14.2 C
London
Sunday, August 1, 2021

Update COVID-19 17 September 2020

17 September 2020 — Nineteen (19) new COVID-19 cases were identified out of 2097 samples tested today. This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases to four thousand, six hundred, and fifty-three (4653). To date, two thousand, eight hundred, and seventeen (2817) patients have recovered and been discharged, including twenty-eight (28) in the past 24…
More

    Latest Posts

    Dan Bongino: Democrats using a 24-hour fear agenda to protect themselves in 2022

    Dan Bongino slammed Democrats for their "24-hour fear agenda," Saturday on "Unfiltered with Dan Bongino," saying it was a way to protect them in the 2022 election.  DAN BONGINO: We had Joe Biden just back in May tell us "we think we've got this under control, you can take masks off and go back to living your life." Something…

    Tennessee shooting at Soaky Mountain Waterpark leaves 2 wounded; 3 detained: police

    Gunfire on Saturday night at a popular waterpark in Tennessee left at least two women wounded, with authorities detaining at least three people for questioning, according to a report.The incident happened around 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Soaky Mountain Waterpark in Sevierville, about 25 miles southeast of Knoxville, WBIR-TV of Knoxville reported.OKLAHOME MEN…

    Anthony Sherman blasts NFL for making players wear ‘vaccine status’ wristbands

    Earlier this month, the NFL announced teams were required to develop a method to visually identify fully vaccinated Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals — like using color-coded wristbands or credentials — by the beginning of training camp, and former Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman may have just gotten the memo."The [NFL] is making players wear…

    Oklahoma men charged in alleged torture, murder of missing mom from Arkansas

    A missing Arkansas mother of three was found dead this week in Oklahoma – where investigators say they believe she was tortured, murdered and left weighted down in a pond.Three men have been arrested in connection with the death of Tara Strozier, a 40-year-old from Fort Smith, Arkansas, who was last seen alive about 20…

    Can COVID-19 lead to diabetes? Here’s what you need to know

    New studies show that the COVID-19 virus can attack the pancreas, destroy cells that make insulin, and cause some cases of diabetes.

    Published June 10, 2021

    8 min read

    During the spring of 2020, physicians in New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic at the time, noticed a considerable number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 had too much sugar in their blood, a condition called hyperglycemia that is a signature feature of diabetes.

    “[My colleagues and I] found it very challenging to control the blood glucose level of some COVID-19 patients, even those without a history of diabetes,” says stem cell biologist Shuibing Chen at Weill Cornell Medicine. More surprising, says Chen, was that some patients who did not have diabetes prior to the infection, developed new-onset diabetes after recovering from COVID-19.

    The COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, is best known for wreaking havoc in the lungs and causing acute respiratory distress. But how and why a COVID-19 patient would suddenly develop a chronic disease like diabetes is a mystery, as is the number of people who must then deal with this complication.

    A global 2020 analysis led by population health researcher Thirunavukkarasu Sathish at McMaster University in Canada found that nearly 15 percent of severe COVID-19 patients also developed diabetes. But, he admits, “this figure is likely to be higher among high-risk individuals, prediabetes for example.”Research led by endocrinologist Paolo Fiorina at Harvard Medical School and published in 2021 reported that of 551 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Italy, nearly half became hyperglycemic.

    Peter Jackson, a biochemist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, estimates “as many as 30 percent of patients with severe COVID-19 may develop diabetes.”

    Intrigued by the startling connection between COVID-19 and diabetes, Chen and Jackson both launched independent investigations to uncover how SARS-CoV-2 might trigger hyperglycemia. Both groups published their results in the May issue of Cell Metabolism.

    “Their findings provide critical insights into the underlying mechanisms by which COVID-19 can lead to the development of new-onset diabetes in infected patients,” says Rita Kalyani, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, who was not involved with either study.

    The pancreas is another target of the COVID-19 virus

    SARS-CoV-2 affects people in very different ways. Many people experience only minor symptoms, but others develop severe, life-threatening disease. As the pandemic unfolded it became apparent that this virus could spread beyond the lungs and damage other critical organs, including the liver, heart, and kidneys. It also became clear that diabetes and obesity were common risk factors for severe COVID-19.

    In an earlier study, Chen’s group grew various types of tissues in the lab and tested which ones were vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. “Very surprisingly, we found that beta cells of the pancreas are highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection,” says Chen. The pancreas, which lies behind the stomach, is a complex organ composed of numerous types of cells that assist with digestion. It also contains beta cells that make insulin, the hormone that escorts sugar molecules from the blood into the body’s cells where it is used for energy.

    But just because a virus can infect cells grown in a dish in the lab doesn’t mean it attacks the body in the same way. To ensure the laboratory observations were a true reflection of what happens in living humans, both the Chen and Jackson teams acquired autopsy samples from patients who succumbed to COVID-19. Both groups detected SARS-CoV-2 in pancreatic beta cells from these deceased patients.

    But how, exactly, does a respiratory virus move from the lungs to the pancreas? After patients experience pneumonia, the infection of the lower lung may cause tissue damage that allows the virus to leak from lung alveoli and into the blood vessels, explains Jackson. “Once in circulation, the virus can enter other highly vascularized tissues like the pancreas, brain, and kidney.” Others have speculated that the virus could get into the bloodstream by leaking out of the gut, which may occur in patients lacking healthy intestinal bacteria. (Microbes in your gut may be new recruits in the fight against viruses)

    How the virus shuts down insulin production

    Both research teams noted that beta cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 stop making insulin. In Jackson’s study, the infected beta cells died via apoptosis, a genetically-programmed autodestruct sequence initiated by injured cells.

    Chen’s group found that infected beta cells underwent a process called transdifferentiation, which means they converted into another type of cell; one that no longer manufactures insulin. It is possible that some infected beta cells undergo transdifferentiation while others self-destruct.

    In both cases, the end result is the same: when the COVID-19 virus attacks the pancreatic beta cells, insulin production decreases.

    This can lead to type 1 diabetes, which is usually caused by genetic risk factors that spur an autoimmune reaction that attacks and destroys beta cells. Type 1 diabetes is more commonly seen early in life and requires patients to inject insulin every day since their body no longer makes the hormone. Type 1 diabetes also involves an environmental trigger, such as an infection, to initiate the autoimmune reaction.

    In contrast, the far more common type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes can be managed with changes in diet and exercise, although sometimes medications that enhance insulin sensitivity are needed. Collectively, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes according to a 2020 report issued by the Centers for Disease Control.

    The fate of the infected beta cells is important to study further as there may be a way to prevent their destruction in patients with severe COVID-19. Chen’s team surveyed a large panel of chemicals in hopes of finding one that could prevent the transdifferentiation process.

    Possible therapies

    The survey identified a compound called trans-ISRIB that helped beta cells maintain their identity and their ability to produce insulin when infected with SARS-CoV-2. Trans-ISRIB, which stands for Integrated Stress Response InhiBitor, is a compound discovered in 2013 that is able to prevent a cell’s normal response to stress. Such compounds are being explored as potential therapeutics to prevent widespread apoptosis and damage.

    Chen cautions, “Trans-ISRIB is not an FDA-approved drug, so it cannot be used in patients yet. But our studies support the idea that a new drug could be developed to prevent COVID-19 from causing diabetes.” Jackson’s group found that a cellular protein receptor called neuropilin-1 was critical for SARS-CoV-2 to invade beta cells; blocking this receptor keeps them from being infected.

    There is also great interest among the broader research community to develop drugs that stop cells from destroying themselves by apoptosis. Experimental compounds called caspase inhibitors, which prevent cell suicide, are being studied by others as potential therapies to ameliorate or prevent severe COVID-19. Unfortunately, caspase inhibitors have not proved a complete success in the clinic despite great promise and interest. Nonetheless, “they might work for short term exposure to limit viral damage,” Jackson says.

    Chen adds that SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus that threatens the pancreas. “Coxsackievirus B, rotavirus, mumps virus, and cytomegalovirus have been shown to infect and damage beta cells. Whether they are a direct cause of type 1 diabetes has been controversial.” More research is needed to determine if it is possible to neutralize the viral attacks on the pancreas, either by blocking infection or preventing the virus from reaching the organ in the first place.

    Kalyani stresses that these studies “further underscore the importance of getting vaccinated for COVID-19. Individuals who contract COVID-19, particularly those with prediabetes or other risk factors for diabetes, should let their health care providers know if they develop symptoms of hyperglycemia such as frequent urination, excessive thirst, blurry vision, or unexplained weight loss.”

    These new findings emphasize that there is much to learn about COVID-19 and its aftereffects. It seems clear that for some unlucky people, defeating the virus is only the beginning. Additional complications may arise depending on which systems in the body have been damaged in the wake of the viral infection.

    Latest Posts

    Dan Bongino: Democrats using a 24-hour fear agenda to protect themselves in 2022

    Dan Bongino slammed Democrats for their "24-hour fear agenda," Saturday on "Unfiltered with Dan Bongino," saying it was a way to protect them in the 2022 election.  DAN BONGINO: We had Joe Biden just back in May tell us "we think we've got this under control, you can take masks off and go back to living your life." Something…

    Tennessee shooting at Soaky Mountain Waterpark leaves 2 wounded; 3 detained: police

    Gunfire on Saturday night at a popular waterpark in Tennessee left at least two women wounded, with authorities detaining at least three people for questioning, according to a report.The incident happened around 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Soaky Mountain Waterpark in Sevierville, about 25 miles southeast of Knoxville, WBIR-TV of Knoxville reported.OKLAHOME MEN…

    Anthony Sherman blasts NFL for making players wear ‘vaccine status’ wristbands

    Earlier this month, the NFL announced teams were required to develop a method to visually identify fully vaccinated Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals — like using color-coded wristbands or credentials — by the beginning of training camp, and former Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman may have just gotten the memo."The [NFL] is making players wear…

    Oklahoma men charged in alleged torture, murder of missing mom from Arkansas

    A missing Arkansas mother of three was found dead this week in Oklahoma – where investigators say they believe she was tortured, murdered and left weighted down in a pond.Three men have been arrested in connection with the death of Tara Strozier, a 40-year-old from Fort Smith, Arkansas, who was last seen alive about 20…

    Don't Miss

    Israel to begin ‘widely’ administering Moderna COVID vaccine on Sunday

    Israel will launch its administering of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Sunday and begin “widely using” it among the Israeli population, the Health Ministry said on Friday.The ministry had announced plans to begin allowing health funds to order and distribute the Moderna vaccine earlier in the month. On Friday, it elaborated on the protocol for…

    US State Dept. gives green light to sale of helicopters to Israel

    The US State Department has approved the sale of 18 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to Israel to replace its aging CH-53 Yasurs.The deal will also include up to 60 T408-GE-400 Engines, and up to 36 embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) as well as an unspecified number of GAU-21…

    Save nearly $10 on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

    Home News Gaming (Image credit: Future) While we're only two weeks into the life cycle of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, we're already seeing an early discount at Best Buy. You'll find the latest port to hit the Nintendo Switch for just $50.99 right now (was $59.99), an excellent saving considering this is such…

    Maybe don’t use browsers to store your passwords

    Home News Computing (Image credit: Shutterstock / song_about_summer) In addition to practicing poor password hygiene, relying on password managers built into the web browser was another security faux pas highlighted by a recent survey.Commissioned by access management vendor ThycoticCentrify, the survey noted that more than a third (35%) of the respondents admitted to relying on…

    Massive Snapchat crash is still locking out users, despite official ‘fix’

    Home News Software (Image credit: Ink Drop / Shutterstock.com) Snapchat has been the latest service to suffer from a mass outage, with well over 100,000 users self-reporting issues over the website Downdetector, seemingly unable to login and either share or create content on the platform (via The Verge).Problems apparently began on July 28, with Snapchat…

    Stay in touch

    To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

    × Share your content