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The Med & Mic™ 03.02.22

The Med & Mic™ 03.02.22

How busy doctors keep up on the medical news of the day – and get $1 CME!*

MED NEWS blog posts from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC


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CDC says vaccine works in younger children

New data from 10 states show the Pfizer vaccine prevents severe illness in children ages 5 to 11, in contrast to a New York State pre-print study that showed rapidly waning protection in this age group during the time the Omicron variant was circulating. However, in either study, two doses of the vaccine were only moderately effective at preventing illness itself against Omicron. In the CDC study, researchers analyzed emergency and urgent care visits during the Omicron wave. For adolescents 12 to 17, effectiveness was 34% to 45%; for children 5 to 11, it was 51%. The researchers also looked at hospitalizations, and found vaccine effectiveness to be 73% to 94% for adolescents, and 74% for the younger group. Immunization for the younger group began in November. “We need to look at data from more than a single source,” says the CDC’s Ruth Link-Gelles in an article from STAT News.

Blood tests show COVID for 4 out of 10 Americans

The CDC estimates 140 million people have had COVID. This is based on numbers available through the end of January in the middle of the Omicron surge, so the number is likely to be higher. The estimate, based on antibodies in 72,000 samples of blood, is 43% for the U.S. population. This is higher than commonly cited infection rates. In children, antibodies were present in 58%. In people over 65, only 23% had antibodies. In 21 states, 50% of the samples contained antibodies. More in The Hill.

Nerve inflammation found in some people with long COVID

Long-term nerve damage could contribute to some symptoms of long-COVID, such as weakness and numbness in the feet and hands. In a case series of 17 long-COVID patients, 10 had evidence of nerve damage to the nerves in the arms and legs. There was no correlation between how severe or mild the COVID case was and the nerve damage. “We found a real objective medical problem in over half these patients,” Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander told NBC News. How common it is has yet to be determined. This type of study cannot show cause and effect.

Osteoarthritis Up

Osteoarthritis, a wear and tear type of arthritis that causes pain and disability, has increased all over the world in the past three decades. An international group of 7,000 researchers determined the problem has jumped 113% since 1990. The problem is more common in females and in more developed countries. Osteoarthritis of the knee is most common, but hip osteoarthritis showed the greatest increase. The study author says avoiding obesity, preventing knee injury, and limiting repeated joint-intensive therapies could lessen the problem, and mentions physical therapy as a mainstay of treatment. More in Medical Xpress.

FDA Advisory on Baby Formula

Two infant deaths have caused the FDA to expand its warning about powdered baby formula to include a certain lot of a specialty product, Similac 60/40. This formula is for babies who need a lower mineral intake. The concern is for the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii, which lives in the environment and can survive in dry conditions. In infants, the bacteria can cause infection and inflammation around the brain and life-threatening reactions to infection. The second fatal case is under investigation and how the baby got sick is still to be determined. “All infant formula products are tested for Cronobacter sakazakii and other pathogens and they must test negative before any product is released,” says Abbott Nutrition’s Vicky Assardo in a report from NPR. On February 17, Abbott Nutrition voluntarily recalled certain formulas made at its Sturgis, Michigan plant.

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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.


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