Home Health News Virus does not threaten U.S. blood supply; high vitamin D levels do not protect against COVID-19

Virus does not threaten U.S. blood supply; high vitamin D levels do not protect against COVID-19

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By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a roundup of among the newest scientific research on the novel coronavirus and efforts to seek out remedies and vaccines for COVID-19, the sickness brought on by the virus.

Coronavirus does not threaten U.S. blood provide

Current pointers for screening U.S. blood donors for signs of COVID-19 and for a historical past of latest infections are successfully defending the blood provide from contamination with the brand new coronavirus, researchers say. In a research carried out for the National Institutes of Health, researchers examined almost 18,000 “minipools” of blood samples – that’s, blood samples pooled from whole of roughly 258,000 donors from throughout the nation. Only three minipools contained genetic materials from the virus, in line with a report revealed within the journal Transfusion. In all three, the viral levels had been low. In the one minipool that could possibly be examined for infectivity, the virus materials was noninfectious, the researchers stated. “Other studies have shown that in rare cases where a blood sample tested positive, transmission by blood transfusion has not occurred,” coauthor Sonia Bakkour of the University of California, San Francisco, stated in a press release. “Therefore, it appears safe to receive blood as a transfusion recipient and to keep donating blood, without fear of transmitting COVID-19 as long as current screenings are used.” (https://bit.ly/3iblpG9)

High vitamin D levels do not protect against COVID-19

Low levels of vitamin D have been tied to greater dangers for COVID-19 and extra extreme sickness, though no research have proved that vitamin D deficiency is definitely responsible. A research revealed on Tuesday in PLoS Medicine means that boosting vitamin D levels with dietary supplements would not assist. Researchers studied greater than 1.2 million folks of European ancestry from 11 international locations, a few of whom had genetic variants that lead to naturally greater levels of vitamin D. People with these variants did not have a decrease danger for coronavirus an infection, hospitalization, or extreme COVID-19, the researchers reported. Their outcomes counsel that boosting vitamin D levels in poor folks in all probability would not assist fight the coronavirus, they usually do not consider randomized trials testing vitamin D supplementation could be worthwhile. Other specialists, nevertheless, would nonetheless prefer to see such trials, particularly in folks of African and different non-European ancestries. (https://bit.ly/3g62hqA)

Immune system workaround helps blood most cancers sufferers with COVID-19

In blood most cancers sufferers who lack antibody-producing cells, different immune cells can compensate to assist battle the coronavirus, new analysis exhibits. People with blood cancers – corresponding to leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma – usually lack antibody-making immune cells referred to as B cells, significantly after remedy with sure drugs. Without sufficient B cells and antibodies, they’re in danger for extreme COVID-19. But different immune cells, referred to as T cells, be taught to acknowledge and assault the virus, in line with a report revealed in Nature Medicine. Blood most cancers sufferers within the research had been extra prone to die from COVID-19 than sufferers with strong tumors or with out most cancers. But among the many blood most cancers sufferers, these with greater levels of CD8 T cells had been greater than 3 times extra prone to survive than these with decrease levels of CD8 T cells. The authors speculate that CD8 T cell responses to COVID-19 vaccines may protect blood most cancers sufferers even when they do not have typical antibody responses. “This work can help us advise patients while we wait for more vaccine specific studies,” stated co-author Dr. Erin Bange of the University of Pennsylvania in a press release. While sufferers’ vaccine response “likely will not be as robust as their friends/family who don’t have blood cancers, it is still … potentially lifesaving,” Bange added. (https://go.nature.com/2STOVWf)

In some lengthy COVID instances, air will get trapped in lungs

Some COVID-19 survivors with persistent respiratory signs have a situation referred to as “air trapping,” during which inhaled air will get caught within the small airways of the lung and can’t be exhaled. Researchers studied 100 COVID-19 survivors who had been nonetheless having respiratory issues, like coughs and shortness of breath, a median of greater than two months after their analysis. Overall, 33 had been hospitalized, together with 16 who had wanted intensive care. The quantity of lung space exhibiting so-called ground-glass opacities on imaging research – a typical signal of lung harm from COVID-19 – was greater within the hospitalized group than in these with milder illness, and it was even greater in sufferers who had required intensive care. COVID-19 severity made little distinction within the common proportion of lung affected by air trapping, nevertheless. It was 25.4% in sufferers not hospitalized, 34.5% in those that had been hospitalized with out intensive care, and 27.2% in sufferers who had been critically sick. By comparability, that proportion was 7.3% in a gaggle of healthy volunteers. The air trapping was largely confined to sufferers’ narrowest airway passages, in line with a report posted on Saturday on medRxiv forward of peer evaluate. “The long-term consequences” of those sufferers’ small airways illness “are not known,” the authors stated. (https://bit.ly/3pcekXo)

Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl in an exterior browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in growth.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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