Researchers Link Inflammation From Covid Virus To Loss Of Smell
The study, led by Johns Hopkins scientists, found that inflammation caused by the virus damages neurons in the olfactory bulb at the base of the brain. Also, drugmaker Moderna — after its success developing a covid vaccination — is turning its sights to a flu shot.
COVID-19 Inflammation—Not SARS-CoV-2—May Be Behind Loss Of Smell
Local COVID-related inflammation, rather than the virus itself, may cause the common early symptom of loss of smell, according to a postmortem study published yesterday in JAMA Neurology. The researchers used light and electron microscopy to look for any SARS-CoV-2 genetic material and assess cell structures and characteristics and the blood vessels and neurons within them. They also measured the number of axons in the neurons, which inform sensory perception and movement. Information about sense of smell and taste was derived from the medical records of three patients and from family interviews for the remainder. (4/12)
The Baltimore Sun:
Johns Hopkins Researchers Probe Senseless COVID Mystery: Loss Of Smell
One of the more curious, as well as annoying and even life-altering, symptoms of COVID-19 has been the widespread loss of smell. A team led by Johns Hopkins researchers took an extra-deep dive into some noses to find out why. It’s not something that happens with other respiratory diseases, said Dr. Cheng-Ying Ho, a neuropathologist and associate professor of pathology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who joined researchers from several institutions, including the University of Maryland, and the state’s medical examiners office for the study. (Cohn, 4/13)
In other covid research —
Type 2 Diabetes On The Rise Among Wisconsin Children
New data shows a sharp increase in Type 2 diabetes among children in Wisconsin and doctors think COVID-19 could be a factor. Figures from UW Health Kids shows a nearly 200% increase in the number of cases over the last several years. (4/12)
When Symptoms Linger For Weeks, Is It Long Covid?
Many Americans are discovering that recovering from covid-19 may take weeks or even months longer than expected, leaving them with lingering symptoms like intense fatigue or a racing pulse. But does that mean they have what’s known as long covid? Though such cases may not always amount to debilitating long covid, which can leave people bedridden or unable to perform daily functions, it is common to take weeks to fully recover. (Feldman, 4/13)
And Moderna turns its attention to its mRNA flu vaccine —
Moderna Sets Sights On Flu Vaccine, Starts Giving Shots To Trial Participants
The Cambridge-based biotech giant that created one of the earliest and most effective COVID-19 vaccines is now looking to develop a flu shot. Moderna on Monday announced that the first trial participants have been dosed in the Phase 1/2 study of the company’s seasonal influenza vaccine candidates. The biotech is applying its messenger RNA (mRNA) platform to the flu vax. This Phase 1/2 randomized study will evaluate the safety and immune response of a single dose of mRNA-1020 or mRNA-1030 in healthy adults 18-plus in the U.S. The company intends to enroll about 560 participants in the study. (Sobey, 4/12)