March 2, 2023

Clinical Reports

  • Fatal Fulminant Cerebral Edema in Six Children With SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2 Infection in Taiwan
    • Acute fulminant cerebral edema in children following SARS-CoV-2 infection has been rarely reported. Such patients frequently demonstrate rapid progression and are usually fatal. In this retrospective study, researchers describe the detailed clinical, laboratory, and neuroimaging features of six fatal cases in Taiwan. All patients had shock initially, five showed rapid progression to multiorgan failure and disseminated intravascular coagulation, and three developed acute respiratory distress syndromes. The inflammatory biomarkers in the first 3 days, including interleukin 6, ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase, and D-dimer, showed significant elevation in all cases. The hyperinflammatory response may play a role in the pathophysiology.

Antiviral Therapeutics and Vaccines

  • Monoclonal Antibody for the Prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Infants and Children: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis
    • In this systematic review and network meta-analysis of 14 randomized clinical trials assessing efficacy and safety of 4 mAbs, nirsevimab, motavizumab, and palivizumab were associated with significant reductions in RSV-related hospitalization, infection, and supplemental oxygen use. Motavizumab was associated with a significantly larger reduction in RSV infection, intensive care unit admissions, and mechanical ventilation use than palivizumab.These findings suggest that motavizumab, nirsevimab, and palivizumab are associated with substantial benefits in the prevention of RSV infection in infants and children.
  • COVID-19 vaccines versus pediatric hospitalization
    • Vaccine effectiveness of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac against COVID-19-associated hospitalization and moderate-to-severe disease due to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2 is studied from the 1.36 million doses administered to 766,601 of 953,400 children aged 3–11 years and adolescents aged 12–18 years in Hong Kong as of April 2022. These vaccines confer substantial protection.
  • Maternal SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and infant protection against SARS-CoV-2 during the first six months of life
    • Researchers examined the effectiveness of maternal vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection in 30,311 infants born at Kaiser Permanente Northern California from December 15, 2020, to May 31, 2022. Using Cox regression, the effectiveness of ≥2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine received during pregnancy was 84% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 66, 93), 62% (CI: 39, 77) and 56% (CI: 34,71) during months 0–2, 0–4 and 0- 6 of a child’s life, respectively, in the Delta variant period. In the Omicron variant period, the effectiveness of maternal vaccination in these three age intervals was 21% (CI: −21,48), 14% (CI: −9,32) and 13% (CI: −3,26), respectively. Over the entire study period, the incidence of hospitalization for COVID-19 was lower during the first 6 months of life among infants of vaccinated mothers compared with infants of unvaccinated mothers (21/100,000 person-years vs. 100/100,000 person-years). Maternal vaccination was protective, but protection was lower during Omicron than during Delta. Protection during both periods decreased as infants aged.
  • Immunoglobulin, glucocorticoid, or combination therapy for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children: a propensity-weighted cohort study
    • Recovery rates, including occurrence and resolution of coronary artery aneurysms, were similar for primary treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin when compared to glucocorticoids or intravenous immunoglobulin plus glucocorticoids. Initial treatment with glucocorticoids appears to be a safe alternative to immunoglobulin or combined therapy, and might be advantageous in view of the cost and limited availability of intravenous immunoglobulin in many countries.
  • Efficacy of first dose of covid-19 vaccine versus no vaccination on symptoms of patients with long covid: target trial emulation based on ComPaRe e-cohort
    • Adult patients (aged ≥18 years) enrolled in the ComPaRe cohort before 1 May 2021 were included in the study if they reported a confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptoms persistent for >3 weeks after onset, and at least one symptom attributable to long covid at baseline. Patients who received a first covid-19 vaccine injection were matched with an unvaccinated control group in a 1:1 ratio according to their propensity scores. Number of long covid symptoms, rate of complete remission of long covid, and proportion of patients reporting an unacceptable symptom state at 120 days were recorded. 910 patients were included in the analyses (455 in the vaccinated group and 455 in the control group). By 120 days, vaccination had reduced the number of long covid symptoms (mean 13.0 (standard deviation 9.4) in the vaccinated group v 14.8 (9.8) in the control group; mean difference −1.8, 95% confidence interval −3.0 to −0.5) and doubled the rate of patients in remission (16.6% v 7.5%, hazard ratio 1.93, 95% confidence interval 1.18 to 3.14). Vaccination reduced the effect of long covid on patients' lives (mean score on the impact tool 24.3 (standard deviation 16.7) v 27.6 (16.7); mean difference −3.3, 95% confidence interval −5.7 to −1.0) and the proportion of patients with an unacceptable symptom state (38.9% v 46.4%, risk difference −7.4%, 95% confidence interval −14.5% to −0.3%). In the vaccinated group, two (0.4%) patients reported serious adverse events requiring admission to hospital. In this study, covid-19 vaccination reduced the severity of symptoms and the effect of long covid on patients' social, professional, and family lives at 120 days in those with persistent symptoms of infection.
  • Effect of covid-19 vaccination on long covid: systematic review
    • 1645 articles were screened but no randomised controlled trials were found. 16 observational studies from five countries (USA, UK, France, Italy, and the Netherlands) were identified that reported on 614 392 patients. The most common symptoms of long covid that were studied were fatigue, cough, loss of sense of smell, shortness of breath, loss of taste, headache, muscle ache, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, worry or anxiety, and memory loss or confusion. 12 studies reported data on vaccination before infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and 10 showed a significant reduction in the incidence of long covid: the odds ratio of developing long covid with one dose of vaccine ranged from 0.22 to 1.03; with two doses, odds ratios were 0.25-1; with three doses, 0.16; and with any dose, 0.48-1.01. Five studies reported on vaccination after infection, with odds ratios of 0.38-0.91. The high heterogeneity between studies precluded any meaningful meta-analysis. The studies failed to adjust for potential confounders, such as other protective behaviours and missing data, thus increasing the risk of bias and decreasing the certainty of evidence to low. Current studies suggest that covid-19 vaccines might have protective and therapeutic effects on long covid. More robust comparative observational studies and trials are needed, however, to clearly determine the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing and treating long covid.


  • FDA Authorizes First Over-the-Counter At-Home Test to Detect Both Influenza and COVID-19 Viruses
    • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first over-the-counter (OTC) at-home diagnostic test that can differentiate and detect influenza A and B, commonly known as the flu, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is a single-use at-home test kit that provides results from self-collected nasal swab samples in roughly 30 minutes. The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is a single use test for individuals with signs and symptoms consistent with a respiratory tract infection, including COVID-19. The test can be purchased without a prescription and performed completely at-home using nasal swab samples self-collected by individuals ages 14 years or older or collected by an adult for individuals 2 years of age or older. 


  • Epidemiologic Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Recombinant Variant XBB.1.5 — New York City, November 1, 2022–January 4, 2023
    • XBB.1.5 emerged rapidly in NYC during November–December 2022 and earlier than in the rest of the United States. Preliminary findings from a sample of sequenced isolates in NYC do not suggest more severe disease among patients infected with XBB.1.5 compared with patients infected with BQ.1; however, these findings might change as more data on these outcomes accumulate. Although a small proportion of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases in NYC are sequenced, linked epidemiologic and genomic data provide a means to evaluate characteristics of emerging variants, including disease severity, that are important for rapid risk assessment. Routine linkage of epidemiologic and sequencing data allows tracking of emerging variants and ongoing assessment of reinfection, infection after vaccination, and disease severity.
  • Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 
    • An accurate count of the number of deaths due to COVID-19 infection, which depends in part on proper death certification, is critical to ongoing public health surveillance and response. When a death is due to COVID-19, it is likely the UCOD and thus, it should be reported on the lowest line used in Part I of the death certificate. Ideally, testing for COVID-19 should be conducted, but it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate without this confirmation if the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty. 

Situation Dashboards


World Health Organization (WHO)

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation from World Health Organization (WHO)

Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at JHU

COVID-19 in US and Canada

1Point3Acres Real-Time Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates in US and Canada with Credible Sources

Genomic Epidemiology COVID-19

Genomic Epidemiology of (COVID-19) Maintained by the Nextstrain team, enabled by data from GISAID.

Sources for COVID-19 Information


World Health Organization (WHO)


Centers for Disease Control, US


International Society for Infectious Diseases


This Week in Virology (TWIV)

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