Tag Archives: infected

Viral-fighting antibodies persist in New Zealand’s Covid-19 patients | Instant News

Viral-fighting antibodies have been found in Kiwi Covid-19 patients for up to eight months after they were infected – a finding that could bode well for the upcoming vaccine rollout.

The new research, released before peer review, has also proven to be of global importance, given that antibodies persist even when no viruses are circulating in the community.

The study analyzed antibodies in a group of 112 New Zealand patients previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, most of whom had mild symptoms.

Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus.

Once a new virus is recognized, antibodies are specially crafted to bind to the “spike protein” and stop it from entering our cells – while signaling other parts of the immune system to destroy foreign invaders.

“Because antibodies are very specific for an invading pathogen or virus, they also provide a way to track and study a person’s history of infection,” said Dr. Nikki Moreland, an immunologist and biomedical scientist at the University of Auckland.

“In other words, by taking a blood sample of someone, and seeing if there are specific antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 in circulation, it’s possible to determine if they have previously had Covid-19.”

This is useful for diagnosis – especially when the swab has no more virus due to infection several weeks or months ago.

“By studying the level and function of circulating antibodies, it is also possible to determine whether a person has the types of antibodies that might provide protection if they encounter certain viruses or pathogens again.”

The new collaborative study, carried out by PhD student Alana Whitcombe and research scientist Dr Reuben McGregor on the Moreland team, investigates not only the quantity of antibodies in previously infected people – but also their quality.

“Specifically, do people have antibodies that bind to viral spike proteins, can these antibodies neutralize the virus, and how long do these antibodies last?” McGregor said.

In the laboratory, the researchers measured levels of circulating antibodies that bind to spike proteins, as well as whether those antibodies neutralized.

“Since we had samples from people who were infected months earlier, we can use this measurement to see how long the antibodies last.”

Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus.  Photo / 123RF
Antibodies play an important role in the immune system against pathogens such as the coronavirus. Photo / 123RF

“The good news is we observed that the majority of people have neutralizing antibodies that bind to the spike protein and they can be detected for up to eight months after infection.”

While overseas research shows this too, the main difference is that this effect has been demonstrated in countries where Covid-19 has been successfully eliminated.

“People in New Zealand are not re-exposed to the virus like they are in countries with high community transmission rates,” Moreland said.

When someone is re-exposed, he explained, their immune system boosts, which can affect levels of circulating antibodies.

That makes similar data from abroad more difficult to interpret, given it’s unclear whether antibodies were there simply as a result of re-exposure.

“In New Zealand we are fortunate not to have that problem to consider when looking at our data,” said Moreland.

“We believe the antibodies we measured came from the initial infection, so seeing these antibodies last up to eight months was really encouraging.”

What does the vaccine launch mean?

Moreland said the study offers some “positive signals”, given the data from vaccine trials showing the agent induces similar – and in some cases higher – levels of neutralizing antibodies for natural infections.

“So the protection from the vaccine is also likely to last for months and maybe even longer,” he said.

“But we are still studying in real-time, every month we see that the antibodies last one month longer.

“Also, there are several different vaccines and it is important to track the antibody response to different vaccines to measure whether there is a difference in the quality and quantity of the antibodies they produce, and how long the neutralizing antibodies to vaccines last.”

Further studies showed that scientists could accurately measure spike antibodies from finger prick blood samples.

“This could drastically improve the feasibility of large-scale studies to track vaccine antibody responses.” Whitcombe said.

The paper, uploaded to medRxiv’s pre-print server, involved doctors and scientists from the University of Otago, New Zealand Blood Service, Te Punaha Matatini, Callaghan Innovations, the Maurice Wilkins Center, Southern Community Laboratory and the City of Auckland, Starship and Kidz First Children’s Hospital .

“This work would not have been possible without a national network of doctors, nurses, researchers and scientists and highlighted the collaborative nature of New Zealand’s science during the pandemic,” said Moreland.


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Covid 19 coronavirus update: Three new cases today, Air NZ crew members likely infected in the US | Instant News

An Air New Zealand crew member who has tested positive for Covid-19 may have contracted the virus in the United States.

The Health Ministry said preliminary genome testing found no link between positive cases and existing cases in New Zealand.

Comparisons with international samples show that it came from the United States, the ministry said today.

The exact source of the positive cases has not been confirmed, and a ministry investigation is ongoing.

Crew members arrived in New Zealand on December 9 on a flight from the United States.

They tested positive as part of mandatory testing within 48 hours of returning from the country.

The ministry said Air New Zealand had provided assurance that the person had met all requirements for crew flying to and from the US – and the risk to the general public was considered low.

While abroad, the flight crew is located legally required wear protective equipment when in direct contact with passengers or when outside of their aircraft or accommodation.

They must travel directly to their accommodation and cannot leave except for emergencies.

Aircrews flying the “high risk” route – which includes Los Angeles and San Francisco – must also follow legal requirements on their return to New Zealand including mandatory medical examinations and a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of arrival.

They do not have to undergo managed isolation, but must isolate themselves until they test negative.

Covid-19 Countermeasure Minister Chris Hipkins said this afternoon a positive case shows the system is working.

“We see evidence of successful protective measures with this newest Air New Zealand crew member.

“We know there is an extra risk for people coming and going who are part of the flight crew,” he said.

“We cannot accept them in two weeks of isolation, or we will never have planes coming and going. It would not be practical.

“This person has been isolated since they came back, they got the tests as expected [and] they are not showing any symptoms at this time.

“All crew members have tested negative, so there is actually no risk of spreading it in the community.”

All other crew members have returned negative test results and are in isolation.

Three new cases

The ministry also confirmed three new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, all in managed isolation.

There are no new community cases.

Two of the new cases arrived from the United States, and one from the UK. They have all been moved to Jet Park’s quarantine facility in Auckland.

One previously reported case has now recovered, bringing the total number of active cases in New Zealand now to 56.

There were 4245 tests yesterday.

The previous case

It was announced yesterday that crew members would arrive in New Zealand on December 9 on a flight from the US.

They tested positive as part of mandatory testing within 48 hours of returning from the United States.

The ministry said Air New Zealand had assured him the person had met all of the requirements for crew flying to and from the US – and the risk to the general public was considered low.

While genome sequencing has not yet been completed, preliminary results suggest no link between test crew members and existing New Zealand cases. Comparisons with international samples show that it came from the United States, the ministry said.

All other crew members returned negative and were isolated.

The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand is 1,740.

There are six new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation that were announced on Friday.

At that time, there were no community cases and the total number of cases in New Zealand stood at 57.

Of the six new cases, five were active and one history:

• One case arrived in New Zealand on 26 November, from South Africa via the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. This person was tested for being in a travel bubble with two confirmed cases and at an Auckland quarantine facility.

• One case arrived in New Zealand on 1 December, from Sweden via Qatar and Australia. These people were tested because they were in a travel bubble with two confirmed cases, and were in an Auckland quarantine facility.

• One case arrived in New Zealand on 3 December, from Great Britain via the United Arab Emirates. These people are being tested because they are in a travel bubble with a confirmed case, and are in an Auckland quarantine facility.

• One case arrived on December 3 from the United Kingdom via the United Arab Emirates. This person tested positive on routine testing around day 3, and has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.

• One case arrived on December 3 from the United Arab Emirates. These people are being tested because they are in a travel bubble with a confirmed case, and are in an Auckland quarantine facility.

• One case arrived in New Zealand on 7 December, from Great Britain via Singapore, and was tested on arrival for symptoms. Serological testing revealed that this case was historical and therefore not contagious. This person is in a Christchurch-run isolation and quarantine facility.

Starting this week, the frequency of updates has been reduced to four times a week.

New Zealand had its first confirmed case of Covid-19 on February 28, and starting March 3, daily updates have been provided by the Ministry of Health.

Last Monday, the ministry announced it was cutting the frequency of renewals to four times a week.

Updates are now scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

No new cases have been reported in the community since November 21, when the last case linked to the Auckland Defense Force cluster was reported. The person has now tested negative and there are currently no active cases registered in the community.


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Eight died, 1,348 infected overnight: CM | Instant News

Karachi – Chief Minister of Sindh (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah said that eight more patients died bringing the death toll to 2,864 and 1,348 new cases emerged when 12,159 samples were tested bringing the number to 167,381. This was disclosed by Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah in a statement issued on Wednesday. He added that eight more patients died overnight bringing the death toll to 2,864 which is a mortality rate of 1.8 percent. Mr Shah said that 12,159 samples were tested which diagnosed 1,348 new cases which is the current 11 percent detection rate. He added that so far 1,929,972 tests had been carried out on 167,381 detected cases, 88 percent or 147,564 patients had recovered, including 607 overnight. According to Murad Ali Shah, currently 16,953 patients are being treated, 16,226 of whom are in isolation homes, 13 in isolation centers and 714 in different hospitals. The condition of 614 patients was declared critical, including 58 who switched to a ventilator. The CM said of 1,348 new cases, 933 had been detected from Karachi, including 343 from the South, 338 from the East, 92 from the Center, 83 from Malir, 52 from Korangi and 25 from the West. He added that Hyderabad has 106 cases, Badin 73, Jamshoro 31, Shaheed Benazirabad 26, Sanghar 21, Matiari 16, Umerkot 13, Sujawal nine, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur eight each, Naushehroferoze seven, Ghotki six, Khairpur and Thatta three each- respectively, Dadu and Tando Mohammad Khan two each. CM urged the provincial community to follow the SOP.


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13 killed, 1,382 infected in Sindh | Instant News

KARACHI – As many as 13 more COVID-19 patients lost their lives, bringing the death toll to 2,858 and 1,382 new cases when 11,738 tests were conducted. This was disclosed by Chief Minister (CM) Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah in a statement issued on Tuesday.

He added that 13 more patients died overnight bringing the death toll to 2,858 which is a 1.8 percent mortality rate. Murad Ali Shah said that 11,738 tests were carried out on 1,382 diagnosed cases which is 11.8 percent of the current detection rate.

He added that so far 1,917,813 samples had been tested which detected 166,033 cases, of which 88.5 percent or 146,957 patients recovered, including 591 overnight. CM said currently 16,218 patients were being treated, of whom 15,535 were in home isolation, 12 in isolation centers and 671 in different hospitals. He added that the condition of 619 patients was declared critical, including 74 people who had switched to a ventilator.

Murad Ali Shah said, of the 1,382 new cases, 1,091 were detected from Karachi, among them 503 from the East, 257 from the South, 134 from the Middle, 86 from Malir, 82 from Korangi and 29 from the West. Hyderabad has 70 each, Sujawal 49, Dadu 21, Thatta 18, Naushehroferoze and Ghotki 12, Umerkot and Jamshoro 11 each, Tando Allahyar and Mirpurkhas 10 each, Shaheed Benazirabad six, Larkana three, Matiari and Tharparkar respectively two each, Badin, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Sanghar, Sukkur and tando Mohammad Khan respectively. The Chief Minister of Sindh appealed to the provincial community to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to save themselves and their families from the pandemic.

The COVID-19 infectious disease and research center are functioning at ASH

Karachi Administrator and Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani on Tuesday said that the COVID-19 Infectious Disease and Research Center was functioning at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

A 120-bed center equipped with an isolation ward, a High Dependency Unit (HDU), has experienced doctors, professors and experts, the administrator delivered this statement during a speech held at the Center for COVID-19 Infectious Disease and Research at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital .

Masood Alam’s Senior Coordination Director, Senior Director of Health and Medical Services Dr Salma Kausar, Executive Director of Karachi Heart Disease Institute Dr Asadullah Hussaini, Medical Superintendent of Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Dr Nadeem Rajput and other relevant officials were also present at the occasion.

He said there were 25 ventilators in the hospital. He asked doctors and paramedics to also take precautions by using precautions and following standard operating procedures (SOPs) when treating COVID-19 patients.

Shallwani said that Abbasi Shaheed Hospital is the third largest hospital in Karachi and serves most of the city, especially in privileged areas. He said the house was carrying out COVID-19 testing at no cost.

“Doctors and other healthcare workers are our heroes who treat patients at the risk of their own lives,” he added.

Speaking of the lockdown after an alarming surge in the number of COVID-19 patients, administrators said that restrictions may be imposed in more areas, while shopping malls may be closed once again to control the spread of the new coronavirus.


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Are people getting reinfected with COVID-19 in Pakistan? | Instant News

KARACHI: Doctors and pathologists working in various health facilities in Karachi have claimed that some people are not only reinfected with COVID-19 in the city but also have “very severe symptoms” a second time, saying that new cases of the coronavirus are starting increased. in the metropolis for the past week.

Advising people, especially elderly patients who have contracted COVID-19 in Pakistan, to continue to take precautions in public, they said on Thursday some people reinfected with the virus had very severe symptoms compared to those who were first infected. . infection. But they added that reinfection of respiratory disease is not uncommon.

“I have personally seen three to four cases of Covid-19 reinfection at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), which came with severe symptoms,” said Dr Saeed Khan, a professor and chief of molecular pathology at Dow University, while speaking with The News.

He claims that the phenomenon of reinfection is being observed all over the world, and now doctors and experts working on the Corona virus cases in Karachi are also witnessing the cases. They said people infected with the disease had “short-lived” antibodies, while some people lacked antibodies despite being infected with the coronavirus, a fact confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

“Reinfection is not a widespread phenomenon here in Karachi, but doctors at different hospitals in the city saw one or two patients with COVID-19 reinfection. We haven’t seen any deaths after reinfection, but some patients have been observed with severe symptoms, requiring admission care and even life support after reinfection, ”said Dr Khan.

Another senior pathologist and health expert, Dr Zeeshan Ansari, said he had seen patients reinfected with COVID-19, and the second infection was very severe, requiring hospitalization and oxygen therapy in a tertiary care health facility. .

“One of my relatives, a young patient, tested positive for COVID-19 several months ago and remained in isolation at his residence for over a month until he tested negative. Upon seeing the negative reports of COVID-19, he was allowed to rejoin his office. A few weeks ago, the man who is a resident of Landhi was sick again with severe symptoms, and when he tested positive again, “he said.

But Dr Ansari stated that COVID-19 reinfection is still a phenomenon “under investigation”, and that authorities should carry out research to determine whether people have started being reinfected with the coronavirus. He added that theoretically, despite getting vaccinated against a different virus, people could be reinfected with the virus in their lifetime.

“Viral reinfection, especially those that cause respiratory disease, is not uncommon. That has happened to the case of MERS, SARS and other members of the coronavirus family and this can also happen with SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19), ”added Dr. Ansari.

Another health doctor, Dr Harris Hassan Qureshi, who is associated with the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi, posted a video message on his Facebook wall, advising people to take precautions, especially those who have contracted the infection previously. . He said people were starting to get reinfected with COVID-19 around the world, including Pakistan.

“I have friends in various hospitals in Pakistan and abroad, and they have told us about the Covid-19 re-infection case. It’s not a widespread phenomenon, but people are re-infected with this virus, which has also been proven internationally, ”he said while speaking to The News.

Dr Qureshi said many hospitals had also reported cases of COVID-19 reinfection with severe symptoms. He added that the antibodies are short-lived and provide no protection against the virus for more than three to four months, and in some cases, no more than a few weeks.

On the other hand, leading hematologist and immune system specialist Dr Tahir Shamsi said reinfection with COVID-19 was “not a very common phenomenon” as almost no 25 to 50 people worldwide will contract the infection with the coronavirus. coronavirus again. He added that there is a possibility of reinfection with COVID-19.

“The SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is a type of virus called an RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) virus which changes shape. These viruses, especially those that cause respiratory disease, can re-infect people because the initial infection does not provide lifelong immunity. But in the case of COVID-19, we have not seen the phenomenon of reinfection that is widespread anywhere, including in Pakistan, “added Prof. Shamsi.


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