New COVID 19 Cutting-Edge Information You Might Not Have Heard

There is a lot of new information coming out about COVID-19, some of it just days old, and some of it could be considered as signs of hope.

One piece of good news comes out of Israel. Professor Cyrille Cohen, the head of immunology at Bar-llan University, and also an advisor for the Israel Committee for Vaccines, has reported that the wide-spread of the milder Omicron COVID Variant will turn the Pandemic into an endemic phase, literally turning COVID-19 into something like a common flue, a “widespread but mild illness with few badly hurt by it.”

Related to this, Dr. Rochelle Walenski, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about a week ago, said that the Omicron COVID Variant, compared to the Delta Variant or other variants, causes less severe disease for patients. Walenski cited a study that had just been published the day before her announcement, which examined 52,000 people who had the Omicron Variant and 17,000 people who had the Delta Variant in southern California. The study found that the Omicron patients had a 51% less chance of needing hospitalization, a 74% less chance of going to the ICU if hospitalized, and a 91% less chance of dying from that COVID variant. Walenski also said none of the 52,000 patients with Omicron in the study needed to be put on a ventilator.

Other scientists have said that the Omicron Variant is much less likely to go into the lungs and cause Pneumonia, which has been a leading cause of serious illness or death of patients with other COVID variants. It has also been said that those with the Omicron Variant who are hospitalized tend to just stay for a day or two in the hospital. Studies in South Africa, where the Omicron Variant originated, have also shown that many people with Omicron either have very mild cold symptoms or no symptoms at all.

More good news: The Institute for Health Metrics in Seattle, has put out charts and projections that seem to indicate that COVID-19 cases in the U.S. peaked on January 6th and are projected to lower quickly to a very low level by April.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, within the past few days announced that Great Britain has past its peak there and is ending all mandates, lockdowns, and required face mask wearing in his country. Johnson said, “the government is no longer asking people to work from home.”

In other COVID recent news, the CDC just announced a few days ago just updated their mask recommendations. They said that cloth masks are fairly ineffective in preventing Omicron, surgical masks, if worn tightly sealed aver the face and nose, are better, but better still are properly fitted KN-95 masks and best are National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved N-95 masks, which are effective but expensive. The CDC says that all of these masks need to be tightly fit over the mouth and nose and sealed along the edges to be effective .

And still more good news for the future, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has successfully completed phase 1 human trials of the army SpFN universal “Pan Coronavirus vaccine, which could end the COVID pandemic completely, providing immunity against all past and future coronaviruses or variants.  This vaccine uses a different technology than any of the COVID vaccines on the market now. Unlike the three current vaccines, the SpFN vaccine will use a harmless portion of the COVID virus to induce the body to build up defenses against the virus in all its forms.

Dr. Kevin Modjarrad, Director of Infectious Diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research says the vaccine appears very effective against the Omicron variant which has caused many breakthrough cases even among fully vaccinated and boosted people. Of course, the SpFN vaccine still needs to go through Phase 2 and Phase 3 human trials so it might not be available for use for up to a year.

So, that is the latest information about the virus, and it is intended just to educate you about what is happening in the fight against this pandemic, but it is not intended as medical advice.


Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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