COVID-19 roundup: Post-infection jabs help, ‘air curtains’ viable
COVID-19 roundup: Post-infection jabs help, ‘air curtains’ viable

COVID-19 roundup: Post-infection jabs help, ‘air curtains’ viable

In this week’s roundup, the latest scientific research on coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines suggest that post-infection vaccination may reduce cases of long COVID-19, desktop “air curtains” may deflect virus particles and antacids in COVID-19 by help limit inflammation.

Post-infection vaccinations

Post-infection vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 may help reduce the burden of long-distance covid-19 symptoms, a new study suggests.

Researchers tracked 6,729 volunteers aged 18 to 69 who received two shots of either AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccine or an MFR vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna after recovering from a coronavirus infection, and who reported long COVID-19 symptoms of at least any severity. once between February and September 2021.

Odds of reporting prolonged COVID-19 – symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks – fell by an average of 13% after a first vaccine dose, the researchers say reported Wednesday in The BMJ.

The second dose, given 12 weeks after the first, was associated with a further 9% drop in the odds of long-distance COVID-19, which lasted for at least nine weeks on average, the researchers said. The chances of reporting long-term COVID-19 severe enough to result in disability were similarly reduced, researchers reported.

The results were similar regardless of vaccine type, interval from infection to first vaccine dose, underlying health status, or severity of COVID-19. However, the study was not designed to detect such differences, nor can it definitively prove that vaccines lower the odds of long-term COVID-19.

“Further research is needed to evaluate the long-term relationship between vaccination and long-term COVID-19, particularly the effect of the omicron variant,” which emerged after this study ended, the researchers said.

Desktop ‘air curtains’

When people can not keep a safe distance to avoid the spread of COVID-19, a redesigned desktop “air curtain” can block aerosols in the exhaled air, researchers found.

Air curtains – artificially created streams of moving air – are often used to protect patients in operating rooms. At Nagoya University in Japan, researchers tested their new stationary device by simulating a blood collection stand where a laboratory technician is close to the patient.

Aerosol particles blown against the curtain “were observed to bend abruptly towards the suction port” without passing through the air curtain, the reported Tuesday in AIP Advances.

Even putting an arm through the air curtain did not break the current or reduce its efficiency, they said. A high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) can be installed inside the suction port, they added.

If further testing under real-life conditions confirms the effectiveness of the system, it may “be useful as an indirect barrier not only in the medical field but also in situations where adequate physical distance cannot be maintained, such as at the reception desk.” said the researchers.

Antacids help limit inflammation

Researchers have discovered how the antacid famotidine, commonly sold as Pepcid by a Johnson & Johnson device, was able to relieve COVID-19 symptoms in clinical trials.

In studies in mice, they found that famotidine stimulates the vagus nerve, which controls the immune system and other involuntary bodily functions.

When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it can send out signals to suppress severe immune reactions – so-called cytokine storms – in which high levels of inflammatory proteins are released too quickly into the bloodstream.

When famotidine was administered to the mice, it significantly reduced the level of inflammatory proteins in the blood and spleen and improved survival. But when the vagus nerve was cut, famotidine no longer stopped the cytokine storms, according to a report published Monday in Molecular Medicine.

The data “point to a role of the inflammatory vagus nerve reflex in suppressing the cytokine storm during COVID-19,” said co-author Dr. Kevin Tracey of the Feinstein Institutes of Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, in a statement.

Direct electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve is known to ameliorate a number of diseases. “Famotidine, a well-tolerated oral drug, could offer an additional method” to activate the vagus nerve to reduce inflammatory protein formation and resulting tissue damage in COVID-19 and other diseases, the researchers concluded.

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