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When, Where Was the First Case of COVID-19?

The first case of COVID-19 may have occurred in China weeks earlier than previously thought, a new study claims.

The first officially identified case occurred in early December 2019, but increasing evidence suggests the original case may have emerged earlier.

In this study, British researchers conducted a new analysis and concluded that the first case of COVID-19 arose between early...

Lost Sense of Smell Returns for Almost All COVID Survivors

THURSDAY, June 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A year on, nearly all patients in a French study who lost their sense of smell after a bout of COVID-19 did regain that ability, researchers report.

"Persistent COVID-19-related anosmia [loss of smell] has an excellent prognosis, with nearly complete recovery at one year," according to a team led by Dr. Marion Renaud, an otorh...

Study Suggests COVID Vaccine Booster Shots Will Be Needed

One dose of a two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is enough to protect previously infected people, but it's likely they and everyone with two doses will still require booster shots at a later date, a new study suggests.

That's because antibodies triggered through either natural infection or vaccines decline at about the same rate, the University of California, Los Angeles researchers explained...

Another Pollen Misery: It Might Help Transmit COVID-19

Pollen is tough enough for allergy sufferers, but a new study suggests it also helps spread the new coronavirus and other airborne germs.

Researchers had noticed a connection between COVID-19 infection rates and pollen concentrations on the National Allergy Map of the United States.

That led them to create a computer model of all the pollen-producing parts of a willow tree. They th...

Animal Study Suggests COVID-19 Can Infect Testes

The new coronavirus infected the testes of hamsters in a study that adds to growing evidence that COVID-19 strikes more than just the lungs.

The findings could have important implications for men's health, the researchers said, although research in animals does not always translate to humans.

But the study authors noted that some male COVID-19 patients have reported testicular pain...

Not-So-Happy-Birthdays: Parties Helped Spread COVID, Study Finds

Birthday celebrations raised the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 by 30% last year in U.S. counties with high rates of COVID-19, according to a new study.

No such surge was seen in places with low rates of infection.

For the study, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation analyzed health insurance claims data from nearly 3 million U.S. households in the first 45 we...

U.S. to Spend $3.2 Billion to Help Develop Antiviral Pills for COVID

After spending billions to speed the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, the United States said Thursday that it will now devote $3.2 billion to the development of antiviral pills that could stop the new coronavirus before it does its worst damage.

Along with "accelerating things that are already in progress" for COVID-19, the new program would also encourage treatments for other viruses, Dr. ...

Hospitals: One Reason COVID Is More Lethal for Black Americans

Black COVID-19 patients in the United States are more likely to die than white patients, but there would be 10% fewer deaths among Black patients if they could get the same level of hospital care as white people, according to new research.

"Our study reveals that Black patients have worse outcomes largely because they tend to go to worse-performing hospitals," said study co-author Dr. Da...

Survivors' Plasma Helps Blood Cancer Patients Battle COVID-19

Giving COVID-19 survivors' blood plasma to blood cancer patients hospitalized with COVID-19 significantly improves their chances of survival, a new study finds.

"These results suggest that convalescent plasma may not only help COVID-19 patients with blood cancers whose immune systems are compromised, it may also help patients with other illnesses who have weakened antibody responses to th...

Animal Study Offers Hope for a Better Herpes Treatment

Aiming to deliver a one-two punch to the herpes virus, animal research on an experimental drug found it tackled active infections and reduced or eliminated the risk of future outbreaks.

Existing treatments, such as Zovirax, Valtrex or Famvir, are only effective at the first task; they can help treat cold sores and genital eruptions once a herpes outbreak occurs. But...

Less Than 1% of People Who've Had Severe COVID Get Re-Infected

People who have had severe COVID-19 and worry about going through another bout of it can relax: New research finds that less than 1% of people who've had a severe coronavirus infection get re-infected.

For the study, University of Missouri researchers analyzed data from more than 9,100 COVID-19 patients at 62 health facilities in the United States.

Only 0.7% of patients with sever...

Third Dose of COVID Vaccine Boosts Protection in Transplant Recipients

Researchers say an extra dose of two-dose COVID-19 vaccines may improve immune system protection for organ transplant patients, a group that's so far responded poorly to two-dose vaccines.

"Our findings suggest clinical trials are warranted to determine if transplant recipients should receive COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as standard clinical practice, similar to what is currently done w...

After COVID, Many Americans Are Struck by New Maladies: Study

Suffering through a case of COVID-19 unleashed a host of other health problems in hundreds of thousands of Americans participating in the largest study yet of the long-term effects of coronavirus infection.

Tracking the health insurance records of nearly 2 million people who caught the coronavirus last year, researchers found that one month or more after their infection, almost one-q...

Novavax's COVID Vaccine Shines in Latest Trial

Novavax, a Maryland biotechnology company that has struggled mightily with delays in developing its coronavirus vaccine, announced Monday that its two-shot regimen was over 90% effective overall in a trial that unfolded even as more contagious variants emerged.

Among 30,000 volunteers - all of them from either the United States or Mexico - vaccinated people were completely protected ...

Did People Smoke More or Less During the Pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic has affected American smokers in different ways, a new study finds.

While some smoked more to help them cope with the crisis, others quit to reduce their COVID-19 infection risk.

"Even before the pandemic, tobacco smoking was the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. COVID-19 has given smokers yet another good reason to stop smoking," said...

Real-World Study Shows Power of Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines to Prevent COVID

A real-world study shows that even when folks who get the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines do have 'breakthrough' infections, those illnesses are mild.

The study, from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is among the first to show that people who get COVID-19 despite being fully or partially vaccinated are less likely to have serious illness or to infec...

'Breakthrough' COVID Infections May Be Common in Vaccinated Transplant Patients

New research suggests that many people who've undergone an organ transplant do not get an immune response from COVID-19 vaccines that's strong enough to ward off a "breakthrough" infection.

In a new review of 14 such cases, these breakthrough COVID-19 infections occurred in 10 recipients of new kidneys, two liver recipients, one lung recipient and one heart recipient, said a research team...

New Disabilities Plague Half of COVID Survivors After Hospital Discharge

People hospitalized for COVID-19 are often discharged in much worse shape than before their illness - underscoring the value of preventing severe cases with vaccination.

In a new study, researchers found that during the pandemic's early months, almost half of COVID-19 patients discharged from their health system had some degree of "functional decline."

That's a broad category includ...

Prior COVID Infection May Shield You From Another for at Least 10 Months

In some good news for those who have already suffered through a bout of COVID-19, a new study finds they may have a much lower risk of reinfection for at least 10 months.

For the study, the researchers analyzed rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections between October 2020 and February 2021 among more than 2,000 nursing home residents (median age 86) and staff. Antibody testing was used to determine...

U.S. Blood Supply Is Safe From Coronavirus, Study Finds

COVID-19 does not pose a threat to the safety of the United States' blood supply under existing donor screening guidelines, researchers report.

For the study, the investigators reviewed the results of tests for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in nearly 18,000 pools of donated blood, representative of over 257,800 single blood donations that were collected between March and September 2020 from ...

Immunity After COVID-19 Illness May Last at Least 1 Year

Long-term data from northern Italy -- an area hit hard during the early days of the pandemic -- suggests that reinfection after recovery from COVID-19 infection is very rare, and immunity in former patients could be long-lasting.

"Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 appears to confer a protective effect for at least a year, which is similar to the protection reported in recent vaccine studies,...

Debunking Myths That Have Some Parents Resisting COVID Vaccines for Teens

Many health experts hailed the recent approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12 to 15, but some parents have been hesitant to take their kids in for a shot.

"Parents naturally worry more about their children than they do about themselves -- I think that's parenting defined," said Dr. Hina Talib, a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at the Children's Hospital at Montefior...

Poll Finds Herd Immunity in U.S. Possible by Summer

Seventy percent of American adults could be vaccinated by this summer, a new poll suggests.

The survey results bode well for the country and likely mean that President Joe Biden's goal of 70 percent vaccine coverage for adults by July 4 will be reached.

The Kaiser Family Foundation's latest survey found 62 percent of respondents said they had received at least one dose of a vac...

Another Study Finds Routine Vaccines Safe for Kids, Adults

If more proof of the safety of vaccines is needed, a new study delivers fresh evidence that they carry few harms for children, adults and pregnant women.

"This in-depth analysis found no evidence of increased risk of serious adverse events following vaccines, apart from a few - previously known - associations," said Susanne Hempel, director of the Southern California Evidence Review Cente...

FDA Approves Third COVID Antibody Treatment for Emergency Use

A third antibody treatment designed to keep high-risk COVID-19 patients from winding up in the hospital was approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday.

Importantly, in lab tests the newly authorized drug, dubbed sotrovimab, neutralized the highly infectious virus variant that is crippling India, as well as variants first spotted in Britain, South...

After Testing Fell During Pandemic, Is a Surge in STDs Ahead?

There was a sharp drop in testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that could translate into a future rise in cases, researchers say.

"The quickest way for people to spread STIs is to not know that they have one," said study author Casey Pinto, an assistant professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicin...

7 Out of 10 Hospitalized COVID Patients Will Have Long-Haul Symptoms

If you land in the hospital with a COVID-19 infection, there's a good chance you'll still be suffering symptoms months later, researchers report.

A wide swath of lingering health issues plagued more than 70% of these patients, investigators found.

"Early on, we completely ignored the long-term consequences of getting sick with this virus," said study senior author Dr. Steven Goodman...

Testosterone Might Influence COVID Severity in Men

Low testosterone levels may increase men's risk of severe COVID-19, according to a new study.

On average, men fare worse with COVID-19 than women.

"During the pandemic, there has been a prevailing notion that testosterone is bad. But we found the opposite in men," said senior study author Dr. Abhinav Diwan. He's professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at Washington Univer...

Are Some Foods Super Bitter to You? You Might Have Lower COVID Risk

If you can't stand broccoli, celery or kale, you may be a supertaster, and it just might protect you from COVID-19.

Supertasters are folks who are highly sensitive to bitterness. They're not only less likely to get COVID-19 than people who aren't so sensitive to sharp, pungent flavors, they're also less likely to wind up hospitalized with it, the researchers said.

What's more, super...

'Breakthrough' COVID Infections After Vaccination Are Rare: CDC

Comedian and commentator Bill Maher recently made news of his own when he contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

But such breakthrough COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated are rare, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigations Team.

Nearly 10,300 SARS-CoV-2 infections have occurred in v...

Could COVID-19 Trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the Young?

Although older adults are among the most vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19, new research warns that young patients can develop long-lasting fatigue and concentration problems, even if their COVID-19 infection was mild.

That's the troubling takeaway from three COVID-19 cases involving patients between the ages of 19 and 30. Investigators said they all developed what amounted to classic...

In 10 Years, COVID-19 Could Be 'Just the Sniffles'

The virus fueling the COVID-19 pandemic could become just an ordinary sniffle-causing nuisance within the next 10 years, a new study suggests.

Researchers stressed that the projection is based on mathematical models, and not a crystal-ball prediction.

But, they say, given what's known about the human immune response to SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- it is possible t...

Most Cases of MIS-C in Kids With COVID Resolve After 6 Months

Since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, doctors have reported rare but severe cases in infected children of an inflammatory disorder dubbed multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).

Now, a small new study out of Britain delivers some reassuring data for parents: Most symptoms of MIS-C (also known as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome, or PIMS) appear to fade over time.

"Thes...

Even Mild COVID Illness May Induce Long-Lasting Antibody Response

Mild cases of COVID-19 leave people with long-term antibody protection against reinfection, according to a new study that challenges previous findings.

"Last fall, there were reports that antibodies wane quickly after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, and mainstream media interpreted that to mean that immunity was not long-lived," said study senior author Ali Ellebedy, an ass...

In Newly Discovered Case, a Coronavirus Has Jumped From Dog to Human

A new coronavirus that appears to have jumped from a dog to a child has been discovered from a case three years ago, but it's unclear what threat it may pose.

This new canine-like coronavirus was found in a child in Malaysia in 2018. If it is confirmed as a human pathogen, it could be the eighth coronavirus known to cause disease in people.

The case suggests that transmission of cor...

As U.S. Vaccinations Rise, Hospitals Ease Restrictions on Visitors

Virginia Terrell knew she wouldn't be allowed visitors after she checked into the hospital with COVID-19 late last month, but being braced for that reality didn't make her week-and-a-half stay any easier.

"You get pretty lonely," said Terrell, 59, who was treated at WakeMed and Duke Health hospitals in Raleigh, N.C. "It's helpful knowing that person will be there that day to see you, even...

First Case of COVID-19 Triggering Recurrent Clots in Patient's Arm

Researchers have reported the first case of COVID-19 causing dangerous, recurring blood clots in a patient's arm.

The report offers new insight into how the damage of inflammation caused by COVID-19 can linger and how best to treat recurring clots, the Rutgers University researchers said.

There have been reports of lower extremity blood clots in patients after COVID-19, but this is ...

Sleep Apnea Raises Odds for Severe COVID-19

People suffering from severe obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk of catching COVID-19, a new study finds.

But researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California also found that the longer patients used a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask while sleeping, the more their COVID-19 risk dropped.

For the study, a team led by pulmonologist Dr. Dennis Hwang collect...

Clues to Rare Disorder Affecting Kids With COVID-19

New insight into a rare and dangerous disorder that can occur in kids with COVID-19 could improve treatment of the condition, researchers say.

Many children infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) go undiagnosed or have no symptoms, but about one in 1,000 develop a condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) within four to six weeks.

Symp...

Two Out of Three California Prison Inmates Said Yes to COVID Vaccine

Sixty-seven percent of inmates in California prisons who were offered a COVID-19 vaccine have accepted at least one dose, a Stanford University study found.

"This is one of the largest state prison systems in the country, and if it can achieve high vaccination coverage among its incarcerated population, then the federal and other state prisons systems can and should do the same for the mo...

New Coronavirus Lingers in Penis and Could Cause Impotence

Men now have one more compelling reason to get a COVID-19 vaccine - doctors suspect the new coronavirus could make it hard to perform in the bedroom.

How? Coronavirus infection is already known to damage blood vessels, and vessels that supply blood to the penis appear to be no exception.

Researchers armed with an electron microscope found coronavirus particles in penile tissue ...

What Works Best to Ease Recurrent Ear Infections in Kids?

Frequent middle-ear infections are the nemesis of many parents and young children. Now a new study suggests that a common treatment -- "ear tubes" -- may not prevent future bouts.

Middle-ear infections (or acute otitis media) are second only to the common cold in creating childhood misery. They occur when the air-filled space behind the eardrum becomes infected and fills with fluid -- whi...

COVID More Lethal for People Living With HIV

Like certain health conditions including cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, new research shows that having HIV or AIDS increases a person's risk of catching and dying from COVID-19.

For the study, researchers from Penn State College of Medicine assessed data from 22 previous studies of 21 million participants in North America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

The investigators ...

Gene Therapy Uses HIV to Rescue Kids Born Without Immune System

Cora Oakley is a rough-and-tumble 4-year-old who loves gymnastics and outdoor activities, particularly if it involves bouncing on a trampoline.

It's hard to tell from looking at her that she was born without an immune system. Kids with this condition can acquire dangerous, life-threatening infections from day-to-day activities as simple as going to school or playing with friends.

"I...

Most Severe COVID Cases Involve Neuro Issues, and They're More Often Fatal

Neurological problems are occurring in a very high percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients -- and what's worse, those symptoms foretell a bad end for many sufferers, a new study finds.

About four out of five people sick enough to be hospitalized for COVID-19 suffer some sort of neurological problem, ranging from headache and a loss of sense of smell to confusion, delirium, stroke a...

COVID-19 Appears to Have No Lasting Impact on College Athletes' Hearts

Heart complications are rare among college athletes who have had COVID-19, according to a small study.

"Our findings may offer reassurance to high school athletes, coaches and parents where resources for testing can be limited," said senior author Dr. Ranjit Philip, assistant professor in pediatric cardiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis.

For the ...

Obesity More Deadly for Men Than Women When COVID Strikes

It's long been known that obesity is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 in infected people. But new research suggests that the connection may be even stronger for men than women.

Researchers at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City analyzed data from more than 3,500 COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital between early March and May 1, 2020.

Both moderate (a body mass index ...

Real-World Studies Show Pfizer Vaccine Shields Against COVID Variants

In two real-world studies, Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine appears to be standing up well against the challenges posed by more contagious coronavirus variants from Britain and South Africa.

The Pfizer mRNA vaccine showed about 90% documented effectiveness in protecting against infection with the British B.1.1.7 variant and 75% effectiveness against the South African B.1.351 variant, according t...

Israel Study: Pfizer Vaccine Gives 95% Protection Against Illness, Hospitalization & Death

Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provide a high level of protection for populations, a new study shows.

The findings from Israel -- the first nation to report national data on the vaccine -- show that two doses provide more than 95% protection for people 16 and older against COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death.

The study period was from Jan. 24 to April 3,...

U.S. COVID Outlook Shows Big Improvement by July

The United States could see a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases by the end of July, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Six research teams asked to project future COVID-19 trends have concluded that new infections will drastically drop in July and continue to fall through September, the researchers reported May 5 in the Morbidity and Morta...