COVID-19 weekly news: December 20-26

Mayo Clinic Health System reaches COVID-19 therapy milestone

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Increasing access to high-quality health care and providing innovative, evidence-based care solutions to the communities it serves is a priority for Mayo Clinic Health System, even in the midst of an enduring global pandemic encompassing two years. One innovative therapeutic advancement used to prevent severe disease and death due to COVID-19 is called monoclonal antibody therapy.

Read more.

Reinfection rates of omicron and why people need to take this seriously

The infection rate of omicron, the highly infectious variant of COVID-19, is doubling about every two days, says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.

Read more.

When to test for flu, COVID-19

COVID-19 positivity rates in some areas of the U.S. are as high as 25%–30%. Now influenza rates also are starting to rise. Experts at Mayo Clinic anticipate flu activity will continue to increase over the coming weeks and months until the spring. While flu cases are still relatively low, the percentage of positive tests is slowly increasing.

Read more.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Light therapy can help with seasonal affective disorder

Added stress of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the cold, dark days of winter on top of holiday stress, can do a number on a person's mental health and could lead to seasonal affective disorder ― a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons.

Read more.

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 pandemic highlights health disparities

Racial equity in health care has been a topic of discussion in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many inequities in the health care system. Racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionally affected by COVID-19, due to a long list of factors.

Read more.

Types of COVID-19 tests and when to use them

The high demand for COVID-tests continues this holiday week along with questions about the various types of tests and when to use them. Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., director of Clinical Virology at Mayo Clinic provided a breakdown of the tests and explained how they work.

Read more.

Global study finds metabolic syndrome increased risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome, death in patients hospitalized with COVID-19

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who had a combination of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome were at much higher risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and death, according to an international study published in JAMA Network Open.

Read more.

Mayo experts encouraged by authorization of first pill to treat COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization for a pill that can be taken at home to treat COVID-19. Paxlovid, which is made by Pfizer, is the first oral antiviral medication authorized to help people who are infected with COVID-19 before they are hospitalized.

Read more.

FDA issues emergency use authorization for second at-home COVID-19 treatment

For the second time in as many days, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization for an investigational antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. This time it is Merck's molnupiravir.

Read more.

Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.