Coronavirus Briefing Newsletter – Times of India


  • India on Friday reported 5,383 Covid cases and 20 fatalities. The cumulative caseload is 4,45,58,425 (45,281 active cases) and 5,28,449 fatalities
  • Worldwide: Over 614 million cases and over 6.53 million fatalities.
  • Vaccination in India: Over 2.17 billion doses. Worldwide: Over 12.25 billion doses.
A blood test that can identify risk of severe Covid
A blood test that can identify risk of severe Covid
  • A genomic test has been developed by a US company that claims to predict a patient’s risk of developing severe Covid-19. This information could help doctors identify patients at high risk for poor outcomes and quickly begin tailored treatment to reduce chances of hospitalisation.
  • Biotech firm AMPEL BioSolutions stated that the test called CovGENE has been validated by a longitudinal study conducted along with a team from the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center.
  • How it works: CovGENE analyses genes expressed in a person’s blood to determine whether they may experience a severe disease course with increased risk of death.
  • “Our study uses a gene-analysis approach to identify an immune cell signature, distinct from other respiratory illnesses, that correlates with worse outcomes,” says researcher Alexandra Kadl.
  • The researchers have published their findings in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.
  • The efficacy: The test proved more than 90% accurate at predicting outcomes for over two dozen ICU patients at UVA and 100 patients from publicly available data generated at Duke and Harvard.
  • What next: Based on the promising results of the research, CovGENE’s developer is now seeking to partner with a diagnostic testing company or pharmaceutical company to bring the approach to market as a simple PCR-based blood test.
The link between Type 1 diabetes and Covid
The link between Type 1 diabetes and Covid
  • Testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is associated with an increased risk of new-onset Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents, according to a new study led by Hanne Lovdal Gulseth and Dr German Tapia of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo.
  • It has long been suspected that Type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in younger people and is associated with the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin, is a result of an over-responsive immune reaction, possible due to a viral infection, including respiratory viruses.
  • For the study researchers used national health registers to examine new onset Type 1 diabetes diagnoses made in all youngsters aged under 18 in Norway (over 1.2 million individuals) over the course of 2 years, starting on March 1, 2020, comparing those who contracted Covid-19 with those who did not.
  • Over the two-year-study period, a total of 4,24,354 children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection and 990 new-onset cases of Type 1 diabetes were diagnosed among the 1.2 million children and adolescents included in the study.
  • After adjusting for age, sex, country of origin, geographical area and socio-economic factors, the analyses found that young people infected by Covid were around 60% more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes 30 days or more after infection compared to those without a registered infection or who tested negative for the virus.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Sushmita Choudhury, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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