Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Sept. 11: Some in China Go Without Meat and Vegetables Under Lockdown, “Funny Girl” Star Hit With Covid

Lingering Virus May Cause Long Covid

By Jonathan Spira on 11 September 2022
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The August Wilson theater the night of an early performance of “Funny Girl”

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 885th day of the pandemic.

There may be some good news on the puzzling Long Covid front.  Based on recent research, scientists believe that post-acute sequelae, PASC or Long Covid in the vernacular, may be caused when SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid – remains in the body.

Noting that the diagnosis of post-acute sequelae of Covid-19 poses an ongoing medical challenge, the researchers looked for biomarkers in plasma in PASC and Covid-19 patients.  They found that the SARS-CoV-2 spike was present for up to 12 months after the diagnosis.   It was found in none of the control group.

One year after the original infection, some patients continued to have levels of viral spike protein that were as high as they did earlier in their illness, the study showed.  The high levels suggest that there exists a reservoir of the virus that continues to produce the spike protein, because the spike protein, with a relatively short lifespan, wouldn’t otherwise be present in laboratory tests.

The research was published last week in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases and was led by scientists at Harvard and MIT.

Another roadblock is that the term Long Covid describes three unique conditions or symptom clusters.  A study from King’s College in London found that the three are:

1.)       Neurological symptoms – the most commonly reported long symptoms –  include severe fatigue, depression, an inability to concentrate, brain fog,  a decrease in the sense of smell or anosmia, and delirium.

2.)       Respiratory symptoms that could involve damage to the lungs and include severe shortness of breath, palpitations, fatigue, and chest pain.

3.)       Systemic/inflammatory and abdominal symptoms include musculoskeletal pain, anemia, myalgias, gastrointestinal disorders, malaise, and fatigue.

Still, further research will be required on viral persistence in order to get to the root cause of Long Covid.  As a Long Covid patient myself who is undertaking his own clinical study of one to see what will mitigate some of the worst symptoms I have, such as severe chronic fatigue, I can’t wait to hear more on the topic.

In other news we cover today, Covid continues to be a major cause of death in the United States, some residents of China who are under lockdown aren’t getting proper food, and the star of the Broadway musical “Funny Girl” is out with Covid.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

Marc Lewitinn, a retired Manhattan shopkeeper and covid patient, died at  the age of 76 after 850 days on a ventilator.  Mr. Lewitinn was likely the longest surviving intubated coronavirus patient.

Covid continues to be a major cause of death in the country,   The current average number of daily new deaths is 320, a figure that was over 400 before the Labor Day holiday weekend, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

GLOBAL

Residents of Yining, a city of 600,000 in the northwest corner of Xinjiang, have been under lockdown for over a month and are now voicing complaints that the food they are getting via deliveries from local officials is limited to bread and noodles, items with little nutritional value.  People who live there have told multiple media outlets that the deliveries do not include fruit, vegetables, or meat.

ENTERTAINMENT

One-time “Glee” star Lea Michele, who recently took over the role of Fanny Brice in what has been an underwhelming production of the musical “Funny Girl,” missed her first Saturday matinée and Saturday night performance after testing positive for the coronavirus.  She is scheduled to return to the production on September 20.

“Funny Girl” tells the tale of Fanny Brice, a Jewish girl from New York who, in the 1920s, went from being a burlesque star to Broadway stages, despite criticism that she wasn’t considered conventionally beautiful.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, September 11.

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 613.6 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.3 million cases, and over 6.5 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 592.2 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.6 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 14,914,012, a decrease of 255,000. Out of that figure, 99.7%, or 14,872,332, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 41,680, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 3,227 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to 73,885 on Saturday, 88,425 on Friday, 144,151 on Thursday, and 125,894 on Wednesday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 65,696.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 66,077, a 28% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 3825, a decrease of 20% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 35,126, a 9% decrease.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 97.1 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.08 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, 44.5 million, and a reported death toll of 528,150.

The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of May, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 820,307, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States.  Rosstat reported that 4,991 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in June, down from 7,008 in May and from 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, 34.7 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 684,906, and has recorded 34.57 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany is in the number five slot with over 32.4 million cases.

The other four countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are South Korea, with 24 million cases, the United Kingdom, with over 23.5 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 22 million, as number eight, as well as Japan, which hit the 20 million mark on Saturday and now has 20.07 million, and Russia, with 20.06 million.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Sunday, over 263.1 million people in the United States – or 79.2% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.6%, or 224.4 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 610 million. Breaking this down further, 90.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 232.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 77.4% of the same group – or 199.7 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.7% of that population, or 103.2 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Some 67.8% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.63 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 4.15 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 21% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Paul RIegler contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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