Wildfire smoke likely helped spread Covid-19
Large forest fires can be linked to an increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the San Francisco area, according to an article in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences. The researchers found that between March and September, increases in smoke particles, other forest fire pollutants, and levels of carbon monoxide corresponded to increases in daily Covid-19 diagnoses and the total number of Covid-19 deaths. While correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, co-author Sultan Ayoub Meo of King Saud University in Saudi Arabia said air pollution provides a means for viruses to move around the environment. These tiny particles of pollution, along with the microorganisms that carry them, “can easily be breathed deeply into your lungs and cause infection,” Meo said. “Carbon monoxide is a highly toxic gas that can damage our lungs. This is a triggering factor for an increase in Covid-19 cases and deaths in the forest fire region, “he told Reuters.
Antiviral mouthwash could help curb the transmission of coronaviruses
Mouthwashes with antiviral ingredients could help reduce Covid-19 transmission by reducing the viral load in the mouth of infected patients when they cough, sneeze, or speak. This comes from an article published Thursday in the Journal of Dental Research. Studies have shown that douches containing cetylpyridinium chloride or povidone iodine can reduce oral coronavirus exposure; Other compounds showing promise include hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine, cyclodextrin, Citrox, and certain essential oils. The co-author Dr. Florence Carrouel of the University of Claude Bernard Lyon in France told Reuters that everyone should use these mouthwashes because people can become infected and won’t notice. While further study is needed to determine appropriate treatment regimens, she suggests using three doses of antiviral mouthwash the day before a meeting and one dose the morning of the event. Covid-19 patients should use mouthwash regularly for seven to 10 days.
Cold antibodies can abuse the body’s Covid-19 response
A phenomenon called “antigenic sin” could explain why some Covid-19 patients become critically ill, researchers say. Because the new virus shares some traits with coronaviruses that cause colds, the body’s immune response may contain antibodies that previously learned to recognize and attack these older viruses. This, in turn, can affect the body’s ability to fight Covid-19 because the cold antibodies don’t reliably attack the new virus. In seriously ill Covid-19 patients, the immune response directed against other coronaviruses is higher than in mildly ill patients, researchers reported before the peer review on medRxiv. This situation – when the body responds to a new intruder based on its “memory” of previous intruders – has been seen before and is known as the “original antigenic sin.” New vaccines need to be able to trigger an immune response against this new virus and not just boost the immune response against cold viruses, co-author Gijsbert van Nierop of the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands told Reuters.
Powerful intestinal disease drugs seem safe during a pandemic
According to a study published Thursday in the journal Inflammatory Bowel of more than 5,300 patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) don’t increase their risk of Covid-19 by taking immunosuppressants to control their symptoms. “After weighing other known risk factors for Covid-19, including age, race, and other medical issues, we determined that immunosuppressive therapy was not associated with an increased risk for Covid-19,” said co-author Dr. Kristin Burke of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School told Reuters. “Among the people with IBD who received Covid-19, we also found that the use of immunosuppressive drugs did not increase the risk of serious illness, which we defined as illness that involved hospitalization, intensive care, or death However, as other studies have shown, age and obesity were risk factors for severe Covid-19 in these patients too.
(This story was posted from a wire agency feed with no text changes. Only the headline was changed.)
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