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Covid-19 reinfection casts doubt on virus immunity: study

Covid-19 patients may experience more severe symptoms the second time they are infected, according to research released Tuesday confirming it is possible to catch the potentially deadly disease more than once.

A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal charts the first confirmed case of Covid-19 reinfection in the United States — the country worst hit by the pandemic — and indicates that exposure to the virus may not guarantee future immunity.

The patient, a 25-year-old Nevada man, was infected with two distinct variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within a 48-day time frame. 

The second infection was more severe than the first, resulting in the patient being hospitalised with oxygen support.

The paper noted four other cases of reinfection confirmed globally, with one patient each in Belgium, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Ecuador. 

Experts said the prospect of reinfection could have a profound impact on how the world battles through the pandemic.

In particular, it could influence the hunt for a vaccine — the currently Holy Grail of pharmaceutical research. 

“The possibility of reinfections could have significant implications for our understanding of Covid-19 immunity, especially in the absence of an effective vaccine,” said Mark Pandori, for the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and lead study author. 

“We need more research to understand how long immunity may last for people exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and why some of these second infections, while rare, are presenting as more severe.”

– Waning immunity? –

Vaccines work by triggering the body’s natural immune response to a certain pathogen, arming it with antibodies it to fight off future waves of infection.

But it is not at all clear how long Covid-19 antibodies last. 

For some diseases, such as measles, infection confers lifelong immunity. For other pathogens, immunity may be fleeting at best. 

The authors said the US patient could have been exposed to a very high dose of the virus the second time around, triggering a more acute reaction. 

Alternatively, it may have been a more virulent strain of the virus. 

Another hypothesis is a mechanism known as antibody dependent enhancement — that is, when antibodies actually make subsequent infections worse, such as with dengue fever.

The researchers pointed out that reinfection of any kind remains rare, with only a handful of confirmed cases out of tens of millions of Covid-19 infections globally.

However, since many cases are asymptomatic and therefore unlikely to have tested positive initially, it may be impossible to know if a given Covid-19 case is the first or second infection.

In a linked comment to The Lancet paper, Akiko Iwasaka, a professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, said the findings could impact public health measures.

“As more cases of reinfection surface, the scientific community will have the opportunity to understand better the correlates of protection and how frequently natural infections with SARS-CoV-2 induce that level of immunity,” she said.

“This information is key to understanding which vaccines are capable of

The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Happy Friday! From talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign raises over M on day of VP debate Trump chastises Whitmer for calling him ‘complicit’ in extremism associated with kidnapping scheme Trump says he hopes to hold rally Saturday despite recent COVID-19 diagnosis MORE’s two-hour call into the Rush Limbaugh show, it’s been another chaotic day in Washington to say the least.

Let’s get you up to speed.

The day kicked off with Democrats rolling out legislation that would establish a panel to examine a sitting president’s ability to perform their duties, and potentially to remove the commander in chief from office if they are found to be debilitated.

The legislation would invoke the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To be clear, any panel created by the legislation would apply to future administrations, but it’s a hit at Trump, who is facing questions from Democrats over his mental acuity in the wake of his coronavirus treatments. Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Trump says talks on COVID-19 aid are now ‘working out’ | Pelosi shoots down piecemeal approach | Democrats raise questions about Trump tax audits Trump retweets reporter saying 25th Amendment is not equivalent to a ‘coup’ Trump responds to Pelosi bringing up 25th Amendment: ‘Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation’ MORE (D-Calif.), who unveiled the legislation, has openly questioned whether Trump’s COVID-19 treatments have impacted his decisionmaking skills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus Human Rights Campaign unveils its congressional scorecard ahead of election MORE (R-Ky.) blasted the legislation as “absolutely absurd.” The bill has no chance of being enacted this session, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans.

Meanwhile, sources told The Hill that Trump and his aides offered Pelosi a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package. The latest figure is a jump from their last offer of $1.6 trillion. However, we don’t know yet if Pelosi will be willing to move down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

Trump made news on the issue while he was on Limbaugh’s show this afternoon, saying he wanted a larger package than either Democrats or Republicans have offered. The comments

Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.



a man wearing a suit and tie: The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump's mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election


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The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump campaigns on Rush Limbaugh show l Democrats question Trump’s mental fitness l Coronavirus stimulus in doubt before election

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail:

LEADING THE DAY:

Happy Friday! From talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to President Trump’s two-hour call into the Rush Limbaugh show, it’s been another chaotic day in Washington to say the least.

Let’s get you up to speed.

The day kicked off with Democrats rolling out legislation that would establish a panel to examine a sitting president’s ability to perform their duties, and potentially to remove the commander in chief from office if they are found to be debilitated.

The legislation would invoke the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To be clear, any panel created by the legislation would apply to future administrations, but it’s a hit at Trump, who is facing questions from Democrats over his mental acuity in the wake of his coronavirus treatments. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who unveiled the legislation, has openly questioned whether Trump’s COVID-19 treatments have impacted his decisionmaking skills.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted the legislation as “absolutely absurd.” The bill has no chance of being enacted this session, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans.

Meanwhile, sources told The Hill that Trump and his aides offered Pelosi a $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief package. The latest figure is a jump from their last offer of $1.6 trillion. However, we don’t know yet if Pelosi will be willing to move down from her demand for a $2.2 trillion package.

Trump made news on the issue while he was on Limbaugh’s show this afternoon, saying he wanted a larger package than either Democrats or Republicans have offered. The comments are a break with what his own White House is currently offering leaders on Capitol Hill.

McConnell said he does not expect the White House and Congress to reach a deal on a coronavirus spending package prior to Election Day.

And speaking of Trump’s call into Limbaugh’s show … the president spent a whopping two hours on the conservative talk radio program, in what the president’s reelection campaign dubbed the “largest radio rally in history.”

Trump spent the call lashing out as his usual targets, including the news media, Black Lives Matter and Democrats.

“To be with you two hours, you have no idea. It’s a great honor,” Trump told Limbaugh.

READ MORE:

Democrats unveil bill creating panel to gauge president’s ‘capacity,’ by Mike Lillis

Trump and allies try to reframe 25th Amendment

Cities Declare Racism a Health Crisis, but Some Doubt Impact | Wisconsin News

By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Christy DeGallerie noticed a startling trend in her online group for coronavirus survivors: White patients got medications she’d never heard of, were offered X-rays and their doctors listened to their concerns.

That wasn’t her experience. When the 29-year-old Black woman sought a COVID-19 test at a New York emergency room, a nurse said she didn’t have a fever. DeGallerie appealed to a doctor of color, who told the nurse to check again. It registered 101 degrees.

“We know our pain is questioned and our pain is not real to them,” said DeGallerie, who later started a group for Black COVID-19 survivors. “Getting medical help shouldn’t be discouraging for anyone. It is a discouraging place for Black people.”

Addressing experiences like DeGallerie’s has become a priority for a growing number of local governments, many responding to a pandemic that’s amplified racial disparities and the call for racial justice after the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans. Since last year, about 70 cities, roughly three dozen counties and three states have declared racism a public health crisis, according to the American Public Health Association.

Local leaders say formally acknowledging the role racism plays not just in health care but in housing, the environment, policing and food access is a bold step, especially when it wasn’t always a common notion among public health experts. But what the declarations do to address systemic inequalities vary widely, with skeptics saying they are merely symbolic.

Kansas City, Missouri, and Indianapolis used their declarations to calculate how to dispense public funding. The mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, a mostly white community of roughly 40,000, used a declaration to make Juneteenth a paid city employee holiday. The Minnesota House passed a resolution vowing to “actively participate in the dismantling of racism.” Wisconsin’s governor made a verbal commitment, while governors in Nevada and Michigan signed public documents.

“It is only after we have fully defined the injustice that we can begin to take steps to replace it with a greater system of justice that enables all Michiganders to pursue their fullest dreams and potential,” Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said in a statement.

Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County takes credit for being the first with its May 2019 order. It acted because of sobering health disparities in Wisconsin’s most populous county, where nearly 70% of the state’s Black residents live. It’s the only county with a significantly higher poverty rate than the state average, 17.5% compared with 10.8% statewide, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison report.

County officials developed a “racial equity budget tool,” requiring departments to explain plans to hire and retain a diverse workforce and how budgets affect disadvantaged communities.

“The framing helped accelerate the conversation, not only stakeholders could actually grasp and understand,” said Jeff Roman, head of the county’s Office on African American Affairs.

Kansas City was another early adopter in August 2019. Councilwoman Melissa Robinson called it a new decision-making lens.

For instance, when the