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New Swine Flu Identified & WHO Estimates 2022 as Earliest Return to Pre-Pandemic Normal

This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up … 

New Swine Flu Being Watched in China

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Approximately 15% of pig farmers in China have tested positive for antibodies for an unidentified novel influenza A strain. The new influenza A strain has been traced to the pigs the farmers tend, and researchers are concerned that its particular virulent and infectious traits might potentially cause a new pandemic. 

U.S., China Not Part of WHO Vaccine Plan Signed by 156 Countries

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The World Health Organization’s COVAX plan, a plan to ensure fair and equal distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, had about 156 countries commit to the plan, including 64 countries considered to be rich. Through the plan, the countries committed to ensuring that 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed worldwide. 

Not included in the countries to commit in the plan were the United States and China. China is still considering, while the United States has focused on ensuring vaccine supplies for itself.

Estimated Almost Half of Nebraska COVID-19 Deaths From Nursing Homes

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Nebraska’s current COVID-19 deaths sit at more than 400 deaths, with 31 nursing homes reporting a total of 185 deaths. On the other hand, about three-quarters of nursing home residents who tested positive for COVID-19 were reported to have made a recovery from the disease. 

Dengue Fever Exposure May Offer Immunity to COVID-19

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In a new study, researchers observed that areas in Brazil that suffered from dengue outbreaks in 2019 and 2020 had lower case and transmission rates of COVID-19. Researchers also noted that other studies have indicated that people who have been infected and recovered from dengue and have antibodies present in their blood can have false-positive COVID-19 results. 

WHO Scientist Estimates 2022 as Return for Pre-Pandemic Normal

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The chief scientist of the World Health Organization estimated that a return to pre-pandemic normal might not be a reality until 2022. She particularly referenced a lack of social distancing and other infection control precautions, like mask usage, as affecting the late date. 

Specialists Discuss Guidelines, Data on Long COVID

Long COVID is the term commonly used to describe cases where people with COVID-19 continue to feel symptoms for weeks or months. Specialists from the United Kingdom and Germany who have been studying this version of the disease shared their experiences, findings, and recommendations concerning long COVID-19 during a webinar by the BMJ

The information discussed included the following:

  • Females are twice as likely to have long COVID compared to males.
  • There may be a way currently to accurately predict up to a 75% accuracy which patients might develop long COVID.
  • Specialists recommended that positive COVID-19 test results be removed as part of the diagnostic criteria for long COVID.
  • The specialists’ suggested definition for long COVID is: “post-acute COVID-19 as extending beyond 3 weeks from the onset of first symptoms, and chronic COVID-19 as extending beyond 12 weeks.”

Medical Studies Roundup

Here’s a brief roundup of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.

  • Study shows that using testosterone therapy could be a lower-risk treatment for obesity compared to weight loss surgery for men with obesity. 
  • The number of adults in the United States suffering from depression has nearly tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic, rising from 8.5% to 27.8%.
  • COVID-19 may mimic the symptoms of a gallbladder attack
  • Venezuelan Pinkfoot Goliath tarantula venom may aid in the development of treatment to help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Race for the Vaccine: Coronavirus Vaccine Updates

Read more about the most recent updates from the past week on COVID-19 vaccine development. 

Covid-19 vaccine status tracker stages
Covid-19 vaccine tracker - regulatory review

AstraZeneca released details of its coronavirus vaccine trial in response to safety concerns on Saturday. 

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - regulatory review

Pfizer and Moderna released their vaccine trial details on Thursday, also in response to safety and trust issues from the United States public in the coronavirus vaccines.

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 4

Moderna anticipates COVID-19 vaccine trial results in November.