Posted in Covid-19, Health, news

CDC Issues Warning That Variant COVID Will Be the Dominant Strain By March

After news this week that a new US COVID variant might have been the dominant strain of COVID in the US, the CDC on Friday has issued a warning that the UK COVID variant B.1.1.7 will over take others as the dominant strain by this Spring.

According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, they confirm the new variant B.1.1.7 can cause similar outcomes to current COVID cases but has a higher rate of transmission which can lead to more cases, and therefore mortality.

Another US Born COVID Strain Identified, Might Be The Current Dominant Strain

They urge mitigation measures and vaccination efforts to continue to control spread, hospitalizations and deaths.

Galloway et al write: The increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant warrants rigorous implementation of public health strategies to reduce transmission and lessen the potential impact of B.1.1.7, buying critical time to increase vaccination coverage. CDC’s modeling data show that universal use of and increased compliance with mitigation measures and vaccination are crucial to reduce the number of new cases and deaths substantially in the coming months.

The figure shows text describing that new virus variants that spread more easily could lead to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.

Currently the UK is battling a highly contagious strain of the virus named. B.1.1.7 or VUI-202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation 12th month 2020), with the strain reported in 14 states here in the US and rising.

It is presumed to be more widespread than reported as officials have only recently begun to test samples for the variant.

According to British public officials, this strain of the COVID-19 virus has shown over 17 mutations, one of which is the N501Y mutation that affects how the spike protein attaches to one’s ACE2 receptor to enter the cell.

501.V2/501Y.V2/B.1.351 are names of the COVID variant in South Africa with a similar spike protein mutation.

Health officials believe our current vaccines for COVID will provide protection against the new variant.

This is a developing story….

Available on Amazon

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news, vaccinations

Norway Officials Warn COVID Vaccine Could Be Too Risky in Seniors Over 80 After 29 People Die

Updated 1/16/21

Norway health officials are warning medical providers to rethink vaccinating those over 80 or who are terminally ill as they investigate deaths that occurred in 23 people (number increased on Saturday to 29 per Hindustan Times) who received the Pfizer/Biotech COVID vaccine.

Of the 13 bodies autopsied, officials feel that common side effects associated with vaccines (such as fever and nausea) could cause more morbidity in those who are older and medically vulnerable.

In a statement released by Statens legemiddelverk, Norway health officials state:

All reports of suspected adverse reactions with fatal outcome following vaccination are carefully assessed.
– The reports suggest that common adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients, says Sigurd Hortemo, chief physician at the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
The large studies on Comirnaty (BioNTec/Pfizer) did not include patients with unstable or acute illness – and included few participants over 85 years of age. In Norway we are now vaccinating the elderly and people in nursing homes with serious underlying diseases, therefore it is expected that deaths close to the time vaccination may occur. In Norway, an average of 400 people die each week in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
All deaths that occur within the first few days of vaccination are carefully assessed. We cannot rule out that adverse reactions to the vaccine occurring within the first days following vaccination (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease. 
The Norwegian Medicines Agency and the National Institute of Public Health jointly assess all reports of suspected adverse reactions. As a result, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has updated the covid-19 vaccination guide with more detailed advice on vaccinating the elderly who are frail.
As of 14 January, 23 reports of suspected deaths have been submitted to the Norwegian ADR health registry. The figures in the published report include the thirteen reports that have been assessed by the Norwegian Medicines Agency and the National Institute of Public Health. Several reports of suspected adverse reactions are received on a daily basis and are continuously assessed.

Of the 30,000 people who received the first Pfizer shot in the Scandinavian country, only 29 experienced side effects, with 23 patients reportedly dying, 13 confirmed by autopsy.

Although 40% of the volunteers in the Pfizer/Biotech clinical trial were over 55 years old, very few were over 75 years of age.

Bloomberg reports: “For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said. “For those who have a very short remaining life span anyway, the benefit of the vaccine may be marginal or irrelevant.”

Chinese health experts have also urged countries to halt their use of the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine in elder populations, according to Global Times.

Health officials still feel the vaccine is safe in younger populations as clinical trials have demonstrated.

This is a developing story….

Available on Amazon

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news

Another US Born COVID Strain Identified, Might Be The Current Dominant Strain

Southern Illinois University Carbondale researchers have revealed a third US born COVID strain has been identified and possibly has circulated since last Spring.

In their study Emergence and Evolution of a Prevalent New SARS-CoV-2 Variant in the United States, Pater et al reports the new variant, named 20C-US is of the B.1.2 lineage and has been present in the southern US since May 2020.

At that time the 20C-US variant had undergone 5 mutations but now authors state:

20C-US has since acquired two new non-synonymous mutations that highlight its ongoing evolution, one of which is a Q677H mutation in the spike protein adjacent to the furin cleavage site. We predict that 20C-US may already be the most dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S.

The 20C-US has not been identified in other countries yet, however, if it is the “most dominant” variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the US and has been circulating for some time, it would not surprise officials if it has emigrated since its emergence last May.

Earlier this week Ohio State University researchers reported 2 new variants of the COVID virus they believe originated in the United States.

One strain became the dominant strain in the Columbus area over the last few weeks.

Experts do not believe any of the above strains to be more lethal but they do appear to be more contagious.

One of the OSU identified strains has a similar mutation to the UK COVID variant and the other has 3 new mutations that involve the spike proteins used by the virus to enter human host cells.

The CDC is currently reviewing their research.

Study author Dr. Dan Jones states, “This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases we’ve studied, but these three mutations represent a significant evolution.”

This is a developing story.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Last week the White House Task Force suggested a brand new COVID variant could have formed in the US causing the massive spikes in new cases.

Reported by the Hill, the White House Task Force report stated, in their weekly report:

“This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges.”

“This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible.”

However, the CDC had said a new US variant had not been confirmed.

NBC News provided a quote from the CDC stating, “to date, neither researchers nor analysts at CDC have seen the emergence of a particular variant in the United States as has been seen with the emergence” of the variants from the UK and South Africa.

Currently the UK is battling a highly contagious strain of the virus named. B.1.1.7 or VUI-202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation 12th month 2020).

According to British public officials, this strain of the COVID-19 virus has shown over 17 mutations, one of which is the N501Y mutation that affects how the spike protein attaches to one’s ACE2 receptor to enter the cell.

501.V2/501Y.V2/B.1.351 are names of the COVID variant in South Africa with a similar spike protein mutation.

Both strains are believed to be more infectious but not more lethal.

Pfizer has said their COVID-19 vaccine efficacy should not be affected by the new variant. However UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the current vaccines being used might not protect against the South African strain.

A new strain has been detected in Japan when 4 people who travelled from Brazil began showing symptoms of COVID and tested revealed a new variant.

Information on emerging COVID virus variants can be found here.

This is a developing story.

Available on Amazon

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news

Two New US Strains of COVID Have Emerged

Ohio State University researchers have discovered 2 new variants of the COVID virus they believe originated in the United States.

One strain became the dominant strain in the Columbus area over the last few weeks.

They do not believe the strains to be more lethal but they do appear to be more contagious.

One strain has a similar mutation to the UK COVID variant and the other has 3 new mutations that involve the spike proteins used by the virus to enter human host cells.

The CDC is currently reviewing their research.

Study author Dr. Dan Jones states, “This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases we’ve studied, but these three mutations represent a significant evolution.”

This is a developing story.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Last week the White House Task Force suggested a brand new COVID variant could have formed in the US causing the massive spikes in new cases.

Reported by the Hill, the White House Task Force report stated, in their weekly report:

“This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges.”

“This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible.”

However, the CDC had said a new US variant had not been confirmed.

NBC News provided a quote from the CDC stating, “to date, neither researchers nor analysts at CDC have seen the emergence of a particular variant in the United States as has been seen with the emergence” of the variants from the UK and South Africa.

Currently the UK is battling a highly contagious strain of the virus named. B.1.1.7 or VUI-202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation 12th month 2020).

According to British public officials, this strain of the COVID-19 virus has shown over 17 mutations, one of which is the N501Y mutation that affects how the spike protein attaches to one’s ACE2 receptor to enter the cell.

501.V2/501Y.V2/B.1.351 are names of the COVID variant in South Africa with a similar spike protein mutation.

Both strains are believed to be more infectious but not more lethal.

Pfizer has said their COVID-19 vaccine efficacy should not be affected by the new variant. However UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the current vaccines being used might not protect against the South African strain.

A new strain has been detected in Japan when 4 people who travelled from Brazil began showing symptoms of COVID and tested revealed a new variant.

Information on emerging COVID virus variants can be found here.

This is a developing story.

Available on Amazon

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news

What Are “COVID Hands”

Those who are fortunate enough to recover from a COVID-19 infection might continue to feel symptoms or experience new maladies. The following have been reported to begin or persist after an initial COVID infection.

  • Chronic cough
  • Fatigue
  • Loose Teeth
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • “Brain fog”
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Joint pain
  • Body aches
  • Loss of taste
  • Strange taste in mouth
  • Loss of smell
  • Anorexia
  • Digestive issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart abnormalities
  • Lung injury
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Blood clots
  • Rash (exanthem)

and more…..

Dental decay and loose teeth have been reported as a consequence of COVID infection, possibly caused by inflammation of blood vessels that supply the oral cavity. Additionally COVID infection might affect the salivary glands leading to dry mouth, worsening oral health.

Now we hear of “COVID hands”, a condition in which one who had suffered from COVID begins to have a peeling rash on their hands.

Suspected COVID-19 rash
Possible COVID rash of hands: DermNetNZ.org

WABC New York reported on Amy Siniscalchi, who 10 months after her COVID diagnosis complained of a scaly rash on her hands, of which her physician diagnosed as “COVID hands”. She is still, nearly a year after her initial diagnosis continuing to experience other symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue and shortness of breath.

ABC 7 reports:

….her skin sheds, and her fingernails turn purple for periods of time.

“My hands would peel,” she said. “I would wake up one day and my hands would feel like sandpaper, and they would peel in their entirety.”

Some people have used the term “COVID hands” for those of us who have scaly, peeling and cracking hands from excessive hand washing and sanitizer use throughout the COVID pandemic. “COVID toes” have been identified as a vasculitic rash on one’s toes following a COVID infection.

But a viral-induced shedding of skin is rare, and now being considered a possible symptom of “Long COVID” or prolonged COVID symptoms.

How long can symptoms persist?

Many of the reports regarding prolonged COVID symptoms suggest any of the above could last approximately 8 weeks.

Researchers at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands reported patients having symptoms extending past 3 months. They state, “Our results indicate that a substantial proportion of patients still experience severe problems in various health domains three months after COVID-19.”

They continue, “The current observational study described ex-COVID-19 patients at
an average of three months after the infection, and showed that while the pulmonary parenchyma has markedly recovered, residual abnormalities were frequently present and were associated with lower lung function. Furthermore, a substantial number of patients suffered from severe problems in different health domains, requiring continued attention from health care providers. Longer follow up studies are warranted to elucidate natural trajectories of COVID-19 recovery, to find predictors of complicated long-term trajectories, and to develop strategies to decrease long-term COVID-19 morbidity.

What is “Long COVID?”

Long COVID is a term used to describe symptoms that persist beyond two weeks. Most COVID symptoms resolve within 2 weeks but for many people symptoms persist longer. One study published in JAMA this summer, found 87.4% of individuals with COVID had at least one persistent symptom after 8 weeks, the most common being fatigue and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).

The long-term effects of COVID are still not completely understood but each day we’re learning more. And now we are beginning to understand that COVID might not be a short-term illness for everyone.

Available on Amazon and Kindle

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news

New COVID Strain Discovered in Japan

A strain with similar mutations to the circulating mutant strains seen in the UK and South Africa has been detected in Japan.

The Japan Times reported 4 people travelling to Japan from Brazil were found to be infected with what they believe is to be a new mutant strain.

They report:

Of the four people, a man in his 40s showed no symptoms upon arrival, but later developed breathing difficulties and was hospitalized, the ministry said. A woman in her 30 has symptoms such as headache. A male in the 10-19 age group has a fever, while a woman in the same age group is free of symptoms.

The four people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in airport quarantine, and the new mutant strain was detected through a detailed examination by the NIID, according to the ministry.

The name of this new variant has not been released. And reports of a new strain in Brazil have not been disclosed as of yet.

Currently the UK is battling a highly contagious strain of the virus named. B.1.1.7 or VUI-202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation 12th month 2020).

According to British public officials, this strain of the COVID-19 virus has shown over 17 mutations, one of which is the N501Y mutation that affects how the spike protein attaches to one’s ACE2 receptor to enter the cell.

501.V2/501Y.V2/B.1.351 are names of the COVID variant in South Africa with a similar spike protein mutation.

All strains are believed to be more infectious but not more lethal.

Pfizer has said their COVID-19 vaccine efficacy should not be affected by the new variant. However UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the current vaccines being used might not protect against the South African strain.

In the US the White House Coronavirus Task Force released a statement earlier in the week that a new US coronavirus strain could be circulating, however the CDC reported they did not have evidence of this.

Information on emerging COVID virus variants can be found here.

This is a developing story.

Available on Amazon

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news, vaccinations

New US COVID Strain Suspected by White House Task Force Has Not Yet Been Confirmed by CDC But Is Possible

This week the White House Task Force suggested a brand new COVID variant could have formed in the US causing the massive spikes in new cases.

Reported by the Hill, the White House Task Force report stated, in their weekly report:

“This fall/winter surge has been at nearly twice the rate of rise of cases as the spring and summer surges.”

“This acceleration suggests there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities and may be 50% more transmissible.”

However, the CDC has not confirmed a new US variant exists.

NBC News provided a quote from the CDC stating, “to date, neither researchers nor analysts at CDC have seen the emergence of a particular variant in the United States as has been seen with the emergence” of the variants from the UK and South Africa.

Currently the UK is battling a highly contagious strain of the virus named. B.1.1.7 or VUI-202012/01 (Variant Under Investigation 12th month 2020).

According to British public officials, this strain of the COVID-19 virus has shown over 17 mutations, one of which is the N501Y mutation that affects how the spike protein attaches to one’s ACE2 receptor to enter the cell.

501.V2/501Y.V2/B.1.351 are names of the COVID variant in South Africa with a similar spike protein mutation.

Both strains are believed to be more infectious but not more lethal.

Pfizer has said their COVID-19 vaccine efficacy should not be affected by the new variant. However UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned the current vaccines being used might not protect against the South African strain.

A new strain has been detected in Japan when 4 people who travelled from Brazil began showing symptoms of COVID and tested revealed a new variant.

Information on emerging COVID virus variants can be found here.

This is a developing story.

Available on Amazon

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news, vaccinations

Portugal Health Officials Investigate Death of Nurse Following COVID Vaccine

A 41 year-old pediatric surgical assistant, Sonia Azevedo, at the Instituto Português de Oncologia (IPO)- Porto, was found dead in her bed New Years Day after having dinner with her family the night before. She had reportedly received her first dose of the Pfizer/Biotech COVID vaccine that Wednesday.

RT.com reports health officials are investigating her death as she was in “perfect health” when she received the vaccine.

Sonia Acevedo, 41, suffered a 'sudden death' on New Year's Day just 48 hours after receiving the jab
Image from SOLARPIX

Her daughter, when interviewed, said she only complained of some minor arm soreness after the vaccine.

An autopsy will be performed in the coming days to determine the cause of death.

This is a developing story.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician


@DrDaliah

Posted in Covid-19, Entertainment, Health, news

Larry King Hospitalized with COVID-19

Media giant, Larry King, has been hospitalized in Los Angeles after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

The 87 year-old veteran broadcaster and TV host has battled multiple health issues including a heart attack, stroke, prostate cancer, lung cancer and diabetes.

According to Showbiz 411 King is 11 days into his COVID-19 battle.

This is a developing story.

larry king and I.jpg
LARRY KING AND DR. DALIAH at TALKERS MAGAZINE CONVENTION LOS ANGELES 2011

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news, vaccinations

Physician in Mexico Admitted to ICU for Seizures After Receiving COVID Vaccine

A 32 year old female physician in Mexico has been hospitalized after receiving the Pfizer/Biotech COVID-19 vaccine.

Reuters reports the woman, whose name has not been released but does have a history of “allergic reactions”, began to have seizures, difficulty breathing and a rash. She was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. The Health Ministry has given her an initial diagnosis of encephalomyelitis.

Encephalomyelitis is inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms could include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Mood issues
  • Psychosis
  • Balance and coordination issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Vision disturbance
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Delirium
  • Coma
  • Death

Symptoms can be abrupt or come on weeks after an infection or vaccination.

Treatment is hospitalization with steroids, IVIG, plasma exchange, rehabilitation and supportive measures given, and most do recover.

Encephalomyelitis was not listed as a side effect occurring in Pfizer/Biotech vaccine clinical trials. However, in the Fall, AstraZeneca temporarily suspended their clinical trials when a participant had a reported case of transverse myelitis, inflammation of the spinal cord.

Encephalomyelitis however can be a rare side effect of COVID infection.

Brain Condition May Uncommonly Follow COVID-19 infection

This is a developing story.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician


@DrDaliah