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  5. Daily News Pulse for February 25, 2023

Daily News Pulse for February 25, 2023

Summary: A new undercover video sparked false claims that Pfizer is mutating the coronavirus. The omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the US, and booster shots are being developed to combat it. The FDA has approved the first combination test for flu and COVID-19 that can be used at home.
  • No Evidence Pfizer Conducting Any Inappropriate Coronavirus Experiments – FactCheck.org: Project Veritas released an undercover video that sparked baseless claims that Pfizer is mutating the coronavirus. Pfizer denied these claims and clarified that they are doing experiments for their COVID-19 antiviral drug Paxlovid, which some people have misinterpreted as “gain-of-function” research. There is no evidence to support this claim.
  • CDC Estimates XBB.1.5 Responsible for 85% of New Coronavirus Infections – USNews.com: The omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is rapidly becoming the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the US, causing 85% of cases this week. Booster shots were designed to take on other subvariants, but XBB.1.5 is still increasing in prevalence.
  • FDA authorizes combination flu-COVID test for home use – ABC News: The FDA has approved the first combination test for flu and COVID-19 that can be used at home. The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test uses self-collected nasal swab samples and delivers results in about 30 minutes. It was granted an emergency use authorization to facilitate the availability of medical countermeasures during public health emergencies.
  • Catching COVID may increase chances of developing an autoimmune disease, study says: A new study suggests that a COVID-19 infection may increase the risk of developing an autoimmune disease by 43%, even for those without a pre-existing autoimmune condition.
  • How many people died after China lifted its zero-covid policy? | The Economist: The Chinese government has declared a “decisive victory” over covid-19, but the official death toll of 87,468 is likely an undercount. The Economist examined data from places with more trustable sources to estimate the true impact of the virus.
  • Army rescinds COVID-19 vaccination requirements | Article | The United States Army: Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth has issued a memorandum rescinding all policies associated with the DOD COVID-19 vaccination mandate. The Army will continue to promote and encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all personnel.
  • COVID-19 May Raise the Risk of Developing Autoimmune Diseases: New Study | Weather.com: A new large-scale study has linked COVID-19 with an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases, with the risk rising by 43%. This is the first study to analyse the health records of over 640,000 people in Germany who caught COVID-19 in 2020 and 1.5 million who didn’t test positive for coronavirus that year. The research explored how coronavirus infection may raise the risk of developing any of 30 autoimmune conditions.
  • Covid snapshot: Here are 5 things to know about Long Covid now | Mint: A study published in the journal JAMA Network Open revealed that more than two-thirds of non-hospitalized infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the first wave of the pandemic developed long Covid. Symptoms during acute infection included fever, shortness of breath, muscle pain, and cough. A study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine also revealed that organ damage persisted in 59 percent of long Covid patients a year after initial symptoms appeared.
  • Long COVID Emotional Symptoms Associated with Changes in Brain Structure and Function: People with long COVID who experience anxiety and depression months after a mild SARS-CoV-2 infection may have changes in brain structure, including gray matter atrophy, as well as disruption of brain functional connectivity. These findings were presented in an abstract for the 2023 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting.
  • Anxiety, depression and burnout rampant in Indian nurses during COVID-19: Study | Health: The Indian Society of Psychiatric Nurses has highlighted the mental health issues faced by nurses in India due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Issues such as mental fatigue, phobia, grief, insecurity and the sense of helplessness have been studied in nurses across the world. The President of the Society, K Reddemma, has urged for these issues to be highlighted and addressed. The annual conference in Goa will focus on providing support to nurses and their mental health.
  • UF study shows breastfeeding moms with COVID-19 vaccines could protect their infants: A new study published in the Journal of Perinatology suggests that antibodies from a mother vaccinated against COVID-19 may be transferred to her baby during pregnancy.
  • Much has been learned about long COVID – and much remains to be learned: Researchers agree that Long COVID is a serious and debilitating condition that can affect people who have had mild cases of COVID-19. Progress is being made in understanding it, but much is still unknown, such as what causes it, how to treat it, and even what to call it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to define the condition better and learn how to address it.
  • California’s COVID-19 Non-Emergency Prevention Standard Takes Effect – JD Supra: The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulation is now in effect, taking over from the previous Emergency Temporary Standard. It requires employers to implement a written COVID-19 prevention program, provide training, and maintain records for three years. It also includes changes such as allowing employers to use a third-party consultant to develop their prevention program and providing additional flexibility for employers with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Judgment day upon fiercest supporters of COVID health restrictions | Edmonton Journal: The political left was largely unified in their support for COVID restrictions during the pandemic, but now a comprehensive review of masking policies by the Cochrane Library is causing some to re-evaluate their stance. This review has not been accepted by all experts, but it is causing a constructive reckoning among those who previously supported the strictest policies.
  • COVID-19 outbreak in Alaska Capitol affects legislative work – Anchorage Daily News: The Alaska State Capitol has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak, but there are no plans to close the building to the public or to reimplement masking and testing requirements. House Speaker Cathy Tilton said multiple legislators have been out sick with the virus and holding a brief technical session made more sense.
  • COVID in California: GOP senator retires due to long COVID – San Francisco Chronicle: The Marine Corps has removed the requirement for Marines to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to deploy overseas. 96% of active-duty and reservist Marines have been fully vaccinated as of December 2022. Oklahoma lawmaker Jim Inhofe has retired from the Senate.
  • Celebrities used social media to influence COVID-19 perceptions – Medical Economics: Entertainers, athletes, politicians, and newscasters shaped public reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic by using Twitter to share their own risk perceptions, ideologies, and techniques to protect their own health. A study examined 13 million tweets from Jan. 1, 2020 to March 1, 2022 and found that influential tweeters included celebrities, athletes, politicians, and news anchors.
  • How Employers Should Prepare for the End of the Covid-19 National and Public Health Emergencies: The Biden administration announced the final extensions of the COVID-19 National Emergency and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency through May 11, 2023. The end of these declarations may mean added costs for benefits plans and new questions regarding compliance. The differences between and impact of the PHE and NE are commonly misunderstood, but both are ultimately controlled by the President.
  • ‘The Hill with April Ryan’: EPA administrator drinks Ohio tap water, COVID-19 emergency to be lifted: On this week’s episode of “The Hill with April Ryan,” April D. Ryan dives into the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on anti-starvation efforts in Africa, as well as the three-year mark of the COVID pandemic. Rep. Greg Meeks of New York discussed the need for allies to help get grain to African countries to prevent starvation.
  • Two Massachusetts counties at medium risk of COVID-19 infections – WWLP: The CDC has reported that all counties in Massachusetts are at low risk except for Franklin and Worcester which are at medium risk. This week, 85 new confirmed deaths and 3,850 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in the state. 61,492 new tests were performed with an overall of 49,524,668 molecular tests administered.
  • James Dolan sued by Radio City staffers ‘fired for refusing COVID vaccine’ – New York Post: Five Radio City Music Hall workers have filed a lawsuit against James Dolan, accusing him of firing them for not complying with his company’s COVID vaccination mandate. Dolan is already facing multiple lawsuits for his use of facial recognition technology.
  • Iran launches domestic mRNA-based COVID vaccine human trial – Mehr News Agency: The Islamic Republic has unveiled a new COVID-19 vaccine called COReNAPCIN, developed by Tehran-based knowledge-based company ReNAP Group. It is based on messenger RNA technology and was tested on a volunteer during a Saturday ceremony attended by Iranian health officials.
  • Should vaccine mandates continue? | HRD Australia: The dentistry can ask employees to provide proof of vaccination, but must also consider providing reasonable accommodations to those with disabilities or religious beliefs that prevent them from taking the vaccine. Dr. Somana has seen positive impacts from this policy, as it shows his staff that he is committed to their safety and well-being.

Daily News Pulse for March 13, 2023

Summary: Princeton students have seen an overall improvement in course satisfaction since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Japan, many people are still wearing masks despite the government’s easing of guidelines.

Daily Research Pulse for March 13, 2023

Summary: A systematic review examines the prevalence of nurses and physicians leaving their positions in European hospitals and the factors influencing job retention among them. Researchers found that 31.4% of hospitalized patients with cardiac problems and suspected COVID-19 had PTSD during waves 2-5 of the pandemic.

Daily News Pulse for March 10, 2023

Summary: A pilot study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that nasal administration of the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody Foralumab can modulate T cell inflammatory responses in COVID-19. The Washington State Department of Health is ending its free at-home testing program Say Yes! COVID Test on May 11. California Governor Gavin Newsom has tested positive for COVID-19 after a personal trip to Baja California.

Daily Research Pulse for March 10, 2023

Summary: Researchers examined the clinical, laboratory, and cardiac indicators of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), and the experiences and behaviors of adults with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results or who were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Daily News Pulse for March 09, 2023

Summary: California Governor Gavin Newsom tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in isolation for the next five days. After recovering from a mild case of COVID, many people have developed long-term gastrointestinal symptoms. The US House of Representatives held a public hearing to explore the origins of the virus.