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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Photo credit: Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM.

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CORONAVIRUS disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2), a virus closely related to the SARS virus. The disease was discovered and named during the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak. Those affected may develop a fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. A sore throat, runny nose or sneezing is less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some can progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.

The infection is spread from one person to others via respiratory droplets produced from the airways, often during coughing or sneezing. Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between 2 and 14 days, with an average of 5 days. The standard method of diagnosis is by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) from a nasopharyngeal swab or sputum sample, with results within a few hours to 2 days. Antibody assays can also be used, using a blood serum sample, with results within a few days. The infection can also be diagnosed from a combination of symptoms, risk factors and a chest CT scan showing features of pneumonia.

Correct handwashing technique, maintaining distance from people who are coughing and not touching one's face with unwashed hands are measures recommended to prevent the disease. It is also recommended to cover one's nose and mouth with a tissue or a bent elbow when coughing. Those who suspect they carry the virus are recommended to wear a surgical face mask and seek medical advice by calling a doctor rather than visiting a clinic in person. Masks are also recommended for those who are taking care of someone with a suspected infection but not for the general public. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment, with management involving treatment of symptoms, supportive care and experimental measures. The case fatality rate is estimated at between 1% and 3%.

In epidemiology, the BASIC REPRODUCTION NUMBER (sometimes called basic reproductive ratio, or incorrectly basic reproductive rate, and denoted R0, pronounced R nought or R zero) of an infection can be thought of as the expected number of cases directly generated by one case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection. The definition describes the state where no other individuals are infected or immunized (naturally or through vaccination).

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  • 2 doses of Pfizer, AstraZeneca shots effective against Delta variant: study - "Two doses of Pfizer (PFE.N) or AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant as they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant, a study published on Wednesday showed."
  • 2 years of coronavirus: how pandemic unfolded around the world - "In December 2019 the WHO was told of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. These charts show how Covid-19 has spread across the world since then."
  • 5 reasons you should not deliberately catch Omicron to 'get it over with' - "The idea of intentionally trying to catch Omicron is 'all the rage,' said Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, with an exasperated sigh. In case the thought had crossed your mind, here are five reasons why you should not purposely try to catch Omicron."
  • 9 places you’re most likely to catch the coronavirus - "Despite an encouraging drop-off in COVID infections, Dr. Fauci warns that adhering to coronavirus safety guidelines remains as important as ever. Fauci in recent weeks has been urging people to stay away from places like bars, restaurants, and gyms until the US reaches herd immunity."
  • 37% of people have symptoms six months after infection - "A large study reveals the scale of long Covid, with symptoms affected by sex, age and severity of infection."
  • 190 countries, 650,000 deaths: mapping the spread of COVID-19 across the world - "Mapping the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak Around the U.S. and the World. Since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in December 2019, the illness has become a pandemic, touching every corner of the planet."
  • 501.V2 variant - also known as 20H/501Y.V2 (formerly 20C/501Y.V2), B.1.351 lineage and South African COVID-19 variant, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant was first detected in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and reported by the country's health department on 18 December 2020.
  • A pandemic atlas: How covid-19 took over the world in 2020 - "Almost no place has been spared - and no one. The virus that first emerged a year ago in Wuhan, China, swept across the world in 2020, leaving havoc in its wake. More than any event in memory, the pandemic has been a global event. On every continent, households have felt its devastation - joblessness and lockdowns, infirmity and death. And an abiding, relentless fear."
  • Australia has decided to 'let Covid rip.' Is that a good idea? - "In just over a month, the country’s Covid cases have sharply risen from around 1,000 a day to more than 100,000 a day - but its deaths remain low."
  • B117 Variant - "What we know about the new Covid mutation."
  • B1351 ('SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT') - is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of several SARS-CoV-2 variants believed to be of particular importance, it was first detected in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and reported by the country's health department on 18 December 2020.
  • B1525: new covid variant with potentially worrying mutations found in UK - "Researchers say 32 cases of B1525 in Britain, with other cases in countries including Denmark, US and Australia."
  • B1526 ('New York Variant') - "‘This is definitely one to watch’: New Covid variant spreading rapidly in NYC. Coronavirus variant carries mutation that may reduce vaccine effectiveness. Researchers found two similar versions of the variant: one with the E484K mutation previously seen in the South African variant that is thought to partially diminish the immune response, and another with a mutation called S477N which may affect how tightly the virus binds to human cells. Both are grouped together as B1526."
  • B.1.617 - also known as G/452.V3, is one of the known variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first identified in Maharashtra, India on 5 October 2020. It has been referred to as a double mutation variant. "Double mutation" refers to B.1.617's mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein's coding sequence at E484Q and L452R. The use of the term "double mutant" has been criticised by infectious disease scientists due to SARS-CoV-2 being in a state of perpetual mutation with numerous mutations occurring around the world, so use of this misleading term is being discouraged.
  • BA.4 & BA.5 subvariants - In April 2022 the WHO announced it was tracking BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants with BA.4 having been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Denmark, Scotland and England. Early indications from data collected in South Africa suggested BA.4 and BA.5 have a significant growth advantage over BA.2, which by May 12, earned the status Variant of Concern by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and by May 20, by the UK Health Security Agency. BA.5 soon after by May 25, was the dominant in Portugal, accounting for two-thirds of all new cases there.
  • BA.5: The 'worst variant' is here - "Nearly two-and-a-half years since the coronavirus pandemic began, the most infectious and transmissible variant yet has arrived."
  • BEHIND THE HIGH-TECH COVID-19 TESTS YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT - "OTC molecular tests combine PCR accuracy with the convenience of rapid antigen tests. WhenWhen you think about getting tested for COVID-19, you’re most likely picturing two types of tests: the at-home rapid antigen tests you can buy at the drugstore and the PCR test where the results are processed by a lab. What you’re probably less familiar with are at-home molecular tests that you can buy online."
  • Biden Administration Plans to Offer Second Booster Shots to Those 50 & Up - "After fraught discussions, officials decided that another shot might save thousands of lives if a new coronavirus wave hit before the fall. The F.D.A. could authorize the boosters next week."
  • Brazilian variant - Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has many variants; some are or have been believed to be of particular importance.
  • Breaking Down What COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Means - "The U.S. now has three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines being shipped around the country and making it into people’s arms. All meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s threshold for protecting people from COVID-19 disease. Yet two of them are about 95% efficacious, while another is 66% efficacious, which may make it tempting to rank them, and assume that people receiving the 66% efficacious shot are somehow less protected against COVID-19."
  • Britain approves Merck's COVID-19 pill in world first - "Britain on Thursday became the first country in the world to approve a potentially game-changing COVID-19 antiviral pill jointly developed by Merck (MRK.N) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, in a boost to the fight against the pandemic."
  • CDC chief warns of 'potential fourth surge' & urges US to keep Covid rules - "Rochelle Walensky, the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned on Monday that a recent increase in coronavirus cases indicated a 'fourth surge' could occur before a majority of the US is vaccinated."
  • Comparison of the characteristics, morbidity & mortality of COVID-19 & seasonal influenza - "A nationwide, population-based retrospective cohort study." The Lancet.
  • Coronavirus came from Wuhan market & not Chinese lab, twin studies say - "International scientists on Saturday released two major studies which one participant said made it 'extraordinarily clear' a market in Wuhan, China was the source of the coronavirus which fueled the Covid-19 pandemic - and not a Chinese government laboratory, a theory championed in the US by rightwing campaigners, columnists and politicians."
  • Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases - by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations - "Statistics and Research." Our data on COVID-19 vaccinations is updated each morning (London time), with the most recent official numbers up to the previous day. The Our World in Data COVID vaccination data. To bring this pandemic to an end, a large share of the world needs to be immune to the virus.
  • Coronavirus: From unknown virus to global crisis - timeline - "From December 2019, when an unknown virus was found in China, to the release of vaccines for Covid-19, it has been an extraordinary year. Here’s how the momentum shifted."
  • CORONAVIRUS GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TRACKER - "Governments are taking a wide range of measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This tool aims to track and compare policy responses around the world, rigorously and consistently."
  • Covid antiviral pill halves hospitalisations & deaths, maker says - "If approved, Merck’s drug would be first simple oral medication shown to be effective against coronavirus."
  • Covid booster shots significantly strengthen immunity, trial finds - "Jabs offer far higher protection than that needed to prevent hospitalisation and death, Cov-Boost trial lead says."
  • Covid can shrink brain & damage its tissue, finds research - "Worst effect on region linked to smell, while infected people typically scored lower on mental skills test."
  • Covid loses 90% of ability to infect within minutes in air - study - "Findings highlight importance of short-range Covid transmission."
  • Covid Performance Index - "Deconstructing Pandemic Responses. What impact have geography, political systems, population size, and economic development had on COVID-19 outcomes around the world?" Lowy Institute.
  • Covid vaccine map: how are countries around the world doing? - "More than 2bn Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide. Find out which countries are vaccinating the most."
  • Covid vaccine: Your concerns answered - "Over half of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. Supply is still a big problem, especially in poorer countries where less than 10% of people are vaccinated. But even when vaccines are available, some remain hesitant to take them. BBC Reality Check's health reporter Rachel Schraer answers some of your concerns - from pregnancy side effects to the speed at which vaccines were developed."
  • Covid world map: which countries have the most coronavirus vaccinations, cases & deaths? - "Covid-19 has spread around the planet, sending billions into lockdown. Find out where the virus has spread, and where it has been most deadly."
  • Covid’s Forgotten Hero: The Untold Story Of The Scientist Whose Breakthrough Made The Vaccines Possible - "Without Ian MacLachlan’s innovative delivery system, Moderna and Pfizer couldn’t safely get their mRNA vaccines into your cells. So why does hardly anyone acknowledge the Canadian biochemist’s seminal contributions - or pay a dime in royalties?"
  • COVID-19 lab leak theory a ‘probable hypothesis,’ WHO scientist says in stunning reversal - "The first person infected with COVID-19 could have caught the virus from a bat while working at the controversial Wuhan virology lab - but Chinese officials pressured the World Health Organization to drop the theory during a probe into the pandemic’s origins, according to an astonishing admission from a WHO scientist."
  • COVID-19 vaccinations to start across EU from December 27 - "All European Union member states plan to start vaccinations against COVID-19 from Dec. 27, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday."
  • Covid-19's astounding death toll in the US - "One year ago, Americans could have hardly imagined a pandemic that would kill one person every 30 seconds." Interactive.
  • Death Toll During Pandemic Far Exceeds Totals Reported by Countries, W.H.O. Says - "Nearly 15 million more people died during the first two years of the pandemic than would have been expected during normal times, the organization found. The previous count of virus deaths, from countries’ reporting, was six million."
  • Death toll nears 6 million as pandemic enters its 3rd year - "The U.S. has the biggest official death toll in the world, but the numbers have been trending downward over the last month."
  • definition of 'fully vaccinated' is changing to three Covid-19 doses - "You may need up to three Covid-19 vaccine doses to be considered fully vaccinated. Waning vaccine immunity and rising infections due to the Delta variant has prompted wealthy nations to reconsider the definition of 'fully vaccinated' - which usually means two Covid-19 jabs."
  • Delta Plus: Scientists say too early to tell risk of Covid-19 variant - "India has classified a new variant of the coronavirus first identified in Europe as a 'variant of concern', but it's too early to really tell."
  • Do Home Covid Tests Expire? - A quirk in the regulatory process for home tests can mean the real expiration date doesn’t always match what’s on the box.
  • Does Covid-19 follow a similar seasonal pattern to flu - "Anticipating the seasonality of coronavirus is a key factor in fighting its spread, say scientists."
  • Double masking can block 92% of infectious particles, CDC says - "Double masking can significantly improve protection, new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Researchers found that layering a cloth mask over a medical procedural mask, such as a disposable blue surgical mask, can block 92.5% of potentially infectious particles from escaping by creating a tighter fit and eliminating leakage."
  • Double masks: Should we use them? - "There’s a lot of choice about which type of face covering to wear – and in some countries the advice is changing as we learn more about how the virus spreads. In certain countries a specific type of mask is required in public areas. The BBC's Science Editor David Shukman explains the differences between cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 masks - and looks at whether we should double mask."
  • 'Double mutant': What are the risks of India's new Covid-19 variant - "A new 'double mutant' variant of the coronavirus has been detected from samples collected in India, which has been named B.1.617."
  • E484K mutation - "The E484K amino acid change, a receptor-binding-domain (RBD) mutation, was reported to be 'associated with escape from neutralising antibodies' which could adversely affect the efficacy of spike protein-dependent COVID vaccines. The E484K spike mutation was linked to a case of reinfection with the 501.V2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil, believed by researchers to be the first such case of reinfection involving this mutation."
  • End of Covid pandemic ‘in sight’, says World Health Organization - "Global weekly deaths down to 11,118 on 5 September, 2022 - the lowest level since March 2020."
  • FDA authorizes first pill to treat Covid-19 - "The US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized Pfizer's antiviral pill, Paxlovid, to treat Covid-19. This is the first antiviral Covid-19 pill authorized for ill people to take at home, before they get sick enough to be hospitalized."
  • FFP standards - EN 149 is a European standard of testing and marking requirements for filtering half masks. Such masks cover the nose, mouth and chin and may have inhalation and/or exhalation valves. EN 149 defines three classes of such particle half masks, called FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3, (FFP = Filtering Face Piece) according to their filtering efficiency.
  • Flu & Covid jabs safe to be given at same time, study finds - "Clinical trial on joint flu, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations reported only mild to moderate side-effects."
  • Flu, cancer, HIV: after Covid success, what next for mRNA vaccines? - "The technology was viewed with scepticism before the pandemic but there is now growing confidence about its use."
  • From pandemic to endemic: this is how we might get back to normal - "Covid-19 is unlikely to be eradicated, experts say, but societies in the past have learned to live with diseases."
  • Gangrene, Hearing Loss Show Delta Variant May Be More Severe - "The coronavirus variant driving India’s devastating Covid-19 second wave is the most infectious to emerge so far. Doctors now want to know if it’s also more severe."
  • Global Covid-19 death toll ‘may be three times higher than official figures’ - "The Covid-19 pandemic may have claimed 18.2 million lives around the world, more than three times the official death toll, a new study suggests. The higher figure is a better estimate of the true global casualty figure to the end of 2021, according to an analysis by a consortium of health researchers published in the Lancet."
  • Got a Covid Booster? You Probably Won’t Need Another for a Long Time - "A flurry of new studies suggests that several parts of the immune system can mount a sustained, potent response to any coronavirus variant."
  • Having Trouble Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine? This Standby Site Wants to Help - TIME Magazine.
  • Here's a look at how the different coronavirus vaccines work - "Here's a look at the technology behind some of the candidates that are the furthest along in development - mostly in Phase 3 clinical trials, the last step before seeking the go-ahead from the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulators around the world."
  • Here's how some of the leading coronavirus vaccines work - CNN Health.
  • How coronavirus spreads through a population & how we can beat it - "As the global effort to limit the pandemic’s impact gathers pace watch how subtle changes in social behaviour or the level of contagiousness of the virus can affect the battle to stop its spread. This interactive feature was originally published in April 2020, it was updated on 27 August 2021 to compare the infectiousness of the Delta coronavirus variant."
  • How Do You Even Calculate COVID-19 Risk Anymore? - "Vaccines and boosters are widely available, but COVID-19 continues to spread. Here's how to decide what's safe to do right now." TIME Magazine.
  • How Europe lost control of Covid-19 - "COVID-19 Cases Are Rising in Europe, and the Vaccine Rollout Is Lagging. How Did It All Go So Badly Wrong?"
  • How long you can wear your N95 mask, according to experts - "You're ready to swap your old cloth masks for N95s as some experts recommend, but the higher price tag and two little words - 'single use' - are giving you pause. How long can you really wear an N95 and still protect yourself and others from Covid-19 risk?"
  • How Often Can You Be Infected With the Coronavirus? - "The spread of the Omicron variant has given scientists an unsettling answer: repeatedly, sometimes within months."
  • How to tell if you have a cold, the flu or Covid-19 - "Do you have a cold, the flu or Covid-19? Experts explain how to tell the difference."
  • Israeli study finds Pfizer COVID-19 booster protects against Omicron - "Israeli researchers said on Saturday they found that a three-shot course of the Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) COVID-19 vaccine provided significant protection against the new Omicron variant."
  • It might be time to upgrade your mask - "If you're still wearing a cloth or surgical mask when you're out and about, it's time to rethink your face covering."
  • Just about any Covid-19 vaccine works as a booster, study finds - "The latest on the Omicron coronavirus variant."
  • Lineage B.1.1.248 - colloquially known as the Brazil(ian) variant, is one of the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been named P.1 lineage and has 17 unique amino acid changes, 10 of which in its spike protein, including N501Y and E484K.
  • Lockdowns compared: tracking governments’ coronavirus responses - "From business closures to movement restrictions, how countries’ policies around the world are changing."
  • long-term impact of Covid-19 - "Could Covid-19 still be affecting us in decades to come?"
  • MAP: Covid-19 vaccination tracker across the U.S. - "NBC News is tracking administered doses in each state by surveying health departments and examining daily reports."
  • MAPPING COVID-19 VACCINE PRE-PURCHASES ACROSS THE GLOBE - "A flurry of nearly 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are moving forward through the development and clinical trials processes at unprecedented speed; more than ten candidates are already in Phase 3 large-scale trials and several have received emergency or limited authorization. Also unprecedented is the number of advance market commitments (AMCs) made by countries and multilateral partnerships eager to reserve vaccine supply, even before any candidates are on the market."
  • Masks, hugs & hand washing: 18 new rules for protecting yourself and others - "When should you open the windows, wear a mask and take a lateral flow test? As we enter the ‘personal responsibility’ era, here’s an expert guide."
  • N439K mutation of SARS-CoV-2 may be more infectious & antibody resistant than Wuhan strain - "Researchers investigated the effect of different mutations of SARS-CoV-2 on its binding to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 using molecular dynamics simulations. They found the N439K mutant binds more strongly than the original Wuhan strain, which may have implications for therapeutics like monoclonal antibodies."
  • New Covid variant IHU - symptoms, mutations & how it differs from Omicron - "A new variant of the coronavirus, discovered by scientists in France, has emerged. Little is currently known about the 'IHU' variant, but here's all the information we have so far..."
  • New 'hybrid' variant detected in Vietnam - "Vietnam has detected a Covid variant that appears to be a combination of the Indian and UK variants and can spread quickly by air, officials say."
  • Nirmatrelvir - antiviral medication developed by Pfizer which acts as an orally active 3C-like protease inhibitor.[3][4][5][6][7] It is part of a nirmatrelvir/ritonavir combination used to treat COVID-19. The combination is sold under the brand name Paxlovid.
  • No major organized religion objects to Covid vaccines. Will religious exemptions hold? - "Religious exemptions to vaccine mandates could test 'sincerely held beliefs'."
  • Novavax Reports Its COVID-19 Vaccine is 96% Efficacious, Based on Phase 3 Trial Results - "Novavax reported on March 11 that its COVID-19 vaccine is 96% efficacious in reducing mild, moderate or severe disease. The Maryland-based company joins the handful of manufacturers that have reported encouraging data on a COVID-19 vaccine; three, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, have already received emergency use authorization for their shots from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
  • Omicron variant - also known as lineage B.1.1.529 and by the GISAID identifier GR/484A, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The first known case was detected in Botswana, dated 9 November 2021. On 26 November 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated it as a variant of concern and named it after the Greek letter Omicron. The variant has an unusually large number of mutations, several of which are novel, and several of which affect the spike protein used for most vaccine targeting at the time of its discovery. This level of variation has led to concerns regarding transmissibility, immune system evasion, and vaccine resistance. As a result, the variant was rapidly designated as being "of concern", and travel restrictions were introduced by several countries to limit or slow its international spread.
  • Omicron: what do we know about ‘stealth’ subvariant BA.2? - "Omicron’s ‘close cousin’ has mutations that could alter how it behaves and has begun to surpass Covid’s most common variety in parts of Europe and Asia."
  • Our world in data - "COVID-19 Data Explorer."
  • P.1 variant - also known as 20J/501Y.V3, Variant of Concern 202101/02 (VOC-202101/02) or colloquially known as the Brazil(ian) variant, is one of the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been named lineage P.1 and has 17 unique amino acid changes, ten of which are in its spike protein, including these three designated to be of particular concern: N501Y, E484K and K417T.
  • Pfizer-BioNTech Announces They Will Test a Third Dose of Their COVID-19 Vaccine - "Pfizer-BioNTech has begun testing a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine in a small group of people. The vaccine is currently authorized in several countries in a two-dose regimen, given 21 days apart, and has proven in studies to be about 95% effective in protecting against COVID-19 disease. But as new (and more infectious) genetic variants of the COVID-19 virus start circulating - so far, scientists have identified three major strains, first found in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil, respectively - questions about how well authorized vaccines can still thwart the virus have become more urgent."
  • Pfizer boss: Annual Covid jabs for years to come - "People will be likely to need to have annual Covid vaccinations for many years to come, the head of Pfizer has told the BBC. Dr Albert Bourla said he thought this would be needed to maintain a 'very high level of protection'."
  • Pfizer says antiviral pill 89% effective in high-risk cases - "A pill to treat Covid developed by the US company Pfizer cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89% in vulnerable adults, clinical trial results suggest."
  • Pfizer/BioNTech boosters reduce infections tenfold & Covid deaths by 90% - studies - "Mounting evidence highlights the importance of Covid-19 boosters. On Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that preliminary lab studies show a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can improve protection against Omicron."
  • Pfizer says pill is effective in protecting against severe disease from Covid - "Experimental antiviral pill Paxlovid is also effective against the Omicron variant, company announces."
  • Pfizer vaccine significantly less effective in children ages five to 11, study shows - "Strikingly higher rates of decline in effectiveness for younger children suggest the lower dose they receive may be the reason."
  • Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine has waning immunity: studies - "Studies confirm waning immunity from Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine. Two real-world studies published Wednesday confirm that the immune protection offered by two doses of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine drops off after two months or so, although protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death remains strong."
  • Pregnant mother’s vaccination protects baby from Covid - study - "Research finds much lower risk of infant hospitalisation when mother had mRNA vaccine during pregnancy."
  • Putting your Covid diagnosis on blast is no longer a thing - "Contracting Covid will no longer be something to shout from the rooftops about, while simply getting on with life will be something to cheer."
  • Rapid tests do not always detect Omicron - here's how to know for sure if you've got COVID-19 or not - "Early signs indicate rapid tests work on Omicron but only if your viral load is high at the time. You need to reach a certain threshold before any test - PCR or rapid - can detect your infection. If your resolution is to test cheaper and smarter in the new year, here's a primer on the best ways to use rapid tests to get the most useful results."
  • Researcher blows the whistle on data integrity issues in Pfizer’s vaccine trial - "Revelations of poor practices at a contract research company helping to carry out Pfizer’s pivotal covid-19 vaccine trial raise questions about data integrity and regulatory oversight." British Medical Journal (BMJ).
  • Researchers identify five new cases of ‘double mutant’ Covid variant in California - "It contains two key mutations, which scientists call E484Q and L452R, that have been found separately in other variants but not together in a single strain, according to Dr. Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of Stanford’s clinical virology laboratory, which discovered the new variant in the U.S."
  • Scientists warn of new Covid variant with high number of mutations - "The B.1.1.529 variant was first spotted in Botswana and six cases have been found in South Africa."
  • Seriously, stop sharing your vaccine cards on social media - "It's not just your birthday that's listed. The card shows medically sensitive information, including vaccine lot number, clinic location and the brand of vaccination received. And for some people, the card contains even more."
  • Studies raise new questions about what fully vaccinated means - "Boosters provide the best protection against Omicron variant, CDC studies show, raising new questions about what it means to be fully vaccinated. Three large new studies from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight the importance of getting a booster shot to provide the best protection against the Omicron coronavirus variant. This is the first real-life data to examine the effect of boosters against Omicron, which now accounts for more than 99% of coronavirus cases in the United States. The studies, released Friday, raise the question of whether people with just two vaccine doses should still be considered fully vaccinated."
  • ‘The case for masks became hugely stronger’: scientists admit their Covid mistakes - "Being proved wrong lies at the heart of scientific progress. Here, experts reveal what they got wrong during the pandemic."
  • The global Covid divide: Which countries rolled out vaccines faster - and why - "Outside of a country’s wealth, there are a number of factors that have been associated with slower and faster Covid-19 vaccine rollouts."
  • The pandemic body: how the Covid era changed us - from hair loss to weight gain - "Sore, blurry eyes, decaying teeth, spreading feet - the strange, difficult years of coronavirus have had unexpected effects on our general health."
  • The reality of fully vaccinated people dying from Covid-19 - "Why vaccinated people dying from Covid-19 doesn't mean the vaccines are ineffective."
  • The world has the tools to end Covid pandemic. They're not being used properly - "The Covid-19 pandemic will not last forever. It will likely continue to fizzle and fade as it heads towards its third year, resurging with new variants and then waning in the face of vaccines, mitigation measures and human behavior. But even if the virus is never stamped out, immunity will improve and the world will eventually be able to live with Covid."
  • TIME's COVID-19 US vaccine tracker - "A guide to the coronavirus vaccination rollout and what you need to know about the authorized vaccines."
  • top 20 Covid symptoms, in descending order - Top symptoms that could be Covid are a sore throat or a cough, according to data from 17,500 people who said they had tested positive for the virus this week.
  • Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US - "Since January, novel coronavirus has spread to nearly every state and territory."
  • Types of masks - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Vaccines offer little protection against long Covid, study finds - "The vaccines provide robust protection against hospitalization and death, but when it comes to long Covid, the protection is 'very modest.'"
  • Valneva Covid vaccine could be as effective as Oxford jab, study suggests - "Vaccine produced by French company uses inactivated Sars-CoV-2 virus and can be stored in fridge."
  • Variant of Concern 202012/01 - abbreviated VOC-202012/01 (also known as lineage B.1.1.7, 20I/501Y.V1 or commonly as the UK variant or British variant; see § Names), is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of several variants believed to be of particular importance, it is estimated to be 30%-80% more transmissible than wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and was detected in November 2020 from a sample taken in September, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom; it began to spread quickly by mid-December, and is correlated with a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 infections in the country. This increase is thought to be at least partly because of one or more mutations in the virus's spike protein. The variant is also notable for having more mutations than normally seen. The variant is known by several names. In British government and media reports it may be referred to as UK COVID-19 variant, UK coronavirus variant or, particularly outside the UK, as the UK variant or British variant. It is sometimes called the Kent variant, with no further explanation.
  • VUI - 202012/01 - N501Y - "The first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020 (VUI - 202012/01), also known as lineage B.1.1.7, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in October 2020 from a sample taken the previous month, and it quickly began to spread by mid-December."
  • 'We can't vaccinate the planet every six months,' says Oxford vaccine scientist - "A leading expert who helped create the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine said Tuesday that giving everyone in the world booster shots multiple times a year is not feasible."
  • We'll Probably Never Eliminate COVID-19 from the U.S. It's Still Worth Trying - TIME Magazine.
  • What Are COVID-19 Antiviral Pills & How Do They Work? - "There is some hope on the horizon in the fight to bring COVID-19 to heel. New antiviral pills have been introduced to manage the disease’s symptoms, but there’s been some confusion about President Joe Biden’s 'test to treat' initiative, which would allow COVID-positive individuals to access antivirals on the spot at various clinics, pharmacies, and other care providers. Here’s everything you need to know."
  • What is C.1.2, the new Covid variant in South Africa & should we be worried? - "The C.1.2 strain has scientists’ attention because it possesses mutations within the genome similar to those seen in variants of interest, like Delta."
  • What should you do if you get a breakthrough infection? Our expert weighs in - "Covid-19 vaccines are very effective against preventing infection, but no vaccine is 100% effective. Fully vaccinated people can and do become infected. It's not known exactly how many of these breakthrough infections are occurring, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not collecting national data this comprehensive. Based on reports from 25 states that do keep track of these data, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the rate of breakthrough infections is well below 1%."
  • What to do if you test positive for Covid-19 now - "Covid-19 infections are on the rise, with most US states reporting an increase in cases. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the highly contagious BA.2.1.21 subvariant of Omicron is now the dominant strain of coronavirus nationwide."
  • What to expect for Covid in 2022 - "It won't be a pandemic forever. Here's what could be next."
  • What to Know About a Fourth COVID-19 Vaccine Dose - "Public health experts are leaning toward an additional booster dose for the COVID-19 vaccine, but only for certain people." TIME Magazine.
  • What to Know About the XE Variant - "A new strain of Omicron, called XE, is spreading in the U.K., and a few cases have been identified elsewhere in the world. Here’s what we do - and don’t - know about the variant."
  • What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Booster Shots - TIME Magazine.
  • Where Death Rates Rose the Most During the Pandemic - "The United States had more deaths above normal levels during the pandemic than most other wealthy countries, according to data released by the World Health Organization this month. U.S. deaths were 15 percent above normal - a number surpassed by only four other large countries in the same income group: Chile, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania."
  • Who needs COVID-19 boosters? - "The immunocompromised might be first."
  • WHO renames covid variants with Greek letters - "The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a new naming system for variants of Covid-19. From now on the WHO will use Greek letters to refer to variants first detected in countries like the UK, South Africa and India. The UK variant for instance is labelled as Alpha, the South African Beta, and the Indian as Delta."
  • WHO says no deaths reported from Omicron yet as Covid variant spreads - "The Omicron variant has been detected in at least 38 countries but no deaths have yet been reported, the World Health Organization has said, amid warnings that it could damage the global economic recovery. The United States and Australia became the latest countries to confirm locally transmitted cases of the variant, as Omicron infections pushed South Africa’s total cases past 3 million."
  • Why do some people get Covid when others don’t? Here’s what we know so far - "An increasing amount of research is being devoted to the reasons why some people never seem to get Covid - a so-called never Covid cohort."
  • Why you should upgrade your mask as the Omicron variant spreads - "As the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread, some experts say it's past time to reconsider your face mask options - especially if you're still wearing the cloth variety. 'Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. There's no place for them in light of Omicron,' said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, on CNN Newsroom Tuesday. 'We need to be wearing at least a three-ply surgical mask,' she said, which is also known as a disposable mask and can be found at most drugstores and some grocery and retail stores. 'You can wear a cloth mask on top of that, but do not just wear a cloth mask alone.'"
  • Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million - "Covid map: Coronavirus cases, deaths, vaccinations by country."
  • You Should Still Get Vaccinated Even If You've Already Had COVID-19, Study Shows - "In one of the first large studies exploring immunity from natural infection with COVID-19, researchers in Denmark found some surprising trends - including evidence that even those who previously contracted the disease should still get vaccinated."
  • Top 3500 Coronavirus Advice, News & Resources: A-Z: