Severe Covid More Than Doubles Patient’s Risk Of Death In One Year

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In other sobering covid research news, scientists have found that infections can have long-term effects on the brain. But AstraZeneca has announced that a lab study of its antibody drug Evusheld worked against the omicron variant of covid, and a separate study suggests that shark antibodies may be helpful in fighting the virus.

UMF public media: Severe COVID case dramatically increases risk of death the following year, UF study finds

New research shows that people hospitalized with serious illness from COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to die the following year as people who haven’t contracted the virus. In this conversation, study lead author Arch Mainous, professor of medicine at the University of Florida, says the research highlights the need for vaccination to prevent people from contracting severe COVID-19 in the first place. . (Sheridan, 12/16 /)

NPR: COVID can cause lasting brain damage, scientists say

Months after battling COVID-19, many people still struggle with memory problems, mental fog and mood swings. One of the reasons is that the disease can cause long-term damage to the brain. “A lot of people suffer,” says Jennifer Frontera, professor of neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Frontera conducted a study which found that more than 13% of COVID-19 hospital patients developed a new neurological disorder shortly after becoming infected. A follow-up study found that six months later, about half of the patients in this group who survived were still experiencing cognitive problems. (Hamilton, 12/16 /)

On the search for antibodies –

Reuters: AstraZeneca Antibody Cocktail works against Omicron in study

AstraZeneca said Thursday that a laboratory study of its COVID-19 antibody cocktail, Evusheld, found that the treatment retained neutralizing activity against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which holds promise for wider use of the therapy. . The study was conducted by independent investigators from the United States Food and Drug Administration, the company said, adding that further testing of Evusheld against Omicron is being conducted by AstraZeneca and third parties, with data pending. ” very soon”. (12/16)

The Washington Post: Regeneron and AstraZeneca Give Mixed Results on Covid Antibody Cocktails Against Omicron

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca, makers of monoclonal antibody cocktails used as treatment for many unvaccinated coronavirus patients, on Thursday announced contrasting data on the potency of their covid-19 therapies against the omicron variant. Regeneron, which warned earlier this month that its antibody treatment might not be as effective against the new variant, said the data confirms it has “reduced potency” against omicron but remains useful against delta. … AstraZeneca, however, said a lab study of Evusheld, the company’s anti-coronavirus antibody cocktail, found the treatment “retained neutralizing activity” against omicron. (Bella, 12/16 /)

CNBC: Regeneron develops antibodies to target Omicron as current cocktail loses potency against variant

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is developing new antibodies that work against the omicron variant of Covid-19, after the company confirmed that its current cocktail has decreased its potency against the heavily mutated strain. CEO Leonard Schleifer told CNBC on Thursday that Regeneron plans to conduct testing of the new antibodies in the first quarter of 2022. Schleifer said Regeneron is working with the Food and Drug Administration to get the next generation of antibodies approved as well. efficiently as possible. (Kimball, 12/16 /)

The Washington Post: As Omicron variant threatens to kill monoclonal antibodies, US is saving one that will always work

With the omicron variant of the coronavirus set to thwart most treatments for covid-19, US public health officials are stockpiling the only monoclonal antibody that remains effective so it can be deployed when the variant becomes more prevalent. Omicron accounts for about 3% of coronavirus cases in the United States, but in some states it is estimated at 13% of all cases, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Wednesday. Some hospitals are reporting even more worrying figures: In Houston Methodist, omicron has gone from 13% of cases to over 30% in four days. In New York City, the percentage of positive tests doubled in three days – a key sign of the accelerating spread. (Johnson, 12/16 /)

Milkwaukee Journal Sentinel: Shark Antibodies May Be Effective Against COVID-19

Nurse sharks sliding around a reservoir at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may hold the secret to an unusual and unexamined treatment for COVID-19, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Nature Communications. Antibodies derived from the immune system of sharks have been shown to be effective against the new coronavirus, including the Delta variant, in laboratory experiments using human lung and embryonic kidney cells. (Johnson, 12/16 /)

As well –

Axios: How Little-Known B and T Cells May Protect Against COVID Variants

The body’s long-term immune responses help defend against emerging variants of the coronavirus, even as antibody immunity wanes in people who have been vaccinated or who have had COVID-19 infections in the past. Variants test the success of COVID-19 vaccines, as antibody levels typically drop after a peak in infection or vaccination. (Drage O’Reilly, 12/16)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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