drugs that could have been used to treat Covid-19. One of the sites includes a hospital in its service area.
  • Specifically, the influent to the sewage treatment plant serving the hospital had concentrations of remdesivir and dexamethasone of 28% and 31%, respectively, while the average removal efficiencies by the sewage treatment plant wastewater for these drugs were 39% and 56%, respectively.
  • According to the team, although the risk to aquatic organisms from remdesivir could not be calculated, as no research has yet been carried out to determine the concentrations that could pose a risk, dexamethasone has been detected in quantities that may pose a low acute risk to fish.
  • “These calculations do not take into account the potential risks that could come from the synergistic effects of these drugs in a mixture, which could be much higher,” adds Heather Preisendanz, co-author of the study. “Importantly, our study highlights the opportunity that wastewater monitoring offers to understand the effects of human health on water quality and ecological health.
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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Sushmita Choudhury, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
To research: Rajesh Sharma


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