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Coronavirus

Is there a possibility of reinfection in COVID patients?

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Yes, there is possibility of reinfection in COVID-19 patients. In September 2020, Health Patrol had published that the Coronavirus has been seen to recur in patients from some countries. In continuation of this discussion, recent reports further indicate that there are confirmed cases of reinfection from different parts of India viz Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai.1,2,3 Researchers from the Government Institute of Medical Sciences, Greater Noida, and the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi, recently uploaded a preprint paper4 confirming two cases of reinfection from India.

A recent study5 published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases also found evidence of reinfection and reported that COVID-19 patients might develop more severe symptoms in case of reinfection. The study based its observations on the case of a 25-year old American man who got reinfected, with the second infection resulting in hospitalization with oxygen support. As researchers accumulate more examples of reinfection, they should be able to sort out these possibilities, as per an October 2020 report published in the journal Nature.6 The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also calls for sustained caution against COVID-19 and pointed out that any negligence could lead to reinfection. Previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 might not guarantee total immunity in all cases. Thus, all individuals, whether previously diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, should take identical precautions to avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2.7

Source:

1.https://theprint.in/health/two-confirmed-covid-19-reinfections-in-telangana-increase-concerns-about-immunity/489589/
2.https://science.thewire.in/health/mumbai-resident-doctor-covid-19-positive-reinfection/
3.https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bengaluru-reports-first-case-of-covid-19-reinfection/article32532841.ece
4.https://osf.io/4fmrg/
5.Lancet Inf. Dis. 2020; https://doi.org/10.1016/ S1473-3099(20)30783-0
6.Nature. 2020;585;168-69.
7.Lancet Inf. Dis. 2020; https://doi.org/10.1016/ S1473-3099(20)30764-7

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Coronavirus

Long COVID is predictable

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We at Health Patrol have extensively covered COVID-19 long haulers, their presentations and how research across the globe has indicated that this is happening in almost all the countries irrespective or geographic or  climatic variations. It has therefore raised a question in patients if long COVID-19 symptoms or aftermaths are predictable. The answer is yes.

For those of you new to this forum, long COVID is the presentation a lot of COVID-19 sufferers experience in terms of longer duration. So, while for most people, infection with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – leads to mild, short-term symptoms, acute respiratory illness, or possibly no symptoms at all, long COVID lasts longer.

Scientists are still researching long COVID and though it is not well understood, our knowledge about it is definitely increasing. For e.g., early analysis of self-reported data submitted through the COVID Symptom Study app suggests that 13% of people who experience COVID-19 symptoms have them for more than 28 days, while 4% have symptoms after more than 56 days. This study also stated that people with more severe disease initially – characterized by more than five symptoms – seem to be at increased risk of long COVID. Female gender, higher body mass index (BMI) and older age also appear to be risk factors for having prolonged symptoms.

Another piece of early research (awaiting peer review) suggests that COVID-19 could have a long-term impact on the organs and organ systems of the affected individuals. This research reported mild organ impairment in 32% of people’s hearts, 33% of people’s lungs and 12% of people’s kidneys. Multiple organ damage was found in 25% of patients. Only 18% had been hospitalized with COVID-19, meaning organ damage may occur even after a non-severe infection.  Another recent large-scale study has shown that fatigue is common after COVID-19 – occurring in more than half of cases – and appears unrelated to the severity of the early illness. 

According to White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, new data also suggests that people with COVID-19 can continue to suffer from symptoms for up to nine months after the initial infection with close to 30% of patients reporting symptoms for as long as nine months. He further added that symptoms of “long Covid,” which researchers are now calling Post-Acute Sequelae of Covid-19, or PASC, can develop “well after” the COVID-19 infection, and severity can range from mild to “incapacitating,”

Thus, it can be concluded that long-term symptoms after COVID-19 are common, and that research into the causes and treatments of long COVID will likely be needed long after the outbreak itself has subsided.

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Coronavirus

New Bird Flu Strain H5N8 Detected in Humans

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Russian health authorities on Saturday, 20th February 2021,reported the first human transmission of the H5N8 strain of avian flu. While the highly contagious strain H5N8 is lethal for birds, it had never before been reported to have spread to humans. According to reports, Russia has already alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) about the first instance of transmission of the H5N8 strain of avian flu to humans.

The outbreak amongst birds was first reported in southern Russia in December last year. Now, authorities have detected the strain in humans, at least in seven people who worked at a poultry farm. Russian scientists have said the virus has still not mutated enough to make it transmissible from human to human. However, they are also wary of the fact that it is too soon to comment if the strain can mutate further. 

According to an AIIMS update on frequently asked questions, Avian influenza, or “bird flu” or “avian flu” is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses, which occur naturally among birds. Bird flu is very contagious among birds and can make some domesticated birds, including chickens and ducks, very sick and kill them.

Infected birds shed flu virus in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces (droppings). Susceptible birds become infected when they have contact with contaminated excretions or surfaces that are contaminated with excretions. Most cases of bird flu by H5N1 type of Influenza virus infection in humans have resulted from contact with infected poultry or contaminated surfaces. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission so far.

Symptoms of avian influenza A virus infections in humans can range from mild to severe illnesses such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, etc. but in some cases nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting have also been reported as symptoms. For the detection of the avian influenza virus, testing is important because it cannot be diagnosed through symptoms alone. 

The big question here is if a Coronavirus or influenza patient can also contract the Bird flu virus. Yes, it is possible. Neither suffering from influenza, nor vaccination against human influenza offers protection against avian flu. The best way to prevent infection with avian influenza A viruses is to avoid sources of exposure whenever possible, says the CDC as well.

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Coronavirus

CO-WIN Registration to begin from March 1

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On 24th February 2021, Health Patrol carried the update on the next phase of vaccine drive being available from 01 March 2021. To facilitate the vaccine drives, the Central government has created the Co-WIN application dedicated to monitor real time management of COVID-19 vaccination across the country. According to leading Indian dailies, eligible beneficiaries who are entitled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from March 1, would be able to register themselves on the CO-WIN platform from Monday, 01st March 2021 onwards.

There are various processes in place from the Government to ensure a seamless registration for beneficiaries:

  1. A walk-in provision for the entitled beneficiary to get themselves registered at the vaccination centers for the vaccine. Vaccination centers will also have volunteers who would help beneficiaries who may face difficulty in registration
  2. The latest version of the CO-WIN platform has been enhanced with GPS facility. Once they are registered (with the mobile number and necessary documents), the beneficiaries can select the option for the nearest or suitable vaccination center. One can also get their family members also registered on the account.
  3. Beneficiaries can also make registration on CO-WIN application through government’s AarogyaSetu Application

A new version of the Co-WIN platform will be released soon with the option to choose inoculation session site, where common people can also register themselves for vaccination.
The govt will require a photo ID for those above 60 years of age and will require medical certificates for those over 45 with comorbidities.

Further details can also be checked on the guidance released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Coronavirus

New COVID Guidelines in Mumbai

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This is true. Mumbai has witnessed a 36.38% rise in the active COVID-19 cases since 8 February, as perthe Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).In light of this rise in COVID- 19 cases, the BMC has issued guidelines for strict action against citizens found violating safety guidelines. BMC has laid stricter action rules against people found without masks in public, and will take action against function halls, gymnasiums and other establishments that don’t follow safety norms.

According to the guidelines, Mr. Suresh Kakani, the Additional Municipal Commissioner said, if function halls, gymnasiums and restaurants are found to be seating people beyond the permissible limit, there will be hefty fines to pay. He further emphasized that these establishments will be prosecuted if they continue to flout the norms.

Key points from the guidelines:

  • Guests at function halls limited to 50
  • Restaurants to operate at 50% seating capacity at any given time
  • Residential buildings with more than 5 cases will be sealed
  • Masks made mandatory for public places, social gatherings, etc.
  • Strict action to be taken against those in parks and playgrounds without masks
  • Number of marshals checking offenders without masks, etc. will be doubled
  • Asymptomatic patients in home quarantine will be stamped as earlier

Not only establishments, BMC Commissioner Mr. Iqbal Singh Chahal stated that the BMC has deployed additional marshals on suburban trains and also directed to ramp up testing.

BMC has furtherdecided to resume stamping of the hands of people who are placed under home quarantine, and in case of violation, an offence will be registered against them.Similar action will be taken against those who flout the rules at weddings and other social gatherings in the city and BMC teams will raid event venues.  BMC has also confirmed that it plans to double the number of clean-up marshals, who can impose fine on those who do not wear mask in public, from 2,400 to 4,800.

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Coronavirus

COVID vaccine for senior citizens to be available from 01st March 2021

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On 24th February 2021, the Government gave a go-ahead for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination from Monday, March 1, 2021. This was announced by Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Mr. Prakash Javadekar at a press conference at the National Media Centre.

He also said that people above the age of 60, and those over 45 years with comorbidities can get the vaccine shots at government as well as private clinics. While the vaccine shots at private hospitals will be on a chargeable basis, the government clinics across the country will administer the vaccines for free.

At the briefing, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, current Union Minister holding the Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology and Communications portfolios in the Government of India highlighted how the government has expedited the current vaccination drive due to the alarming rise in cases indicating a second wave of infections.

Recent data have shown the seven-day average of new cases across India dropped to its lowest on February 11, when it touched 10,988, but it has shown a sustained increase of 18% since then to reach 12,971 on Monday, 22 February 2021.

Source

1 https://www.livemint.com/politics/policy/cabinet-briefing-live-prakash-javadekar-and-ravi-shankar-prasad-announces-govt-decision-11614157764015.html
2 https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/maharashtra-likely-to-get-3rd-batch-of-covid-vaccine-on-monday-101613068460114.html
3 https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-tells-states-to-expedite-covid-vaccination-drive-what-prompted-the-action-101614141825184.html

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