Infection may last more than five days; COVID-19 is worse for online newspapers

Written by Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – Here is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that requires further study to confirm results and that has not yet been approved by peer review.

Many people may remain contagious after 5 days of quarantine

After a five-day quarantine, about a third of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, may still be infectious, according to new data. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests detect virus particles but cannot tell if they are infectious or just inactive residues. For a study using samples obtained from March through November 2020, the researchers used a new test. In serial samples of 176 people who had positive PCR tests, they looked for genetic material that the virus produces when it makes copies of itself and is still transmissible. “At five days, 30 per cent of people still showed clinically relevant levels of potentially active virus,” said study leader Lorna Harris of the University of Exeter Medical School in England. On Thursday in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, her team reported that after 10 days of quarantine, one in 10 people may still be infectious. Some people maintained these levels for up to 68 days, the researchers said. “There was nothing clinically distinct about these people, which means we wouldn’t be able to predict who they were,” Harris said in a press release. The study was conducted before the Delta and Omicron coronavirus variants began to be traded last year. The researchers plan to run larger trials to confirm their findings. In the meantime, they suggest, in facilities “where forward transmission is particularly problematic, it may be wise to obtain molecular evidence of remission to prevent continued transmission.”

Online newspapers risk more symptoms from COVID-19

E-cigarette users infected with the coronavirus may be more likely to develop symptoms of COVID-19 than those without, according to research published in the Journal of Primary Care and Community Health. The researchers compared 289 electronic papers with 1,445 people of the same age and sex who neither smoked nor smoked tobacco, all of whom tested positive for the coronavirus in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Compared with affected non-vapers and after accounting for participants’ other risk factors, affected vapers experienced higher rates of chest pain or tightness (16% vs. 10%), chills (25% vs. 19%), and body aches (39% vs. 32). %), headache (49% vs 41%), problems with smell and taste (37% vs 30%), nausea/vomiting/abdominal pain (16% vs 10%), diarrhea (16% vs 10%) and light-headedness ( 16% versus 9%). “Our research was not designed to test whether e-cigarette use increases the risk of COVID infection, but it clearly indicates that the burden of symptoms in COVID-19 patients who smoke e-cigarettes is greater than in those who do not smoke e-cigarettes,” said author Dr. Robert Vasallo. of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in a press release. Vasallo and colleagues suggested that inflammation caused by the coronavirus and inflammation caused by vaping may combine to exacerbate the potential for inflammation throughout the body, leading to increased symptoms.

Experimental drugs target COVID-19 from two angles

An experimental drug originally developed to treat influenza shows promise against SARS-CoV-2 and may defend against COVID-19 from two different directions, researchers said. Test tube experiments indicated that the drug, called zapnometinib or ATR-002, could limit virus spread in cells and also reduce an exaggerated immune response that contributes to critical illness in severe cases of COVID-19. The data, published Thursday in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, provided the basis on which the German Institute for Medicines and Medical Products gave manufacturer Atriva Therapeutics approval for the drug to be tested in people. This is the first time any drug has been shown to have a dual effect against COVID-19, study co-author Stefan Ludwig of the University of Münster said in a press release. “Positive results from the clinical study that is still ongoing in humans may already lead to emergency approval this year,” Ludwig said.

Click for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Will Dunham)

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