Coronavirus update: Vitamin D helps prevent serious illness, study finds

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Long COVID is hard to overcome, sufferers say

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 76,873,870 (76,513,221)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 906,036 (902,650)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 399,282,878 (395,776,507)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 5,755,766 (5,742,302)‌

Vitamin D helpful in fighting virus, study finds

Getting enough vitamin D in your diet may be important to protect yourself against a severe case of COVID-19. Several studies have previously suggested that, and the latest one is by Israeli scientists who published their findings in PLOS One.

The study concluded that there are "striking" differences in the chances of getting seriously ill between patients who have strong levels of vitamin D in their bodies before getting infected and those who are deficient in the nutrient.

The difference between the previous vitamin D studies and this one, the researchers say, is that the latest study is the first to examine patients who had robust levels of vitamin D before getting infected.

Long COVID sufferers face struggles

Many cases of the coronavirus are milder than those caused by earlier variants, but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. Some people continue to suffer some symptoms for months after recovering, a condition known as “long COVID.”

One 61-year-old patient told CNBC that she became infected more than a year ago but still has lingering after-effects, mainly fatigue. She also reported some minor cognitive issues.

The virus has also created a financial burden. The patient, who asked to remain anonymous, said her symptoms have prevented her from working for the last 14 months.

Canadian trucker protest now affects the U.S.

Commercial truck drivers in Canada have staged protests in Ottawa for weeks to protest Canada’s strict COVID-19 rules that they contend are destroying their businesses. The most recent protest is being felt in the U.S.

This week, the trucks blocked traffic at Ambassador Bridge, linking Windsor, Ontario with Detroit. U.S. traffic bound for Canada was halted until early today.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also reported that Canadian truckers blocked traffic Monday at an access point between Alberta and Montana, raising concerns of more supply chain disruptions.  

Around the nation

  • New York: This week’s update on COVID-19 shows that cases have plunged 43% across the state last week, renewing pressure on Gov. Kathy Hochul to lift some pandemic restrictions. The state went from 96,271 cases the previous week to 54,466 cases last week

  • Florida: State health officials have detected a handful of COVID-19 cases in South Florida that were caused by a subvariant of Omicron. Infectious disease expert Dr. Larry Bush of Palm Beach County told WPBF-TV that the subvariant is more contagious but does not create more severe symptoms than the main Omicron variant.

  • Arizona: The coronavirus continues to disrupt the college basketball schedule, but the Arizona Wildcats now have a full schedule of make-up games. The last postponed game, with USC, has been rescheduled for March 1.

  • Wyoming: The Department of Corrections reports that cases of COVID-19 among prisoners in the state fell by 50% week-over-week. In the last round of testing, 130 inmates at the state penitentiary tested positive. That means about 30% of its population has reported an infection in the last two weeks.

  • Illinois: COVID-19 cases have registered a sharp decline, but the statewide mask mandate remains in place. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he has no schedule for lifting the requirement to mask up indoors, saying it will depend on the state's hospitalization rate.

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