Otters from an aquarium in the US test positive for Covid-19

EFE.- Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus) from the Atlanta aquarium have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, which was allegedly transmitted to them by an asymptomatic staff member, according to the institution.

They are not the first animals that live in zoos that are infected with the coronavirus. There have been cases of felines, great apes and others in various parts of the United States.

According to the Georgia Aquarium, located in the city of Atlanta, all Asian small-clawed otters, whose numbers are not precise, are being cared for by veterinary personnel out of the public eye.

Present mild respiratory symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and nasal congestion, and they have also entered a semi-lethargy. The symptoms are subsiding and his full recovery is expected, according to Tonya Claus, vice president of environmental and animal health at the aquarium.

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“We are giving them supportive treatment so they can eat, rest and recover,” Claus said.

All personnel in contact with the otters have been tested for Covid-19, said the aquarium, which did not report whether there have been any positive cases and stressed that the risk of contagion from humans to animals is “incredibly rare.”

Otters do not have direct contact with visitors, since its enclosure is separated by acrylic screens.

At the end of March the World Health Organization (WHO) presented a report in which it did not offer a definitive answer on the origin of the virulent pathogen that has caused the current pandemic and its conclusions are summarized in four hypotheses.

The one that is given more credibility is that the new coronavirus reached humans through one or more animals that would have acted as an intermediary species.

The probability that it has jumped directly from the carrier species to the human is less, since in none of the most suspicious has a coronavirus equal or sufficiently similar been found so far.

The report indicated that the Institute of Virology in Wuhan (China), the city where the first cases were registered, studied a coronavirus found in bats and very close to SARS-CoV-2.

The first known case of an animal infected with Covid-19 in the US was a Malayan tigress from the Bronx Zoo, in New York in April 2020.

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Covid: proliferation of new variants alarms Brazil – Latin America – International

In addition to P.1 in Manaus and P.2 in Rio de Janeiro, scientists are studying the appearance of more variants of the coronavirus in Brazil and they warn of the possibility of other more resistant ones, if the current dizzying rate of infections in the country continues.

(Read here: The leaked recording about the covid that outraged Bolsonaro)

The high incidence of SARS-CoV-2 threatens to turn Brazil into a “barn” of new lineages of the virus that causes the covid-19, which has already left more than 370,000 deaths and almost 14 million infected in the country.

Data from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a leading medical research center in Latin America, indicate that in Brazil, 92 variants have been detected at some point in the pandemic of the more than 900 described so far around the world.

Of that nearly one hundred, at least two are of Brazilian origin and have gained international prominence, P.1 and P.2, and a third is also being investigated that could be called P.4.

(Read here: What is known about Cuban vaccines against covid-19?)

The one that is most worrying now is the one that emerged at the end of 2020 in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, and which is suspected of being behind the ‘tsunami’ of infected and deaths that devastates the country.

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, refuses to accept containment measures for the covid.

P.1 has 17 different mutations, is up to 2.4 times more transmissible, and can escape antibodies generated in previous infections, according to a study published this week in the journal Science.

It is already present in 52 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has included it in the group of “variants of concern”, which also includes the British (B.1.1.7) and the South African (B.1.351).

There is also another classification with “variants of interest“, less alarming, where, for example, another one initially identified in Rio de Janeiro and called P.2 is framed.

(Do not stop reading: The world exceeds 3 million deaths from covid-19)

P.3 emerged in Philippines and now a group of scientists from the Institute of Biological Sciences of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) has found another possible new variant in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte, southeastern Brazil.

Protests against Bolsonaro

Protest by members of left-wing parties against Bolsonaro in front of the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.



“Out of 85 samples, in two of them we found a set of variations that does not coincide with anything described above,” said UFMG professor Renan Pedra, coordinator of genetic surveillance research in Belo Horizonte.

This possible new Brazilian variant has “a set of 18 mutations“, six of them in the protein ‘spike’ (spike), which the coronavirus uses to penetrate the human cells.

Some of these alterations have occurred in critical areas of the coronavirus that also mutated with the variants P.1, the British and the South African, all of them more infectious, according to Pedra. However, the biological effects of these unpublished mutations found in Belo Horizonte. If they identify three more samples with the same characteristics, it could already be classified as a new lineage.

(Also: Brazil registers more deaths than births due to Covid-19)

Covid-19 in Brazil

This hospital in the suburbs of São Paulo has had to adapt spaces that were not designed to house ICU beds in the midst of an unprecedented health emergency.


Fernando Bizerra. EFE

The strange case of Sorocaba

On March 31, the authorities of Sao Paulo, the state of Brazil worst hit by the pandemic, reported a case with mutations similar to those of the South African variant, in the town of Sorocaba, about 100 kilometers from the capital of São Paulo.

At first it was suspected that it was a new strain or an evolution of the existing ones. “We went to investigate that person to ask who he had been with, if he had left the country, if he was in contact with someone who had come from a trip, but we did not find anything“, explained the scientist María Carolina Sabbaga, one of the coordinators of the Network of Alert for Variants of covid-19 from the Butantan Institute.

In the end, they determined that it was a case of the South African strain, hitherto unpublished in Brazil. Sabbaga believes that it could have come through someone who had contact with that lineage in Europe and later traveled to Brazil.

Although, according to the samples analyzed so far, “it does not seem” that it is “spreading” widely throughout the region, he said, but warns that “the more the virus is allowed to circulate, the more it proliferates and the greater the probability of generating variants and for something bad to appear. ”


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Several Individuals at Berkeley High School Boys Basketball Program Test Positive for COVID-19 – Athletic Tryouts are Paused / Several Individuals in the Berkeley High School Boys Basketball Program Tested Positive on COVID-19 / We Pause Athletes “Try-Outs”

Must submit three proofs, one from each of the groups listed below.

All Proofs must be current originals (issued within the last 2 months) imprinted with the name and current Berkeley residential address of the parent/legal guardian. A student can have only one residency for purposes of establishing residency and must be living in Berkeley when submitting forms.

Only personal accounts will be accepted. No care of, DBA or Business accounts.

Group A:

Submit one of the following. Must provide all pages.

  • Rental property contract or lease, and proof of payment dated within 45 days
  • Renter or homeowner insurance policy for the current year (no bill, declarations or policy page only)
  • Current property tax statement
  • Property deed dated within the last 12 months

Group B: Utility bill

Submit one of the following. Must provide entire bill.

  • ­­PG&E
  • Landline phone (non-cellular)
  • Internet
  • Cable

Group C:

Submit one of the following. Must provide all pages, cannot be bill.

  • Current bank statement (checking or savings only)
  • Action letter from Alameda County Social Services Department
  • Recent paycheck stub or letter from employer on official company letterhead
  • ­­­Both valid automobile registration and valid automobile insurance
  • Voter notification or ballot for the most recent past or upcoming election


How do you explain that vaccinated people can get covid-19?

(CNN Español) –– More than 5,000 fully vaccinated people in the United States contracted coronavirusaccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How do you explain this? Dr. Elmer Huerta looks at the CDC data and recalls how vaccines work.

You can listen to this episode on Spotify or your favorite podcast platform or read the transcript below.

Hello, I am Dr. Elmer Huerta and this is your daily dose of information on the new coronavirus. Information that we hope will be useful to take care of your health and that of your family.

Vaccinated people and the coronavirus

A piece of news that went around the world –– arousing various types of reactions–– is the one published on Wednesday on the data that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared with CNN.

In an email, the CDC revealed that there had been 5,800 cases of Covid-19 in people who had completed their vaccination in the United States, of which 396 were hospitalized and 74 of them died.

Due to the surprise that it caused in many people that someone who is fully vaccinated can get sick, hospitalize and even die from covid-19, today we will see how this apparently paradoxical phenomenon is explained.

First of all, as we explained in the March 4 episode, it is very important to understand the difference between two concepts that tend to get confused: efficacy and effectiveness of vaccines.

What is the efficacy of a vaccine?

Let us remember that in phase 3 of the clinical stage of vaccine development, thousands of volunteers are invited to participate in a study, in which the vaccine candidate faces a placebo, and the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing the disease or its complications.

That is, it is in stage 3 that the first term that we want to clarify today is determined: the efficacy of a vaccine.

The fundamental concept for understanding the efficacy of a vaccine is knowing that phase 3 studies are governed by highly controlled research protocols, in which researchers carefully choose study participants.

In other words, in order to have a homogeneous population and to facilitate the comparison of the results, the participants in the phase 3 studies are more or less selected people, from which pregnant women, children, very people are often excluded. elderly or with pre-existing diseases.

At the conclusion of the phase 3 study, the number of cases of the disease that occurred in the group that received the vaccine and in the group that received the placebo was compared, concluding that the vaccine is effective if the cases of disease that occurred in the group that received the received the vaccine are much lower than in the group that received the placebo.

For Pfizer / BioNTech, for example, its efficiency has been calculated at 95% and for Moderna, 94.5%, taking that of AstraZeneca is by 82.4%, and for Johnson & Johnson, 72% in the United States66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa.

What is the effectiveness of a vaccine?

Effectiveness is a completely different concept and involves the use of the vaccine in real life. That is, outside of a research study.

Recently, studies on the effectiveness of vaccines have begun to be published. The first of which came from Israel, a country that in addition to actively vaccinating its inhabitants is studying how much vaccines work, that is, their effectiveness.

In one of them, researchers from the health plan Clalit de Israel studied 1.2 million vaccinated people, of whom 600,000 received two doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and 600,000 did not, comparing the frequency of symptomatic cases of covid-19 and severe cases of the infection.

Compared with the unvaccinated, the frequency of symptomatic disease was 94% lower and of severe disease, 92% less in vaccinated people, compared to the unvaccinated.

Those numbers, 94% and 92%, are called vaccine effectiveness, not efficacy.

The difference then is that the efficacy is calculated in a controlled clinical trial in which the type of volunteers are chosen to participate, and the vaccine is compared against a placebo. While the effectiveness is calculated by vaccinating all types of people in real life, and the vaccinated are compared against the unvaccinated.

Understanding the difference between efficacy and effectiveness, it is also very important to understand that none –– neither efficacy nor effectiveness–– reaches 100%. In other words, there is no 100% effective or 100% effective vaccine.

What happened in the United States?

Returning then to the news that there had been 5,800 cases of covid-19 in vaccinated people, it is very important to know that those cases occurred among approximately 66 million fully vaccinated Americans as of April 8.

Doing a simple calculation, we see that those 5,800 cases represent 0.009% of the 66 million vaccinated. Which means that the disease did not occur in 99.991% of those vaccinated.

Regarding the characteristics of the 5,800 cases, the CDC reported that just over 40% of the infections occurred in people over 60 years of age, 65% in women and 29% were asymptomatic cases, being something new –– and different from the cases described in Israel–– that not all patients developed mild illness.

Knowing that there are variants of SARS-CoV-2 that may not be sensitive to the neutralizing antibodies produced by vaccines, the CDC reported that they are monitoring reported cases to group them by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, type vaccine or lot number and lineage of SARS-CoV-2.

And finally, in relation to the 396 hospitalizations and 74 deaths that occurred in vaccinated people, and taking into account that every human life is precious, it is easy to calculate and assess the number of hospitalizations and deaths that would have occurred in that group of 77 million people. people if they had not been vaccinated.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus?

Send me your questions on Twitter, we will try to answer them in our next episodes. You can find me at @DrHuerta.

If you think this podcast is useful, help others find it by rating it on your favorite podcast app. We’ll be back tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to get the latest episode on your account.

And for the most up-to-date information you can always head to Thanks for your attention.

If you have any questions you can send it to doctor Elmer Huerta via Twitter. You can also go to for all episodes of our podcast «Coronavirus: Reality vs. fiction”.

Is a new wave of COVID looming in Mexico? Epidemic is on the rise in 10 entities of the country – El Financiero

After 11 weeks of decline throughout the country, the COVID epidemic rebounded in 10 Mexican entities, warned the Undersecretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell.

Those entities are Mexico City, Quintana Roo, Baja California Sur, Tlaxcala, Chihuahua, Colima, Durango, State of Mexico, Morelos and Nayarit.

“It is no longer going down. It is beginning to rise, “said the undersecretary at a press conference.

“Today we saw in these 10 states that the situation has changed. Instead of being reduced it is increasing. That is the warning we want to make ”.

José Luis Alomía, general director of Epidemiology, explained that the epidemic rose 4 percent throughout the country.

The official pointed out that, although there are increases in infections, the situation can still be reversed, so he called on the population to reinforce the healthy distance measures.

“It is time to redouble our efforts and continue implementing preventive measures,” he said.


La Jornada – Almost four million people with a complete anti-covid scheme

Mexico City. On Sunday, 127,244 vaccines against Covid-19 were applied, for a cumulative of 14 million 368 thousand 74 doses. Of the total, correspond to 3 million 927 thousand 307 people who already have the complete scheme of one or two doses.

In the elderly sector, 3 million 119 thousand 722 people have the highest protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the same as 789 thousand 958 health sector workers who care for Covid-19 patients and 17 thousand 627 people who work in the educational field in Campeche, informed Hugo López-Gatell, undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion.

During the afternoon conference at the National Palace, the official highlighted that in ten states the epidemic “seems to be changing its trajectory. It’s not going down anymore, it’s starting to go up, ”he said.

He recalled that for 11 weeks the curve was downward with fewer sick people and less hospital occupancy. Now the increase is not relevant but the important thing is that the decrease stopped.

José Luis Alomía, director of Epidemiology, reported that the ten states are Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Colima, Durango, the state of Mexico, Morelos, Nayarit, Quintana Roo and Tlaxcala.

Regarding the behavior of the pandemic, 127 deaths were confirmed for a total of 212 thousand 466 people who have lost their lives due to this cause.

Until week 14 (from April 4 to 10) the trend of the epidemic curve registered an increase of 4 percent with respect to the previous week; There are an estimated 25,201 active cases, equivalent to one percent of the total number of people affected by the coronavirus in the country.

The report also shows one million 833 thousand 132 people who have recovered from the disease.

Alomía indicated that hospital occupancy remains low, 15 percent for general beds and 18 percent for those with a ventilator.


How to Schedule an Appointment for the COVID-19 Vaccine During Phase 2 – Richmond City Health Department

Vaccine Finder allows you to find most of the places that offer vaccines in your area. First, look for your zip code and choose the distance you are willing to travel (options range from 1 mile to 50 miles). Then it will show you a map of all the places that have the COVID-19 vaccine available at the moment. Clicking on a location takes you to that pharmacy or provider’s website, where it can ask you to access an eligibility tool before showing you open appointments, choose what state you are in, and provide other demographics. Vaccine locations may not have open appointments, and you may want to check back often to find an available appointment.

RHHD’s main offices will appear on the map, although vaccines will not be distributed outside of those locations. When you select one of the RHHD locations, you will be redirected to pre-register for an appointment.

Ideal for: someone who wants to schedule their appointment online directly and doesn’t mind spending some time on different websites before scheduling an appointment.

Sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of dying from COVID-19, according to study | Coronavirus | DW

Lack of exercise is associated with an increased risk of developing a more severe form of COVID-19 disease and dying from it, according to a new study of nearly 50,000 patients.

People who had been physically inactive for at least two years before the pandemic were more likely to be hospitalized, require intensive care, and die from COVID-19 compared to patients who were physically active, according to the study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Among the greatest risk factors for severe disease, only advanced age and a history of organ transplantation outweigh physical inactivity, according to the researchers.

In fact, compared to other risk factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or cancer, “physical inactivity was the most important risk factor in all the results,” they stressed.

In general, those who suffered a more serious course of the disease were elderly, male patients with some pre-existing pathologies, such as diabetes, obesity or cardiovascular diseases.

A little-studied risk factor

Physical inactivity was one of the factors that little had been studied. To analyze its possible impact on the severity of the infection, the researchers compared the evolution of 48,440 infected adults between January and October 2020, in the United States.

The mean age of the patients was 47 years and almost two-thirds were women (62%). On average, their body mass index (BMI) was 31, just above the obesity threshold.

About half had no prior ailments such as diabetes, chronic lung, cardiovascular or kidney disease, and cancer. Almost 20% had one of these risk factors and almost a third (32%) had two or more.

All had declared their level of regular physical activity at least three times between March 2018 and March 2020 during clinic visits.

Among them, 15% described themselves as inactive (0 to 10 minutes of physical activity per week); 7% affirmed to respect the health recommendations (at least 150 minutes per week) and the rest said to practice “some activity” (11-149 minutes per week). About 9% of the total were hospitalized and 2% died.

After taking into account differences by age, ethnicity, and comorbidity, sedentary people with COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to be admitted to a hospital than more active ones. They were also 73% more likely to need resuscitation and 2.5 times more likely to die from the infection.

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Doubts are growing about the importance of the Covid -19 vaccine

Doubts about the vaccine are growing among some young adults according to health reports following the announcement of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine pause earlier this week.

Something that experts say should not happen as there are other options.

Monica de Anda spoke with health officials who say that age group is crucial in the fight for immunity.

Watch the video for the full report.

Situation report on coronavirus COVID-19 in Uruguay (04/19/2021)

Health emergency

Situation report on coronavirus COVID-19 in Uruguay (04/19/2021)

Creation: 04/18/2021

Last updated: 04/19/2021

Epidemiological report:

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), 11,273 analyzes were carried out today and 2,297 new cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 were detected.
Of the 2,297 new cases, 1,023 are from Montevideo, 297 from Canelones, 117 from Rivera, 106 from Maldonado, 104 from Soriano, 99 from Cerro Largo, 98 from San José, 96 from Artigas, 90 from Río Negro, 56 from Colonia, 45 from Tacuarembó, 29 from Salto, 27 from Lavalleja, 27 from Rocha, 25 from Florida, 24 from Paysandú, 23 from Treinta y Tres, 9 from Flores and 2 from Durazno. In all cases, strict epidemiological monitoring is carried out.

Since the health emergency was declared on March 13, 1,641,855 tests have been processed and 167,033 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered throughout the national territory. Of that total, 136,304 have already recovered.

Today, 63 deaths with a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 were confirmed in our country (a detailed table is attached). So far there are 1,971 deaths diagnosed with COVID-19 in Uruguay.

There are currently 28,758 active cases, that is, people who are developing the disease, 519 of them are in intensive care.

Of the total confirmed positive cases, 6,198 correspond to health personnel. 5,657 of them have already recovered, 532 are suffering from the disease and 9 have died.

As of today, the 19 departments have active cases.


The total of confirmed positive cases until yesterday was 164,744. Today 2,297 new cases and a total of 167,033 confirmed positive cases are reported. The difference is explained because, according to the MSP, 8 cases were eliminated.