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Study Shows Covid-19 Antibodies Waning Over Time, Suggesting Immunity May Wear Off – msnNOW

https://www.wsj.com/articles/study-shows-covid-19-antibodies-waning-over-time-suggesting-immunity-may-wear-off-11603757012?mod=RSSMSN

Study Shows Covid-19 Antibodies Waning Over Time, Suggesting Immunity May Wear Off - msnNOW

LONDON—A large English study showed the number of people with Covid-19 antibodies declined significantly over the summer, suggesting that getting the virus might not confer long-lasting immunity from future infection.

The survey of 365,000 adults in England who tested themselves at home using a finger-prick test showed the proportion of people testing positive for Covid-19 antibodies declined by 26.5% between June 20—12 weeks after the peak of infections in the country—and Sept. 28.

The results also suggested that people who didn’t display symptoms were likely to lose detectable antibodies before those who had showed symptoms. The study, conducted by Imperial College London and the Ipsos Mori polling organization, was funded by the British government, which announced the results and published the study on Monday night. The results haven’t yet been reviewed by other experts.

Doctors don’t yet know whether antibodies confer any effective immunity against reinfection by Covid-19. But even if they do and the results of this survey are confirmed, it suggests the prospect of widespread long-term herd immunity to the virus will be difficult to achieve. Herd immunity occurs when enough people in a population develop an immune response, either through previous infection or vaccination, so that the virus can’t spread easily and even those who aren’t immune have protection.

The findings showed 18-24-year-olds lost antibodies at a slower rate than those aged 75 and over. The smallest decline of 14.9% was of people aged between 18 and 24 years, and the largest decline of 29% was of people aged 75 and over.

The study reflects earlier smaller trials and suggests that antibodies to the virus decline over 6-12 months after infection, as in other seasonal coronaviruses such as the common cold. The study doesn’t indicate whether other types of immune responses—such as that contributed by so-called T cells—would help protect against reinfection.

Scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop an effective vaccine for the coronavirus. Their ultimate goal: to immunize enough of the world’s population to reach herd immunity. WSJ explains. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds

The study showed 6% of the population of England had antibodies on June 20, compared with 4.4% on Sept. 28. At the end of September, 9% of people displayed antibodies in London, compared with just 1.6% in the least affected region in the southwest of England.

Among ethnic groups, 13.8% of Black people tested with antibodies at end-September and 9.7% of Asians—mainly South Asians. This compared with 3.6% of white people. Minority ethnic groups in the U.K., as in the U.S., have suffered disproportionately from the virus.

The authors admitted the trial had limitations. “It included nonoverlapping random samples of the population, but it is possible that people who had been exposed to the virus were less likely to take part over time, which may have contributed to apparent population antibody waning,” they said.

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Write to Stephen Fidler at stephen.fidler@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the October 27, 2020, print edition as ‘Antibodies Don’t Last, Study Shows.’

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COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Hamilton County, causing strain on regions ICU units – WLWT Cincinnati

https://www.wlwt.com/article/live-hamilton-county-officials-give-update-on-covid-19-impact-on-hospitals/34845287

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Hamilton County, causing strain on regions ICU units - WLWT Cincinnati

The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are pushing health systems in Hamilton County on the verge of capacity, according to health officials. UC Health President and CEO Dr. Richard Lofgren said the growth is stressing the health systems’ ability to accommodate patients. UC recently made the decision to limit elective surgeries due to the uptick in cases and hospitalizations. The decision means only medically necessary, time-sensitive surgeries will be performed along with emergencies and outpatient procedures not requiring an overnight stay.Lofgren said the move will allow them to redeploy staff and beds to where they are needed.Lofgren said over the past 60 days, there has been a 600 to 700% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Sixty days ago, 1 in 30 people in the hospital had COVID-19, currently it’s about 1 in every 4 people. He said critical care units are especially stressed, with limited amounts of staff. Lofgren said in the spring they were able to call on travel nurses to help, but due to so many cities seeing a similar surge, it’s not as easy to bring in more staff.When talking about a potential surge following the Thanksgiving holiday, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said he hopes their messaging prior to the holiday weekend made an impact.Kesterman said he hopes next week they will see the data reflects people’s ability to maintain their COVID-19 footprint.

The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are pushing health systems in Hamilton County on the verge of capacity, according to health officials.

UC Health President and CEO Dr. Richard Lofgren said the growth is stressing the health systems’ ability to accommodate patients.

UC recently made the decision to limit elective surgeries due to the uptick in cases and hospitalizations. The decision means only medically necessary, time-sensitive surgeries will be performed along with emergencies and outpatient procedures not requiring an overnight stay.

Lofgren said the move will allow them to redeploy staff and beds to where they are needed.

Lofgren said over the past 60 days, there has been a 600 to 700% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Sixty days ago, 1 in 30 people in the hospital had COVID-19, currently it’s about 1 in every 4 people.

He said critical care units are especially stressed, with limited amounts of staff. Lofgren said in the spring they were able to call on travel nurses to help, but due to so many cities seeing a similar surge, it’s not as easy to bring in more staff.

When talking about a potential surge following the Thanksgiving holiday, Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said he hopes their messaging prior to the holiday weekend made an impact.

Kesterman said he hopes next week they will see the data reflects people’s ability to maintain their COVID-19 footprint.

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Health officials fear horrific COVID-19 surge is about to get worse – New York Post

https://nypost.com/2020/12/02/health-officials-fear-covid-19-surge-is-about-to-get-worse/

Health officials fear horrific COVID-19 surge is about to get worse - New York Post

Almost 37,000 Americans died of the coronavirus in November, a grim number that approached May’s toll — and health officials are worried that the numbers will spike further as many people ignored pleas to remain home during Thanksgiving.

Amid the surge in cases, states have begun reopening field hospitals, overburdened hospitals are setting up mobile morgues and funerals are being livestreamed or performed as drive-by services.

“I have no doubt that we’re going to see a climbing death toll … and that’s a horrific and tragic place to be,” Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told The Associated Press.

“It’s going to be a very dark couple of weeks,” he added.

Although November’s tally was far lower than the 60,699 recorded in April, it was dangerously close to the next-highest total of almost 42,000 in May, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In June, deaths had dropped to just over 20,000 after states closed many businesses and ordered people to stay at home.

As of Wednesday, 270,881 people died of the virus in the US, where about 13.7 million cases have been recorded, according to Johns Hopkins.

A member of the National Guard looks out of a COVID-19 mobile testing tent in Auburn, Maine, yesterday.
A member of the National Guard looks out of a COVID-19 mobile testing tent in Auburn, Maine, yesterday.
Robert F. Bukaty/AP

The rapidly deteriorating situation is particularly vexing because vaccine distribution could begin within weeks, Michaud said.

New York City, the epicenter of the US outbreak earlier in the year, reopened a field hospital last week on Staten Island.

In Missouri, a mobile morgue that Mercy Hospital Springfield acquired in 2011 after a tornado slammed nearby Joplin and killed about 160 people has been put into use again.

On Sunday, it held two bodies until funeral home workers could arrive.

In St. Louis, burials are up by about one-third this year compared with last year at the Bellefontaine Cemetery.

A doctor puts on personal protective equipment before performing rounds at Scotland County Hospital  in Memphis, Missouri.
A doctor puts on personal protective equipment before performing rounds at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri.
Jeff Roberson/AP

The cremated remains of some 20 people are being kept in storage while their families wait for a safer time to hold memorial services.

“You want to be safe at the gravesite so you don’t have to do another graveside service” for another relative, said Richard Lay, Bellefontaine Cemetery’s vice president.

In Massachusetts, meanwhile, the National Guard delivered cots, medical supplies and other items for a 250-bed field hospital in Worcester in case the state’s medical centers become overwhelmed.

Wisconsin has a field hospital in West Allis ready to take overflow patients, a Nevada hospital has added hospital bed capacity in a parking garage and Rhode Island opened two field hospitals with more than 900 beds combined.

An EMT looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for COVID-19.
An EMT looks at a monitor while performing chest compression on a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Jae C. Hong/AP

“Hospitals all around the country are worried on a day-to-day basis about their capacity … and we’re not really even into winter season and we haven’t seen the impact of Thanksgiving travel and Thanksgiving gatherings,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“You can’t just say we’ll have doctors and nurses from other states come because those other states are also dealing with COVID patients,” he added.

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CDC shortens coronavirus quarantine period, adds travel-related testing recommendations – Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/health/coronavirus-quarantine-duration-shortened-cdc

CDC shortens coronavirus quarantine period, adds travel-related testing recommendations - Fox News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday announced shorter coronavirus-related quarantine periods ahead of anticipated holiday travel. 

The CDC announced two acceptable quarantine periods, though noted that the previously-established 14 days of quarantine is the best way to reduce risk of virus spread. Officials said quarantine can now end after 10 days without a COVID-19 test, if the person reports no symptoms, or after seven days with a negative test result if the person reports no symptoms.

LIVE UPDATES: Today’s latest COVID-19 headlines

The agency advised people should still watch for symptoms for COVID-19 14 days after exposure. The announcement arises from analysis of new research and modeling data. The shorter length of quarantine is hoped to reduce economic hardship and lessen the stress on the public health system amid a rising number of infections.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield elaborated on the new changes in a separate conversation on Wednesday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. 

“And that guidance is, again, based on data that we gathered and modeling of that data that if you isolate for 10 days that the probability that you will start replicating the virus after that is about one percent,” Redfield said.

Dr. Henry Walke, incident manager for CDC’s COVID-19 response, advised Americans to postpone travel with the upcoming winter holiday.

“If you do decide to travel, the CDC recommends that travelers consider getting tested one to three days before travel, and again three to five days after travel,” Walke said on a call. “This should be done in combination with reducing non-essential activities for seven days after travel.”

 If travelers do not get tested, the agency advises reducing non-essential activities for ten days.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk, so when combined with reducing nonessential activities, symptom screening and continuing with precautions like wearing a mask, social distancing and hand washing, it can make travel safer,” Walke continued.

The CDC plans to update its webpage with the new guidance on Wednesday.

The announcement follows news from just a day prior, when Fox News obtained exclusive documents on the expected release of guidance.

Fox News obtained an internal CDC document on Tuesday which outlined the proposed changes. A source told Fox News that the changes have been discussed with and approved by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

CORONAVIRUS VACCINE SHOULD GO TO HEALTH CARE WORKERS, LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES FIRST, CDC PANEL RECOMMENDS

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Dec. 2 – Raleigh News & Observer

https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiQ2h0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm5ld3NvYnNlcnZlci5jb20vbmV3cy9jb3JvbmF2aXJ1cy9hcnRpY2xlMjQ3NTQxODIwLmh0bWzSAUNodHRwczovL2FtcC5uZXdzb2JzZXJ2ZXIuY29tL25ld3MvY29yb25hdmlydXMvYXJ0aWNsZTI0NzU0MTgyMC5odG1s?oc=5

Coronavirus live updates: Here’s what to know in North Carolina on Dec. 2 - Raleigh News & Observer

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WHO tightens mask guidelines | TheHill – The Hill

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/528309-who-tightens-mask-guidelines

WHO tightens mask guidelines | TheHill - The Hill

The World Health Organization (WHO) is tightening its mask guidelines, telling people who live in areas where the coronavirus is still spreading to wear masks at all times in a variety of public places.

The new guidelines, rolled out on Tuesday, specify that those entering stores, workplaces and schools with low ventilation should make sure that they are wearing a mask. The WHO is also asking that people wear masks if they cannot keep a physical distance of at least three feet from others within an enclosed area.

The guidelines also call for children 12 and older to wear masks and state that face coverings should be worn outdoors if it is not possible to socially distance.

“If indoors, unless ventilation has been assessed to be adequate, WHO advises that the general public should wear a non-medical mask, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 metre can be maintained,” the WHO said.

The health organization added that people should wear masks at home when they invite visitors over if they cannot maintain distance between them.

WHO also recommended that health workers should wear N95 masks when caring for COVID-19 patients. The masks have been proven to protect them when performing procedures that could expose them to infectious droplets.

Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the public to wear masks, stating that they help to protect the wearer and others from contracting the coronavirus.

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