Welsh National Opera has announced today that its Long COVID program Wellness with WNO is expanding across Wales.

Six health boards in Wales will be able to offer the rehabilitation service to patients, through direct referral to NHS Long COVID Services. The program shares techniques and strategies used by professional opera singers to support breath control, lung function, circulation, and posture.

Sessions will be delivered via Zoom to enable those living with fatigue to have access to the program without any barriers due to geographical location or ability to attend in-person sessions.

In a statement, about the Wellness with WNO, participant Gabby Curly said “Physically, the Wellness with WNO program gave me practical breathing exercises to relieve muscle tension around my ribs and help me to relax with my breathing. Emotionally, the support I received made me realize that I wasn’t alone. In the sessions, all my worries went out of my head and I found a real joy in taking part in singing. And you don’t have to be a good singer at all! I now have the confidence to sing out loud and not be conscious of whether I’m singing in tune, simply because I know how much it can help.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Eluned Morgan said, “We are continuing to learn more about the long-term effects of COVID and we believe our approach of treating, supporting and managing people through our unique service model is the most efficient and effective way of achieving the best outcomes for people experiencing Long-COVID. It has been heartening to see the success of the Wellness with WNO project and the significant benefits it has provided for people’s health and wellbeing. I am glad this program will be expanded so even more people can take up the project to support their recovery and rehabilitation.”

This special program has been supported by the Arts Council of Wales: Arts, Health, and Wellbeing Lottery Fund, to specifically benefit the people of Wales both physically and mentally and is being delivered in partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Swansea Bay University Health Board.

 

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Stroke and heart attack can be prevented and not only with healthy eating and physical activity. You can get help to get the situation under control.

A method to be used in our homes, through a tool that links diseases to air filtration: here’s what we should all have at home from now on.

How to prevent stroke and heart attack-(Ladestranews.it)

Diseases such as stroke and heart attack can be connected to many causes, one of these, perhaps the least known, is COPD. This is chronic instructive pulmonary disease, a respiratory disease that affects the lungs and bronchi causing breathing difficulties. It can often accompany serious illnesses such as arrhythmias, strokes and heart attacks.

How to prevent stroke and heart attack at home

For the treatment of the air in homes, some tools and appliances are sometimes essential to have at home. We may not be aware of that there are airborne diseases, related to stroke and heart attack, which can cause serious consequences. Some diseases that cause respiratory problems are generated by plant pollens, animal allergens, but also house dust. Some tools such as the air purifier are therefore essential to make the environment as pure as possible. Today almost everyone has one, it seems like a craze like the air fryer, but it’s actually much more.

Air purifiers against stroke and heart attack

According to one study this, disease that makes cardiovascular health worrying, can be prevented through the use of air purifiers. How? By improving the air circulation, these appliances also improve health conditions.

Through the active filtering of air purifiers, pollutants and allergic substances present in the house are reduced. In this way the nose and bronchi are less in contact with inflammation of the airways. Some recent studies, carried out immediately after Covid and laundry, have shown that appliances are also essential for reducing viruses in the air, therefore they considerably prevent contact.

heart attack-stroke air purifier
Air purifiers against stroke and heart attack (ladetsranews.it)

In short, in addition to the classic method of airing the house by keeping the windows open, it is almost essential to have an air purifier. This especially if we are in a closed environment without windows or if we live in a particularly busy area. In order to have as clean an environment as possible and to contract at least possible respiratory diseases, these small household appliances can significantly change the quality of our life.

Let’s not forget that the air we breathe is our primary source of livelihood, that allows us to live and for this we must treat it with the same care with which we choose healthy foods to eat or with which we dedicate our time to physical activity.



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Global Disposable Protective Clothing Market

Global Disposable Protective Clothing Market

Global Disposable Protective Clothing Market

Dublin, Feb. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Disposable Protective Clothing Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The global disposable protective clothing market size reached US$ 3.32 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, the publisher expects the market to reach US$ 5.51 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.81% during 2021-2027.

Keeping in mind the uncertainties of COVID-19, we are continuously tracking and evaluating the direct as well as the indirect influence of the pandemic on different end use industries. These insights are included in the report as a major market contributor.

Disposable protective clothing refers to a personal protective equipment (PPE) product, which is designed and fabricated for protecting personnel from hazardous working environments and contaminants.

It includes lab coats, ballistic vests, and head, eye, body and breathing protection gears, which assists frontline workers and operators in obstructing the entry of physical, chemical, airborne, heat and biohazard matters.

This, in turn, aids in ensuring a higher rate of cleanliness, maintaining hygiene, and providing optimal safety to the workers at affordable prices.

Apart from this, disposable protective clothing is versatile, sustainable, and lightweight in nature, on account of which it is extensively used in different applications. At present, it is commercially available in polyethene, polyester, and polypropylene material types.

Disposable Protective Clothing Market Trends:

The rising need for effective respiratory and protective clothing across the healthcare sector for mitigating the spread of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) is primarily driving the disposable protective clothing market.

The product is also gaining huge popularity owing to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which has intensified their adoption in the medical and food service industries to prevent the spread of the virus and meet the health and safety measures.

Additionally, the increasing instances of manual industrial accidents and injuries caused due to handling hazardous chemicals in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors has prompted governments of different nations to undertake favorable initiatives for ensuring the safety of point of entries (POEs) and employers or employee at workplaces, which, in turn, is supporting the market growth.

In line with this, ongoing technological advancements, along with strategic collaborations between key players for introducing advanced disposable coveralls manufactured from microporous films, is acting as another growth-inducing factor. These materials assist in providing an excellent barrier against viruses, protozoans, and parasites, due to which it is extensively used for disease prevention purposes.

Competitive Landscape:

The competitive landscape of the industry has also been examined along with the profiles of the key players being 3M Company, Ansell Ltd., Asatex AG, Derekduck Industry Corp., Dragerwerk AG & Co. KGaA, DuPont de Nemours Inc., Honeywell International Inc., International Enviroguard, Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. (Kimberly-Clark Corporation), Lakeland Industries Inc., Thermo Fisher Scientific and Uvex Winter Holding Gmbh & Co. Kg.

Key Questions Answered in This Report:

  • How has the global disposable protective clothing market performed so far and how will it perform in the coming years?

  • What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the global disposable protective clothing market?

  • What are the key regional markets?

  • What is the breakup of the market based on the material type?

  • What is the breakup of the market based on the application?

  • What is the breakup of the market based on the end use industry?

  • What are the various stages in the value chain of the industry?

  • What are the key driving factors and challenges in the industry?

  • What is the structure of the global disposable protective clothing market and who are the key players?

  • What is the degree of competition in the industry?

Report Attribute

Details

No. of Pages

121

Forecast Period

2021 - 2027

Estimated Market Value (USD) in 2021

$3.32 Billion

Forecasted Market Value (USD) by 2027

$5.51 Billion

Compound Annual Growth Rate

8.8%

Regions Covered

Global

Key Topics Covered:

1 Preface

2 Scope and Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Introduction
4.1 Overview
4.2 Key Industry Trends

5 Global Disposable Protective Clothing Market
5.1 Market Overview
5.2 Market Performance
5.3 Impact of COVID-19
5.4 Market Forecast

6 Market Breakup by Material Type
6.1 Polyethylene
6.1.1 Market Trends
6.1.2 Market Forecast
6.2 Polypropylene
6.2.1 Market Trends
6.2.2 Market Forecast
6.3 Polyester
6.3.1 Market Trends
6.3.2 Market Forecast
6.4 Others
6.4.1 Market Trends
6.4.2 Market Forecast

7 Market Breakup by Application
7.1 Thermal
7.1.1 Market Trends
7.1.2 Market Forecast
7.2 Mechanical
7.2.1 Market Trends
7.2.2 Market Forecast
7.3 Chemical
7.3.1 Market Trends
7.3.2 Market Forecast
7.4 Radiation
7.4.1 Market Trends
7.4.2 Market Forecast
7.5 Others
7.5.1 Market Trends
7.5.2 Market Forecast

8 Market Breakup by End Use Industry
8.1 Manufacturing
8.1.1 Market Trends
8.1.2 Market Forecast
8.2 Oil and Gas
8.2.1 Market Trends
8.2.2 Market Forecast
8.3 Healthcare
8.3.1 Market Trends
8.3.2 Market Forecast
8.4 Defense
8.4.1 Market Trends
8.4.2 Market Forecast
8.5 Others
8.5.1 Market Trends
8.5.2 Market Forecast

9 Market Breakup by Region

10 SWOT Analysis

11 Value Chain Analysis

12 Porters Five Forces Analysis

13 Price Analysis

14 Competitive Landscape
14.1 Market Structure
14.2 Key Players
14.3 Profiles of Key Players
14.3.1 3M Company
14.3.1.1 Company Overview
14.3.1.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.1.3 Financials
14.3.1.4 SWOT Analysis
14.3.2 Ansell Ltd.
14.3.2.1 Company Overview
14.3.2.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.2.3 Financials
14.3.2.4 SWOT Analysis
14.3.3 Asatex AG
14.3.3.1 Company Overview
14.3.3.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.4 Derekduck Industry Corp.
14.3.4.1 Company Overview
14.3.4.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.5 Dragerwerk AG & Co. KGaA
14.3.5.1 Company Overview
14.3.5.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.5.3 Financials
14.3.5.4 SWOT Analysis
14.3.6 DuPont de Nemours Inc.
14.3.6.1 Company Overview
14.3.6.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.6.3 Financials
14.3.6.4 SWOT Analysis
14.3.7 Honeywell International Inc.
14.3.7.1 Company Overview
14.3.7.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.7.3 Financials
14.3.7.4 SWOT Analysis
14.3.8 International Enviroguard
14.3.8.1 Company Overview
14.3.8.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.9 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. (Kimberly-Clark Corporation)
14.3.9.1 Company Overview
14.3.9.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.10 Lakeland Industries Inc.
14.3.10.1 Company Overview
14.3.10.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.10.3 Financials
14.3.11 Thermo Fisher Scientific
14.3.11.1 Company Overview
14.3.11.2 Product Portfolio
14.3.11.3 Financials
14.3.11.4 SWOT Analysis
14.3.12 Uvex Winter Holding Gmbh & Co. Kg
14.3.12.1 Company Overview
14.3.12.2 Product Portfolio

For more information about this report visit www.researchandmarkets.com/r/7mbkz5

About ResearchAndMarkets.com
ResearchAndMarkets.com is the world's leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.

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A never-before seen medical ailment has evolved in the world over the last few years as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 epidemic.

The condition, called “Long COVID-19,” is still so novel that intervention research is only beginning to emerge.

But La Mesa Rehab has already used all available data at hand to create a new, intensive program for those suffering from its symptoms. La Mesa Rehab will reportedly continue to refine its protocols as scientists and doctors learn more about the disease’s etiology.

Long COVID-19 is a condition defined as the continuation, recurrence of, or emergence of virus symptoms lasting more than four weeks after recovery from the initial, acute phase of the disease. Some patients’ symptoms last up to two years. As of the June 2022 report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC,) 1 in 13 adults in the U.S. (7.5%) had Long COVID-19 symptoms.

La Mesa Rehab’s new Long COVID-19 program is offering continuity of care, working as a total network for patients with the condition. It’s a team approach, with pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists working together for the betterment of “long haulers,” as they’ve come to be known.

Treatment plans unique to each patient

Each patient gets a new treatment plan that differs from that of any other patient because of the widely-varying symptoms across the population, as well as symptoms that change over time within an individual.

These may include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, stomach pain, headache, low stamina, fatigue or weakness. And with these sensations comes fear. One patient at the clinic described their plight “You take for granted, that you’re going to breathe…it’s such a natural thing. And when that gets taken away, it’s very scary!”

According to Tami Peavy, MBA, DPT, and founder of La Mesa Rehab, what makes their treatments so unique is that “We design individual protocols, with respiratory therapy and physical therapy at the center of the program. We identify patients’ symptoms and address them systematically and adjust their protocols accordingly.”

Respiratory and physical therapists work closely with referring physicians, together designing individually-tailored programs that reduce shortness of breath, eliminate mucus, and increase lung capacity through exercise, postural strengthening, and breathing techniques. Specialized equipment and techniques are employed in order to more quickly and effectively achieve results. A few of these treatments include: vest therapy, bubble breathing, oxygen therapy, nebulizer treatments, gas exchange analysis, and balloon therapy.

Salt chamber therapy is the newest tool in the arsenal

Salt chamber therapy involves the inhalation by patients of dry salt in the form of a mist to clear lung mucus. Saline solution is placed in a nebulizer, a device that facilitates the inhalation of the mist into the lungs. Compressed oxygen or ultrasonic power breaks up the medicinal liquid into small aerosol droplets that are inhaled from a mouthpiece. Corticosteroids or bronchodilators can be added to the nebulizer to extend the effectiveness.

This procedure is administered within a specially designed salt chamber. The process, also called halotherapy, is quite remarkable, especially considering that it’s derived from a naturally-occurring substance. Dry salt particles shrink and liquefy lung mucus plugs that obstruct airways and aggravate breathing issues. The particles accelerate mucus transport and allow for enhanced cough efficiency. Coughs are more “productive” and the lungs are relived of mucus.

Peavy, a practicing clinician and innovative thinker, came up with the novel methodology. The lofty goal, which she successfully achieved, was to enhance the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, and minimize patients’ reliance on prescriptions. Previously, patients would have had to undergo bronchoscopies to remove such mucus plugs.

La Mesa Rehab’s new Long COVID-19 program is based on the clinic’s experience with other lung impairments and diseases. These include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD,) emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, and bronchiectasis. Therapists share their knowledge of these conditions with each other and with those who come to them for help. Patient education is provided to help get people with Long COVID-19 back to work more quickly, which is more important than ever during these times of economic difficulty and diminished workplace numbers.

Most lung diseases are treated with drug therapies, including steroids and inhalers. However, numerous published medical reports have shown that pulmonary rehabilitation is much more effective at easing symptoms, and results in a superior quality of life. It has also been documented that improved lung function leads to greater longevity, strength, and endurance, and reduces the number of hospitalizations and readmissions.

For more information, call (619) 466-6077 or view their website at: lamesarehab.com.

The facility is located at: 8380 Center Drive, Suite E, La Mesa.

Editor’s note: This article was provided by Carol Holland Lifshitz.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

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Get checked out -The first thing to do if you have been experiencing symptoms for four or more weeks, or you develop any new symptoms, is to get a proper assessment from your doctor.

Use breathing techniques - Practising breathing control and breathing techniques can help you recover from breathlessness and also aid relaxation. Try deep breathing by taking a long, slow, deep breath in, ideally through your nose, holding for two to three seconds, then breathing out gently through your mouth.

Manage your cough -To calm down a coughing fit, try “huffing” - breathe out through an open mouth instead of coughing to squeeze air out quickly from your lungs through your throat and mouth, as though you are trying to mist a mirror.

Hydrate - Drink enough water – the NHS recommends six to eight glasses of fluid a day, inhaling steam by sitting in a bathroom with the hot shower running or with your head over a bowl of hot water, keeping your mouth closed when you can to stop your throat getting dry, and keeping active as possible.



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Submitted photo
Dr. Stanley Martin, Geisinger’s director of infectious diseases, poses for a photo at Geisinger Medical Center.

LEWISTOWN — Excuses, excuses, excuses. It seems there’s no shortage of reasons people offer to avoid getting an annual flu shot.

Dr. Stanley Martin, Geisinger’s director of Infectious Diseases understands that there are myths out there about flu shots – and that many people naturally worry about vaccines.

Martin has heard most of the excuses a thousand times. He understands that there are myths out there about the shot and wants to separate fact from fiction.

Are there side effects from flu vaccinations?

Possibly, but there are potential side effects with any medication. Getting a flu shot in the arm commonly causes aches and soreness. Sometimes people get a low-grade fever or feel tired and run down. These are side effects that only last a day or so.

Can the flu spread from one person to another?

Yes, absolutely, Martin said. In fact, it’s how most people get the flu. It starts as a respiratory virus with coughing, sneezing and difficulty breathing. Typically, the person infected with the flu has spread it to the next person before they even show any signs of sickness. People can try to be diligent about not spreading the flu, but they can do it without even knowing it early on.

What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?

Martin said influenza, or flu, and the common cold are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Flu is caused by influenza viruses only, whereas the common cold can be caused by a number of different viruses, including rhinoviruses and parainfluenza.

Because the flu and common cold have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell them apart based on symptoms alone. Generally, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms typically are more intense and begin more abruptly. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose than people who have the flu.

If you have been vaccinated against COVID, does that help fight against the flu?

Probably not. Martin said vaccines are pretty specific, such as the ones that battle COVID, so they don’t fend off other illnesses like the flu. There are vaccines in the works against co-infections. They would be more likely to fight off COVID and the flu. Martin cautioned if you really want to prevent yourself from getting the flu: Get a flu shot. The shots to measles, mumps and rubella have been combined in the “MMR” shot. He added it’s also “perfectly safe” to get the flu shot and COVID vaccine or booster at the same time.

If you have not gotten a flu shot yet this year, is it too late?

Absolutely not, Martin said. Despite being past its peak, flu cases will continue to pop up over the next few months. The flu is especially problematic for the elderly (age 65 and over), children ages 5 and under) and pregnant women. Those groups are much more likely to be affected by influenza if they have not been vaccinated.




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Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) summary

The full CMI on the next page has more details. If you are worried about receiving this vaccine,
speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

 

This vaccine is new or being used differently. Please report side effects. See the
full CMI for further details.

Why am I being given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is a vaccine given as a booster dose to prevent
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus
2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 12 years of age and older. COMIRNATY Original/Omicron
BA.4-5 contains the active ingredients tozinameran and famtozinameran. For more information,
see Section 1. Why am I being given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5? in the full CMI.

What should I know before I am given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

You should not be given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 if you have had an allergic
reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. See list at the end of the CMI.
Check with your doctor if you have had: a severe allergic reaction or breathing problems
after any other vaccine or after being given COMIRNATY in the past; fainted following
any needle injection; a severe illness or infection with high fever; a weakened immune
system or are on a medicine that affects your immune system; a bleeding disorder,
bruise easily or are on a blood thinning medicine. As with any vaccine, COMIRNATY
Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may not fully protect all those who receive it, and it is
not known how long you will be protected. Talk to your doctor if you have any other
medical conditions, take any other medicines, or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
or are breastfeeding. This vaccine should not be given to children under 12 years.
For more information, see Section 2. What should I know before I am given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5? in the full CMI.

What if I am taking other medicines?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any
medicines, vitamins or supplements that you buy without a prescription. Tell your
doctor or pharmacist if you have recently received any other vaccine. For more information,
see Section 3. What if I am taking other medicines? in the full CMI.

How will I be given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 will be given as an injection into the muscle of
your upper arm by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. You will be given one dose at least
3 months after the primary course. A doctor, nurse or pharmacist will observe you
for at least 15 minutes after being given the vaccine. COMIRNATY Original/Omicron
BA.4-5 is only given as booster doses. For primary vaccination, ask your doctor or
pharmacist. For more information, see Section 4. How will I be given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5? in the full CMI.

What should I know while being given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

Things you should know

An initial dose of COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may be given as a booster at
least 3 months after the primary vaccination for people 12 years of age and older.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may also be given to individuals 12 years of age
and older at least 3 months after a previous booster dose of any COVID 19 vaccine.

Driving or using machines

Be careful before you drive or use any machines or tools until you know how the vaccine
affects you. Some of the side effects of the vaccine may temporarily affect your ability
to drive or use machines.

Are there any side effects?

Very common side effects of COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 include pain/swelling
at injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever.
For more information, including what to do if you have any side effects, see Section
6. Are there any side effects? in the full CMI.
This vaccine is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification
of new safety information. You can help by reporting any side effects you may get.
You can report side effects to your doctor, or directly at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems .

Active ingredients:
tozinameran and famtozinameran

This vaccine has provisional approval in Australia as a booster dose to prevent COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus
in individuals 12 years of age and older. This approval has been granted on the basis
of short term safety and efficacy data. Evidence of longer term efficacy and safety
from ongoing clinical trials and vaccination in the community continues to be gathered
and assessed.

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)

This leaflet provides important information about using COMIRNATY Original/Omicron
BA.4-5. You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you would like further information
or if you have any concerns or questions about receiving COMIRNATY Original/Omicron
BA.4-5.

Where to find information in this leaflet:

Why am I being given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 contains the active ingredients tozinameran and
famtozinameran.
COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is an mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccine.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is a vaccine given as a booster dose to prevent
COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus in individuals 12 years of age and older.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is only given as booster doses. For primary vaccination,
ask your doctor or pharmacist.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 works by triggering your immune system to produce
antibodies and blood cells that work against the virus, to protect against COVID-19
disease.

What should I know before I am given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

Warnings

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 should not be given:

1. if you are allergic to tozinameran, famtozinameran or any of the ingredients listed
at the end of this leaflet.

Check with your doctor if you have:

had a severe allergic reaction or breathing problems after any other vaccine or after
being given COMIRNATY in the past.

fainted following any needle injection.

a severe illness or infection with high fever. However, you can have your vaccination
if you have a mild fever or upper airway infection like a cold.

a weakened immune system, such as due to HIV infection or are on a medicine that affects
your immune system.

a bleeding disorder, bruise easily or are on a blood thinning medicine.

During treatment, you may be at risk of developing certain side effects. It is important
you understand these risks and how to monitor for them. See additional information
under Section 6. Are there any side effects?

Very rare cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis
(inflammation of the lining outside the heart) have been reported after vaccination
with COMIRNATY. The cases have mostly occurred within two weeks following vaccination,
more often after the second vaccination, and more often occurred in younger men. Following
vaccination, you should be alert to signs of myocarditis and pericarditis, such as
breathlessness, palpitations and chest pain, and seek immediate medical attention
should these occur.

You may develop a temporary, stress-related response associated with the process of
receiving your injection. This may include dizziness, fainting, sweating, increased
heart rate and/or anxiety. If you start to feel faint at any time during the process
of receiving your injection, let your doctor, nurse or pharmacist know and take actions
to avoid falling and injuring yourself, such as sitting or lying down.

As with any vaccine, COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may not fully protect all those
who receive it, and it is not known how long you will be protected.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to
have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before you receive this vaccine.

Children and adolescents

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 should not be given to children under 12 years.

What if I am taking other medicines?

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take
any other medicines, including any medicines, vitamins or supplements that you buy
without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have recently received any other vaccine.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about what medicines, vitamins
or supplements you are taking and if these affect, or are affected by, COMIRNATY

Original/Omicron BA.4-5.

How will I be given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 will be given as an injection into the muscle of
your upper arm by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

An initial dose of COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may be given as a booster at
least 3 months after the primary vaccination for people 12 years of age and older.

A doctor, nurse or pharmacist will observe you for at least 15 minutes after being
given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is only given as booster doses. For primary vaccination,
ask your doctor or pharmacist.

What should I know while being given COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5?

Things you should know

An initial dose of COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may be given as a booster at
least 3 months after the primary vaccination for people 12 years of age and older.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may also be given to individuals 12 years of age
and older at least 3 months after a previous booster dose of any COVID 19 vaccine.

Driving or using machines

Be careful before you drive or use any machines or tools until you know how COMIRNATY
Original/Omicron BA.4-5 affects you.

Some of the side effects of COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 may temporarily affect
your ability to drive or use machines.

Storage of the vaccine

A doctor, nurse or pharmacist will prepare the injection for you before you are given
it.

Getting rid of any unwanted vaccine

A doctor, nurse or pharmacist will dispose of any unused vaccine.

Are there any side effects?

All medicines can have side effects. If you do experience any side effects, most of
them are minor and temporary. However, some side effects may need medical attention.

See the information below and, if you need to, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you
have any further questions about side effects.

Other side effects (frequency unknown)

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that may be making you
feel unwell.

Other side effects not listed here may occur in some people.

Reporting side effects

After you have received medical advice for any side effects you experience, you can
report side effects to the Therapeutic Goods Administration online at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems . By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of
this vaccine.

Product details

What COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 contains

Active ingredients

(main ingredients)

Tozinameran

Famtozinameran

Other ingredients

(inactive ingredients)

((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl) bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate) (ALC-0315)

2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide (ALC-0159)

Distearoylphosphatidylcholine (DSPC)

Cholesterol

Sucrose

Trometamol

Trometamol hydrochloride

Water for injections

Do not receive this vaccine if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

What COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 looks like

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is a white to off-white suspension.

COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5 is provided in packs of 10 and 195 in multidose
clear glass vials with grey flip-off caps. Each dose is 0.3 mL and each vial contains
6 doses of vaccine (2.25 mL fill).

AUST R 400874.

Not all presentations may be available.

Who distributes COMIRNATY Original/Omicron BA.4-5

Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd

Sydney NSW

Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229

COMIRNATY® is a registered trademark of BioNTech SE. Used under license.

This leaflet was prepared in January 2023.

© Copyright

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The news out of China today is not very good. After the past two years of pursuing a single-minded zero-COVID approach to dealing with the pandemic, that nation’s leader just unleashed the virus on an ill-prepared population—and the consequences have been nothing short of dire.

Chinese authorities are confident that a second wave will not wash over that country’s economy since they estimate that 80 percent of the population have contracted the virus, and some immunity, after the surprise end to strict isolation protocols dictated by China’s Xi. More reliable sources than the state-controlled media are less optimistic.

Up to 10,000 critical cases or more have been registered in hospitals each day, with morgues reportedly overwhelmed, pharmacies citing shortages of basic medications and ongoing supply chain issues

hampering the distribution of antiviral drugs. The cost in lives lost among the vulnerable and other elderly is just the latest evidence of China’s cynical approach to its people. It’s the economy over all other considerations.

The fallout overwhelming the health systems in China, and other zero-COVID countries that are now opening up, points to the shortcomings of following such policies while not taking advantage of the breathing room provided to upgrade facilities and ensure the

population is sufficiently vaccinated to blunt the impact of the virus.

In Canada, both the Liberal federal government and the Progressive Conservative government ruling in Ontario became strangest of bedfellows, largely following the advice of medical professionals to push populations to vaccinate against the pandemic. Reviled mask mandates, business closures and other “infringements” on public freedoms bought time while those same infringements induced more than 80 percent of the population to become vaccinated.

It should be clear to most honest minds that nearly all of those infringements, touted as temporary, have proven to be just that. Compulsory mask mandates have been lifted, many of the industries whose workers were forced to either vaccinate or leave have lessened those strictures (although some have done so only due to pressure from the courts).

Our health system remains teetering on the brink in many respects yet remains largely intact three years into the global pandemic thanks to the draconian measures first imposed upon us by our democratically elected leaders.

Unfortunately, those leaders get little credit for their efforts. For the federal Liberals, it’s a constant litany of criticism for “overshooting” the mark and being too reckless with the public purse in protecting the economy from collapse—nevermind that Canada’s economy has weathered the storm much better than most. Latest indicators show the nation with among the lowest unemployment figures in living memory—far below the traditional benchmark of full employment used by economists for more than half a century. Inflation, although still too high, is now coming back under control and remains among the lowest in the Western world.

For the Progressive Conservatives, much can be said the same on a provincial level.

As is usual, democracy has been messy, imperfect and, at times, erratic, but the waves have subsided to great extent and fewer deaths are being reported. We are, most of us, breathing easier today than three years ago.

Hindsight provides plenty of opportunity for second-guessing those decisions made in the midst of the fog of war, but when weighed in the balance of history, once tempers have cooled and academia assesses the true impact and reasons that decisions were made—those actors in charge will find vindication.

One thing should be clear by now, however, and that is that pandering to populism is no way to govern or to ensure the peace, order and good government desired by nearly all Canadians.

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For people living with a heart condition, long COVID has added yet another
concern to their list of worries.

Research suggests that you are at increased risk of blood clots, heart
attack, heart failure, inflammation of the heart, and abnormal heartbeat
following a COVID-19 infection. One in three adults that has had COVID-19
experiences long COVID symptoms that can last weeks to months after the initial
infection.

Long COVID can affect anyone who contracts the virus, but recovery can be
especially complicated for those with a condition. Led by Dr. Shahzad
Ahmed, the

Cardiac Care program at Lower Bucks Hospital

provides specialized care for patients in the Philadelphia area who have
been diagnosed with heart conditions and are experiencing long COVID. 

Common heart symptoms following a COVID-19 infection:

  1. Fatigue, feeling tired
  2. Pounding heartbeat or palpitations
  3. Trouble breathing-shortness of breath
  4. Pain in chest- chest tightness
  5. Fast heartbeat
  6. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  7. Difficulty in sleeping
  8. Blood clots

What can you for your heart care if you have long COVID?

  1. You should continue heart healthy habits like exercise
  2. Stay on your heart medications unless advised by your doctor
  3. Watch out for any new symptoms that could be attributed to COVID

How can you prevent long COVID?

Stay up to date on your vaccinations and get appropriate boosters as new
strains of COVID-19 are emerging. It will prevent you from infection. Use
proper barrier precautions and follow your local health care advisories.

If you have heart symptoms, please don’t delay your care because of fear of
contracting COVID. All healthcare settings are required to have safety
measures in place to protect you from COVID-19. Call 911 in an emergency. 

Dr. Ahmed is currently accepting new patients at BMC Cardiology Practice, located at 501
Bath Road in Bristol. For more information or to schedule an appointment,
please call 215-785-5100.

About Shahzad Ahmed, MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI, Interventional Cardiologist, Director of Cardiology

Limited - Dr. Shahzad Ahmed MD, FACC, FSCAI, RPVI

Dr. Shahzad Ahmed

Dr. Ahmed is Board Certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular
Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Ultrasound, and
Internal Medicine. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at
Drexel University College of Medicine. Under his leadership, Lower Bucks Hospital has started many
new programs, including same-day discharge after percutaneous coronary
intervention, venous and pulmonary thrombectomy, carotid stenting and
implementing the radial first approach (cardiac cath through arteries of
hand).

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Among critically ill patients with COVID-19, treatment with an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist or with an antiplatelet agent was associated with improved 180-day mortality, according to the study results published in JAMA.

Investigators conducted a secondary analysis of the ongoing Randomized Embedded Multifactorial Adaptive Platform for Community Acquire Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) platform trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02735707) to determine long-term outcomes associated with multiple interventions used for critically ill patients with COVID-19. This prespecified secondary analysis, designed to test interventions within multiple therapeutic domains, included 4791 critically ill patients with COVID-19 who were enrolled in the REMAP-CAP trial between March 9, 2020, and June 22, 2021. The participants were from 197 sites in 14 different countries. March 2, 2022, was the date of the final 180-day follow-up.

The main outcome measure was survival through day 180, which was evaluated with the use of a Bayesian piecewise exponential model. All participants were randomly assigned to receive at least 1 interventions within the following 6 treatment domains: (1) immune modulators (n=2274); (2) convalescent plasma (n=2011); (3) antiplatelet therapy (n=1557); (4) anticoagulation (n=1033); (5) antivirals (n=726); and (6) corticosteroids (n=401). Participants were also randomly assigned to 19 sites that took part in the 90-day follow-up (n=473), including sites in Nepal, India, and in the US, or to sites that participated in the 180-day follow-up (n=4318).

Among the 4318 participants with 180-day follow-up, 180-day mortality status was available for 95.1% (4107 of 4318) of patients, showing that 63.1% (2590 of 4107) of participants were alive at day 180. Treatment with IL-6 receptor antagonists was associated with a more than 99.9% probability of improving 6-month survival (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.74; 95% credible interval [CrI], 0.61-0.90), whereas treatment with antiplatelet agents was linked to a 95.0% probability of improving 6-month survival (aHR, 0.85; 95% CrI, 0.71-1.03), compared with the control group.

 [S]urvival was not improved with therapeutic anticoagulation, convalescent plasma, or lopinavir-ritonavir, and the probability that survival was worsened with hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with lopinavir-ritonavir was 96.8%.

The probability of trial-defined statistical futility (HR >0.83) was high for therapeutic anticoagulation (99.9%; HR, 1.13; 95% CrI, 0.93-1.42), convalescent plasma (99.2%; HR, 0.99; 95% CrI, 0.86-1.14), and lopinavir-ritonavir (96.6%; HR, 1.06; 95% CrI, 0.82-1.38). In contrast, the probabilities of harm from hydroxychloroquine (HCQ; 96.9%; HR, 1.51; 95% CrI, 0.98-2.29) and the combination of lopinavir-ritonavir plus HCQ (96.8%; HR, 1.61; 95% CrI, 0.97-2.67) were high. The corticosteroid domain was discontinued early prior to achieving a predefined statistical trigger, with a 57.1% to 61.6% probability of improving 6-month survival reported across various hydrocortisone dosing strategies.

Limitations of the trial include use an open-label design, although the mortality outcome is at a lower risk for bias. Moreover, because health-related quality of life and disability scores could not be collected at baseline, the trial was unable to guarantee balance across groups or to assess change in scores over time. Additionally, collection of outcomes beyond 90 days was not mandated; however, 6-month survival status was nonetheless available for 85.7% of the participants.

Study authors concluded that “there was a greater than 99.9% probability that IL-6 receptor antagonists and a 95.0% probability that antiplatelet agents improved survival through 6 months. In contrast, survival was not improved with therapeutic anticoagulation, convalescent plasma, or lopinavir-ritonavir, and the probability that survival was worsened with hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with lopinavir-ritonavir was 96.8%.”

Disclosure: Some of the study authors have declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. 

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If you’ve been unfortunate enough to contract the COVID-19 virus, you may have noticed that your COVID cough is lingering longer than after your typical cold. And if it bothers you for long enough, you may even find yourself googling “how long does COVID cough last?”

First of all, you’re not alone. Many people who have had a COVID-19 infection report having a cough that they just can’t seem to shake, even up to a year after the virus has left their system—and, a lingering cough is something you should never ignore. But at what point does your extended cough indicate you have long COVID? After all, one in five adult COVID-19 survivors experiences long COVID symptoms and respiratory issues is one of the most common among them.

But before you worry about your lingering cough being a sign of bigger concern, we’ve spoken with infectious disease experts to help you find out when a COVID cough usually goes away, whether coughing is normal after you’ve recovered, at what point a chronic cough may indicate long COVID development, and how you may treat a cough too.

What is COVID cough and how is it different from other coughs?

Cough occurs in approximately 50% of patients with COVID-19 infection. It is usually dry and nonproductive, says Jill Howard, M.D., national director of infectious diseases at ChenMed. However, “17 to 34% of patients have persistent cough following acute COVID-19 infection.”

Many respiratory infections can also cause a post-infectious cough that lasts (typically) a few weeks after the initial infection ends, says David Cennimo, M.D., associate professor of medicine & pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “This is thought to be due to hyper-responsiveness in the cough mechanism, possibly also due to some damage to the airways from the infection…This has been seen with influenza, COVID-19, and many other infections.”

When will a COVID cough usually go away?

For most people, it can take 3 to 18 months for their lungs to get back to their pre-COVID-19 baseline, says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. According to Hopkins Medicine, after a serious case of COVID-19, recovery from lung damage takes time. There’s the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person’s lung function to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

In general, the more risk factors for severe infection, and the more severe the initial COVID-19 infection, the longer the patient experiences persistent symptoms, explains Dr. Howard.

When does chronic cough become a symptom of long COVID?

Some people have experienced a prolonged post-infectious cough after COVID-19 that has been characterized as part of the “Long-COVID” syndrome, Dr. Cennimo explains. “In some datasets, around 15% of people are coughing 3+ weeks after COVID infection. In most, this fades over time but it can take weeks to months.”

If a cough develops during acute COVID-19 infection, and lasts 3 months from the onset of illness, it is considered a manifestation of long COVID, says Dr. Howard.

How can you treat a COVID cough?

Treatment for lingering cough related to COVID is not well defined, says Dr. Cennimo. “Many people do find some comfort with cough drops, etc.”

It’s most important to make sure there is not an underlying issue causing the cough, Dr. Cennimo adds. “For instance, some COVID-19 infections do significantly damage the lungs and we can see a decrease in respiratory capacity. Some patients will also have a reactive airway disease triggered (like asthma) and their cough may be masking wheezing.” In these cases, inhalers can help.

When should you see a doctor about your COVID cough?

One red flag is the feeling of shortness of breath, says Dr. Cennimo. “If the cough lasts more than 2-3 weeks or is accompanied by shortness of breath, the person should be evaluated.” Dr. Howards adds that “if the cough is worsening rather than improving, or if it is associated with difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever or [phlegm] production, seek your doctor right away to further investigate.”

Dr. Watkins adds that your primary care physician “can assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that may include breathing exercises, antibiotics, or steroids. Referral to pulmonary rehabilitation is another option.”

Headshot of Madeleine Haase

Madeleine, Prevention’s assistant editor, has a history with health writing from her experience as an editorial assistant at WebMD, and from her personal research at university. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience—and she helps strategize for success across Prevention’s social media platforms. 

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If you’ve been unfortunate enough to contract the COVID-19 virus, you may have noticed that your COVID cough is lingering longer than after your typical cold. And if it bothers you for long enough, you may even find yourself googling “how long does COVID cough last?”

First of all, you’re not alone. Many people who have had a COVID-19 infection report having a cough that they just can’t seem to shake, even up to a year after the virus has left their system—and, a lingering cough is something you should never ignore. But at what point does your extended cough indicate you have long COVID? After all, one in five adult COVID-19 survivors experiences long COVID symptoms and respiratory issues is one of the most common among them.

But before you worry about your lingering cough being a sign of bigger concern, we’ve spoken with infectious disease experts to help you find out when a COVID cough usually goes away, whether coughing is normal after you’ve recovered, at what point a chronic cough may indicate long COVID development, and how you may treat a cough too.

What is COVID cough and how is it different from other coughs?

Cough occurs in approximately 50% of patients with COVID-19 infection. It is usually dry and nonproductive, says Jill Howard, M.D., national director of infectious diseases at ChenMed. However, “17 to 34% of patients have persistent cough following acute COVID-19 infection.”

Many respiratory infections can also cause a post-infectious cough that lasts (typically) a few weeks after the initial infection ends, says David Cennimo, M.D., associate professor of medicine & pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “This is thought to be due to hyper-responsiveness in the cough mechanism, possibly also due to some damage to the airways from the infection…This has been seen with influenza, COVID-19, and many other infections.”

When will a COVID cough usually go away?

For most people, it can take 3 to 18 months for their lungs to get back to their pre-COVID-19 baseline, says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. According to Hopkins Medicine, after a serious case of COVID-19, recovery from lung damage takes time. There’s the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person’s lung function to return to pre-COVID-19 levels.

In general, the more risk factors for severe infection, and the more severe the initial COVID-19 infection, the longer the patient experiences persistent symptoms, explains Dr. Howard.

When does chronic cough become a symptom of long COVID?

Some people have experienced a prolonged post-infectious cough after COVID-19 that has been characterized as part of the “Long-COVID” syndrome, Dr. Cennimo explains. “In some datasets, around 15% of people are coughing 3+ weeks after COVID infection. In most, this fades over time but it can take weeks to months.”

If a cough develops during acute COVID-19 infection, and lasts 3 months from the onset of illness, it is considered a manifestation of long COVID, says Dr. Howard.

How can you treat a COVID cough?

Treatment for lingering cough related to COVID is not well defined, says Dr. Cennimo. “Many people do find some comfort with cough drops, etc.”

It’s most important to make sure there is not an underlying issue causing the cough, Dr. Cennimo adds. “For instance, some COVID-19 infections do significantly damage the lungs and we can see a decrease in respiratory capacity. Some patients will also have a reactive airway disease triggered (like asthma) and their cough may be masking wheezing.” In these cases, inhalers can help.

When should you see a doctor about your COVID cough?

One red flag is the feeling of shortness of breath, says Dr. Cennimo. “If the cough lasts more than 2-3 weeks or is accompanied by shortness of breath, the person should be evaluated.” Dr. Howards adds that “if the cough is worsening rather than improving, or if it is associated with difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever or [phlegm] production, seek your doctor right away to further investigate.”

Dr. Watkins adds that your primary care physician “can assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that may include breathing exercises, antibiotics, or steroids. Referral to pulmonary rehabilitation is another option.”

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For most patients with long Covid after an initial mild infection, symptoms may linger for several months but will resolve within a year, a large study has concluded.

The analysis of healthcare records from 2 million people in Israel also found that vaccinated people were at lower risk of breathing difficulties – the most common ongoing symptom after mild infection.

Reporting the findings in the BMJ, the researchers also said of the small proportion of children who had persistent symptoms after Covid-19 infection, the vast majority recovered.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics published on the 5 January show an estimated 2.1 million people in the UK, or 3.3% of the population, were experiencing self-reported long Covid symptoms for more than four weeks.

This includes 1.9 million people (87%) who believe they had Covid at least 12 weeks previously, 1.2 million (57%) at least one year previously and 645,000 (30%) at least two years previously.

The Israeli analysis of healthcare records between March 2020 and 1 October 2021 looked at more than long Covid conditions in infected and matched uninfected individuals as well as comparing vaccination status and Covid variants.

Anyone admitted to hospital with more severe illness was excluded from the study and other chronic conditions and socioeconomic status were taken into account.

Mild Covid-19 infection was associated with a 4.5-fold higher risk of loss of smell and taste in the early period classed as 30 to 180 days after infection and an almost 3-fold higher risk in the late period, which was defined as 180-360 days.

The symptoms with the highest burden across the early and late phases were weakness and breathing difficulties, the researchers said.

Breathing difficulties remained persistent throughout the first year post-infection in the 19-40, 41-60, and over 60 years age groups. 

The patterns identified in the study were similar across the wild-type, Alpha and Delta Covid-19 variants.

But the analysis also showed that vaccinated people who became infected had a lower risk of breathing difficulties compared with unvaccinated infected patients although a similar risk of other symptoms.

‘Our study suggests that mild Covid-19 patients are at risk for a small number of health outcomes and most of them are resolved within a year from diagnosis’ they concluded.

‘Importantly, the risk for lingering dyspnoea was reduced in vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection compared with unvaccinated people,’ they added.

Professor Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine, Imperial College London, said the size of the study meant the researchers could look at the change in symptom prevalence over time and the effects of other factors on persistent symptoms.

He noted that loss of smell tended to resolve at about nine months but concentration and memory changes tended to be more persistent.

‘Persistent shortness of breath tended to resolve over time and vaccination was associated with lower risk of developing it.  

‘The general message that symptoms improve over time is encouraging, but it may take a year or so for some symptoms to resolve.  

‘The study adds to the evidence that outcomes are improved by vaccination, even if vaccines don’t prevent viral transmission very well.’

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President Joe Biden stumbled over his words Tuesday when asked about his plan to end the COVID-19 emergencies.

Speaking to reporters before departing the White House on Marine One, Biden was asked what was behind the decision to end the national and public health emergencies on May 11th. Biden first put the onus on the Supreme Court, then said the declarations would end on May 15, 4 days after the date that the White House pointed to in its Monday announcement.

“What’s behind your decision to end the COVID emergency?” NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker asked Biden as he walked up to the press gaggle.

Biden grabbed Welker’s hand and stood under her umbrella as he gave his answer. “Well, the emergency will end when the Supreme Court ends it,” he said. “We’ve extended it to May the 15th to make sure we get everything done.  That’s all.  There’s nothing behind it at all.”

Biden did not say what he meant by “get everything done.” Biden also misspoke about the date the emergencies will end. The White House announced in a policy memo Monday that it would end the emergency declarations on May 11, not May 15.

It is also not clear what Biden meant in bringing up the Supreme Court — but the fates of two pandemic-era policies are currently in the hands of the court: Title 42 and student loan forgiveness. In late December, the court ruled to keep the Title 42 restrictions — which allowed border agents to turn away migrants at the southern border because of COVID — in place indefinitely, so that it could consider the arguments from both sides of the case. The court has not issued a final ruling yet.

The Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan is also awaiting a final ruling from the Supreme Court. There are two cases expected to be heard by the court; oral arguments for both cases are expected to begin on February 28. A final ruling is not expected until May or June.

In a statement of policy from the White House Office of Management and Budget Monday, the White House admitted that it would file one last extension of the national and public health emergency declarations on April 11, then would end both one month later, on May 11.

“The COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) were declared by the Trump Administration in 2020,” OMB said in its statement. “They are currently set to expire on March 1 and April 11, respectively. At present, the Administration’s plan is to extend the emergency declarations to May 11, and then end both emergencies on that date. This wind-down would align with the Administration’s previous commitments to give at least 60 days’ notice prior to termination of the PHE.”

But the move was announced in a statement intended to criticize two bills in the House of Representatives that would end the emergency declarations by force. The first, H.R. 382, a.k.a. the ‘‘Pandemic is Over Act,” was introduced by Kentucky Republican Rep. Brett Guthrie; it would terminate the public health emergency. The second, House Joint Resolution 7, was authored by Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar; it would terminate the national emergency.

The House passed the Pandemic is Over Act on Tuesday, 220-210. A vote on H.J.Res. 7 is expected this week.



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As temperatures fall in winter and people gather indoors more frequently, respiratory illnesses rise, including COVID, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza (flu), rhinovirus (common cold), and various other respiratory viruses. Many respiratory symptoms overlap, making it difficult to know whether to carry on as usual, stay home, or seek medical attention.

Malaika Stoll

Dr. Malaika Stoll

Dr. Malaika Stoll, senior medical director at Blue Shield of California advises, “Pay attention to symptoms. You might not know the cause, but serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, or prolonged high fever – in adults 101.4 F - require an assessment from a medical professional.”

Dr. Stoll shares five tips to help you address respiratory symptoms this season.

  1. Prevention! Protect yourself and others

    • Get vaccinated for COVID, booster, and yearly flu.
    • Wear a mask, isolate when sick, and engage in frequent hand washing.

  2. Treat mild symptoms

    • Self-care, including over-the-counter medications, can be applied for mild symptoms, such as a stuffy nose or mild cough.

  3. Test at home

    • If you are experiencing respiratory systems, take a COVID-19 test at home. Even if you are unsure whether you have been exposed, positive or negative test results can help your doctor diagnose and treat you.

  4. Schedule a Virtual Care Visit

    • Virtual care visits are conducted via phone and or video call with healthcare providers. Consider a virtual care visit with your provider or if your plan allows, a Teladoc visit to explain your symptoms and to get medical guidance. There are tests and treatments available for many of the viruses discussed. They are a great way to get medical advice while staying safe at home.

  5. Seek immediate care

    • If you have difficulty breathing, dehydration, or persistently high fever, seek immediate care, possibly from an emergency or urgent care facility.

Get more tips from Dr. Stoll on staying healthy this season

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Ramona Sheriff’s deputies have begun handing out naloxone kits at the substation and when responding to calls to equip people with the medication that can counteract an opioid overdose.

The free kits are available to adults from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the Ramona Sheriff’s substation, 1424 Montecito Road.

Ramona Sheriff’s Lt. Daniel Vengler said naloxone supplies have been available since Dec. 23. The medicine is used to counteract the effects of an opioid such as fentanyl, heroin or oxycodone and can be effective if used timely in case of an overdose, he said.

“We have been handing them out to people that we know use illicit drugs and to people we know to hang around with people who use illicit drugs,” Vengler said.

The idea is to have naloxone on hand before a medical emergency occurs, Vengler said.

“My hope is that the person that’s struggling with drug addiction gets help before the damage becomes irreversible,” he said. “My message to anyone who has a family member, co-worker or neighbor who is using illicit drugs is to keep offering help and don’t give up on them. Eventually they may take you up on those offers to get help and eventually get drug free.”

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a needle-free medication sprayed into a person’s nose that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Deputies typically administer the medicine after an opioid slows a person’s heart rate and impairs their breathing, Vengler said.

In 2021, Ramona deputies administered 13 doses of naloxone on seven incidents, according to Vengler. Deputies also responded to 23 overdose calls in 2021 and there were two deaths in Ramona that year that were attributed to fentanyl.

Last year through June, Ramona deputies administered eight doses of naloxone in five incidents, and two deaths were attributed to drug overdoses.

Countywide in 2021, there were 814 fentanyl overdose deaths, up from 84 in 2017, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fentanyl can be deadly in small doses. It is often mixed with other drugs, and individuals can ingest it unknowingly, officials say.

Vengler said sometimes people think they are using heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine but fentanyl may be mixed in with it. He said illicit drugs are the problem, not legally prescribed medications.

The naloxone kits being distributed by the Sheriff’s Department countywide, and by county Parks and Recreation in addition to police departments in Chula Vista and National City include two doses of naloxone. They come with an educational brochure in English and Spanish with a QR code for an instructional video.

“We want to make sure we get the kits distributed to everyone throughout the county who feels they have a need for them and we will keep getting them replenished if we run out,” Vengler said.

Naloxone nose spray medication is available in kits of two doses with an informational brochure.

Naloxone nose spray medication is available in kits of two doses with an informational brochure.

(Courtesy County Health and Human Services Agency)

The naloxone distributed through the county’s distribution program is provided for by California’s Department of Health Care Services Naloxone Distribution Project, said Cassie Klapp, group communications officer for the county Health and Human Services Agency

All county Health and Human Services Agency public health centers have distributed free naloxone kits to communities since 2021, Klapp said.

“Community naloxone access through our law enforcement partners expands access and furthers the county’s overarching goal to saturate the community with naloxone,” she said. “The sooner someone experiencing an overdose is administered naloxone, the greater the chances of survival. Anyone can carry naloxone, give it to someone experiencing an overdose, and potentially save a life.”

Naloxone will be distributed at a Love Your Heart Community Fair on Saturday, Feb. 25. The event presented by Live Well San Diego will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at Ramona Community Library, 1275 Main St.

Other activities planned at the fair include blood pressure checks, COVID-19 and flu vaccines, food distribution and a Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Murals walk.

Additional resources for naloxone distribution were discussed during the Jan. 12 Ramona Community Planning Group meeting. Planning Group members considered placing a naloxone vending machine at a public location in Ramona.

However, objections were raised about having a vending machine at the Ramona Library, which is visited by children and families, or placing it at Ramona fire departments that are not staffed during emergency call responses.

The motion for installing a naloxone vending machine failed with six Planning Group members in favor and five against.

“I think it’s a good idea, but more thought needs to be put into it,” Planning Group member Paul Stykel said.



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COVID-19 is a potentially serious disease that can cause severe illness in some individuals. Therefore, people living with HIV, particularly those who are older or have lower CD4 counts, should take extra precautions to protect themselves from contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease.

HIV destroys white blood cells that help fight infections. People with HIV, particularly those without appropriate strategies to control the virus, have an increased risk of developing all types of infections and serious illnesses if they contract SARS-CoV-2.

Scientists are still learning about the interaction between HIV and COVID-19. The current data suggest that coronavirus affects people with HIV differently. While not everyone will develop severe illness, the risk factors vary greatly, especially for people with coexisting conditions.

Continue reading to find out more about the relationship between COVID-19 and HIV.

If someone with HIV has yet to achieve viral suppression through antiretroviral treatment (ART), they may have a weakened immune system. This can mean an increased risk of developing opportunistic infections due to the following germs:

  • bacteria
  • parasites
  • fungi
  • viruses

Opportunistic infections occur when germs take advantage of issues with a person’s immune system, grow in numbers, and cause symptoms. Although opportunistic infections include viral infections, there is no clinical evidence that people with HIV are more likely to develop COVID-19 than those without HIV.

However, individuals with HIV are more likely to develop a severe, life threatening condition if they contract SARS-CoV-2. The risk is 38% greater than in people without HIV. This is the case with certain populations only, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighting that severe COVID-19 illness for those with HIV is more likely if they:

  • are older
  • have lower CD4 cell counts
  • have an ineffective HIV treatment regimen

COVID-19 symptoms are similar in people with or without HIV. They can include:

  • cough
  • fever
  • chills
  • breathing problems
  • fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • loss of taste
  • loss of smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Coughing and fever are the most common symptoms of COVID-19.

People with HIV may have longer periods of fever, and it takes longer for the lungs to recover from the effects of COVID-19. This may be due to a delayed SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody response by the body’s immune system, which can slow the lung healing process.

The best way for people with HIV to protect themselves from COVID-19 is to practice preventive measures. These can include:

  • maintaining good hygiene, for example, handwashing regularly and thoroughly
  • avoiding large gatherings
  • wearing a cloth face mask while in public spaces
  • staying away from individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19

People should also stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Experts recommend vaccines for everyone with HIV, regardless of their CD4 count or viral load. The number of necessary doses can depend on a person’s age and the vaccine type.

Are vaccine boosters necessary?

Everyone, including people with HIV, should receive a booster shot if they are eligible. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 5 years get one updated (bivalent) booster if it is more than 2 months since their last dose.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people living with HIV. There is no evidence that they interfere with ART or preexposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV.

If someone with HIV tests positive for COVID-19 or experiences any related symptoms, they should contact a doctor as soon as possible. They may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment or preventive medicines that can reduce the risk of severe illness.

Treatment must begin within the first few days of infection to be effective. It is important to note that some treatments can interfere with ART. However, doctors know of no interactions between ART and COVID-19 prevention medication, such as Evusheld.

People should also contact their doctor if they have had exposure to someone with COVID-19 or develop other symptoms related to their HIV.

Individuals with HIV need to remain up to date on all treatments, vaccinations, and preventive measures.

HIV affects the immune system and increases a person’s risk of infections. As yet, there is no clinical evidence that people with HIV have an increased risk of developing COVID-19 compared with those without HIV. However, they are more at risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus.

Therefore, people with HIV must take extra precautions against COVID-19. These include regular handwashing, avoiding large gatherings, and wearing a face mask in public spaces. In addition, vaccines are available and recommended for everyone with HIV, regardless of their CD4 count or viral load.

If someone with HIV tests positive for COVID-19, they should contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible for treatment or preventive medication if eligible.

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Rhaenys Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon are key players in the "House of the Dragon" plot, which sees them hold some hostility toward the crown after Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is selected as King Jaehaerys I Targaryen's (Michael Carter) heir. Unexpectedly, the actors behind these powerful characters were also key players in helping their co-stars adapt to on-set COVID-19 protocols.

In an interview with JOE.ie, Eve Best and Steve Toussaint revealed that a moment between Rhaenys and Corlys was the first thing shot for "House of the Dragon." Therefore, before day one of filming, it made sense to use the two actors as examples of how the COVID-safe set would operate.

"They used our scene as a kind of COVID audition for how the set was going to work in terms of all the protocols," reflected Best. This test run, she said, allowed herself and Toussaint to feel more comfortable in this cautious environment but also in the shoes of their blonde-wigged personas. "By the time actually we got to do that scene, which was the first thing that we then shot, we had a little sort of the flavor of it," said Best.

Of course, no system is perfect, and sometimes a COVID case will make its way through even the tightest barriers. "House of the Dragon" production briefly paused in July 2021 after a cast or crew member tested positive, as reported by Deadline. Thankfully, it was only a two-day shutdown and filming was able to be completed. A little over a year later, the stress of filming at the height of the pandemic paid off, with a whopping 10 million people tuning in for the premiere in August 2022 (via Variety).

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click to enlarge Scientists are looking at what factors may play a role in making winter a sickening season. - Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

Scientists are looking at what factors may play a role in making winter a sickening season.


When bitter winds blew and temperatures dropped, my grandmother would urge me to come inside. “You’ll catch your death of cold out there,” she’d say.

Sure, freezing to death is possible in frigid temperatures. But doctors and other health experts have long stressed that being cold won’t give you a cold. Still, winter is undisputedly cold-and-flu season. It’s also a period when COVID-19 spreads more.

But if the chill doesn’t matter, why does the spread of so many respiratory viruses peak during the season?

“I’ve spent the past 13 years looking into this question,” says Linsey Marr, a civil and environmental engineer at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg who studies viruses in the air. “The deeper we go, the more I realize we don’t know [and] the more there is to figure out.”

She and I are not alone.

“That wintertime seasonality has puzzled people for a very long time; thousands of years, to be honest,” says Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious diseases researcher who directs the Climate and Health Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

There is some evidence that winter’s shorter days may make people more susceptible to infection, he says. Less sunlight means people make less vitamin D, which is required for some immune responses. But that’s just one piece of the puzzle.

Scientists are also looking at what other factors may play a role in making winter a sickening season.

Illness may spread more inside

My grandma’s well-intentioned urging to come in from the cold may have instead increased the risk that I’d get sick.

Colds, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are all illnesses that are more prevalent at certain times of year when people spend more time inside. That includes winter in temperate climates, where there are distinct seasons, and rainy seasons in tropical zones. COVID-19 also spreads more indoors than outside.

Those diseases are caused by viruses that are transmitted primarily through breathing in small droplets known as aerosols. That’s a change in thinking. Many scientists thought until very recently that such viruses were spread mainly by touching contaminated surfaces.

“When you’re outdoors, you’re in the ultimate well-ventilated space,” says David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Viruses exhaled outside are diluted quickly with clean air.

But inside, aerosols and the viruses they contain can build up. “When you’re in a poorly ventilated space, the air you breathe in is often air that other people have breathed out,” he says.

Since viruses come along with that exhaled breath, “it makes a lot of sense that proximity to individuals who might be contagious would facilitate transmission,” Shaman says.

But there is more to the story, says Benjamin Bleier, a specialist for sinus and nasal disorders at Harvard Medical School.

“In modern society, we’re indoors all year round,” he says. To drive the seasonal pattern we see year after year, something else must be going on too to make people more susceptible to infection and increase the amount of virus circulating, he says.

Drier air can give some viruses a boost

Some viruses thrive in winter. But the reason why may not be so much about temperature, but humidity.

“There are some viruses that like it warm and wet and some viruses like it dry and cold,” says Donald Milton, an aerobiologist at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park. For instance, rhinoviruses — one of the many types of viruses that cause colds — survive better when it is humid. Cases of rhinovirus infection typically peak in early fall, he says.

Marr and other researchers have found that viruses that surge in the winter, including influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — survive best when the relative humidity in the air falls below about 40 percent.

Viruses aren’t usually floating around naked, Marr says. They are encased in droplets of fluid, such as saliva. Those droplets also have bits of mucus, proteins, salt and other substances in them. Those other components may determine if the virus survives drying.

When the humidity is higher, droplets dry slowly. Such slow drying kills viruses such as influenza A and SARS-CoV-2, Marr and colleagues reported July 27 in a preprint at bioRxiv.org. During slow drying, salt and other things that may harm the virus become more concentrated, although researchers still don’t fully understand what’s happening at the molecular scale to inactivate the virus.

But flash drying in parched air preserves those viruses. “If the air is very dry, the water quickly evaporates. Everything is dried down, and it’s almost like things are frozen in place,” Marr says.

How humidity affects airborne droplets

At low humidity levels, airborne droplets, or aerosols, dry quickly (left), preserving viruses under a feathery crystalline lattice, as this microscope image shows. At intermediate humidity levels, crystals form inside liquid droplets (middle), but those crystals may inactivate viruses, not preserve them. At high humidity levels (right), aerosols remain liquid, allowing viruses to survive better than at midlevel humidity.

click to enlarge At high humidity levels, aerosols remain liquid, allowing viruses to survive better than at midlevel humidity. - Photo: Janie French/Lakdawala Lab/Univ. of Pittsburg School of Medicine

Photo: Janie French/Lakdawala Lab/Univ. of Pittsburg School of Medicine

At high humidity levels, aerosols remain liquid, allowing viruses to survive better than at midlevel humidity.

Dryer, smaller aerosols are also more buoyant and may hang in the air longer, increasing the chance that someone will breathe them in, Fisman says.

What’s more, dry air can tear down some of people’s defenses against viruses. Studies in animals suggest that dry air can trigger death of some cells lining the airways. That could leave cracks where viruses can invade.

Mucus in the airways can trap viruses and help protect against infection. But breathing cold, dry air can also slow the system that usually moves mucus out of the body. That may give viruses time to break out of the mucus trap and invade cells, Fisman says.

Cold may harm our ability to fight off viruses

Being cold may not give you a cold, but it could make you more susceptible to catching one.

Normally, the immune system has a trick for warding off viruses, Bleier and colleagues recently discovered. Cells in the nose and elsewhere in the body are studded with surface proteins that can detect viruses. When one of these sensor proteins sees a virus coming, it signals the cell to release tiny bubbles called extracellular vesicles.

The bubbles work as a diversionary tactic, a bit like chaff being released from a military jet trying to avoid a heat-seeking missile, Bleier says. Viruses may go after the vesicles instead of infecting cells.

If a virus docks with one of the bubbles, it’s in for a surprise: Inside the vesicles are virus-killing bits of RNA called microRNAs. One of those microRNAs known as miR-17 could kill two types of rhinoviruses and a cold-causing coronavirus, the team reported Dec. 6 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

How cold weather affects the immune system

The immune system has a diversionary tactic to keep viruses from infecting cells in the nose: When viruses (black and gray spheres) are detected, nasal cells release bubbles called extracellular vesicles (blue circles). These bubbles are studded with proteins (red, blue and black shapes on blue circles) that are normally found on the surface of nasal cells. Viruses may go after the bubbles instead of infecting cells. When temperatures in the nose drop below body temperature (right), cells release fewer bubbles, making it easier for viruses to find and infect nasal cells.

click to enlarge When temperatures in the nose drop below body temperature, it's easier for viruses to find and infect nasal cells. - Photo: D. Huang et al/Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2022; Adapted by E. Otwell

Photo: D. Huang et al/Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2022; Adapted by E. Otwell

When temperatures in the nose drop below body temperature, it's easier for viruses to find and infect nasal cells.

Researchers measured bubbles released from human nasal cells grown in lab dishes at 37° Celsius, our typical body temperature. Then the scientists lowered the thermostat to 32° C. Cells released about 42 percent fewer vesicles at the cooler temperature, the team found. What’s more, those vesicles carried fewer weapons. Vesicles can pack in about 24 percent more microRNA at body temperature than when it is cooler.

Three tips to bolster our immune system

I asked the experts what people can do to protect themselves from viruses in the winter. Some said using a humidifier might help raise moisture levels enough to slow the drying of virus-laden droplets, killing the viruses.

“Any increase in humidity should be beneficial,” says Shaman. “You get a lot of bang for your buck if you go from very dry to dry.”

But Milton doesn’t think it’s a good idea to pump a lot of moisture into a house when it is cold outside. “That humidity is going to find all of the cold spaces in your house and condense there,” creating a breeding ground for mold and rot, he says.

Instead, he advocates turning on kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to increase ventilation and using HEPA filters or Corsi-Rosenthal boxes to filter unwanted viruses out of the air.

Bleier suggests wearing a mask. Not only can masks filter out viruses, but “our work suggests these masks have a second mechanism of action,” he says. “They keep a cushion of warm [moist] air in front of our noses, which could help bolster the immune system.”

This commentary was originally published in Science News and republished here with permission.

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