Vaccination after infection can curb long COVID; Desktop ‘air curtains’ can deflect virus particles

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that deserves further study to corroborate the findings and that has not yet been certified by peer review.

Post-infection vaccination may reduce long COVID

Vaccination after SARS-CoV-2 infection may contribute to a reduction in the burden of long-lasting COVID symptoms, a new study finds.

The researchers followed 6,729 volunteers aged 18 to 69, who received two injections of the viral vector vaccine from AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna after recovering from infection with coronavirus and who reported long COVID symptoms of any severity at least once between February and September 2021. The odds of reporting long COVID – symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks – dropped by an average of 13% after a first dose vaccine, the researchers reported in The BMJ on Wednesday. The second dose, given 12 weeks after the first, was associated with an additional 9% decrease in the risk of long COVID that persisted for at least 9 weeks, on average, the researchers said. The odds of reporting long COVID severe enough to cause functional impairment were similarly reduced, the researchers reported. Results were similar regardless of vaccine type, interval between infection and first vaccine dose, underlying medical condition, or severity of COVID-19. However, the study was not designed to detect such differences, nor can it definitively prove that vaccines reduce the risk of long COVID.

“Further research is needed to assess the long-term relationship between vaccination and long COVID, particularly the impact of the Omicron variant,” which emerged after this study was completed, the researchers said.

Office ‘air curtains’ can deflect virus particles

When people cannot maintain a safe distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a newly designed office “air curtain” can block aerosols in exhaled air, the researchers found.

Air curtains – artificially created moving air currents – are often used to protect patients in operating rooms. At Nagoya University in Japan, researchers tested their new desktop device by simulating a blood collection booth in which a lab technician is close to the patient. Aerosol particles blown toward the curtain “were observed to bend sharply toward (a) the suction port” without passing through the air curtain, they reported in AIP Advances on Tuesday. Even passing an arm through the air curtain did not interrupt the flow or reduce its effectiveness, they said. A high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filter can be installed inside the suction port, they added.

If further real-world testing confirms the system’s effectiveness, it could “be useful as an indirect barrier not only in the medical field but also in situations where sufficient physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as at the reception desk. “. the researchers said.

Antacids help with COVID-19 by helping to limit inflammation

Researchers have found how well the antacid famotidine, commonly sold as Pepcid by a Johnson & Johnson unit, may have helped ease symptoms of COVID-19 in clinical trials.

In studies with mice, they found that famotidine stimulates the vagus nerve, which controls the immune system and other involuntary bodily functions. When the vagus nerve is stimulated, it can send signals to suppress severe immune reactions – called cytokine storms – in which high levels of inflammatory proteins are released into the blood too quickly. When famotidine was given to mice, it significantly reduced levels of inflammatory proteins in the blood and spleen and improved survival. But when the vagus nerve was severed, famotidine no longer stopped the cytokine storms, according to a report published Monday in Molecular Medicine. The data “indicates a role for the vagus nerve inflammatory reflex in suppressing the cytokine storm during COVID-19,” said co-author Dr. Kevin Tracey of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York. in a press release.

Direct electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve is known to improve a variety of diseases. “Famotidine, a well-tolerated oral drug, may offer an additional method” of activating the vagus nerve to reduce inflammatory protein generation and resulting tissue damage in COVID-19 and other diseases, the authors concluded. researchers.

Click for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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