This preprint from the UK which compared brain scans made during the Alpha wave to brain scans in the same people several years prior. They found that people who had had COVID infections had more degradation in their brains (on average) than those who had not. They excluded people who had been hospitalized from their analysis (because the sample size was too small to be interesting).
This preprint from Ontario says that pregnant women are 57% less likely to catch COVID-19 than the general population, but non-pregnant women were 26% more likely to get infected.
When it came to hospitalization and ICU admission, however, pregnant women were almost five times more likely than the general populace to be hospitalized and six and a half times more likely to go to the ICU.
If you are pregnant, please please please please get vaxxed and boosted!
Your blood vessels are supposed to be stretchy, and dialate when more blood goes into them. This paper found that in COVID-19 patients, the “epithelial function” (which I think means “stretchiness”, as measured by flow-mediated dilation) got worse. It got better over time, but even six months later, COVID-19 patients had worse epithelial function than the never-infected.
FYI: apparently sitting a lot also lowers the epithelial function in your legs. If you sit a lot, you should fidget. Exercising also helps. I don’t know if part of the decline in epithelial function is that you don’t want to move around a lot when you have COVID-19.
This preprint found sixteen differences in human genomes which appear to correlate with worse COVID-19 outcomes. This could maybe be useful in figuring out who to treat hardest (if the person already has their whole genome sequenced, or if those sixteen variations could be tested for quickly), but it’s even more likely that this could lead to novel treatments.
This article reports on a study of common cold coronaviruses (CCC) in pandemic blood sample collected before the pandemic. They found that:
- While CCC antibody levels changed a lot over time, the CCC T-cell levels stayed quite stable.
- Markers which indicated how recent an infection was were more common for influenza than CCC (meaning that people have flu more often than CCC).
- They CCC T-cell types stayed quite stable over time, which also suggests that people don’t get CCC very often.
- Some CCC T-cells were cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2. (Yay!) They found that there was a correlation between high CCC T-cell levels and SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactivity. (Which you’d expect: the more kinds of T-cells are, the more likely that one of them is going to be at least a little reactive to SARS-CoV-2.) However, the CCC antibody levels was not correlated at all to having anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
This preprint found that infected adults and adolescent children were more likely to have symptoms of Long COVID than uninfected family members a year after COVID-19 infected someone in the household. However, family members who were adolescent boys or children under 14 were no more likely to have symptoms if they had been infected than if they had not been infected.
The study also found that the number of symptoms people had correlated with the number of symptoms other people in their household had. While this might just be that families talked about their symptoms within the family, it also might point to a genetic effect.
This preprint describes an immunocompromised patient who had COVID-19 for seven months. They took frequent blood samples and watched. The patient’s SARS-CoV-2, over time, developed seventeen mutations, fifteen of which were in the spike. They developed HALF of the mutations that Omicron has.