COVID-19 Guidelines for COVID-19 Acute Care Physical Therapy Revised
The Australia-based resource has been endorsed by APTA, the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy, and APTA Acute Care. The open-access guidelines update 20 previous recommendations, add 30 new ones, and feature an entirely new area devoted to recovery after COVID-19.
In the Media
New BA.2 Subvariant on the Rise, More Communicable, Possibly More Severe, Than Omicron
CNN: "The BA.2 virus — a subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant — isn't just spreading faster than its distant cousin, it may also cause more severe disease and appears capable of thwarting some of the key weapons we have against Covid-19, new research suggests."
COVID-19 Leaving Lasting Mark on Medicine and Research
The Guardian: "It’s not something the medical world would have chosen, but the developments of the past two years could not have happened without Covid-19 — the pathogen has served as a giant catalyst ushering in different technologies, data and research that offer insights into other diseases."
Interactive Article: What Long COVID Does to the Body
New York Times: "Long Covid is different: A chronic illness with a wide variety of symptoms, many of which are not explainable using conventional lab tests. Difficulties in detecting the illness have led some doctors to dismiss patients, or to misdiagnose their symptoms as psychosomatic. But researchers looking more deeply at long Covid patients have found visible dysfunction throughout the body."
Is the Coronavirus Becoming Endemic?
The Hill: "Although we still don’t have a clear sense for what endemicity could look like for [coronavirus] or when we could get there, there are some emerging ideas for what signs to look for. These include stability and predictability."
New Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths Declining
Total coronavirus cases have reached 78,269,789 as of Feb. 22, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. The seven-day average of new cases is 103,462 as of Feb. 22, continuing a decline in new cases from the peak seven-day moving average of 790,671 recorded on Jan. 12, 2022. Deaths are also slowing, with a 1,920 seven-day average as of Feb. 18, down from an Omicron-fueled spike of a 2,500 seven-day average recorded on Jan. 29, 2022. The most recent available seven-day averages for hospitalizations, Feb. 9-16, is 8,642, a 28% decrease from the previous average of 12.142. As of Feb. 16, 76% of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccination, with 64.5% fully vaccinated. Half of the booster-eligible population has not received a booster dose.
Omicron Responsible for Rise in Pediatric COVID-19 Hospitalizations; Buffered by Vaccination
Analysis found that as the Omicron variant became dominant, COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among children and adolescents were four times higher than during the peak of the Delta variant's dominance. Among children aged 12-17 who could receive vaccinations, COVID-19-related hospitalizations were six times higher among the unvaccinated group compared with the vaccinated group.
Babies Born to Vaccinated Mothers Less Likely To Be Hospitalized for COVID-19
A CDC study of pregnant individuals who had received two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccination found that the children born to them were 61% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, compared with the children born to those unvaccinated.
FDA Authorizes New Monoclonal Antibody
The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization for bebtelovimab, a new monoclonal antibody designed for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients 12 and up and weighing at least 88 pounds. The drug has not been approved for patients who are hospitalized for COVID-19 or those who require oxygen therapy.
CMS Shares Data on Rates of Vaccination, Boosters in Nursing Homes for Residents and Staff
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is now sharing information with the public on rates of vaccination rates among nursing home residents and staff. The report, available at CMS' Care Compare website, "shows that the rate of booster shots administered to nursing home staff lags behind the national average of those over the age of 18," according to CMS.
New in Research
Study Identifies Type 2 Diabetes as One of Four Risk Factors for Long COVID
Researchers conducting a large-scale longitudinal study believe they have identified four factors that increase the risk for long COVID, also known as PASC. Patients who had a higher viral load, those with autoantibodies, those who experienced a reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus, and patients with type 2 diabetes were found to be more likely to develop long COVID. The study appeared in the journal Cell.
Early Research Hints at Connection Between Long COVID and Vagus Nerve Dysfunction
Preliminary research presented at the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases points to a link between long COVID and the vagus nerve. Researchers found that among 348 long COVID patients, 66% had symptoms suggestive of vagus nerve dysfunction, with results from the first cohort of 22 patients showing "significant, clinically-relevant, structural and/or functional alterations in their vagus nerve, including thickening, trouble swallowing, and symptoms of impaired breathing."
Lung Transplant Seems To Work for COVID-19 Patients
A study published in JAMA reports that the first 30 patients who received a lung transplant due to COVID-19 had successful outcomes, with all patients still alive and none experiencing rejections.