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July 24, 2022

VSS Scientific Updates During Pandemic Times #30

1.    WHO Declares Monkeypox Outbreak a Global Health Emergency

“The rare designation means the WHO now views the outbreak as a significant enough threat to global health that a coordinated international response is needed to prevent the virus from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/23/who-declares-spreading-monkeypox-outbreak-a-global-health-emergency.html

Pavlo Gonchar | Lightrocket | Getty Images

2.    WHO: COVID Triples Across Europe, Hospitalizations Double

“In a statement on Tuesday, WHO’s Europe director, Dr. Hans Kluge, described COVID-19 as “a nasty and potentially deadly illness” that people should not underestimate. He said super-infectious relatives of the omicron variant were driving new waves of disease across the continent and that repeat infections could potentially lead to long COVID.”

https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-united-nations-world-organization-06bccc307fa13d428e59babf4b9d8403

APPhoto/Andreea Alexandru, File

3.    Protection of SARS-CoV-2 Natural Infection Against Reinfection with the Omicron BA.4 or BA.5 Subvariants

“Effectiveness of a previous pre-Omicron infection against symptomatic BA.4/BA.5 reinfection was 15.1% (95% CI: -47.1-50.9%), and against any BA.4/BA.5 reinfection irrespective of symptoms was 28.3% (95% CI: 11.4-41.9%). Effectiveness of a previous Omicron infection against symptomatic BA.4/BA.5 reinfection was 76.1%(95% CI: 54.9-87.3%), and against any BA.4/BA.5 reinfection was 79.7% (95% CI:74.3-83.9%).”

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.07.11.22277448v1

4.    Bacterial and Fungal Isolation from Face Masks Under the COVID-19 Pandemic

“A longer mask usage significantly increased the fungal colony numbers but not the bacterial colony numbers. Although most identified microbes were non-pathogenic in humans; Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Cladosporium, we found several pathogenic microbes; Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Aspergillus, and Microsporum.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-15409-x

5.    Neutralization Escape bySARS-CoV-2 Omicron Subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5

“These data show that the BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 subvariants substantially escape neutralizing antibodies induced by both vaccination and infection. Moreover, neutralizing antibody titers against the BA.4 or BA.5 subvariant and (to a lesser extent) against the BA.2.12.1 subvariant were lower than titers against the BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants, which suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 omicronvariant has continued to evolve with increasing neutralization escape.”

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2206576

6.    Avian Flu Continues to Wreak Devastation on Seabirds

“Dozens of coastal sites in the UK closed to the public as H5N1 continues to sweep through wild bird populations across the world.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/20/avian-flu-h5n1-wreaks-devastation-seabirds-aoe

7.    New York County Confirms Case of Polio

"This is indicative of a transmission chain from an individual who received the oral poliovaccine (OPV), which is no longer authorized or administered in the U.S., where only the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) has been given since 2000," the department wrote. "This suggests that the virus may have originated in a location outside of the U.S. where OPV is administered, since revertant strains cannot emerge from inactivated vaccines."

https://www.foxnews.com/health/new-york-county-confirms-case-polio

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Geert Vanden Bossche received his DVM from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his PhD degree in Virology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He held adjunct faculty appointments at universities in Belgium and Germany. After his career in Academia, Geert joined several vaccine companies (GSK Biologicals, Novartis Vaccines, Solvay Biologicals) to serve various roles in vaccine R&D as well as in late vaccine development.

Geert then moved on to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Discovery team in Seattle (USA) as Senior Program Officer; he then worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager. At GAVI he tracked efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine. He also represented GAVI in fora with other partners, including WHO, to review progress on the fight against Ebola and to build plans for global pandemic preparedness.

Back in 2015, Geert scrutinized and questioned the safety of the Ebola vaccine that was used in ring vaccination trials conducted by WHO in Guinea. His critical scientific analysis and report on the data published by WHO in the Lancet in 2015 was sent to all international health and regulatory authorities involved in the Ebola vaccination program. After working for GAVI, Geert joined the German Center for Infection Research in Cologne as Head of the Vaccine Development Office. He is at present primarily serving as a Biotech / Vaccine consultant while also conducting his own research on Natural Killer cell-based vaccines.

Email: info@voiceforscienceandsolidarity.org

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