2023-11-25 General


This paper from USA says that 48.5% of people hospitalized with COVID-related fungal infections died, while only 12.3% of people hospitalized with non-COVID-associated fungal infections died.

This paper from Taiwan found that people who got COVID-19 infections were 59% more likely to get shingles in the following year than controls.

This report from Korea found that brain autopsies on dogs who were (deliberately) infected with COVID-19 found various forms of brain damage.


This paper from Sweden (from 2023-10-16) says that your chance of Long COVID goes down by 21% if you have one COVID-19 vaccination, 59% with two shots, and 73% with three shots.

This presentation from USA (undated, but ~20231120) found that 59% of people who lost their taste or smell reported improvement in less than a week, and 82% in a month after getting a stellate ganglion block (anesthetizing one of the two branches of the vagus nerve).

My mental model of what is going on in a stellate ganglion block is that it reboots the autonomic nervous system.

Interestingly, the presentation mentioned that 95% of the patients had Horner’s Syndrome — a droopy eyelid and constricted pupil — and 100% of them resolved Horner’s symptoms within 30 minutes!

This paper from Canada (2022-09-15) found that people with Long COVID, on average, dropped from 6.56 symptoms before COVID-19 vaccination to 3.92 after vaccination.

This paper from China (2023-11-21) found that 54% of Long COVID patients still had at least one symptom after three years, although they said the symptoms were mostly mild to moderate. (Editor: I couldn’t find out what their definition of “mild” was, and am remembering that “mild” for COVID-19 infections means “not hospitalized”.)

They also found out that people with Long COVID were more likely to get reinfected with Omicron (76%) compared to people who had had COVID-19 before but who did not have Long COVID (67%). Furthermore, 62% of the Long COVID patients got worse after their Omicron infection.

This case study paper from Germany says that four Long COVID patients treated with nicotine patches for a week (or less, for Patient #3) recovered completely in 16, 24, 15, and 7 days.

That’s an amazing result, but makes me wonder why smokers get Long COVID. This paper from France (2022-06-17) says smokers are more likely to get some long-term post-COVID cardiac symptoms.

COVID-Related Excess Death and Sickness

This paper from Denmark (2022-07-15) says that the risk of developing a neurological disorder is about doubled after COVID-19. However, they note that this doesn’t seem to be any higher than after similarly severe infections.

This paper from UK (2023-09-21) found that people who had had a COVID-19 infection were 22% more likely to get a diagnosis of an immune-mediated inflammatory disease than those who had not been infected.

This paper from many countries (2023-09-08) found that children who had had COVID-19 infections had more than twice the risk of getting autoantibodies to insulin-producing cells (i.e. a diabetes precursor).

This paper from Germany (2023-06-19) found that people who had gotten COVID-19 infections were ~43% more likely to develop an autoimmune disease.

Mitigation Measures

This paper mostly from Canada (2023-11-29) but using data from four countries found that in a randomized controlled study of health care workers with direct patient contact from 4 May 2020 to 29 March 2022, 10.5% of those wearing medical masks (i.e. those thin blue things) group caught COVID-19 , while only 9.3% who wore N95s did.

That doesn’t look like a big difference, but people could easily have caught COVID-19 outside of the hospitals and/or not worn their masks.

There was also quite a large difference between countries, which varied from almost 3 times the risk in Canada to slightly less than even odds for Egypt.

higher risk
% of people who caught COVID-19

Different countries would have different transmission patterns, different exposure profiles, different masking compliance, etc.

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