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But doctors often recommended the monoclonal antibody for people taking certain immunosuppressive medications, such as cancer patients or transplant recipients, since Paxlovid can interact negatively with several of those drugs. Casadevall said convalescent plasma is an effective alternative to monoclonal antibodies, but it's more complicated to administer and oversee. Pharma companies haven't given up on the promise of new monoclonal antibody drugs, however. A spokesperson for Eli Lilly said the company is searching for and evaluating monoclonal antibody candidates. Casadevall said new monoclonal antibody drugs are still worth pursuing, since they have proven safe and effective against Covid.
But just 31% of that group has gotten updated booster shots. Hospital physicians, state public health officials and advocacy groups for older adults pointed to a variety of factors fueling the low booster uptake. They include feelings of fatigue at the pace of Covid shots and a lack of awareness that the new booster could make the difference between a mild case and a hospital visit. Morell said she experienced dizziness, blurry eyesight and heart palpitations after her first Covid booster in November 2021. Wachter said the majority of people who have gotten the new booster get mild Covid, even if they’re older or have risk factors.
Covid, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are together driving a national wave of respiratory illnesses. Covid, flu and RSV can be difficult to distinguish, since they share many common symptoms. But a loss of taste and smell is more commonly associated with Covid than with flu or RSV. Flu symptoms tend to develop more suddenly than those of Covid or RSV. To reduce the length of flu symptoms, though, doctors usually prescribe Tamiflu or one of three other approved treatments.
Fungal infections are more widespread than doctors or patients realize, research suggests. People generally get fungal infections after breathing in spores. Thompson’s paper came just weeks after another study revealed high rates of fungal disease diagnoses far outside their traditionally understood geographies. A World Health Organization report in October also found that severe fungal infections became more prevalent among people with pre-existing health issues during the Covid pandemic. In some cases, fungal infections can take months of treatment to clear and may become chronic.
Although they made up around half the participants in Covid vaccine trials, women were not asked about any menstrual changes as part of that process. Since then, several studies have revealed that Covid vaccines can indeed induce short-term changes in menstrual cycles. A 2021 study found that just eight out of 45 clinical trials that tested Covid vaccines and therapies separated results based on sex. In the past, menstrual changes have also been reported among those who received vaccines for typhoid, hepatitis B and influenza. Researchers don't know why post-vaccine menstrual changes occur.
Two new omicron subvariants have overtaken BA.5 as the prevailing versions of the coronavirus in the U.S.BA.5 became dominant in July, then consistently accounted for the majority of new Covid infections until last week. The two together make up around 44% of new Covid infections, whereas BA.5 makes up just 30%. BQ.1.1 and BQ.1 cases are also rising in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe. Both of the subvariants are considered part of the BA.5 family — they're sublineages that evolved from BA.5. "There’s nothing in the signature of the clinical cases that are being reported that suggests that anything is changing in terms of symptoms with these omicron subvariants," Pekosz said.
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