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COVID-19 ICU patients

COVID ICU patients show physical, mental, cognitive effects after a year

A new peer-reviewed study shows that COVID-19 patients who were treated in an intensive care unit (ICU) exhibited physical, mental, and cognitive effects a year after treatment. This study shows the long COVID effects are serious and not something that should be ignored.

Of course, the fact that patients who survive COVID-19 in the ICU may live with non-trivial symptoms is even more evidence that the vaccine is a prudent and smart choice.

So, all of you who know my style of writing, I’m going to review this new article giving you the highlights in data with a bit of commentary about the limitations of the study along with what it may tell us. Here we go.

Read More »COVID ICU patients show physical, mental, cognitive effects after a year
flu vaccine and COVID-19

Flu vaccine and COVID-19 infections – some evidence it might lower risk

Recently, I have been discussing the flu vaccine and COVID-19 infections. First, I debunked anti-vaccine myths. Second, I explained that the seasonal flu vaccine might be helpful in improving outcomes for patients who contract the coronavirus.

However, at that time, I wanted to make it clear that:

Once again, I am not making any claim that the seasonal flu vaccine will prevent a coronavirus infection. It’s just about comorbidities, that is, other health conditions that increase one’s risk for dangerous outcomes from the disease.

Because COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, anything that weakens the respiratory system could (and again, we don’t have solid information on the pathophysiology and comorbidities for the disease) lead to a worse course for the disease. And that would include a higher risk of mortality.

The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of one coronavirus comorbidity since the flu is a respiratory disease. So, the flu vaccine isn’t going to help reduce your risk of coronavirus infection, but it will reduce your risk of complications, including death, from COVID-19.

In addition, preventing the flu may help to reduce hospitalizations and ICU admissions, allowing for more capacity for patients who have contracted COVID-19.

But again, I assumed that the flu vaccine would have little effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This seemed biologically plausible because, as opposed to what Donald Trump claims, the flu virus and coronavirus are vastly different organisms. The two viruses are actually in two different phyla, meaning that the influenza virus and coronavirus are as closely related as a human is to a lobster. 

There appeared to be no scientifically supported reason to believe that the flu vaccine actually prevents COVID-19. However, there seems to be some intriguing, preliminary, and potentially convincing evidence that the flu vaccine may have some effect on the risk of COVID-19. Read More »Flu vaccine and COVID-19 infections – some evidence it might lower risk

measles damages the immune system

Measles damages the immune system – more reasons for MMR vaccine

It’s been well known for years that measles damages the immune system, one of the many dangerous complications of the disease. That’s one of the many reasons why we are so strongly in favor of the MMR vaccine and so strongly against measles outbreaks.

Of course, the anti-vaccine zealots will continue to believe that “natural” measles infections will confer some super-immunity to their children. Many deliberately try to infect their kids with the disease.

However, this scientific research, published in one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals on this planet, provides convincing evidence that measles damages the immune system. And we should make sure our children don’t contract this dangerous disease.Read More »Measles damages the immune system – more reasons for MMR vaccine