At this point in the pandemic, the coronavirus's devastating effects on the human body have been well documented. But unusual symptoms that may be connected to the virus continue to crop up, including "covid toes," "covid tongue" and hair loss. Now, news reports and social media posts have documented visible changes in the nails of some covid-19 survivors, most commonly in the form of horizontal grooves. Dubbed "covid nails" by a U.K.-based epidemiologist who tweeted about the markings earlier this month, the anecdotal reports have prompted assertions that it could be a way to tell whether you've had the virus.Subscribe to The Post Most newsletter for the most important and interesting stories from The Washington Post. Other experts, however, caution against relying on your nails as proof that you may have been infected. "Whether it comes to nail changes or skin rashes or hair loss, these are not necessarily things that covid does because it's covid," said Jeffrey Weinberg, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York. Those symptoms, Weinberg said, "could happen with anything that perturbs the body." Here's what Weinberg and other experts had to say about nail changes observed in coronavirus cases. Q: Can illnesses such as covid-19 affect your nails? A: "A lot of different illnesses and infections can cause nail changes," said Esther Freeman, director of global health dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and principal investigator for an international registry of dermatologic reactions related to the coronavirus. But Freeman noted, a "relatively small proportion" of health-care providers has been reporting unusual-looking nails to the registry. Of the nail symptoms detailed in the registry, the most commonly reported phenomenon is Beau's lines, or the horizontal grooves that have been associated with "covid nails," said Freeman, who suggested a more precise name would be "post-covid nails." The grooves often appear across all fingernails and occasionally on toenails. Beau's lines result from "a temporary interruption in the nail growth," she said. "If you run your fingers over it, it's going to just feel like a change in texture." Q: How do Beau's lines form? A: Scientists don't know exactly what causes nails to briefly stop growing, said Shari Lipner, a nail expert and dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. It's believed to be a response to the body weathering "any shock to the system," including systemic illnesses that are accompanied by high fever or a medical event such as chemotherapy or surgery, Lipner said. Beau's lines, for instance, have been seen in people who had the flu or hand, foot and mouth disease. Studies have also reported the appearance of the lines in some deep-sea divers and people who spent time at high altitudes. "Not everybody is going to get them," Weinberg said. "Why will one person get it and another will not, I have no idea." Because the interruption happens in the area where your fingernails and toenails start to grow, which is called the nail matrix, the lines aren't visible right away, Lipner said. If you notice a groove near the base of your nail close to the cuticle, the triggering event likely happened at least a month before. "It's really not something to be concerned about," she added. "It's really just saying that something happened to your body beforehand." Though covid could be causing Beau's lines, Lipner emphasized that reported cases have been infrequent. "If it does happen with covid-19, it's a rare occurrence." Tim Spector, the epidemiologist who tweeted about "covid nails" earlier this month, is the principal investigator for the Zoe covid Symptom Study app and said he estimates reports of nail changes documented by the app's users are "in the hundreds" at the moment - a number he anticipates might rise as awareness increases. The app, which is available to people in the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden and has racked up about 4.5 million downloads, is designed to study covid-19 symptoms and track the virus's spread, Spector said. "We are increasingly finding out that people do respond to the virus in different ways," said Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College in London. "This just might be yet another of these rather odd clinical signs discovered weeks or months afterward." Q: Are Beau's lines a reliable sign that you had covid? A: No, the dermatologists said. "This is a very nonspecific finding, and people can get Beau's lines from many, many different conditions," Freeman said. "I would certainly not view it as a way to diagnose acute covid infection, because you won't see it in the acute period." And you shouldn't use the lines in place of an antibody test, she added. For covid to be the likely cause of Beau's lines, Lipner said, symptoms and timing would need to line up. If you had a confirmed infection and the lines appeared about a month later, then it's possible they were related to covid, she said. Freeman said she has seen reports in the dermatology registry detailing nail abnormalities other than Beau's lines in coronavirus patients. Some people have observed the red or purple skin discoloration, also known as pernio or chilblains, that can appear under the toe nails and has been called "covid toes." Additionally, there have been splinter hemorrhages, which show up as small red or purple spots and are linked to tiny blood clots in the capillaries underneath the nails, and cases of brittle nails splitting and peeling at the ends. All of these changes, like Beau's lines, also can have other causes and aren't specific symptoms of covid, Freeman said. Another finding that has been documented in at least two dermatology journals during the pandemic is what researchers are calling the "red half-moon nail sign," which appears as reddish bands that surround the white base of the fingernail. It's not yet known what's causing this symptom, but the authors of one paper theorized that it could be a secondary result of vascular inflammation. Q: Are these nail changes permanent? A: Most nail changes, including Beau's lines, aren't permanent, experts said, and shouldn't be cause for panic. On average, fingernails completely grow out over a six-month period, while toenails can take 12 to 18 months. The appearance of a single set of Beau's lines, Freeman said, simply shows "that your body went through something, and it's on the road to recovery." Related ContentThe new CNN is more opinionated and emotional. Can it still be 'the most trusted name in news'?Female biker was a 50-year-old man using FaceApp. After he confessed, his followers liked him even more.Most police departments in America are small. That's partly why changing policing is difficult, experts say.
CHICAGO (Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday it had found more cases of potentially life-threatening blood clotting among people who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and sees a "plausible causal association". The CDC said in a presentation the agency has now identified 28 cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) among the more than 8.7 million people who had received the J&J vaccine.
Now that the Food and Drug Administration has cleared the first coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in children as young as 12, families are sure to have questions about the Pfizer-BioNTech shot and when it will become available. Here are some answers. - - -Subscribe to The Post Most newsletter for the most important and interesting stories from The Washington Post. Is this vaccine the same one that has been given to millions of people 16 and older? Yes. It is the same vaccine, at the same strength, and requires two doses. - - - How well did the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine work in adolescents? The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was originally authorized for people 16 and older. In a trial of nearly 2,300 adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, half received the two-shot regimen that was shown effective and safe in adults and half received a placebo. Researchers took blood samples after vaccination and measured antibody levels triggered by the shots. They found stronger immune responses in the teens than in young adults who had already been shown to be protected in the original trial. This is a common way of investigating whether a vaccine is effective in groups of people not included in the original trial, called "immune bridging." There were 16 cases of covid-19 - the illness caused by the virus - in the trial, all of them among adolescents who received a placebo. That offered direct evidence that the shots provided strong protection against illness. - - - What were the side effects? The most common side effects were similar to those seen in adults, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle aches and fevers. The side effects tended to be somewhat more common in adolescents. For example, 63% of participants 16 and older reported fatigue, and 78% of those 12 to 15 years old did. About 14% of people 16 and over reported fevers, but 24% of younger adolescents did. Side effects were most common after the second dose. The vaccine has also caused very rare anaphylaxis reactions. - - - What about longer-term side effects? Most vaccine side effects occur within two months of receiving the shots. That is why the FDA concentrated on this data when considering whether the vaccines were safe. The children in the trial will continue to be monitored for two years. However, very rare side effects are often not picked up within clinical trials. Longer-term monitoring of the safety of the vaccine will continue to track adverse events, severe cases of covid-19 that cause hospitalization or death, and cases of a serious and rare inflammatory syndrome. - - - When will the Pfizer vaccine be available to this age group? Expert advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scheduled to meet Wednesday to recommend how the vaccine should be used among 12- to 15-year-olds. If the panel of experts, known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, recommends the vaccine for use and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky approves the recommendation - both actions are widely expected - the inoculation can be given anywhere authorized to administer the shots. - - - Will the vaccine be required for school entry? It will be up to state governments to decide which vaccines are required for school entry in their jurisdictions. Dorit Reiss, a law professor focused on vaccine policy at the University of California Hastings College of Law, said a coronavirus shot would not be mandatory in schools without the vaccine receiving full regulatory approval. - - - Can the coronavirus vaccine be given along with other immunizations? There is no data on how the vaccines interact with other immunizations. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), administration of the coronavirus vaccine with other childhood or adolescent inoculations - such as vaccines targeting human papillomavirus, known as HPV, or meningococcal disease - has not yet been studied extensively. There are few vaccines that pose a problem when administered with other shots. The AAP does not have a formal position on administering routine vaccines at the same time a coronavirus shot is given. - - - Are other companies testing their vaccines in this age group? Moderna announced in May that an initial analysis of its teen trial found that its vaccine was 96% effective among participants who received at least one dose. Moderna is in discussions with regulators about the data. - - - What about coronavirus vaccines for younger children? Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are testing their vaccines in children as young as infants. Trials in younger children are expected to take longer because researchers must step down gradually in age groups. First, researchers must establish a safe and effective dose, which may be lower than the dose in adults or teens. They will do this by testing different doses, first in older children, for example 5- to 11-year-olds, before moving down to 2- to 4-year-olds and children as young as 6 months. Then, they will test whether the vaccines are safe or effective, by measuring whether they trigger equivalent immune responses in children's blood. Pfizer expects to have data on children as young as 2 years old by September or October, with data from younger children expected by the end of the year. - - - How will regulators scrutinize the vaccines for younger children? The FDA said it will convene a meeting of its outside vaccine experts June 10 to discuss the data needed to authorize pediatric vaccines, focusing on children younger than 12. "We recognize that the next critical step is having vaccines available for use throughout the pediatric population," Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "As we get down to younger children age 11 and below, different doses of the vaccine will need to be used," he said in a news briefing Monday. "There are also different risk-benefit considerations because we know that younger children have been susceptible to this interesting multi-inflammatory syndrome with covid-19, and we have to make sure we're not going to see anything untoward in the youngest children." Related ContentThe new CNN is more opinionated and emotional. Can it still be 'the most trusted name in news'?Female biker was a 50-year-old man using FaceApp. After he confessed, his followers liked him even more.Most police departments in America are small. That's partly why changing policing is difficult, experts say.
Just feeling that there's someone out there she can count on can help a mom-to-be. d3sign/Moment via Getty ImagesEven before the pandemic, there was plenty for expectant mothers to worry about. Pregnant women must withstand a barrage of arguably well-intentioned, but often hyperbolic, warnings about their health and what’s to come, including concerns about everything from what to eat, to what to wear, to how to feel. Health professionals know that mothers-to-be experience predictable increases in anxiety levels before infants are born. Maternal mental health has been steadily deteriorating in the U.S., particularly among poor and minority women. The calls to “be afraid, be very afraid” are, of course, countered by the equally strong cautions for pregnant women to not worry too much, lest it lead to long-term negative outcomes for them and their infants. Such warnings are not entirely off base. Maternal stress hormones cross the placenta and affect the vulnerable fetus. Fetal exposure to the stress hormone cortisol has been linked to an array of negative outcomes, including miscarriage and preterm birth, and irritable temperament for the child and increased risk of emotional problems during childhood. One thing researchers know is that anxious mothers tend to have anxious children. This common, albeit not prescriptive, phenomenon is likely due to numerous factors, both pre- and postpartum. In our laboratory, we focus on what happens when women start their pregnancies already worried or anxious and what clues we can uncover about how to help them and their children. Our research suggests that worry during pregnancy can have long-term impacts on how mothers’ brains communicate – but also that there might be some simple steps that can help rein in the effects. Maternal brains change during pregnancy The fetal brain isn’t the only one that is vulnerable during pregnancy. There’s evidence that the maternal brain reorganizes in ways that likely prepare a pregnant woman to care for another human being. The experience of stress during pregnancy can thus hijack a period of change meant to allow for positive adaptations and instead open the door for anxiety problems. We are interested in whether there might be easy, approachable ways to offset some of these negative effects. So we invite pregnant women into our lab, where we can record their naturally occurring brain activity using electroencephalography. This EEG technique gives us a great sense of how quickly and how strongly brains react to particular stimuli. In a recent study from our lab, we measured pregnant women’s neural reactivity while they viewed emotional and nonemotional pictures. For most people, including pregnant women, their brains show more activity when they’re presented with a negative image or sound – like a crying baby – than with a neutral image or sound – such as a blanket. We found that for some women in their third trimester of pregnancy, this effect was disrupted; instead of reacting more strongly to a negative image, expectant mothers’ brains showed the same response to negative and neutral pictures. Basically these mothers-to-be did not, at the neural level, distinguish neutral from negative images. Using EEG, researchers recorded the electrical activity of women’s brains when they saw neutral (in black) and negative (in red) images and compared the responses over time. Tristin Nyman and Rebecca Brooker, CC BY-ND We can’t be sure whether what we observed was these women’s brains reacting to neutral pictures as though they were negative, or to negative pictures as though they were neutral. But we did see that the difference between the two emotional categories was smaller compared to what we would expect. In the context of our interest in worry and anxiety, this finding is concerning. It looks like these women are at risk of responding to even nonthreatening information as though it is problematic. That is, the line between what is worrisome and what should not be becomes blurred, even at the level of neural activity. Other research suggests that this may hurt the mother-infant relationship over time. Researchers found that when women’s brains were more reactive to neutral information, similar to what we think may be happening in our study, mothers reported more difficulty interpreting emotions in their infant. Critically, though, we saw this mixed-up reaction only in pregnant women who reported having low levels of social support. We asked our volunteers to create lists of people they felt they could talk to if they were in a difficult situation or needed help. We also asked them to tell us if they thought, as they reflected on these lists, that the social support available to them was adequate. When women reported more satisfaction with their social support networks, the neural response was just as we expected, with a clear distinction between negative and neutral information. Our findings are consistent with studies of nonpregnant individuals, suggesting that adequate social support calms the body’s responses to stress. Our work identifies social support as a specific and easily targeted step for protecting pregnant women in ways that can influence neural function during a sensitive period of reorganization. What mattered was whether a woman felt that she was supported during pregnancy, not an objective reality of how many people were on standby to help her. Cavan Images/Cavan via Getty Images Adequate support is in the eye of the beholder What especially caught our eye in these findings is that we used a measure of social support that was based on a woman’s perception about how much backup was available to her should she need it. Whether or not her belief is accurate is unknown. However, more and more neuroscientific evidence underscores the degree to which people live in their own subjective realities. It is intuitive, and supported by decades of work in sociology and social psychology, that people base their thoughts, feelings and actions on what they believe to be true about the world regardless of whether it’s accurate. In this case, a woman’s feelings about her available social support are based on how good she feels about that network rather than whether anyone else thinks she has enough people to talk to if a problem arises. It follows, then, that changing a mom-to-be’s perception that she has sufficient social support can change the way that her brain processes emotional information to make it more closely resemble typical, healthy function. Our research suggests there’s an easy and inexpensive way to support pregnant mothers that can alter neural reactivity to negative information and may serve to protect both maternal and child outcomes – simply help mom feel more supported. That doesn’t need to mean encouraging women to join clubs or groups or find new friends or therapists. Rather, pregnant women may benefit from simply recognizing the power and benefit of the networks they already have in place. [Insight, in your inbox each day. You can get it with The Conversation’s email newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Rebecca Brooker, Texas A&M University and Tristin Nyman, Texas A&M University. Read more:Pregnancy during a pandemic: The stress of COVID-19 on pregnant women and new mothers is showingMom’s prenatal hardship turns baby’s genes on and off Rebecca Brooker receives funding from the National Institutes of Health. Research discussed in the article was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Tristin Nyman receives funding from the the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health. The content she shares here is solely her responsibility and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus, mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s immune system.
Those figures are up from the 263,132,561 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by May 11 out of 334,081,065 doses delivered. The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine, as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
PARIS (Reuters) -France reported 21,498 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing total cases to 5.82 million, 2.02% more than a week ago and the slowest week-on-week increase since late June 2020. Two weeks after the French government started gradually unwinding its third nationwide lockdown, the seven-day moving average of daily new cases has fallen to about 16,500, from more than 42,000 mid-April, when week-on-week increases in new cases were still over 6%. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Tuesday there was a clear downtrend in the evolution of the epidemic and France remained on track to lift the last anti-COVID-19 measures at the start of July.
U.S. pharmaceutical maker Pfizer Inc will seek authorization from Mexico's health regulator for use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 12-15, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday. "Pfizer will submit the request for authorization from Cofepris for the vaccine, applicable to minors between 12 and 15 years old, in the next few days," Ebrard said in a tweet. He shared a letter from Maria Constanza Losada, president of Pfizer in Mexico, dated May 7, stating the company's intent to submit its vaccine for approval for minors.
BRASILIA (Reuters) -Nearly 40% of all global deaths from COVID-19 reported last week happened in the Americas, and nearly 80% of the region's intensive care units are filled with COVID-19 patients, the Pan American Health Organization said on Wednesday. "This is a clear sign that transmission is far from being controlled in our region, even as countries like the United States and Brazil are reporting reductions in cases," PAHO Director Carissa Etienne told a webcast news conference. India's B.1.617 predominant coronavirus variant has been detected in six countries of the Americas and PAHO is worried that it is highly transmissible, incident manager Sylvain Aldighieri said.
As efforts increase to get Americans vaccinated, extra cool places to get the shot are one way to get people to roll up their sleeves.
India's deadly second wave of COVID-19 is not due to vaccinations. New variants, lifted lockdown measures and a lack of preparedness played a role.
Former nursing assistant Reta Mays, 46, faced her victims' families before a judge sentenced her to life in prison.
States are rolling out Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to pediatricians and even some school vaccine clinics as they prepare to vaccinate millions of kids as young as 12. Earlier in the week, the Food and Drug Administration cleared expanded use of Pfizer's shots, citing evidence they worked as well for the younger age group as for those 16 and older. “Their lives have been really disrupted by this virus,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer and president-elect of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
The German government has agreed to let travelers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from infection avoid testing and quarantine when entering the country, unless they come from areas where variants of concern are prevalent. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet on Wednesday approved a change to existing rules that will also allow non-vaccinated people to end their quarantine early if they test negative. Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country expects to roll out its digital immunity certificate by the end of June, making it easier to prove a person has been fully vaccinated.
The tiny Republic of San Marino, landlocked inside Italy, on Wednesday announced the launch of a vaccine tourism programme, offering the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 shot to visitors from May 17. The 24-square-mile (61-square-kilometre) enclave, with a population of 34,000, first received a batch of Sputnik in February and has so far immunized 25,000 people, officials said on a briefing on Wednesday, mostly with the Russian vaccine. With no coronavirus patients currently in hospital, San Marino decided it was capable of launching a campaign inviting tourists to get vaccinated with Sputnik V, tourism minister Federico Pedini Amati said on the briefing.
The country had last month doubled its order for Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine to 40 million shots, preferring it over AstraZeneca for its nearly 12 million people in that age group. Moderna said it will supply 10 million shots against the original strain of the virus this year and 15 million doses of its updated variant booster candidate in 2022. Australia's isolation strategy has helped it so far prevent a large pandemic impact, but its rollout of authorized vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca has been slow.
A CDC advisory committee will meet Wednesday to decide whether to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday it was reviewing a proposal by an unidentified vaccine manufacturer in Vietnam to become an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine technology hub in the Southeast Asian country. MRNA vaccines, like that developed jointly by BionTech and Pfizer, prompt the human body to make a protein that is part of the virus, triggering an immune response. "A vaccine manufacturer in Vietnam has already expressed its interest to become a mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer hub," Kidong Park, the WHO representative in Vietnam, said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
Sinovac's vaccine, Coronavac, was 98% effective at preventing death in health workers, Indonesian officials said. This is better than previously thought.
The United States should begin vaccinating adolescents with the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were told on Wednesday, ahead of a vote awaited by states ready to start inoculating younger people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized the vaccine for children aged 12 to 15, offering relief to parents eager to get their children back to schools and summer camps. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) provides recommendations to the CDC that many states will consider as they begin administering the two-shot vaccine to adolescents this week.
With over a third of the United States population now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, scientists hope to preserve this newly acquired immunity as the pandemic continues. Now, researchers are exploring whether we might all need booster shots in the coming months and years in order to maintain immunity or to protect against newly emerging variants. The Biden administration said during a Senate hearing Tuesday that the government has enough funding to buy booster shots if needed.
Merck KGaA on Wednesday said that U.S. regulations that give priority to U.S. government contracts to purchase COVID-19 vaccines are a challenge as it seeks to meet soaring demand for its lab equipment and supplies across the globe. She said U.S. law required that a preference be given to so-called rated state orders for COVID-19 programmes over any other orders. "For us, all our customers and all the other COVID-19 programmes are very crucial and we are making capacity expansion a top priority of our agenda," she said, pointing to investment projects both in the United States and Europe.
OSLO (Reuters) -Norway will not resume use of the COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca, and a decision on whether to include Johnson & Johnson shots in its mass inoculation scheme remains on hold, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Wednesday. A government-appointed commission had recommended that both vaccines be excluded from Norway's programme due to the risk of rare but harmful side-effects. Authorities on March 11 suspended the AstraZeneca rollout after a small number of inoculated people, some of whom later died, were hospitalised for a combination of blood clots, bleeding and a low platelet count.
Coronavirus cases are exploding in Asia and the Pacific with over 5.9 million new confirmed infections in the past two weeks, more than in all other regions combined, the International Federation of the Red Cross said Wednesday. Seven out of 10 countries globally that are doubling their infection numbers the fastest are in Asia and the Pacific, it said. Laos took just 12 days to see its cases double, and the number of confirmed infections in India has doubled in under two months to more than 23 million, the Red Cross said in a statement.
“If Facebook lets Trump back on Facebook and Instagram, he'll assuredly restart his assault on democracy.”
“Facebook should have known better than to believe that it could limit speech on its platform without setting a terrible precedent.”
“Providing a microphone and an amplifier for deceit isn't fighting the good fight for free speech.”
“It’s no defense of Mr. Trump’s conduct to say that the digital public square shouldn’t suppress speech by political leaders.”
“The former president no longer gets the ‘head of state’ exception to terms of service.”