Taiwan Japan Usa Hong Kong virus patient reports Taiwan Japan Usa Hong Kong

News Scan for Sep 08, 2022

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New Omicron subvariant mutation tied to kids' neurologic complicationsResearchers in Taiwan have discovered a new mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2.3.7 subvariant that they suggest may be responsible for severe neurologic complications observed in young children on the island.

Their study was published yesterday in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.The team analyzed the medical records of five pediatric COVID-19 patients hospitalized with severe neurologic complications such as seizures, symptoms indicating involvement of the meningeal layer of the brain, and encephalopathy in May 2022, about a month after Omicron began circulating in Taiwan.The patients were 1 to 5 years old and experienced neurologic symptoms within 1 or 2 days after the onset of respiratory symptoms and fever.

All patients had elevated levels of several inflammatory biomarkers, but none of their cerebrospinal fluid samples tested positive for COVID-19.Whole-genome sequencing revealed that all viruses were Omicron BA.2.3.7 and that they had a previously unidentified K97E mutation on the spike protein that differed from other BA.2.3.7 strains.

Genome mapping of the mutation showed similar sequences in patients in Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States at roughly the same time.One child died of acute cerebral edema, brainstem compression, and multi-organ failure.

Read more on cidrap.umn.edu
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