The Med & Mic™ 01.31.22
Medical and Health News Updates
From Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC
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The Mixed Pattern with Omicron BA.2
A lot is still unknown about the new variant of Omicron, called BA.2.
The good news: It appears vaccination with boosters is protective. In the U.K. Health Security Agency has determined that two weeks after a booster shot, the vaccine was 63% effective against BA.1 (original Omicron) and 70% effective against BA.2. It also appears people who have been infected and had Omicron have stronger protection against Delta.
The bad news: BA.2 is picking up steam around the world. In South Africa, the Philippines, and India, BA.2 is displacing BA.1 and showing a growth advantage. “We now know that BA.2 has an increased growth rate which can be seen in all regions in England,” says Dr. Susan Hopkins of the UKHSA in an article from Reuters. What this means for case counts or hospitalizations isn’t clear yet. “I’d be very surprised, with the current state of the global population in terms of immune states, if we didn’t see more variants emerge,” says virologist Angela Rasmussen in a CNN report.
The hopeful news: If the large number of people who have had Omicron BA.1 have protection against BA.2, it is possible there won’t be a big spike with BA.2, and hospitalizations could ease. In Denmark, pandemic restrictions are being lifted, even with high case numbers, because there are few hospitalizations. More in STAT News.
COVID Pill Hard to Find
The demand for the drug Paxlovid has outstripped the supply due to Omicron’s rapid rise. If the course of treatment is taken within five days of diagnosis, the chances of hospitalization or death decreases by 88%. ABC news analyzed federal data on Paxlovid supply and found 75% of 3,100 counties in the U.S. had no doses. States with the least supply include Alabama, California, Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Texas. The process of obtaining the drug varies across jurisdictions. “It’s a little disappointing, and it makes me wonder: could we do more?” says pharmacy consultant Erin Karara in an ABC News report.
In households with vaccinated parents, unvaccinated children were less likely to be infected with COVID during the alpha and delta waves. If both parents were vaccinated, the risk went down 72% during the alpha wave; if only one parent was vaccinated, the risk went down by only 26%. With delta, the risk decreased 58% if both parents were vaccined, and 20% with one parent vaccinated. More in The Hill.
Intermittent Fasting Benefits
A meta-analysis of 11 randomized, controlled trials shows intermittent fasting is associated with measurable weight loss and metabolic benefits in overweight and obese adults. Researchers also noted improvements in lipid profiles, blood sugars, and blood pressures. Many of the analyzed trials included a small study population and short follow up. More in Endocrinology Advisor.
Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah sustained a left knee injury in the game against the Chiefs. The initial belief is that he sprained his MCL. More from CBS Sports.
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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.