I accidentally updated this post when I meant to work on the 2024-01-26 post. I have deleted the things that were supposed to go into next week’s post.
This preprint from USA (2024-01-12) found that, in a small study of 16 previously unvaccinated long-haulers, ten got better, five had no or small change, and one got worse by 12 weeks after (finally) getting vaccinated.
This paper from USA (2024-01-16) found that the vaccine effectiveness was 35.4% against probable (i.e. symptom-based) Long COVID and 41.7% against diagnosed Long COVID in children.
In this paper from USA (2024-01-10), they found that levels of von Willebrand Factor (VWF) and Factor VIII were elevated in the blood of Long COVID patients. Near as I can tell, VWF and Factor VIII are “stickiness” elements, helpful in making blood clots and making clots stick to the injured site. This seems like support for the theory that Long COVID is due to microclots.
This paper from Switzerland (2024-01-19) also found that sticky things (VWF and TSP1) were elevated in Long COVID patients’ blood, but it went one step further and found a mechanism. Very loosely speaking (*waves hands*), it says that the complement system (which is little proteins that are part of the innate immune system) stimulates VWF (see above snippet) and TSP1 (which is also a sticky thing), which leads to VWF proteins glomming together into big macromolecules, which causes some collateral damage to endothelial cells, which stimulates the complement system to produce even more of its little proteins. This causes a feedback loop, feedback bad. (This is VERY handwavy, read the paper for more.)
This is yet another vote for the microclots theory of Long COVID.
The paper also recommends looking into using the various biomarkers they found as a diagnostic. (That would be awesome! Long COVID patients suffer needlessly because many doctors think that if there isn’t a test for a disease, the disease does not exist.)
The study also found elevated levels of antibodies to prior herpes infections.
Here’s a lay article reporting on that paper.
This paper from UK (2024-01-15) found that, in people over 75, compared to people who got four doses of vax, people who got fewer had the following adjusted risk of getting severe COVID-19 (compared to people who had four doses):
- missing 1 dose, 2.7x higher;
- missing 2 doses, 3.13x higher;
- missing 3 doses, 3.61x higher;
- missing all 4 doses, 3.08x higher.
Takeaway: missing one dose was almost as bad as being unvaccinated! Stay current on your vaccinations!
es born to vaccinated or unvaccinated mothers.
This old paper from Italy (2021-06-07) says that people who have had COVID-19 have markers which indicate an older biological age than people who have not had COVID-19. It’s a little hard to give an exact number, but I think a reasonable hand-wavy summary is that COVID-19 ages you on average by about five to seven years — not five minutes, not twenty years.
This paper from USA (2024-01-03) found that mice engineered to not have B cells or T cells did not exhibit signs of illness! In addition, the engineered mice had a lower viral load and less lung damage three days after infection than the normal mice did. However, the engineered mice had higher viral loads after 7 days than the controls.
Mice which had B cells but not T cells lost more weight than the ones which didn’t have either (i.e. they were sicker), but they did not lose as much weight as the control mice.
This paper from China (2023-01-23) found that men’s sperm counts and concentrations were much lower up to three months after a bout of COVID, but had mostly recovered by six months.
Unforeseen Side Effects
This paper from Canada (2024-01-16) found that children in Canada had much lower rates of non-COVID infectious disease than pre-pandemic, at least for the first two years of the pandemic. However, diagnoses of diabetes went up by about 50%. Cancer rates didn’t change a lot.
This paper from China (2024-01-17) found that a cheap new protease inhibitor called simnotrelvir reduced recovery time from COVID-19 for people with mild symptoms by about a day and a half. It’s already been given emergency authorization in China.
This article from USA (2024-01-18) summarizes where we are with Long COVID.