NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for asymptomatic Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.
The decision also was driven by a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, propelled by the omicron variant.
Early benchmarks from Denmark on infections and hospitalizations are providing grounds for guarded optimism that highly vaccinated countries might be able to weather the omicron wave.
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Booster doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine set recipients up to effectively withstand the ravages of both the Delta and Omicron variants, a group of new studies suggest.
Boosted folks are 90% less likely to die from a Delta infection than people relying solely on the initial two-dose vaccination, Israeli data show.
The threat posed by the “highly mutated” Omicron variant shows what a “perilous and precarious” situation the world is in, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, as he warned that the pandemic would not end until every country has access to vaccines.
A spate of new studies on lab animals and human tissues are providing the first indication of why the Omicron variant causes milder disease than previous versions of the coronavirus.
In studies on mice and hamsters, Omicron produced less-damaging infections, often limited largely to the upper airway: the nose, throat and windpipe. The variant did much less harm to the lungs, where previous variants would often cause scarring and serious breathing difficulty.
In late November, more than 110 people gathered at a crowded Christmas party at a restaurant in Oslo, Norway. Most of the guests were fully vaccinated. One had returned from South Africa just a few days earlier and was unknowingly carrying the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Ultimately, about 70% of the partygoers were infected.
Scientists who traced this superspreader event concluded it was evidence that omicron was "highly transmissible" among fully vaccinated adults.
The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized Merck's antiviral pill, molnupiravir, to treat Covid-19 "for the treatment of mild-to-moderate coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in adults with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, and for whom alternative COVID-19 treatment options auth