Coronavirus Morning Review: Blood Type, Love Hormone, and the Latest Vaccines

Coronavirus Morning Review: Blood Type, Love Hormone, and the Latest Vaccines
Coronavirus Morning Review: Blood Type, Love Hormone, and the Latest Vaccines
LATEST SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

READ | Covid infection: Scientists believe blood type plays a role and have figured out which is the least at risk

According to two new studies published in the journal Blood Advances, people with blood type O are less likely to become infected with Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

You also have a lower risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes like organ failure and even death.


Scientists have been researching a possible association between blood type and susceptibility to Covid-19 for many months, and this latest finding supports earlier findings.

A preprint study published in March of this year found that people with blood type A were at higher risk of acquiring Covid-19 compared to non-A blood types, while another study published in June found that blood type O was more resistant to Covid appears to be -19 infection.

In this study, the researchers analyzed data from a Danish health registry that included more than 473,000 patients who were infected with Covid-19 between February 27, 2020 and July 30, 2020. After checking for certain factors, they found fewer patients with blood group O compared with patients with blood groups A, B and AB.

The researchers also point out that they did not find a significant difference in the infection rate between blood types A, B, and AB.

READ | Could Our Love Hormone Help Treat Covid-19?

Researchers conducted a study of oxytocin – commonly known as the love hormone – and whether it could help treat Covid-19 infections.

Oxytocin is produced in the brain and can be eliminated during simple hugging – and is also often implicated in sexual intimacy and childbirth.

Previous research has shown that the hormone has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and the study suggests that this may prevent the “cytokine storm” in the early stages of the disease.

The study, published in Physiological Genomics by the American Physiological Society, highlighted that T cells and the cytokine storm are important factors leading to the exacerbation of Covid-19 cases.

The cytokine storm is an extreme reaction of the immune system in which the body releases cytokines (proteins secreted by the immune system) for defense, which then attack the body’s own tissue.

In a press release, researchers say a drug, carbetocin, has properties similar to genes that are less likely to trigger cytokine storms in patients battling Covid-19.

READ | Covid-19: An MMR vaccine study has just started in SA – and the latest research seems promising

While we wait for the results of clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine candidates around the world, existing vaccines could meanwhile help make the disease less fatal.

According to a recently published study, the mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine may help boost a person’s immunity and even prevent Covid-19.

The research team was led by Dr. Desiree Larenas-Linnemann of Medica Sur in Mexico City, which has been the city’s leading hospital since 2011.

Larenas-Linnemann and her team reported on their clinical observations of 255 volunteers who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their results were published in the September issue of Allergy, the European Journal of Allergy and Immunology.

For their study, the researchers vaccinated 255 participants who were family members or caregivers of patients who had already gotten Covid-19, which meant they were already at an extremely high risk of infection.

A total of 36 of the participants contracted Covid-19, but all with mild symptoms. Of the 36 participants, 13 had pre-existing conditions that are known to be a risk factor for serious illness.

CORONAVIRUS FALLS LATEST

Update of the SA cases:

The last number of confirmed cases is 700 203.

According to the latest update, the country has recorded 18,370 deaths.

629,260 restores were made.

More than 4.05 million tests have been performed to date, with 24,179 new tests reported.

Global Fallactualization:

For the latest global data, check out this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

As of early Saturday morning, there were more than 39.2 million positive cases and more than 1.1 million deaths worldwide.

The United States had the most cases in the world – more than 8.04 million, and the most deaths – more than 218,000.

WHAT HAPPENS IN SA

Latest news:

READ | “Wrong”: No decision yet to extend the UIF payments for Corona until November, says Nxesi

So far there has been no decision to extend the Covid-19 system for the temporary relief of employers and employees (TERS) of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) until November, said Labor and Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi in a short but clearly worded statement on Friday.

An article from Independent Online that said such an extension had been announced by November 15 was “wrong,” said Nxesi.

“A decision on an extension would only be made after close cooperation with the government, Nedlac and the UIF itself.”

This article has been removed without comment or correction, although a summary version was still available elsewhere on the Independent website.

Nxesi warned this week that the UIF’s pockets are not bottomless, increasing the possibility that the fund will have to turn to the government for money if the number of cuts in the economy exceeds its solvency.

President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced the extension of the special Covid-19 unemployment benefit of R350 per month for those who do not receive any other form of government support for an additional three months.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE REST OF THE WORLD?

Latest news:

READ | WHO says healthy young people may not get a Covid-19 vaccine until 2022

Young people may have to wait until 2022 to get a coronavirus vaccine, said the chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said on Wednesday that she hoped a vaccine would be approved by 2021 but would likely be available in “limited quantities”.

Health workers, the elderly and other vulnerable groups would be vaccinated first – and potentially keep others waiting until 2022, she said.

“There will be a lot of guidance, but I think the average person, a healthy young person, may have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine,” she said.

“People tend to think that I’ll get the vaccine on January 1st or April 1st and then things will go back to normal,” Swaminathan said. “It won’t work that way.”

Guidelines for prioritizing vaccines between different groups of people were published in September by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group on Immunization Experts (SAGE). Swaminathan said WHO is still working on exactly who should be vaccinated first.

HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by NICD and WHO)

• Maintain physical distance – stay at least three feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing

• Practice frequent hand washing, especially after direct contact with sick people or their surroundings

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as your hands touch many surfaces and can potentially transmit the virus

• Practice breathing hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose of the tissue immediately after use.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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