A large-scale scientific study found that coronavirus patients were at “substantial” risk of heart disease one year after their illness, increasing the odds of clots, arrhythmias, heart failure and related conditions.The risk of heart diseases grew progressively depending on the severity of the covid illness, according to researchers who analyzed health records from more than 153,000 U.S.veterans who had covid.The results were published in Nature Medicine this week.It is one of the first comprehensive studies tracking long-term effects associated with covid-19.Many patients have reported brain fog, fatigue, weakness or loss of smell that persists for months after an infection, and some researchers now believe those “long covid” symptoms may be linked to the increased risk of cardiovascular illness.“In the post-COVID era, COVID might become the highest risk factor for cardiovascular outcomes,” Larisa Tereshchenko, a cardiologist and biostatistician at the Cleveland Clinic, told Science magazine.Here’s what to knowNews • News • News • Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean will soon drop their mask mandates, relaxing their coronavirus protocols while the omicron-variant-fueled surge that tore through the cruise industry for months continues an overall decline .Royal Caribbean will allow its latest mask requirement to expire Feb.
14 , it confirmed, returning to a pre-omicron policy in which passengers could go without face coverings in areas designated for fully vaccinated people, including some bars, lounges, restaurants, theaters and casinos.
The cruise line’s website still instructs customers to mask up in other indoor areas when they’re not actively eating and drinking, in crowded outdoor spaces and at public ports in places where local law requires them.
The policy is subject to change, Royal Caribbean said.Norwegian said in an update to its Sail Safe guidance that it will nix masking rules for all departures starting March 1.The company recommends passengers wear masks indoors — except when they are actively eating or drinking — and outside when social distancing is not possible.
Norwegian will continue to enforce mask requirements on European sailings depending on local government rules.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Study finds coronavirus can severely damage placenta, lead to stillbirths Return to menu By María Paúl 10:00 p.m.Link copied Link
The coronavirus can cause “irreparable damage” to the placenta — the organ that serves as the fetus’s lifeline — and lead to stillbirth, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine .The team of researchers from 12 countries analyzed 68 placentas and babies who were either stillborn or died within a week of being born.
All of them had mothers who were unvaccinated and had contracted the coronavirus while pregnant.The placenta is a vital organ that forms during pregnancy and provides nutrients, water, oxygen and antibodies to developing babies.On average, over 75 percent of the placenta was damaged — preventing it from delivering the necessary resources to the fetus, the study found.
In some cases, more than 90 percent of the placenta wound up dead.The trend underscores what the researchers called “SARS-CoV-2 placentitis” — a condition that showcases inflammation in the placenta; a buildup of fibrin, a type of a protein that causes clotting; and trophoblast necrosis, or dead cells within the placenta’s protective cell barrier.Young, pregnant and unvaccinated: Hospitals confront a wave of severe illness and death The coronavirus has been associated with an increased risk of stillbirths .A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study from November found that stillbirths among mothers who had tested positive for the virus while pregnant increased nearly threefold during last summer’s delta variant-fueled wave.Unvaccinated pregnant women are also more likely to experience severe covid-19 symptoms , studies have found.For the researchers, the study’s findings underscore the necessity for pregnant parents to get vaccinated.“Reducing maternal SARS-CoV-2 viral burden either through immunization or antiviral therapy could conceivably decrease the risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 placentitis,” they wrote.
As new covid-19 cases fall in much of the United States, governors in many states that have mask requirements are announcing that they will begin to ease those mandates in the coming weeks.New York Gov.
Kathy Hochul (D) said a mask-or-vaccine mandate for indoor businesses would expire on Thursday.California Gov.Gavin Newsom (D) said the state’s indoor mask mandate will end on Feb.15, though unvaccinated people will still be required to wear masks indoors.
State officials in Illinois and Rhode Island said mask requirements for public indoor places would soon be lifted, while numerous others said they will drop mask mandates in schools.The growing list reflects a transition moment in a country where state leaders appear eager to find a new normal — but advice from health officials remains confusing for many.Many health professionals, including officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are advising people to keep wearing masks.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Virginia Senate votes to make masks in schools optional statewide Return to menu By Laura Vozzella and Gregory S.Schneider 7:00 p.m.Link copied Link
RICHMOND — Virginia’s Senate voted Wednesday to make masks optional in all of the state’s K-12 schools, with three Democrats joining Republicans to support a goal that Gov.
Glenn Youngkin (R) has tried to accomplish with a legally disputed executive order.The measure now heads to the Republican-led House, which is expected to support it.The Senate voted 21 to 17 for a bill that would require schools to instruct students in person and give parents the right to decide if their children wear masks in school.It would take effect July 1, but Youngkin hopes to get the measure implemented sooner, perhaps as soon as the end of February.The Senate Democrats who voted for the bill said they agreed with the governor’s mask-optional goal but doubted the legality of his executive order.Youngkin celebrated the vote as a win in a written statement that also took a harshly worded swipe at school boards that continue to require masks.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Nevada joins other states dropping mask mandates Return to menu By María Paúl 5:35 p.m.Link copied Link
Gov.Steve Sisolak (D) announced Thursday that Nevada would rescind its statewide mask mandate “effective immediately” — joining a slew of other states dropping pandemic restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.Face coverings, regardless of a person’s vaccination status, will not be required in public places such as casinos or in jails and correctional facilities, Sisolak said.
However in other locations — including hospitals, nursing homes and airports — “Nevadans and visitors may still be asked to wear a mask,” he said.The same is true for people traveling on airplanes, buses and other public transportation.Businesses and school districts, Sisolak said, will be able to institute their own policies.While the statewide mandate was lifted immediately, the governor said it would lift for schools on Friday morning.Elsewhere, Maryland Gov.Larry Hogan (R) on Thursday called on the State Board of Education to end to the state’s mask mandate for public schools.In Virginia, the state Senate voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in K-12 schools starting July 1.Nevada has become part of a group of states, ranging from California to New York, ending restrictions as covid-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to plunge across the country .
Since a Jan.14 peak of 807,897 seven-day average, cases have markedly decreased — with a reported weekly average of 229,706 infections on Thursday, The Washington Post’s coronavirus tracker shows.Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends indoor mask-wearing in places of “substantial or high transmission” — or those with over 50 new cases per 100,000 people in week.As of Thursday, that includes all 50 states and territories , except for the Marshall Islands.“I want to be clear: The emergency is not over.The pandemic is not over,” Sisolak said Thursday.“We’re still getting far too many cases, far too many hospitalizations and far too many deaths.”
A vaccine mandate will force New York City to fire as many as 3,000 unvaccinated workers Friday, according to Mayor Eric Adams (D).The city requires its workforce of 370,000 — teachers, police, firefighters, office staff and others — to get at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Friday.
Nearly 95 percent have received at least one dose, the New York Times reported .“There must be rules, and we must follow them,” Adams said last week at city hall.“The rule is to get vaccinated if you are a city employee.”The New York Police Department and Department of Corrections had the lowest vaccination rates among municipal agencies, both at 88 percent as of Jan.26, according to the New York Daily News .Cities and businesses across the country have imposed vaccination requirements, which experts say generally are effective in increasing immunization rates.
A coronavirus vaccine from Novavax has proved effective in teenagers, with 79.5 percent efficacy in a study of children ages 12 to 17 last year, the drugmaker announced Thursday.The results may be encouraging to people seeking a protein subunit vaccine for the coronavirus as an alternative to vaccines based on newer technology, though they have proved safe and effective.Novavax, a biotechnology company based in Gaithersburg, Md., previously published study results showing 90 percent efficacy of its vaccine in adults.For the new study, researchers studied 2,247 children in 73 locations from May 24 to Sept.
27 last year, when the delta variant was dominant in the United States.Results suggested that the vaccine protected children from variants, Novavax said.“We believe the Novavax vaccine could be a differentiated option for this younger population given its established protein-based technology already used in other vaccines, and the positive responses demonstrated against variants,” Filip Dubovsky, the company’s chief medical officer, said in a news release.The Novavax vaccine is under review by the Food and Drug Administration for potential use for U.S.adults.The company said it would submit regulatory filings to seek the vaccine’s use for children 12 to 17 during the first quarter of 2022.
When Minnesota and Utah health officials started using race as a factor to determine who would get scarce covid-19 treatments, they were hailed for their efforts to bridge the pandemic’s deadly racial divide.Now those officials are at center stage of the nation’s latest battle over race, identity and equity, after they rolled back their policies under pressure from conservatives and a group led by Stephen Miller, a top adviser to former president Donald Trump.Miller’s fledgling group, America First Legal, also is suing New York in federal court to get it to remove race as one of many selection criteria for outpatient antiviral treatments, saying the state’s policy discriminates against Whites despite data showing that most of the medicines go to people in that group.
On Monday, the group filed legal papers seeking to declare all non-Hispanic Whites in New York a legal class facing urgent harm from the state’s health guidance.
Advertisement Updates continue below advertisement Bullet
Key update 10 million doses to be quickly rolled out if vaccine for young children is recommended Return to menu By Amy Cheng 3:19 p.m.Link copied Link
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told coronavirus vaccine providers to be ready to receive shots for children younger than 5 by Feb.
21, just a week after the Food and Drug Administration is expected to make its recommendation on emergency use authorization.If the child vaccine receives the green light from federal health agencies, an initial 10 million doses are expected to be ready for shipment, with the first half of the batch available on Feb.21 and the second on Feb.25, according to an updated pediatric vaccination planning guide released this week.The government has secured enough supply for all 18 million children in the age group, White House covid-19 response team coordinator Jeff Zients said at a news briefing Wednesday.Before determining whether to recommend the two-dose vaccine regimen for emergency use authorization, outside advisers to the FDA are set to discuss clinical trial data submitted on Tuesday by Pfizer and BioNTech.The vaccine can only be administered after the CDC gives its official approval.The agency had requested data from the two-dose trials for a “rolling admission” process to expedite the launch, even though the regimen had failed to generate a sufficiently robust immune response in 2-to-4-year-olds.(A strong-enough response was found in children 6 months to 2 years old.)Data on a third shot will not be available until at least late March.Once that information is submitted, regulators are expected to authorize a third dose.This unusual approach to assessing the vaccine has raised questions among some parents about whether they should rush to get their young children the shot as soon as it is available.
But federal authorities have sought to reassure parents that the FDA will not cut corners in the authorization process.Zients said Wednesday that federal officials will also work with doctors and local community leaders across the country to address any questions or concerns from families.
Each week, Kristen Santiago administers a coronavirus test to her 4-year-old son at their home in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington.To make it easier for him, sometimes she’ll “test” her son’s stuffed animals, too.A new measure rolled out recently in D.C.
Public Schools requires students in its prekindergarten program to test each week and provide a negative result to come back to school on Monday.Over 3,500 prekindergarten students have submitted results each of the first four weeks of the program, which started Jan.18, and is intended to catch coronavirus cases detected through rapid antigen tests before students head into classrooms.This week, 4,110 pre-K students submitted results, with 18 students testing positive, according to data from school officials.That’s down slightly from the previous week when 4,152 students submitted results.
That week, 20 pre-K students tested positive.
Long-term heart risks from covid found in study of veterans Return to menu By Salvador Rizzo 2:05 p.m.Link copied Link
Researchers found that coronavirus patients were at “substantial” risk of heart disease one year following their illness, according to a study of health records from more than 153,000 U.S.veterans who had covid and published by Nature Medicine on Monday.The study found that patients who recovered were at increased risk for a range of cardiovascular conditions, from clots to arrhythmias to heart failure.The risk grew progressively depending on the severity of the covid illness, researchers found, and heart health risks increased for veterans who were hospitalized and those who were not.It is one of the first comprehensive studies tracking long-term effects associated with covid-19.
Many patients have reported brain fog, fatigue, weakness or loss of smell that persists for months after an infection, and some researchers now believe those “long covid” symptoms may be linked to the increased risk of cardiovascular illness.“In the post-COVID era, COVID might become the highest risk factor for cardiovascular outcomes,” Larisa Tereshchenko, a cardiologist and biostatistician at the Cleveland Clinic, told Science magazine .She cautioned that the new paper’s findings should be replicated and that prospective studies also should be conducted.
Authorities in Paris and Brussels said Thursday that they will block convoys from entering the cities, potentially thwarting plans in Europe for the type of demonstration that has paralyzed Ottawa and closed Canada’s busiest border crossing into the United States.Police in Paris said convoys en route to the capital from across France will not be allowed to enter the city for planned rallies this weekend, “because of a risk to public order.” Penalties for blocking public roads include prison time, fines and driving bans, the police statement noted.Not long afterward, the mayor of Brussels, where several groups planned to converge Monday, announced that a procession modeled on Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” would not be allowed in.The Canadian crisis has led to a rush of online organizing, particularly in Europe, where a range of anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown, far-right and conspiratorial groups have begun to rally under the “Freedom Convoy” banner.
Key update Appeals court denies Biden’s request to lift injunction on federal vaccine mandate Return to menu By Eric Yoder 12:00 p.m.Link copied Link
A federal appeals court on Wednesday denied the Biden administration’s emergency request to lift an injunction against its coronavirus vaccination mandate for federal workers but said it will expedite its review of the dispute.In a 2-to-1 vote, a panel of the U.S.Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit left in place a nationwide injunction issued by a federal judge in Texas on the mandate for about 2.1 million federal employees.Under President Biden’s September order, federal workers who remained unvaccinated would be subject to discipline up to and including firing unless they qualified for an exemption on medical or religious grounds or had such a request under consideration by their agencies.
In November, the White House told agencies to wait until January to begin disciplinary measures, noting that about 92 percent of employees had received at least one vaccine dose by that time and that about 5 percent had filed requests for exemptions.However, a federal judge on Jan.21 blocked agencies from taking disciplinary actions or continuing to process those requests.The administration then told agencies to comply with that order pending its appeal and asked the appeals court to lift the injunction immediately.While not granting that request, the appeals court ordered that the challenge be “expedited to the next available randomly designated regular oral argument panel.” The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.In dissent, Circuit Judge Stephen A.Higginson, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, said he would have lifted the injunction immediately.
He said the administration “has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits.”The dissent also said that the Civil Service Reform Act, the basic body of federal employment law, requires federal employees to “raise their workplace grievances” first through internal government channels before going to federal court.“Federal employees that disagree” with the mandate still “retain the right to claim an exemption, to leave the government’s employment, to collectively bargain, and to challenge the order through the CSRA,” Higginson wrote.
Gov.Larry Hogan on Thursday called for an end to Maryland’s mask mandate for public schools.Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the state have dropped 71 percent from a January peak of nearly 3,500, he said, and schoolchildren are eligible for vaccinations.“In light of dramatic improvements to our health metrics and the widespread availability of vaccines, I am calling on you to take action to rescind this policy,” Hogan, a Republican, wrote to the president of the State Board of Education.Officials in California, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and New York, all governed by Democrats, have announced in recent days that they are ending mask requirements.Hogan noted that Maryland ended its indoor mask mandate in May.In Virginia, the state Senate voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in K-12 schools.The measure is expected to pass the lower house of the legislature.Gov.
Glenn Youngkin (R) has attempted to implement the same policy through executive order..