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The extended duration of infection may also increase the incidence of mutations. Pixabay

Children and young adults with compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, may experience a prolonged period of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, finds a study. The extended duration of infection may also increase the incidence of mutations, said researchers at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), US.

In the study, published in the journal EBioMedicine, the team described two children and a young adult with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for months. Lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow that affects white blood cells.


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While most people are infectious for about 10 days after first showing Covid symptoms, this is the first report of active prolonged symptoms and infection in a pediatric or young adult population, said lead author Jennifer Dien Bard, Director of the Clinical Microbiology and Virology Laboratory at CHLA.

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SARS-CoV-2 mutates about once or twice a month, according to Bard. A long period of infection raises concerns about the development of viral mutations. When a virus replicates, it copies its genetic code, but sometimes the virus makes a mistake known as a mutation. Most mutations have no effect on how the virus behaves or on the disease it causes, but some may result in the virus acting differently. For example, the B117 SARS-CoV-2 variant, which has 17 mutations, is thought to be more infectious than other virus variants.

There is some evidence to suggest the B117 variant may have originated in a person who was immunocompromised and consistently infected with SARS-CoV-2. Yet even in immunocompromised patients, months-long infections are rare, Bard said. “We have had many other immunocompromised patients who have not experienced these prolonged infections, but it’s something to be aware of, and hospitals may want to consider changing infection control policies to address this particular special population,” Bard said. (IANS/SP)


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Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO.

Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.

According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)


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Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols.

A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."

Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.

Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)


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The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune.

The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.

Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.

covid virus The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash

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