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Is pollen responsible for rise in Covid-19 cases?

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Is pollen responsible for rise in Covid-19 cases?

As per scientists, as pollen levels increased in outdoor air in 31 countries, the cases of Covid-19 also increased. On the other hand, few others suggested that peaks in pollen seasons coincide with a fall-off in the spread of some respiratory viruses, like COVID-19 and influenza.

But now, a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that when pollen in an area spiked, so did infections, after an average lag of about 4 days. The study authors say pollen seemed to account for, on average, 44% of the infection rate difference between countries.

It took data from 248 airborne-pollen-monitoring sites in 31 countries. The study also took into account other effects, such as population density, temperature, humidity, and lockdown orders.

In a press conference, study author Stefanie Gilles, PhD, chair of environmental medicine at the Technical University of Munich in Germany said, “When we inhale pollen, they end up on our nasal mucosa and here, they diminish the expression of genes that are important for the defense against airborne viruses.”

Hoogeveen’s recent study, published in Science of the Total Environment, found that the arrival of pollen season in the Netherlands coincides with the end of flu season, and that COVID-19 infection peaks tend to follow a similar pattern.

Another study said — as pollen climbs, flu cases drop. The researchers behind that study think pollen may actually compete with viruses in our airways, helping to block them from infecting our cells.

However, there is no strong scientific reason to support these different claims.

Covid

Covaxin protects recipients from severe Covid-19: Researchers

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Covaxin protects recipients from severe Covid-19: Researchers

According to the researchers, India’s Covaxin activates key memory components of the human immune system that can continue to protect recipients from severe Covid-19 even after the vaccine-generated anti-viral antibodies have waned.

“We see amazingly robust immune memory responses very similar to those caused by the natural infection,” said Nimesh Gupta, a scientist at the National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, who led the study.

“These memory responses will outlast and confer protection even the concentrations of the initial antibodies deplete over months,” Gupta said.

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Covid-19 in India: 8,488 new Covid cases in last 24 hours, lowest in 538 days

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On Monday, India reported 8,488 new cases over the previous 24 hours, 19.1% lower than Sunday’s statistics. This was the lowest in 538 days.

With this, country’s cumulative caseload to 3,45,18,901. The number of active cases now stands at 1,18,443 — the lowest in 534 days.

As per the Health Ministry data, as many as 12,510 recoveries were recorded on Monday over the previous 24 hours while the number of deaths stood at 249, taking the total toll to 4,65,911.

The top five states that registered the maximum cases were Kerala with 5,080 cases, followed by Tamil Nadu with 756 cases, West Bengal with 727 cases, Maharashtra with 298 cases, and Karnataka with 247 cases. As much as 83.75% of the new cases were reported from these five states.

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Covaxin 77.8% effective against Covid-19

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Covaxin 77.8% effective against Covid-19

Medical journal Lancet has now stated that the made-in-India vaccine is 77.8 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid, as demonstrated by the phase 3 data. This came out after the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for emergency use.

The efficacy data demonstrated 70.8 per cent protection against all variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

As per the phase 3 data, Covaxin was found to be 65.2 per cent effective against the Delta variant, 93.4 per cent effective against severe symptomatic Covid and 63.6 per cent effective against asymptomatic Covid.

Dr. Krishna Ella, CMD of Bharat Biotech said, “The peer-review of Covaxin phase III clinical trial data in The Lancet, an authoritative voice in global medicine, validates our commitment to data transparency and meeting the stringent peer-review standards of world-leading medical journals. This accomplishment reflects the undeterred commitment by my team members at Bharat Biotech, our public partners, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Virology, and the trust imposed by our trial participants who made this happen.”

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