Tag Archives: Anosmia

Indians may postpone travel plans due to spread of new strain of virus and possible flight bans | Instant News

Many people may postpone their international travel plans due to concerns about the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus in some countries and the possibility of flight bans by countries like Dubai, France and Singapore, a report revealed. investigation. The survey, based on more than 15,000 responses from more than 10,000 people from 204 cities and conducted by the online platform LocalCircles, also found that up to 42% of respondents had no travel plan for travel. interiors. After the lockdown, the government has yet to allow the regular operation of international flights, but operates transport bubbles with 23 countries, including the UK through the Vande Bharat mission. However, India has imposed a temporary delay on flights to and from the UK from December 23 to December 31 following the detection of the new variant of the virus in the UK. LocalCircles has conducted an investigation to understand the impact of this new strain of coronavirus on Indian international travel plans over the next three months. The platform observed an increase in the number of messages from citizens suggesting that many could withhold their travel plans to any international country due to the fear and anxiety of being infected with this new strain as well as the possibility of flight bans from other air hubs such as Dubai, Singapore, Paris, etc. have increased, LocalCirles said in a statement. The survey also attempted to understand people’s plans to undertake domestic travel over the next three months, as with the reduction in the number of cases and fatigue from COVID, many more have started traveling since October, did he declare. Consumers were asked about their situation with regard to international travel over the next three months, according to the online platform. “The local circle received 7,820 responses, of which up to 71% of consumers said they did not intend to take an international trip in the next 3 months. while 2 percent said they had reservations and would likely travel, and 2 percent said they had reservations but could cancel depending on the COVID situation, ”he said. In addition, up to 16% said they had plans but could not travel due to COVID, while 7% said they could travel depending on the coronavirus situation. “Overall consumer comments suggest that the new strain of virus that was recently detected in the UK and associated flight bans, with the majority planning international travel within the next 3 months, should hold back,” the investigation. When only consumers planning to travel internationally were surveyed – while keeping the 71 percent of consumers who did not intend to undertake international travel in the next three months out of reach, it seems that of the 100 percent of consumers who were planning to travel abroad, 59 percent who had “plans but no reservations” are unlikely to travel, and 7 percent who had reservations will cancel those reservations and will not travel, according to the survey. Eight percent of people who have already booked international travel are likely to travel and an additional 26% who do not have a reservation will likely plan their international trip within the next three months depending on how the COVID situation evolves, he said. he declares. Overall, the survey indicates that the mutant coronavirus and the associated flight bans led 66% of consumers to plan international travel in the next 3 months to hold back. However, if India is successful in containing the spread of Covid and the new viral mutations, domestic travel is likely to be plentiful. And if that happens, it seems likely that many could cancel their trip to Switzerland in favor of Dalhousie or Kashmir. (This story was posted from a wireline agency with no text changes. Only the title has been changed.) Stories on Facebook and Twitter.

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The study exposed human olfactory and brain cells as targets of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus | Instant News

In a study published in iScience Jurnal, a research group from Switzerland showed that the receptor and entry gene for coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) severe acute respiratory syndrome is expressed in human olfactory nerve cells and the brain by observing key molecular players involved in the infection process.

The entry of SARS-CoV-2 which is the causative agent for the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) requires the use of a spike. glycoproteins to interact with the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor. Attached to the cell membrane are serine proteases TMPRSS2, which prioritizes glycoprotein spikes and facilitates viral entry.

As a result, the main target of the virus – namely the respiratory cells lining the respiratory tract – together express ACE2 and TMPRSS2. The nasal cavity also houses respiratory cells, but there is an area of ​​smell which is responsible for regulating the sense of smell.

And indeed, loss of smell is one of the causes symptoms of COVID-19; However, the notion that viruses can directly or indirectly affect the integrity and functioning of the sensory parts of the olfactory system is not new. Some viruses actually interfere with the neuroepithelium in various ways and often modify certain types of cells, including neurons.

But whether the olfactory dysfunction shown to be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection originates from a generalized inflammatory process in the nasal cavity or from a targeted disorder of the olfactory neuroepithelium or olfactory bulb is unclear.

In this new paper, researchers from Switzerland (led by Dr. Leon Fodoulian of the University of Geneva) aim to investigate the distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 ACE2 receptor in human olfactory neuroepithelial cells, as well as in the brain.

Multidisciplinary methodological approach

This research effort was carried out using a multidisciplinary approach, based on its data and publicly available RNA-seq datasets, as well as immunohistochemical staining of mice and human tissue.

More specifically, the investigators have collected biopsies using endoscopic nasal surgery from four adult patients and then explored the potential for expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Immunohistochemistry was then used to evaluate ACE2 expression in the human nasal cavity.

In their study, transcriptomic analysis of entire tissues and single cells of the human olfactory epithelium was pursued, and they have also explored two single-core RNA-seq data sets to assess ACE2 expression in the human brain precisely.

Sustentacular cells loaded with receptors

The results have revealed that a subset of olfactory support cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium (also known as support cells involved in odor transformation and xenobiotic metabolism) express ACE2, but not olfactory sensory neurons.

“In mice, where the olfactory mucosa is well structured both in terms of the pseudo layer and in terms of its very tight separation from the respiratory epithelium, we observed (similar to humans) clear ACE2 expression at the apical boundaries of the support cells”, explain the study authors.

However, this distribution is not homogeneous because ACE2 is observed in cells that are located very dorsally but completely absent in the more ventral zone of the olfactory neuroepithelium.

However, these cells were also found to express TMPRSS2, and the researchers also revealed ACE2 expression in a subset of brain cell types – including nerve cells and non-neurons.

Credible link with anosmia

In short, this study has shown that respiratory cells are not the only players in contact with the outside world which stores the molecular keys involved in the entry of SARS-CoV-2 in the nose. Sustentacular cells, located at the interface between the central nervous system and the olfactory cavity, have the same properties.

But what is the likelihood that the co-expression of ACE2 in olfactory-supporting cells and its direct connection to the brain is the underlying cause of SARS-CoV-2-induced anosmia?

“Taken together, and despite the fact that one cannot exclude inflammation and infection of other types of non-neuronal cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium as the origin of SARS-CoV-2- induced anosmia, the relationship between the means of entry of viral molecules is revealed by the olfactory support and SARS-CoV-2-induced chemosensory changes appear to be quite credible “, the study authors concluded.

However, the existence of a wide variety of neuronal and non-neuronal cell populations that express ACE2 in the human brain is a research interest that needs to be pursued, with possible practical applications in the future.


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Corona virus pandemic: Germany warns against traveling to ski areas in Austria, Switzerland, Italy – travel | Instant News

Germany has issued travel warnings for popular ski areas in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, struggling to contain the spread of the virus corona virus as the rate of new infections rose above 10,000 a day for the first time. While the infection rates in Germany are lower than in much of Europe, they are steadily increasing, with a daily increase of 11,287 cases bringing the total to 392,049. The German death toll stood at 9,905. “The situation has become very serious overall,” Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, said.

“We still have a chance to slow the spread of the pandemic,” he said. But he said people should stick to the rules and that Germany must prepare for an uncontrolled spread of the virus. On Wednesday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn became the latest leading politician to test positive for the virus. His spokesman said he had cold symptoms but had no fever. Government sources said he was fit for work. Berlin issued new travel warnings for Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, much of Austria and parts of Italy including the popular South Tyrol ski area.

The UK, with the exception of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and overseas territories, is also seen as a high risk region. Under the warning, which takes effect from Saturday, travelers returning to Germany must be quarantined for 10 days. Quarantine can be lifted early, if tests carried out after five days turn out to be negative. The surge in Germany also prompted the Danish government to warn its citizens against traveling to and from Germany, except for the border state of Schleswig Holstein.

Germany’s move could have a significant impact on ski seasons in the Alpine countries. Especially Austria, which reported a record 2,435 new daily infections on Thursday, is a popular destination for Germans. Swiss Tourism spokesman Markus Berger said the news from Germany was definitely not good. The industry hopes that the situation will improve in the next month or two. “We assume that winter can continue,” he said. However, there is positive news for Spain’s Canary Islands as the RKI removed them from its risk list, raising hopes for German tourists over Christmas and New Year.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed with no modifications to the text. Only the title has been changed.)

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Scientists discover why coronavirus leads to a loss of smell | Instant News

Scientists have discovered why coronavirus causes some patients to lose their sense of smell.

Temporary loss of smell, or anosmia, is one of the earliest and most commonly reported warning signs of Covid-19.

Studies suggest the “devastating” better symptom predicts the disease than other well-known symptoms such as a fever or cough.

But the actual cause for loss of smell in Covid-19 patients has been unclear – until now.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School in the United States have identified which cell types used for smelling are most vulnerable to infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

They were surprised to discover sensory neurons, which detect and transmit the sense of smell to the brain, are not vulnerable to the disease.

Their study found instead it attacks the cells supporting the olfactory sensory neurons.

Dr Sandeep Robert Datta, associate professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of the study, said this was a positive finding because it suggests most cases of Covid-19 are unlikely to cause a permanent loss of smell.

He said: “Our findings indicate that the novel coronavirus changes the sense of smell in patients not by directly infecting neurons but by affecting the function of supporting cells.

“I think it’s good news, because once the infection clears, olfactory neurons don’t appear to need to be replaced or rebuilt from scratch.”

But, he added: “We need more data and a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms to confirm this conclusion.”

The majority of Covid-19 patients experience some level of anosmia, but most often it is temporary.

The research team hope the study results will help accelerate efforts to better understand smell loss in Covid-1 patients, which could lead to treatments for anosmia and the development of improved smell-based diagnostics for the disease.

Dr Datta said: “Anosmia seems like a curious phenomenon, but it can be devastating for the small fraction of people in whom it’s persistent.

“It can have serious psychological consequences and could be a major public health problem if we have a growing population with permanent loss of smell.”

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.


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How COVID-19 affects the nervous system | Instant News

A new paper published in the journal JAMA Neurology in May 2020 discussed the presentation and complications of COVID-19 with respect to the nervous system.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of cases of severe pneumonia and respiratory disorders, in 188 countries and regions in the world. The causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, is a new coronavirus, with well-recognized lung complications. However, evidence is increasing that the virus also affects other organs, such as the nervous system and heart.

The Coronaviruses: A Glimpse

That corona virus is a group of large spread RNA viruses that infect animals and humans. Human infections are known to be caused by 7 coronaviruses, namely human coronavirus (HCoV) –229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-OC43, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2.

Among these, the last three are known to cause severe human disease. While HCoV is more associated with respiratory manifestations, three of them are known to infect neurons: HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, and SARS-CoV-1.

Current research aims to contribute to the knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism, as well as post-infectious neurological complications. This virus infects humans through ACE2 receptors in various tissues, including airway epithelium, kidney cells, small intestine, proper lung tissue, and endothelial cells.

Because endothelium is found in blood vessels throughout the body, this offers a potential route for CoV to be localized in the brain. In addition, a recent report shows that ACE2 is also found in brain neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, especially in areas such as substantia nigra, ventricles, middle temporal gyrus, and olfactory bulb.

Interestingly, ACE2 in neuron tissue is expressed not only on the surface but also in the cytoplasm. This finding could imply that SARS-CoV-2 can infect neuronal and glial cells in all parts of the central nervous system.

How does neuroinvasion occur with SARS-CoV-2?

Current knowledge indicates the possibility of nerve cell virus invasion by several mechanisms. These include the transfer of viruses across synapses of infected cells, entering the brain through the olfactory nerve, infection of endothelial blood vessels, and migration of infected white blood cells across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

The corona virus has been shown to spread back along the nerves from the edge of the peripheral nerves, across synapses, and thus into the brain, in several small animal studies. This is facilitated by a pathway for endocytosis or exocytosis between motor cortex neurons, and other secretory vesicular pathways between neurons and satellite cells.

Axonal transport occurs rapidly using axonal microtubules, which allow the virus to reach the body of neuron cells with a retrograde version of this mechanism.

The possibility of spreading the olfactory route is marked by the occurrence of isolated anosmia and age. In such cases, the virus can pass through the latticed plate to enter the central nervous system (CNS) of the nose. However, more recent unpublished research shows that olfactory neurons lack ACE2, whereas cells in the olfactory epithelium do so. This could mean that a viral injury to the olfactory epithelium, and not the olfactory neuron, is responsible for anosmia, but further studies will be needed to confirm this.

Cross the BBB

This virus can also pass through the BBB through two separate mechanisms. In the first case, infected vascular endothelial cells can move the virus across blood vessels to neurons. Once there, the virus can start to bud and infect more cells.

The second mechanism is through infected white blood cells that pass through the BBB – a mechanism called Trojan horse, which is famous for its role in HIV. Inflamed BBB allows the entry of immune cells and cytokines, and even, possibly, viral particles into the brain. T-lymphocytes, however, do not allow viruses to replicate even though they can be infected.

Neurological features of COVID-19

From limited data on neurological manifestations related to COVID-19, it is clear that headaches, anosmia, and age are among the most common symptoms. However, other findings include stroke and an abnormal state of consciousness.

While headaches occur in up to one third of confirmed cases, anosmia or age shows a much more varied prevalence. In Italy, about one fifth of cases show this symptom, while almost 90% of patients in Germany have such symptoms.

The researchers said, “Given the reports of anosmia that appear as early symptoms of COVID-19, specific testing for anosmia can offer the potential for early detection of COVID-19 infection.”

Impaired consciousness can occur in up to 37% of patients, due to various mechanisms such as infection and direct brain injury, metabolic-toxic encephalopathy, and demyelinating disease. Encephalitis has not been documented as a result of COVID-19.

Toxic-metabolic encephalopathy can occur due to a number of disorders of metabolic and endocrine function. These include electrolyte and mineral imbalances, kidney disorders, and cytokine storms, hypo or hyperglycemia, and liver dysfunction. Patients who are elderly, ill, or already have symptoms of dementia, or are malnourished, are at higher risk for this condition.

Less common neurological complications include Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a post-viral acute inflammatory demyelinating disease, and cerebrovascular events, including stroke.

Is COVID-19 Therapy Related to Neurological Manifestations?

Nowadays, many different drugs are used to treat this condition.

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for example, can cause psychosis, peripheral neuropathy, and the latter can worsen the symptoms of myasthenia gravis. Tocilizumab, an IL-6 blocker, is intended to reduce excessive cytokine release that occurs in severe inflammation. Although admission to CNS is limited, it can sometimes cause headaches and dizziness.

Precautions for COVID-19 Patients with Neurological Conditions

If a patient already has a neurological condition that requires special treatment, they tend to be at higher risk for COVID-19, due to existing lung, heart, or liver conditions, having kidney disease (dialysis), if they are overweight, or at immunosuppressive drugs. Also, it is likely that they may be in nursing homes, where many countries have reported severe outbreaks.

This study concludes: “Doctors must continue to monitor patients closely for neurological diseases. Early detection of neurological deficits can lead to improved clinical outcomes and better treatment algorithms. “

Journal reference:

  • Zubair, A. S. et al. (2020). Neuropathogenesis and Neurological Manifestations of Coronavirus in the Coronavirus Era 2019: Overview. JAMA Neurology. doi: 10.1001 / jamaneurol.2020.2065.


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