The Perfect Enemy | COVID in California: These Bay Area counties are back in the ‘high’ transmission risk tier
July 1, 2022

COVID in California: These Bay Area counties are back in the ‘high’ transmission risk tier

COVID in California: These Bay Area counties are back in the ‘high’ transmission risk tier  San Francisco Chronicle

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California officially reopened a year ago today, when many COVID restrictions were dropped amid widespread optimism about a return to ordinary life. Reality has played out very differently. Multiple surges in cases, including one now under way, have turning the coronavirus into something like a constant companion.

Paxlovid rebound infections remain rare, study suggests

A newly published study found that out of nearly 500 high-risk COVID-19 patients treated with the antiviral pill Paxlovid, few experienced rebound symptoms, according to data published Tuesday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. In the Feburary to April study of 483 fully vaccinated people, Mayo Clinic researchers identified four patients who had symptoms, generally mild, of a rebound infection at a median of nine days after Paxlovid treatment. None ended up requiring additional COVID-directed therapy, the study said. The common traits among those with symptoms were pre-existing health conditions and that they had received their most recent vaccine dose three or more months earlier. But the researchers said more study is needed to determine the causes.

Study: Mild COVID can spur lasting cognitive symptoms

COVID-19 survivors frequently experience lingering neurological symptoms that resemble cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment, according to research published Monday in Cell. There are clear similarities between COVID “brain fog” and cancer “chemo fog,” according to neuroscientist Michelle Monje of Stanford, who co-authored the study with local colleagues and specialists at Yale, Cedars Sinai and other institutions. “Using a mouse model of mild SARS-CoV-2 infection limited to the respiratory system, we found elevation of CNS cytokines/chemokines and white matter-specific microglial reactivity,” she said in a Twitter thread Tuesday. They found patterns the same “in the brains of people with COVID that we found after chemotherapy.”

Contra Costa, Alameda counties reach “high” COVID risk tier, other Bay Area counties improve

Marin, Sonoma and Santa Clara counties improved their coronavirus transmission status, moving from “high” to “medium” COVID-19 community levels, while Contra Costa and Alameda moved from “medium” to “high,” in the latest estimates of virus spread from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Napa and Solano counties continue to have “high” community levels, according to the maps that are updated daily, and San Francisco and San Mateo County remain in “medium.” All nine Bay Area counties, and nearly the rest of California, are in the “high” category on the COVID-19 transmission map.

FDA advisers recommend authorizing Moderna shot for youth ages 6 to 17

The vaccine advisory committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended that the FDA grant emergency use authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children between ages 6 and 17. The two-dose Moderna vaccine would be the second one available for those in this age group. The Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 and 12 to 17 was authorized last year and has been available for many months. The Moderna dosage for 12-to-17-year-olds is the same as that for adults, 100 micrograms. The dosage for 6-to-11-year-olds is 50 micrograms. The FDA typically adopts the advisory committee’s recommendations within a couple days

BA.4 and BA.5 variants will likely soon dominate in Europe

Many European nations are seeing an increase in the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the coronavirus and at this rate the two are expected to dominate the region in the coming weeks, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said Tuesday. The European Union agency said EU countries have detected low proportions of the two subvariants thus far but in Portugal, BA.5 has become the dominant coronavirus strain, and increasing proportions of BA.5 “have been accompanied by a surge in COVID-19 cases.” Limited data so far shows no evidence these subvariants, which were first detected in South Africa, cause more severe COVID-19, the agency said, but it warned that hospitalizations and deaths can increase as case numbers rise.

Rep. Maxine Waters tests positive for COVID following climate summit with Biden, Harris

Rep. Maxine Waters, who attended the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles last week, announced Tuesday that has tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time. “Yesterday, after learning of a potential exposure at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, I was notified that I tested positive for COVID,” the 83-year-old Los Angeles Democrat said in a statement. “I am currently isolating and have no symptoms.” Waters, who is vaccinated and double boosted, previously tested positive in April. The hemispheric summit in Los Angeles, with attendees including President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who on Monday disclosed he also tested positive for COVID the second time this year.