The study, published Thursday in the journal Nature Medicine, could explain why so many infected people lose their sense of taste and suggests that the mouth is a major source of the spread of Covid-19. Saliva tests were previously known to be a great way to detect infection, but the researchers hadn’t looked into the cause.
“If infected saliva is ingested or tiny particles of it are inhaled, we can potentially transfer SARS-CoV-2 further down our throat, lungs, or even our intestines,” said Dr. Kevin Byrd of the American Dental Association Science and Research Institute who worked on the study.
The mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs are connected, and the virus can spread to any area in the mucus that drains or is coughed up. They checked samples of oral tissue from people who had died of Covid-19 and found the virus in about half of the salivary glands they tested.
The study also found evidence that people who test negative after a nasal swab sometimes continue to test positive for saliva. This shows that the virus can also be removed from the nasopharynx – the upper part of the throat behind the nose – and is made up of saliva.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Question: Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get a Covid-19 vaccine?
A. It depends on which country you are in. Covid-19 vaccines are not available to pregnant women in many parts of the world, and breastfeeding women are advised not to be vaccinated in some places due to a lack of data on these groups. In the United States, the CDC has advised pregnant and breastfeeding women not to take the vaccine, but rather to give them access to it. They argue that it is a woman’s choice how to balance benefits and risks.
A new study suggests that the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, widely used in the US, are effective at least for these women and even for their unborn babies. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard studied 131 women who received one of the admissions. The vaccine-induced antibody levels were equivalent in pregnant and breastfeeding women compared to non-pregnant women, the study shows. The team also found that breastfeeding women passed protective antibodies on to their newborns. Submit your questions here. Are you a healthcare worker fighting Covid-19? Drop us a message on WhatsApp about the challenges you are facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY?
Dangerous variations could mean all bets are closed on recovery in the US
As the US states relax restrictions and Americans travel again, medical experts are warning that the pandemic is far from over and that new variants threaten to adversely affect progress in the country.
A surge in the number of infections in several states “tells us if we have a more contagious variant that all bets are void because it means the activities we thought were fairly low risk are now at higher risk,” he said medical analyst from CNN, Dr. Leana Wen told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also warned on NBC’s “Today” show that the US “still has about 1,000 deaths a day,” which is “far too many are.
President Joe Biden doubles the vaccination goal for the first 100 days
The United States has one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the world, with 133 million doses already administered. Building on that momentum, President Biden said Thursday that his administration was aiming to deliver 200 million doses by the end of April, doubling its original target.
“I know it’s ambitious – twice as much as our original goal – but no other country in the world has come anywhere near what we’re doing. I think we can do it,” said Biden.
The EU summit comes into conflict as heads of state and government put pressure on AstraZeneca and the UK
A summit aimed at getting pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to speed up delivery of tens of millions of vaccines and pressure the UK to share the doses made in the country was kidnapped by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who took a larger share of shots demanded for his people, creating an internal crack in the block.
The heads of state and government of the European Union confirmed their plans at the virtual meeting to allow a ban on export vaccines in certain situations in order to prevent doses from leaving the banks of the block as it is struggling to get a comprehensive vaccination program off the ground .
ON OUR RADAR
- Do you dream of sipping a margarita in Mexico? You can visit I Miss My Bar, an interactive website that brings out the atmosphere of the Maverick Bar in the city of Monterrey.
- Officials in the Seychelles are pulling out all the stops to ensure that travelers can return quickly and, most importantly, safely.
- Some workplaces, colleges, and restaurants may require vaccine certificates to allow entry. Rutgers University is one of the first in the US to need vaccines for college students this fall.
- Covid has a color, writes Catherine Powell. The pandemic has exposed a range of racial inequalities – including on the labor front – which have been exacerbated by the health crisis and the emerging stay-at-home economy.
- The U.S. government has stopped selling the Covid-19 antibody treatment developed by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, as authorities say the therapy alone may not work as well against new variants.
“Only when we have really gone through this period in which we have tried very hard to improve voluntary admission should we think about whether mandates are necessary and appropriate.” – Emily Largent, attorney and assistant professor of medical ethics.
To suppress the spread of Covid-19 in the United States, 70-85% of the population must be vaccinated. But what if not enough Americans volunteered to get the vaccine? CNN’s chief correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, speaks to Largent about a controversial proposal that has been circulated: the vaccine obligation. Listen now