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Many Young Kids With COVID Show No Symptoms of the Disease

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Sept. 6, 2022 – Don’t count on a runny nose.

Young kids with COVID-19 often have no symptoms at all, even when they have a high amount of the virus in them, according to a new study.

Just 14% of adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, had no symptoms of the disease, versus 37% of children up to age 4, the researchers found.

This raises concern that parents, childcare providers, and preschools may not be seeing the level of infection in seemingly healthy young kids who have been exposed to COVID-19, wrote lead author Ruth A. Karron, MD, and colleagues in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open.

The study involved 690 people from 175 households in Maryland who were monitored closely between November 2020 and October 2021. Every week for 8 months, they completed online symptom checks and had PCR testing – which detects the presence of the virus causing COVID-19 – done with nasal swabs. Those with symptoms submitted more swabs for analysis.

“What was different about our study [compared with previous studies] was the intensity of our collection, and the fact that we [tested those who did not have COVID symptoms],” Karron, a pediatrician and professor in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in an interview. “The fact that we were sampling every single week meant that we could pick up those early infections.”

The study also stands out for its focus on young children, Karron said. All households that took part in the study had at least one child up to 4 years old, with 256 out of the 690 people (37.1%) in this youngest age group. The other people in the study were 100 children ages 5 to 17 (14.5%) and 334 adults ages 18 to 74 (48.4%).

Youngest Were Most Likely to Not Have Symptoms

By the end of the study, 51 people had tested positive for the coronavirus, including 14 who had no symptoms. A closer look showed that children ages 4 and younger who got COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to not have symptoms as infected adults (36.8% vs. 14.3%).

The relationship between symptoms and viral load – the amount of the virus that causes COVID in a person – also differed between adults and young children.

While adults with high viral loads – suggesting they were more contagious – typically had more severe COVID-19 symptoms, that was not the case with young kids. This suggests that children with mild or no symptoms could still be highly contagious.

Karron says these findings should help parents and others make better decisions. She says that even if young children don’t have symptoms, they should be tested for COVID-19 if they have been exposed to others with the disease. And she recommends acting on the results.

“If a family is infected with the virus, and the 2-year-old [has no symptoms], and people are thinking about a visit to elderly grandparents … one shouldn’t assume that the 2-year-old is uninfected,” Karron says. “That child should be tested along with other family members.”

Testing should also be considered for young children exposed to COVID-19 at childcare facilities, she says.

But other experts did not necessarily agree.

“I question whether that effort is worth it,” says Dean Blumberg, MD, a professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, CA.

He notes that recent FDA guidance for COVID-19 testing calls for three negative at-home antigen tests – which detect proteins, called antigens, from the virus that causes COVID-19 – to confirm lack of disease.

“That would take 4 days to get those tests done,” he says. “So, it’s a lot of testing. It’s a lot of record keeping, it’s inconvenient, it’s uncomfortable to be tested, and I just question whether it’s worth that effort.”

Do the Findings Still Apply?

Blumberg also questions whether the study, which was completed almost a year ago, reflects the current pandemic landscape.

Although the experts interviewed had different opinions of the findings, they shared similar views on vaccination.

“The most important thing that parents can do is get their kids vaccinated, be vaccinated themselves, and have everybody in the household vaccinated and up to date for all doses that are indicated,” Blumberg says.

Karron notes that vaccination will be more important in the coming months.

“Summer is ending; school is starting,” she says. “We’re going to be in large groups indoors again very soon. To keep young children safe, I think it’s really important for them to get vaccinated.”

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Original Post: webmd.com

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

What Happened

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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