week ending 2022-05-19 General


This paper found that dogs could be trained to recognize COVID-19 patients by smelling skin swabs with an accuracy of over 90%.

This report says that:

  • The percentage of all Canadian blood donors who have been infected with COVID-19 was about 28.7%, with 44.3% among the 17-24-year-olds.
  • 99.57% of Canadian donors had evidence of spike antibodies, mostly from vaccination.
  • In BC and Vancouver, the rates of donors who had been infected was 32.09% and 35.72%, respectively.

This study from a polling company says that 30% of Canadians caught COVID-19 during the Omicron wave.

This paper reports that they have developed a highly-accurate pee-test for COVID-19.


This preprint says that a past BA.1 infection doesn’t protect you against BA.2.12.1 / BA.4 / BA.5 as well as a past Delta infection does. This appears to be because of the L452 mutation which Delta and BA.2.12.1 / BA.4 / BA.5 have but which BA.1 does not. This was true whether or not the infected had been vaccinated or not. (In other words, don’t count on your past Omicron Classic infection to protect you.)

This article from 23 Feb 2021 says that the B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants which slammed Southern California also had the L452 mutation.


This article says that an unpublished study estimated how many COVID-19 patients had Long COVID symptoms after six months:

  • for mild cases, around 5% of women and 2% of men,
  • for hospitalized cases, 26% of women and 15% of men, and
  • for ICU cases, 42% of women and 27% of men.

The article says the same unpublished results say that the average disability score which was equivalent to complete hearing loss or severe traumatic brain injury.

(I hesitated about whether this belonged under Long COVID or not, because it only looks at 90 days past infection.) This paper says that the 90-day chance of getting blood clots is as follows for people who had COVID-19:

in veinsin arteries
unhospitalized patients0.2-0.8%0.1-1.0%
hospitalized patientsup to 4.5%up to 3.1%


This correspondence (which I think means something which hasn’t gotten review but which the editors think is important enough to print) proposes a theory for the juvenile hepatitis cases which have been happening:

  1. Infection with COVID-19.
  2. Formation of superantigens.
  3. Child “recovers” from COVID-19, but with continuing reservoir hiding in the gut.
  4. Child is infected with adenovirus 41F.
  5. The adenovirus activates the superantigens and all hell breaks loose.

This paper looked at autoantibodies to two different types of interferon, IFN-α2 and IFN-ω. They found increased relative risk of death (RRD) and infection fatality rate (IFR) with autoantibodies to either or both:

RRD, under 70 y/o17.0188.3
RRD, over 70 y/o5.87.2
IFR, under 40 y/o0.17%0.84%
IFR, over 80 y/o26.7%40.5%

(Note that the RRD is lower for the over-70s than the under-70s because their absolute risk starts out much lower.)

Why does this matter? Because checking for autoantibodies can help tell who needs more care.

This paper says that COVID-19 can be found in donor eyes, meaning that you could catch COVID-19 from a cornea transplant.

This paper says that exposure to particulate pollution increases the risk of developing COVID-19. NOx exposure did not seem to change COVID-19 risk.

This paper says that 11% of all patients hospitalized in Ontario or Alberta with COVID-19 who were discharged either were readmitted or died within the next 30 days.

This article says that the US CDC determined that the incidence of heart issues after getting a shot of Pfizer was lower in 5-11 year old boys than in teens and young adults. (Me, I think it’s related to testosterone levels.)


From this report from the UK, the effectiveness of two Pfizer+mRNA booster keeps waning, although it’s kind of strange — you are worse off with three shots of Pfizer than with two???

Two doses of Moderna plus an mRNA booster looks better, but it’s still not fantastic.

Recommended Reading

This article talks about an interesting new way to treat COVID-19: with anti-aging drugs.

This article is a broad overview of new variants (and why they are problematic).

This article talks about efforts to quantify the disease burden of COVID-19, including of disability.

If you have not been keeping track of the benefits of nasal vaccines, this article will catch you up.

This story is about burnout in health care workers in the US. Reading it will either make you feel good that you don’t live in the US or make you very nervous that you don’t know exactly what is going on in the hospitals near you.

This might not be COVID-19, but it might be. This article discusses what we know and don’t know about the recent outbreaks of pediatric hepatitis.