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Get Covid-19 test if you are pregnant

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  • It is recommended to get yourself tested for Covid-19 if you are pregnant. If the prevalence rate in your area is 10%, it is recommended for pregnant females, Dr. KK Aggarwal stated in a recent interactive session on Covid-19 Awareness and Prevention.
  • In the capital city of Delhi alone, 31% population tested positive for coronavirus antibodies and at any given period of time, 3% population is Coronavirus positive and about 12% people have been infected by the Coronavirus, but their antibodies have not developed so far.
  • The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentions pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people.1 Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 may be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.
  • According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)2 published by the CDC, out of 598 hospitalized pregnant women with COVID-19, 55% were asymptomatic at admission. Severe illness occurred among symptomatic pregnant women, including intensive care unit admissions (16%), mechanical ventilation (8%), and death (1%). Pregnancy losses occurred for 2% of pregnancies completed during COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and were experienced by both symptomatic and asymptomatic women.

Source:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 September 2020.

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Coronavirus

Zinc can protect against the Coronavirus

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Zinc is a trace mineral that has been hypothesized to inhibit viral replication and attachment to the nasopharyngeal mucous, and through this mechanism, has been implicated in the management of the common cold.1,2 In vitro studies have suggested that zinc modifies effects of several respiratory pathogens, including rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and SARS-COV.3 The study by te Velthuis, et al. also demonstrated that concentrations of intracellular zinc ion (Zn2+) efficiently impaired the replication of RNA viruses, including Covid and arteriviruses by blocking RdRp activity.3

News reports claiming that zinc may have a role in COVID-19 management, may be a result of prior knowledge that some coronaviruses can cause the common cold. Indirect evidence also indicates that Zinc may decrease the activity of angiotensin‑converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), known to be the receptor for SARS‑CoV‑2.4 Improved antiviral immunity by Zinc may also occur through up‑regulation of interferon-α production and thereby increasing its antiviral activity. Zinc also possesses anti‑inflammatory activity by inhibiting NF‑κB signaling and modulation of regulatory T‑cell functions that may limit the cytokine storm in COVID‑19.4

Improved Zinc status is also known to reduce the risk of bacterial co‑infection by improving mucociliary clearance and barrier functin of the respiratory epithelium, as well as direct antibacterial effects. Zinc status is also tightly associated with risk factors for severe COVID‑19 including ageing, immune deficiency, obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, since these are known risk groups for zinc deficiency.4 Therefore, studies do show that Zinc may possess protective effect as preventive and adjuvant therapy of COVID‑19 through reducing inflammation, improvement of mucociliary clearance, prevention of ventilator‑induced lung injury, modulation of antiviral and antibacterial immunity.

UIN: 114HP43R

Source

1 Hulisz, D . Efficacy of zinc against common cold viruses: an overview. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2004;44:594-603. doi:10.1331/1544-3191.44.5.594.hulisz
2 Caruso, TJ, Prober, CG, Gwaltney, JM Treatment of naturally acquired common colds with zinc: a structured review. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;45:569-574. doi:10.1086/520031
3 teVelthius AJW, van den Worm SHE, et al. Zn(2+) inhibits coronavirus and arterivirus RNA polymerase activity in vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture. PLoSPathog. 2010;6:e1001176. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001176
4 Skalny AV, Rink L, Ajsuvakova OP, et al. Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspectives for COVID 19 (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2020;46(1):17-26. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2020.4575.

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Coronavirus

Will the vaccine really help?

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The combination of getting vaccinated and following the guidelines to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

It is advisable to get the COVID-19 vaccination because it will help keep you from getting COVID-19. In fact, according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)1, the independent committee that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how best to control vaccine-preventable diseases in the US, even a previous COVID-19 infection should NOT rule out a person from getting the vaccine. In a report2 from the CDC meeting on December 12, the committee noted that data from clinical trials suggests that vaccination is “safe and likely efficacious” in people who have previously been infected with COVID-19, whether they displayed symptoms or not.

Based on the knowledge we have regarding vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as elderly and people with medical conditions. Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection and it is much needed given that currently, all reports suggest COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications,  and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.

Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. Current evidence suggests that reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection. However, experts don’t know for sure how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience sickness.

Most importantly, if we are to defeat this virus and come out of this pandemic with flying colors, COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Wearing masks, good hand hygiene and social distancing help reduce your chances of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but as we are aware, these measures alone have not been enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

Add – gap of 28 days between two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and its effectiveness will begin 14 days after the second dose. So, preventive measures need to be continued and strictly adhered to.

Source

1 https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/if-you-already-had-covid-do-you-need-vaccine
2 https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-12/COVID-03-Mbaeyi.pdf

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Coronavirus

Children’s immune system can evade COVID

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A growing body of evidence is suggesting that children’s immune systems are better equipped to handle the Coronavirus, than adults. A recent report1 published in a leading medical journal, Nature, analyzed this. The report says that young children account for only a small percentage of COVID-19 infections2 and this data has perplexed scientists across the globe.

According to eminent immunologist, Dr. Donna Farber, “Children are very much adapted to respond — and very well equipped to respond — to new viruses and even when they are infected with SARS-CoV-2, children are most likely to experience mild or asymptomatic illness”.3 Both resistance to infection and resistance to disease appear to be much stronger in children than in adults. The apparent resistance to infection might actually reflect a more rapid clearance of the virus so that the chance to detect cases is diminished.4

Another indication that children’s response to the virus differs from that of adults is that some children develop COVID-19 symptoms and antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 but never test positive for the virus on a standard RT-PCR test. For e.g., in a study4 of three children under the age of 10, from the same family who developed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies— and two of them even experienced mild symptoms — but none tested positive on RT-PCR, despite being tested 11 times over 28 days while in close contact with their parents, who had tested positive.

Studies5-7 report that even in children who experienced the severe but rare complication in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, the rate of positive results on RT-PCR ranged from just 29-50%.

Another recent study8of 32 adults and 47 children aged 18 years or younger, found that children mostly produced antibodies aimed at the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which the virus uses to enter cells, while adults generated similar antibodies, but also developed antibodies against the protein that is essential for viral replication. Since children lack this protein that supports viral replication, they are not experiencing widespread infection. The study inferred that children’s immune responses seem to be able to eliminate the virus before it replicates in large numbers, which is why they may be able to evade COVID-19 or at least be affected only mildly.

Source

1 Nogrady B. Nature 2020;588:382
2 Wu Z, et al. J Am Med Assoc. 2020;323:1239–42.
3 Dong, Y, et al. Pediatrics 2020;145:e20200702.
4 Fisher A. Mucos Immunol. 2020;13:563-65.
5 Tosif S, et al. Nature Commun. 2020;11:5703.
6 Dufort EM, et al. N Engl J Med. 2020;383:347–58.
7 Feldstein LR, et al. NEngl J Med. 2020;383:334–46.
8 Whittaker ED, et al. J Am Med Assoc. 2020;324:259-69.
9 Weisberg SP, et al. Nature Immunol. 2020;https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-020-00826-9

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Coronavirus

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

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Health Patrol has carried out numerous reports on the possibility of reinfection and severe health risks associated with COVID-19.1Due to these health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, you should take the vaccine irrespective of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19—which is also because the immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long. As the system learns to fight back the infection, it develops COVID antibodies. Right now, from what studies have shown, it has been suggested that antibodies may last anywhere between 3-6 months for a person, after which they can start to wane. Asymptomatic persons and those with milder cases of infection are thought to have lower immunity than others.

A recently discussed publication in this regard has been the one by Harvey et al. that concluded that antibody positivity to SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a decreased risk of future infection. The study, currently unpublished, states that using real-world data from more than 3 million people, National Cancer Institute researchers have found that people who have had evidence of a prior infection with the deadly Coronavirus, appear to have some degree of protection against being reinfected with the virus.2

Another recent study3 published on January 06, 2021 in the journal Science, reports COVID-19 patients who recovered from the disease still have robust immunity from the coronavirus up to eight months after infection. The result is an encouraging sign that the study authors interpret to mean immunity to the virus probably lasts for many years, and it should alleviate fears that the COVID-19 vaccine would require repeated booster shots to protect against the disease and finally get the pandemic under control.

We still do not know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how well the vaccines work. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and we at Health Patrol will keep you updated, as new evidence becomes available.

Source

1 https://healthpatrol.in/2020/10/22/is-there-a-possibility-of-reinfection-in-covid-patients/
2 Harvey RA, Rassen JA, Kabelac CA, et al. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.18.20248336
3 Dan JM, Mateus J, Kato Y, et al. Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection. Science 06 Jan 2021: eabf4063. DOI: 10.1126/science.abf4063

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Coronavirus

Vaccine is safe for women desirous of getting pregnant

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Earlier this week, Health Patrol published a report on vaccines being safe for pregnant women.1 Since then, we have received a few queries from women in their reproductive age desirous of getting pregnant and whether they should get the vaccine once it is available for them. The answer is YES.

However, it is pertinent to be aware of the usual body responses to the COVID-19 vaccine. Studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccination can cause fever in some patients (up to 16% of those vaccinated and mostly after the second dose); however, the study further reiterates that this risk should not be a concern when deciding whether to vaccinate a patient desiring pregnancy. Additionally, the most common symptom of COVID-19 infection itself is fever (83-99% of affected patients). Patients who experience fever following vaccination should take an antipyretic medication, such as acetaminophen pr paracetamol.2

According to the December 2020 Update3 from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Patient Management and Clinical Recommendations During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, patients who conceive in the window between the first and second dose of the vaccine should be offered the second dose of the vaccine at the appropriate interval.

The CDC4 has also added to this information saying that, “Routine testing for pregnancy before COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”

Source

1 https://healthpatrol.in/2021/01/11/covid-vaccines-are-safe-for-pregnant-women/
2 Polack FP, et al. Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine. New Engl J Med. Dec. 10, 2020 (DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2034577).
3 Update 11. December 16, 2020. https://www.asrm.org/globalassets/asrm/asrm-content/news-and-publications/covid-19/covidtaskforceupdate11.pdf
4 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html#:~:text=Routine%20testing%20and%20pregnancy,an%20mRNA%20COVID%2D19%20vaccine.

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