Covid and flu ‘tweendemic’ on the horizon?

As the weather gets cooler in the Northern Hemisphere and people are increasingly indoors, we can expect an increase in cases, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday. It’s not just the UK – several European countries are already seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Another reason for concern is related to the ability of the virus to evolve. The omicron variant is still responsible for the vast majority of cases worldwide. But the WHO is tracking more than 300 omicron sub-variants, all of which are considered “of concern.” As WHO COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove stated at the same briefing: “We will continue to face waves of infection…because we will live with this virus.”

Technical overview covers covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. Here are a few recent snippets from the archive:

  • Covid-19 has hit some much harder than others. We have just begun to study the racial differences of the ancient insidiousas reported by Elaine Shelley in this piece.
  • And there is still a big debate about long-term covid in children.– with groups feuding over the impact and even the definition of the disease, as I reported earlier this year.
  • In China, a pop-up on your phone that requires you to take a PCR test can leave you quarantined for days for no apparent colleague zeyi yan reports.
  • Two inhaled covid vaccines have recently been approved for covid-19 in India and China, both I covered last month
  • … But the hunt is on for a universal coronavirus vaccine based on nanoparticles reports Adam Piore.

From all over the web

Have you ever had an empty mind? Brain scans show that our brains can enter a neuronal state that makes it impossible to access our thoughts. (PNAS)

Doctors discover new, ultra-rare blood group systems– and just described the 44th. (Wired)

Rapid tests for covid-19 antigens have paved the way for other home testing kits.covers everything from the flu to kidney disease. (Neo.Life)

US Adderall deficit— prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy — bites, and affected people say their lives have been “turned upside down.” (Vice)

We are becoming more and more myopic. By 2050, half of the world’s population will be nearsighted, in part because we spend more time reading indoors. (the future of the bbc)

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