COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
An unvaccinated worker set off an outbreak at a U.S. nursing home where most residents were immunized
An unvaccinated health care worker set off a Covid-19 outbreak at a nursing home in Kentucky where the vast majority of residents had been vaccinated, leading to dozens of infections, including 22 cases among residents and employees who were already fully vaccinated, a new study reported Wednesday.

Most of those who were infected with the coronavirus despite being vaccinated did not develop symptoms or require hospitalization, but one vaccinated individual, who was a resident of the nursing home, died, according to the study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Altogether, 26 facility residents were infected, including 18 who had been vaccinated, and 20 health care personnel were infected, including four who had been vaccinated. Two unvaccinated residents also died.

The report underscores the importance of vaccinating both nursing home residents and health care workers who go in and out of the sites, the authors said. While 90 percent of the 83 residents at the Kentucky nursing home had been vaccinated, only half of the 116 employees had been vaccinated when the outbreak was identified in March of this year.

The study, released in tandem with one involving Chicago nursing homes, underscored the importance of maintaining measures like use of protective gear, infection control protocols and routine testing, no matter the level of vaccination rates. The rise of virus variants also has increased concerns.

Resistance to vaccines has been steep among nursing home staffs nationwide, and the low acceptance rates of vaccination increase the likelihood of outbreaks in facilities, according to the authors, a team of investigators from the C.D.C. and Kentucky’s public health department.
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Climbers trying to scale Mount Everest test positive
Doctors have confirmed the first coronavirus cases among climbers trying to scale Mount Everest, a troubling sign for Nepal’s effort to reopen its lucrative high-altitude tourism industry.

Multiple climbers tested positive at CIWEC Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, after being flown there in recent days from Everest Base Camp, the hospital’s medical director said on Wednesday.

The medical director, Prativa Pandey, declined to offer additional information about the cases, saying only that officials at Everest Base Camp, the starting point for expeditions on the world’s tallest peak, were trying to ensure that groups of climbers were not mingling with one another.

“We are taking it up with the health ministry to see what we can do for the safety of climbers and staff up there,” Dr. Pandey said.

Nepal has reopened Everest and seven other peaks of 26,200 feet and above to small numbers of mountaineers in the hopes of restarting its tourism sector. It suspended all commercial climbing expeditions last year — a risky move for the small, tourism-dependent Himalayan country, which has been battling a resurgence of the coronavirus along with the rest of South Asia.

... Mingma Sherpa, the chairman of Seven Summit Treks, Nepal’s largest expedition operator, said that attempts to scale Everest would continue even if some climbers were infected with the virus.

“Expeditions won’t be canceled,” he said. “There’s no point of returning or giving up climbing after reaching base camp.”
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Accident at Covid Hospital in India Kills at Least 22 as Cases Surge
India’s health care system shows signs of buckling under the strain of a second wave of coronavirus infections, as the authorities reported nearly 300,000 new cases on Wednesday and an accident at a Covid-19 hospital killed more than 20 people.

The accident happened at a hospital in the western state of Maharashtra after a leak in the hospital’s main oxygen tank stopped the flow of oxygen to dozens of critically ill people. Televised images showed family members wailing in the wards and nurses frantically pounding on the chests of some patients.

All week, hospitals across India have been warning about an acute oxygen shortage. Many hospital officials said they were just a few hours away from running out.“Nobody imagined this would happen,” said Subhash Salunke, a medical adviser to the Maharashtra government.

India is now home to the world’s fastest-growing Covid-19 crisis, reporting 294,000 new infections on Wednesday and more than 2,000 deaths. As supplies of hospital beds, oxygen and vaccines run low, criticism of the government is building.

In a televised address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to be more careful but said that lockdowns were a last resort. States and cities are increasingly going into lockdown on their own, and critics say the government’s mixed messages are making matters worse.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste. Symptoms begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. Most people (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia), while 14% develop severe symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging) and 5% of patients suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction). At least a third of the people who are infected with the virus remain asymptomatic and do not develop noticeable symptoms at any point in time, but can spread the disease. Some patients continue to experience a range of effects—known as long COVID—for months after recovery and damage to organs has been observed. Multi-year studies are underway to further investigate the long term effects of the disease.

Source: Coronavirus disease 2019 - Wikipedia