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British variants do not exacerbate the disease in children. COVID-19 breath test is promising

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The following is a summary of some of the latest scientific research on the new coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for the virus-induced disease COVID-19.

British variants do not exacerbate illness in children

New data suggest that the first coronavirus mutant identified in the UK causes less serious disease in children than the mutant that prevailed in early 2020. Doctors at Kings College Hospital in London compare 20 children hospitalized with COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic with 60 children hospitalized in the second wave, most of which were caused by new variants. Did. More children were hospitalized in the second wave, but at the time “this may be due to the high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2,” said research leader Dr. Atul Gupta. He said the number of adult patients also increased in the second wave. Children hospitalized in both waves had age, underlying illness rates, socioeconomic status, and other risk factors, the researchers reported in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Few people needed oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation during either period. These weren’t really needed very often in the second wave, Gupta said. “We found no evidence of more serious illness in children or adolescents during the second wave,” he concludes, “infection with the B.1.1.7 mutant results in a very different clinical course. “Suggesting that there is no” age group. (Https://bit.ly/3aqLPj4)

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COVID-19 Breath Test Shows Promising in Research

Researchers have found that a commercial electronic “nose” manufactured by the Dutch company Breathomix can tell people that they don’t have COVID-19 and can be a useful screening tool. They surveyed more than 4,500 individuals who came to the Dutch coronavirus testing facility between August and December 2020. First, we used breath samples from a small subset of those individuals to teach “eNose” the breath profile of COVID-19 patients. “The nose is comparable to the way coffee and tea smells,” said Dr. Geert Groeneveld, research leader at the Leiden University Medical Center. The device was then able to reliably rule out infection in 70% to 75% of all individuals tested, with or without symptoms, with results within seconds. If eNose cannot reliably rule out the virus, patients can take a traditional throat wiping test. A study posted to medRxiv prior to a peer review on Tuesday showed that “in scenarios where eNose is used as a screening test, this can reduce the number of swabs in the throat and nasopharynx,” Groeneveld said. Mr. says. Personal, economic and medical burdens. (Https://bit.ly/3dgTFh0)

Protective antibody detectable in dry blood spots

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed laboratory tests to measure neutralizing antibodies against the coronavirus. It requires only one drop of blood and is collected and dried on filter paper. “Blood samples can be self-collected at home and sent to the lab by mail,” said Thomas McDade, who described the technology prior to peer review in a report posted to medRxiv on Tuesday. Currently, to determine if someone has a neutralizing antibody that protects against the virus that causes COVID-19, blood must be drawn at the clinic or clinic and sent for analysis. In Northwestern University tests, “the results are comparable to those of venous blood, and the protocol can be implemented in a short amount of time using a widely available experimental infrastructure,” McDade said. “This method allows for large-scale testing of neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19, which may help assess vaccine efficacy and the level of protective immunity in the general population.” Researchers have not yet used their tests to look for neutralizing antibodies against new variants. “You can change the test for a particular variant if you want,” says McDade. (Https://bit.ly/37mYstE)

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Zinc and Vitamin C show no benefit in randomized trials

In adults with COVID-19 who were not ill enough to be hospitalized, high doses of zinc and / or vitamin C failed to improve symptoms or accelerate recovery, researchers said the JAMA network opened on Friday. Reported in. They randomly assigned 214 patients to 10-day treatment with high doses of zinc, vitamin C, or both. Everyone received standard supportive treatment from their healthcare provider. There was no significant difference between the groups in the number of days required for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue to decrease by 50%. There was also no difference in the number of days it took the patient to show no serious symptoms, the number of days before other prescription drugs were needed, or the rate of hospitalization and death. Researchers have concluded that zinc and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements are “not recommended” to facilitate the course of COVID-19 in outpatients. “Most consumers of ascorbic acid and zinc are taking significantly lower doses of these supplements, so showing that even high doses of ascorbic acid and zinc are ineffective is clearly effective. It suggests a lack, “they said. (Https://bit.ly/3ppTy5f)

For Reuters graphics on vaccines under development, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl in an external browser.

(Report by Nancy Rapid, edited by Bill Berklot)

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