CORONA Main Coronavirus thread

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_tRNjwvh0Q
26:54 min
126 - Sweden (and COVID-19)
•Jul 30, 2020


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Sweden’s approach to controlling the spread of COVID-19 has relied largely on providing guidance and expecting compliance. What’s gone right? What’s gone wrong? Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, talks candidly with Dr. Josh Sharfstein. He rejects the idea that the nation has been complacent, saying the goal has always been to reduce transmission, using mandates as necessary to achieve the goal. He also explains why Sweden has not hospitalized more older adults who contracted COVID-19 in nursing homes, a population that has accounted for a large share of deaths.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMaDC-AggtE
2:29 min

Imitating a COVID-19 Vaccine With Convalescent Blood Plasma Treatment
•Jul 30, 2020


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

@Johns Hopkins University has launched two clinical trials on convalescent blood plasma treatment for COVID-19. The treatment is a transfusion of plasma containing antibodies from COVID-19 survivors that can help a patient’s immune system fight the virus.
 
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marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Qc9rkg9SQ
58:42 Min
War Room Pandemic Ep 307 - Unconditional Surrender (w/ David Rivkin, Matt Gaetz, and Jonna Bianco)
•Streamed live 6 hours ago


Bannon WarRoom - Citizens of the American Republic


Jack Maxey is joined by Steve Bannon, Dr. Li Meng Yan and Lu De to discuss the latest on the coronavirus pandemic as DHS and Oregon officials have struck a deal on when federal agents would be pulled out of Portland. David Rivkin calls in to provide insights. Congressman Matt Gaetz joins the crew to discuss his new book. Jonna Bianco joins the crew to discuss the China Bonds owed to Americans.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5YC7icGOjE
1:00:22 min
War Room Pandemic Ep 308 - Science and Evidence Based
•Streamed live 5 hours ago


Bannon WarRoom - Citizens of the American Republic


Jack Maxey is joined by Steve Bannon, Dr. Li Meng Yan, Lu De, and Dr. Xiao to discuss the latest on the coronavirus pandemic as Dr. Fauci goes on tour in an attempt to discredit hydroxychloroquine. Brian Kolfage calls in with an update from the Southern Border.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXEvAHgFxCU
9:25 min
Depression, obesity & abuse: Why our kids MUST return to school despite COIVD-19
•Jul 30, 2020


Glenn Beck
The media continues to not only politicize COVID-19 but LIE about it too...and now, those lies are becoming deadly for our kids. There are countless reasons why our kids MUST return to school in-person as soon as possible...because throughout this coronavirus lockdown, several studies prove kids are experiencing more at-home abuse, higher symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased screen time, decreased activity levels, and a rise in obesity. Additionally, European studies have shown a return to in-person schooling does NOT lead to an increase in COVID transmission. It's time we stand up and fight for our kids.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUyAZbwxKIc
13:54 min
Doctor exposes the REAL reason why the media, left HATE hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19
•Jul 30, 2020


Glenn Beck

If your only source was the mainstream media, you might think hydroxychloroquine is an extremely dangerous drug. But ER Doctor Simone Gold speaks to Glenn, and she sets the record straight: not only is it a noncontroversial drug that's commonly used around the world, but it could even be bought over the counter in some countries (like France). So why, then, did that all change when President Trump spoke about its potential use in the fight against COVID-19? Why did France remove it from its shelves? And WHY did the media begin praising another drug -- Remdesivir -- when early trials didn't show immense promise? Gold answers all these questions, and more. And you can find the sources she used in her research at: AmericasFrontlineDoctorsSummit.com.
 
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Telescope Steve

Contributing Member
This research is very interesting. It is not about coronavirus, but it indicates that these medications have the ability to help other diseases too. This might be one more bit of evidence about why some folks are trying so hard to keep us from learning about these medications that might be helpful for so many people.


Here is a statement in the conclusion of the report.

"Even though it is too soon to make definite conclusions about the overall effect of CQ and HCQ in anti-cancer treatments, the clinical data already available are encouraging to further explore their potential as anti-cancer agents, with a preference for CQ."


Published online 2017 Nov 23. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2017.781
 

TheSearcher

Are you sure about that?
This research is very interesting. It is not about coronavirus, but it indicates that these medications have the ability to help other diseases too. This might be one more bit of evidence about why some folks are trying so hard to keep us from learning about these medications that might be helpful for so many people.


Here is a statement in the conclusion of the report.

"Even though it is too soon to make definite conclusions about the overall effect of CQ and HCQ in anti-cancer treatments, the clinical data already available are encouraging to further explore their potential as anti-cancer agents, with a preference for CQ."


Published online 2017 Nov 23. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2017.781
That *IS* very interesting!

Let's unpack this: So, let's say China tosses C19 our way as a bioweapon, but it's a bit of a dud. We even have a pre-determined drug treatment protocol, and we knew about it fifteen years ago. But hey, if TPTB can scare the heck out of us during an election year, get some bonus precedent for rights encroachment, and support a massive, lucrative vaccination campaign, they'll try to keep the treatment under wraps or undermined. Then somebody already probably pointed out to TPTB that it looks like a possible link to anti-cancer treatment, too, which could cost a lot of people a whole bunch of money, so TPTB cranks down even harder on the HCQ discreditation. To find that Fauxi was a big part of the fifteen-year-old information has to be giving them the vapors.

No wonder they're hell bent for leather running from HCQ.
 
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marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4otDdciULY
31:41 min
Update, UK, US and Global
•Jul 30, 2020


Dr. John Campbell

Global numbers Cases, 17, 084,446 Deaths, 668,250

Self-isolation Quarantine https://www.gov.uk/government/publica... 14 days After symptoms begin https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-he... Self-isolate for 10 days, up from 7 days (England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam) Low but real possibility of infectivity, 7 – 10 days after onset of first symptoms UK https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulati... Deaths, 46,046

ONS Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020 Analysis of Weeks 8 to 24 (week ending 21 February to week ending 12 June) England, highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole.

US Cases, 4, 447, 648 Deaths, 151, 077 Congressman Louis Gohmert Often non-mask wearer I’m asymptomatic, but apparently, I have the Wuhan virus ‘I can’t help but wonder, if by keeping a mask on, and keeping it in place if I might have put some germs, some of the virus on to the mask and breathed it in’ Was not wearing a mask the day before diagnosis Nancy now mandating masks on the house floor Fauci (Re-tweet) When you have a bunch of people spouting something, that isn’t true, the only recourse you have is to be very very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that CDC, week 29, W/E 18 July https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-...

Overall weekly hospitalization rates increased for past three consecutive weeks American Indian or Alaska Native, have an age-adjusted hospitalization rate approximately 5.3 times that of whites Blacks, x 4.7 Hispanics or Latinos, x 4.6 21 states now red zones 100 new cases per week 100,000 people Idaho California Nevada Utah Arizona North Dakota Wisconsin Iowa Missouri Kansas Oklahoma Texas Arkansas Louisiana Tennessee North Carolina South Carolina Mississippi Alabama Georgia Florida Fauci, also troubling signs in Ohio Indiana Kentucky Tennessee Surge, 2 – 3 weeks down the pike Florida Record increase in COVID-19 deaths for third day in a row Cases, + 9,956 = 461,000 Deaths, + 252 = 6,709 University of Florida (refuses to confirm) https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/... Cluster of COVID-19 infections in 17 + 2 Anesthesiology department Went to a party earlier in July + 20 – 30 others All now recovering at home It is not clear whether the residents and fellow worked while infected Super-spreader event Need for personal responsibility

Hajj https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/0... 2.5m last year Saudi government, 1,000 to 10,000

India Cases, + 52,123 = 1, 582, 028 Deaths, + 775 = 34, 956 Infections in rural areas are continuing to rise sharply, alarming experts who fear weak healthcare systems there will be unable to cope. Russia Cases, + 5,509 = 834,499 Deaths, + 129 = 13,802 Afghanistan Cases, 36, 543 Deaths, 1, 271 People crowding into markets Ignoring distancing orders Rarely wearing masks Eid al-Adha in Kabul, Afghanistan Philippines Cases, 3,954 = 85,486 Deaths, 1, 962 Sweden Renewed encouragement to work from home when possible Reducing crowding on public transport "if our contacts go up again there is a considerable risk of a new spread during the autumn". Nepal Mount Everest and others HK Data https://data.gov.hk/en-data/dataset/h...
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDci-2EDwbo
1:00:10 min
COVID-19 and Diabetes: The Importance of Prevention, Management and Support
•Jul 30, 2020


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

During this COCA Call, presenters will focus on current information about the impact and increased risk for COVID-19 complications in people with diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention, management, and support. This video can also be viewed at https://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/wmv/20...
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA8V_3fBL4E
.27 min
Herman Cain, former presidential candidate, dies from coronavirus at 74
•Jul 30, 2020


CBS News

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has died from COVID-19. The businessman and conservative media personality was 74 years old. CBS Los Angeles reports.
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY3sjhuwZAM
3:02 min
Herman Cain dies of coronavirus as U.S. cases continue to rise
•Jul 30, 2020


CBS News

Over 150,000 people in the U.S. have now died in the coronavirus pandemic. We learned today that former businessman, media personality and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has died of the disease at the age of 74. CBSN's Lana Zak has more.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMUpH_XFfrc
2:25 min
5th grade teacher shows what her classroom will look like amid COVID-19 l GMA Digital
•Jul 29, 2020


Good Morning America

Colorado teacher Katie O'Connor shared a video on Facebook that shows her preparation to create a socially-distanced space for her students who will return this school year.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFm9IdMYgVE
3:43 min
Does the US COVID-19 response need a ‘reset’? l GMA
•Jul 30, 2020


Good Morning America


Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, speaks out on “GMA” about the specific steps needed to contain the pandemic in the U.S.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKGsVDtwYj8
3:00 min
Worst quarter in US history
•Jul 30, 2020


ABC News

The U.S. GDP plunged nearly 33% as most of country shut down to deal with the coronavirus.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yutnnBmBF9E
3:17 min
US coronavirus death toll tops 150,000
•Jul 30, 2020


ABC News

Officials are flagging nearly 100 "hot spots" in the fight against coronavirus. ABC's Andrea Fujii reports.
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPxSoaQE-94
4:22 min
California hits a new daily record for COVID-19 deaths
•Jul 30, 2020


ABC News
Compton, California, Mayor Aja Brown speaks out about the need for federal standards and guidance on how to proceed during the pandemic.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWOer2RYozk
6:11 min
Families and nursing homes clash over access
•Jul 29, 2020


ABC News

ABC News’ Kaylee Hartung reports on nursing homes and their residents’ families battling over visitation during the pandemic, as nursing homes grapple with safety issues.
 

Pinecone

Veteran Member
I may have discovered why Regenstrief numbers were so different from the state's numbers; I believe they come from INPC.

They are in the process of updating their dashboard and now show comparisons of IN testing to that of INPC:TN

View attachment 211632

Recent hospitalization numbers (Regenstrief):

View attachment 211634
I looked up the comorbidities. I can't figure out cerebVD. Hope this helps others.

HTN - hypertension, DM - diabetes, COPD, renal - kidney, CHF - congested heart failure, cancer, cerebVD??? brain something, MI- Myocardial infarction - heart attack.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FXhYDZNVKU
5:35 min
New technology to connect isolated patients with their family
•Jul 29, 2020


ABC News

ABC News’ Will Carr reports on a new device that allows families to leave voice messages with loved ones who are isolated in the intensive care unit.
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3SHev9ZpF8
9:53 min
Concerns over student safety loom as some schools prepare to reopen amid COVID-19
•Jul 29, 2020


ABC News

Florida is one of a handful of states that have mandated in-person learning in schools this fall. Parents, educators and students talk about balancing the risks as the state fights high transmission.
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtolXgTR8o8
3:06 min
Congressman who refused face mask has COVID-19 l GMA
•Jul 30, 2020


ABC News

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, received the news of his positive test during a screening at the White House.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOYS921UFZ0
25:01 min
Debilitating Illness': Coronavirus Survivors May Struggle With Symptoms For Months | NBC News NOW
•Jul 29, 2020


NBC News
NBC News speaks to coronavirus survivors who are struggling with symptoms months after their diagnosis as a new study reveals one-third of patients may experience this prolonged recovery.
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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0rWJiQ8qKI
2:42 min
Europe Fears Second Wave Of Coronavirus Could Sweep Continent | NBC News NOW
•Jul 30, 2020


NBC News

Spikes of COVID-19 cases across Europe are creating concern that a possible second wave of the virus is imminent. NBC News' Carl Nasman reports.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRPCIftUYJM
3:37 min
Colleges Reassess Fall Semester Plans As Coronavirus Continues To Surge | TODAY
•Jul 30, 2020


TODAY

Some colleges are set to begin the new school year in a matter of days, but many are still trying to figure out if students will actually return to campus as a new survey finds more than 6,300 coronavirus cases linked to campuses. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports as TODAY’s series Coronavirus and the Classroom continues.
 

Mixin

Veteran Member
I looked up the comorbidities. I can't figure out cerebVD. Hope this helps others.

HTN - hypertension, DM - diabetes, COPD, renal - kidney, CHF - congested heart failure, cancer, cerebVD??? brain something, MI- Myocardial infarction - heart attack.
Cerebrovascular Disease refers to a group of conditions, diseases, and disorders that affect the blood vessels and blood supply to the brain.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex3G9jODG60
5:07 min
GDP plunged record 32.9% in Q2 amid COVID-19 lockdown
•Jul 30, 2020


Yahoo Finance


Former JP Morgan Chief Economist Anthony Chan discusses GDP plunging amid the coronavirus pandemic and rate of economic recovery.

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU3hFv_2Wvw
5:06 min
BREAKING: WORST Economic Contraction In American History, Unemployment Claims SPIKE, Congress Wavers
•Jul 30, 2020


The Hill

Krystal and Saagar react to news that the U.S. GDP fell 9.5% and 1.43 million Americans filed new state unemployment claims.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50QWdTKcolM
2:13 min
UK's excess death rate worst in Europe - COVID-19 update
•Jul 30, 2020

Sky News UK

The UK's excess mortality rate has surpassed Spain as the highest in Europe. England has been hit especially hard - but Scotland, too, is faring much worse than neighbouring countries. The country with the lowest excess death rate is Norway, followed by Denmark and Finland.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hfSJeq9P1s
11:46 min
Is the coronavirus pandemic making us more aggressive? | COVID-19 Special
•Jul 30, 2020


DW News Germany

There's been a lot of rage – be it about toilet paper or masks – the coronavirus pandemic sometimes results in aggressive behavior. And that has even led to death. French bus driver Philippe Monguillot was killed by a group of teenagers after asking them to wear masks to get on his bus. Uncontrollable anger seems to be on the rise. Could lockdowns, social distancing, mask wearing, jobs and the future be causing a pandemic of stress and frustration?
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XWu-WXRDw
1:15 min
India's Covid-19 cases pass 1.5 million mark
•Jul 29, 2020


South China Morning Post Hong Kong
India’s total number of coronavirus infections surged past 1.5 million on July 29, 2020, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government was ramping up its Covid-19 testing capacity. They aim to reach 1 million tests per day in the coming weeks, roughly double the current level.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FUTUeU5vZM
3:43 min
California, Texas And Florida Hit All-Time Highs For Coronavirus Cases | TODAY
•Jul 30, 2020


TODAY

The pandemic has reached new highs in the U.S., with nearly 4.5 million cases and more than 152,000 deaths. Dr. Anthony Fauci is now suggesting that Americans may want to cover their eyes as well as their noses and mouths. NBC’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Coronavirus may cause hearing problems such as tinnitus for one in eight patients, study claims
By Isabella Nikolic
Published: 12:02 EDT, 30 July 2020 | Updated: 23:49 EDT, 30 July 2020

  • Audiologists from University of Manchester followed 121 coronavirus patients
  • Some 13 per cent reported damage to their hearing after eight weeks
  • Research recently found that the virus can infect the ear and the mastoid bone
Coronavirus may cause hearing problems in one in eight patients, according to a study.

Audiologists at the University of Manchester followed 121 adults who were admitted to Wythenshawe Hospital with coronavirus.

When asked about changes to their hearing, 16 people said their hearing was worse eight weeks after being discharged.

Eight reported worse hearing and another eight reported tinnitus — hearing noises, usually a ringing, in the ear.

Researchers noted that other viruses such as measles, mumps and meningitis can also cause hearing loss.

Other coronaviruses known to infect humans can damage crucial nerves that carry information to and from the brain.

Lead researcher Professor Kevin Munro said: 'It is possible, in theory, that Covid-19 could cause problems with parts of the auditory system including the middle ear or cochlea.'

The middle ear is the tube that leads from the ear drum to the auditory nerve and throat.

It passes by the cochlear — a hollow, spiral-shaped bone found in the inner ear that plays a key role in the sense of hearing

Professor Munro said: 'For example, auditory neuropathy, a hearing disorder where the cochlea is functioning but transmission along the auditory nerve to the brain is impaired could be a feature.'

People with auditory neuropathy have difficulty hearing when there is background noise, such as in a pub.

A condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome is also linked to auditory neuropathy, which is also known to be linked with the coronavirus.

The participants of the study were asked about their hearing over the phone after they had been discharged.

Sixteen people (13.2 per cent) reported their hearing was worse.

Eight people reported deterioration in hearing, but four said they already had some problems with their hearing before Covid-19.

Another eight reported tinnitus (hearing noises that are not caused by an outside source), three of whom already had pre-existing hearing loss.

The results of the study, published in a letter to the International Journal of Audiology, added to fears that Covid-19 could have long-term impacts on hearing, particularly for those with existing issues.

Notably the average age of the patients who reported hearing problems was 64 years old.

The University of Manchester researchers say more work is needed to be able to identify why there is an association between the virus and hearing problems.

Professor Munro added: 'While we are reasonably confident in the differentiation of pre-existing and recent changes in hearing and tinnitus, we urge caution.

'It is possible that factors other than Covid-19 may impact on pre-existing hearing loss and tinnitus.

'These might include stress and anxiety, including the use of face masks that make communication more difficult, medications used to treat Covid-19 that could damage the ear or other factors related to being critically ill.

'That is why we believe there is an urgent need for high-quality studies to investigate the acute and temporary effects of Covid-19 on hearing and the audiovestibular system.

'Timely evidence for decision-makers is urgently needed, so we need to be able to act quickly.'

The new findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests hearing is somewhat affected by Covid-19.

Only in June, Professor Munro and his team did a systematic review of evidence linking Covid-19 and hearing loss.

The found reports of hearing loss and tinnitus, but there were only a small number of studies and the quality of evidence was low.

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)


What Do We Know About Children and Coronavirus Transmission?
Josh Michaud and Jennifer Kates
Published: Jul 29, 2020

Key Points:

  • With just a few weeks remaining before schools in the U.S. are scheduled to reopen, and the federal government encouraging in-person schooling, there remain many questions about the risk COVID-19 poses to children and their role in transmission of the disease. Indeed, other countries have not reopened schools with the levels of community transmission found in the U.S., coupled with its insufficient testing and limited contact tracing.
  • Our review of the latest available data indicates that, while children who are infected with COVID-19 are more likely to be asymptomatic and less likely to experience severe disease (though a small subset become quite sick), they are capable of transmitting to both children and adults.
  • What remains unclear and where evidence is still needed is: whether children are less likely to be infected than adults and, when infected, the frequency and extent of their transmission to others. There is some evidence for an age gradient in infectiousness, with younger children less likely and older children more likely to transmit at levels similar to adults.
  • While other countries that reopened schools have generally not experienced outbreaks in school settings, almost all had significantly lower levels of community transmission than the U.S. and greater testing and contact tracing capacity. Moreover, several disease clusters connected to schools and children have been reported.
  • Taken together, the evidence indicates that where there is already widespread community transmission, as in many areas in the U.S., there is clearly a risk of further spread associated with reopening schools. The risks of reopening need to be considered carefully in light of the recognized benefits of in-person education.

Introduction

Policymakers in the United States are struggling to decide whether and how to reopen schools and daycares, at the same time that parents and caregivers are trying to weigh the risks and benefits of different approaches to schooling for their children. Indeed, our latest national poll found that most parents are worried about their child or a family member, as well as teachers and staff, getting sick from coronavirus if schools reopen and think it is better to wait.

With only a few weeks remaining until most U.S. schools are scheduled to begin, the White House for months has emphasized the importance of reopening schools and having students physically present in classrooms, although more recently has supported a more flexible approach for schools and parents. For its part, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released updated guidance, including a review of the data, for school administrators, parents, and caregivers facing decisions around schooling, while also issuing a statement that having children physically present in reopened schools this fall was of utmost importance. CDC states, that, “No studies are conclusive, but the available evidence provides reason to believe that in-person schooling is in the best interest of students, particularly in the context of appropriate mitigation measures similar to those implemented at essential workplaces.”

Still, many large school districts, especially in locations where there is widespread community transmission, have opted for a virtual rather than an in-person start to the school year, citing the risks that the virus poses to students, teachers, staff, and households. Our recent analysis found, for example, that 1.5 million teachers are at high risk of severe disease if infected with coronavirus, due to underlying health conditions and age. In addition, we found that millions of seniors live in households with school-aged children.

Struggles surrounding decisions around schooling and childcare reflect some of the most perplexing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic so far: understanding the risks the virus poses to children and their role in transmission of the disease. While researchers have been actively investigating these topics since the emergence of the pandemic, our understanding is, in many cases, still incomplete. Here, drawing on published literature and expert opinion, we summarize what is known about children and coronavirus, and what the information gaps remain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Box 1: Data on COVID-19 in Children in the United States

Children, under the age of 18, to date, account for:
  • 7% (more than 200,000) of reported COVID-19 cases* (source CDC)
  • <1% of reported COVID-19 deaths* (source: CDC)
  • 1% of reported COVID-19 hospitalizations (source: CDC)

The number of reported cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is 342, including 6 deaths, among states reporting data (source: CDC)

*Based only on data for which age group information was available.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Current Evidence on COVID-19 and Children

Disease severity is significantly less in children, though a small subset become quite sick: We know children of all ages can indeed be infected with coronavirus but the evidence at this point is quite clear that overall, children who become infected experience a milder disease course than adults. As one expert review panel stated, we are “essentially certain” the risk of death and of severe illness from COVID-19 in children is extremely low. Another expert panel organized by the National Academies of Medicine reported that “compared with adults, children who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience asymptomatic infection or mild upper respiratory symptoms”, and that over 90 percent of children testing positive will have no or mild symptoms. While the infection has been known to cause an inflammatory condition (MIS-C) in some children, and these cases are serious (342 have been reported to date), so far such cases are very rare and most children who do experience the condition eventually recover.

One reflection of the generally milder disease course in children is that the reported number of COVID-19 deaths among children under the age 18 in the U.S. is less than 1% of reported COVID-19 deaths, even though children make up 22% of the U.S. population [see Box 1].

Evidence is mixed about whether children are less likely to become infected when exposed. Regarding risk of infection there is some evidence that, compared to adults, children are less likely to become infected when exposed to the virus. One prominent study estimated susceptibility to infection for those under 20 years of age to be about half that of those over 20 years, and several large-scale seroprevalence studies have found lower prevalence of infection in children, especially younger children, compared to adults. Still, the evidence is somewhat mixed on this point, with other studies showing children, especially older children (>10 years) having been infected at rates similar to adults in some places. A recent (pre-publication) review of the evidence concludes there is “significantly lower” susceptibility to infection for children under 10 compared to adults, but the same conclusion cannot be drawn for children 10 and older.

A number of biological explanations have been posited for this difference between children and adults in severity and infection risk, including less expression of a key receptor in the upper airways of children, and some level of pre-existing immune cross-reactivity to SARS-Cov-2 in many children due to recent exposure to related viruses (such as common cold viruses). Still, investigations continue and more evidence is needed to fully understand if lower infection rate in children is a real phenomenon and what explains it.

Children do transmit to others but more evidence is needed on the frequency and extent of that transmission. We do not yet know for sure how common transmission from children is compared to transmission from adults. We know that children are capable of transmission to others, but the frequency and extent of this transmission remains under investigation, and this is a question where only weak, and sometimes contradictory evidence, is available.

For example, multiple studies indicate that children have viral loads and shed virus in similar amounts to adults, which might indicate risk of transmission is similar across age groups. Without a doubt transmission from child-to-child and child-to-adult can occur, but a number of studies find children, particularly young children, are less likely to be source of infection in households and other settings, compared to adults. A number of these studies conclude that a majority of documented transmissions between children and adults have occurred from adults to children, rather than the other way around, but more detailed information is needed to fully understand this dynamic. There is new evidence, including from a recent comprehensive study from South Korea, suggesting there is an age gradient in terms of transmission risk from children, meaning younger children (<10 years old) are less likely to transmit compared to adults, while older children (10 and older) may transmit at levels similar to adults.

Evidence is so far lacking partly because doing studies and collecting the necessary information has been challenging for a number of reasons, including:

  • Children have been less likely to be tested for coronavirus infection compared to adults. Testing (particularly in the US where testing capacity constraints have been common) has been focused on symptomatic patients (especially those with severe symptoms), and children exhibit fewer and milder symptoms compared to adults.
  • Because children are less likely to be symptomatic, they may also be less likely to be identified as the “index” case during a contact tracing investigation and therefore their role in transmission could be underrecognized.
  • Children may have different social mixing patterns compared to adults, coming into close contact with others at different rates. This may complicate comparisons of transmission between children and adults. On the one hand, children may have had fewer contacts than adults during times when schools and daycares were closed, but, on the other, may have a greater number of close contacts than adults when in a more typical school environment.

Transmission in School Settings

Most countries that have reopened schools have not experienced outbreaks but almost all have had significantly lower rates of community transmission than the U.S. and higher testing and contact tracing capacity. In many countries around the world, schools and daycares have reopened following a period of lockdown. So far, most have not seen cases surge after re-opening. For the most part, the lack of a surge in cases and the ability to control any outbreaks in most countries that have re-opened schools is in large part explained by their significantly lower levels of community transmission at the time schools re-opened compared to much of the U.S. now, as well as their greater testing and contact tracing capacity.

In Table 1, we compare U.S. COVID-19 data to 13 other countries that have reopened schools. We looked specifically at the 7-day average of cases, cases per million, and test positivity rate as of the date each country reopened schools compared to the U.S. as of the most recent date. As shown, all countries that have reopened had significant lower case counts and cases per million than the U.S. currently has and all but one (Japan) had lower positivity rates. For example, when South Korea opened schools on June 8, the country had a 7-day average of just 44 cases nationwide (or 0.9 per million population), after more than two months of limited transmission; it also already had widespread testing (a test positivity rate of 0.3%) and contact tracing in place, meaning it was well positioned to respond quickly to any school outbreaks. By contrast, the U.S. is currently averaging at more than 65,000 cases a day (or 195 per million population) and its test positivity rate is 8%. Many other countries, such as Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, and Vietnam, similarly had low case numbers, cases per million, and positivity rates when they opened schools and have avoided large school-based outbreaks so far.

PIC Table 1.JPG

At the same time, school associated outbreaks have occurred in some countries. Not all countries have avoided school-associated outbreaks. For example, schools in Canada, Chile, France, and Israel have reported outbreaks, sometimes significant ones, necessitating re-closure of schools in some cases. Israel, in particular, has had several outbreaks at schools after reopening, including an outbreak in a high school where 13.2% of students tested positive for coronavirus as did 16.6% of staff and school-based cases have been linked to increasing community transmission. The country reopened when it had significant fewer cases, cases per million, and positivity rate than the U.S. does today (see Table 1); it reopened its entire school system with few social distancing or other mitigation measures. In Sweden, a country which never closed its schools for children under 16, health authorities have reported that teachers are no more at risk in schools than adults in other professions and community transmission was not affected by schools being open. There have been school outbreaks and deaths among school teachers in Sweden, but insufficient testing and contact tracing at Swedish schools make it difficult to draw definitive lessons from the Swedish school experience.

Like schools, daycare-associated outbreaks also have been reported, including in the U.S., such as in California and Texas.

Conclusion

Taken together, the evidence indicates that while children are much less likely than adults to become severely ill from COVID-19, they do transmit virus. It is still unclear to what extent children, especially younger ones, are likely to get infected or transmit the infection to others compared to adults. However, where there is already widespread community transmission, as is the case in many areas in the U.S., there is clearly a risk of spread associated with reopening schools. This challenge may be more pronounced where testing and contact tracing capacity is limited. As such, the risk of re-opening schools needs to be considered carefully in light of the recognized benefits of in-person education.

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Exclusive: Buddy, first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the U.S., has died
Even though the German shepherd likely had cancer, his health records show how little we know about animals and the coronavirus.
By Natasha Daly
PUBLISHED July 29, 2020

Buddy liked dog stuff: running through the sprinklers, going on long car rides, swimming in the lake. He cuddled the Mahoneys—his owners and family—at the end of tough days. He humored them when they dressed him up as a bunny for Halloween. He was a protective big brother to 10-month-old Duke, the family’s other German shepherd. He loved everyone. He lived up to his name.

In mid-April, right before his seventh birthday, Buddy began struggling to breathe.

Six weeks later, he became the first dog in the United States to be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. On July 11, Buddy died.

Medical records provided by the Mahoneys and reviewed for National Geographic by two veterinarians who were not involved in his treatment indicate that Buddy likely had lymphoma, a type of cancer, which would explain the symptoms he suffered just before his death. The Mahoneys didn’t learn that lymphoma was being considered as the probable cause of his symptoms until the day of his death, they say, when additional bloodwork results confirmed it. It’s unclear whether cancer made him more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus, or if the virus made him ill, or if it was just a case of coincidental timing. Buddy’s family, like thousands of families grappling with the effects of the coronavirus around the world, is left with many questions and few answers.

Until now, Buddy’s identity, the details of his case, and his death were not public. A press release issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in early June revealed his general location (Staten Island, New York), his breed (German shepherd), his likely source of transmission (a COVID-positive owner), and his status (expected to recover). Public records for the few other pets to have tested positive in the U.S. are similarly sparse.

Upon announcement, Buddy’s milestone case appeared fairly open and shut, but the Mahoneys’ experience over the two and a half months between their dog’s first wheeze and his death was one of confusion and heartbreak. Their story puts a spotlight on the rare experience of being an owner of COVID-positive pet—a distinction shared by only a handful of individuals around the world. While more than four million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S., fewer than 25 pets have. There’s no rubric for how to navigate COVID-19 in your pet dog.

“You tell people that your dog was positive, and they look at you [as if you have] ten heads,” Allison Mahoney says. “[Buddy] was the love of our lives….He brought joy to everybody. I can’t wrap my head around it.” The Mahoneys say they are frustrated that health experts didn’t more closely probe possible connections between COVID and the cascading health problems. After Buddy’s diagnosis, Allison’s husband, Robert, asked New York City veterinary health officials, who were in charge of the case, whether they were interested in doing more testing on Buddy. Robert Mahoney says the officials never asked for further testing or exams.

The New York City Department of Health told National Geographic that because Buddy was severely anemic, it did not want to collect additional blood out of concern for the dog’s health, and that confirmation results indicate it was unlikely that he was still shedding virus—meaning he was probably no longer contagious—by May 20, when he was tested the second time. Buddy wasn’t tested after that date.

For humans, the signs and symptoms of infection vary widely. In some, its presence is barely a flicker. In others, it causes total organ failure. For many, it’s somewhere in between. Having an underlying medical condition increases susceptibility, doctors think. We’re learning more every day.

The narrative for the coronavirus in animals, however, has so far been consistent and narrow: They are rarely affected. When they do get the virus, it’s almost always from an owner. They have mild symptoms. They usually recover.

In reality, little is known about how the virus affects the typical pet dog.

The Mahoneys’ detailed accounts and Buddy’s veterinary records now comprise some of the most comprehensive and granular information the public has on an infected animal. Their story also sheds light on the gaps in public knowledge regarding animals and the novel coronavirus, highlighting what may be a need for a more unified, consistent approach to monitoring and investigating positive cases, and bringing that information back to the research community.

Buddy’s decline


When Buddy, who’d never been sick, developed thick mucus in his nose and started breathing heavily in April, no one except Robert Mahoney believed the dog might have COVID-19. Mahoney himself had been suffering through the virus for three weeks—he was weak, had a scratchy throat, and had lost his sense of taste. “They called me on Easter and said, ‘By the way, here’s your Easter gift: you’re positive,’ ” he recalls.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought [Buddy] was positive” too, he says.

At first, it was difficult to find someone to examine Buddy. His usual vet wasn’t seeing patients because of the pandemic. Another local clinic wouldn’t allow Robert Mahoney to come into the office because he had COVID-19, so they prescribed Buddy antibiotics over the phone. Mahoney says the vet was skeptical that Buddy might have the coronavirus, and the office didn’t have test kits anyway.

The next week, Buddy was still struggling to breathe and had lost his appetite, so the Mahoneys’ 13-year-old daughter, Julianna, who had tested negative, was permitted to bring the dog into the office.

From April 21 to May 15, Buddy continued to lose weight. He became increasingly lethargic. The Mahoneys took him to three different veterinarians on Staten Island, none of whom thought the coronavirus was likely. He got an ultrasound and X-rays, which indicated an enlarged spleen and liver, and he saw a cardiologist, who detected a heart murmur. Buddy spent two and a half weeks on antibiotics and two heart medications, and he was subsequently put on steroids. At this point, Robert Mahoney says, Buddy’s doctors were still doubtful he had the coronavirus, and they had not yet identified lymphoma as a probable cause of his illness.

It was at the third veterinary clinic, Bay Street Animal Hospital, where Mahoney was finally able to have Buddy tested for COVID-19. That was on May 15, one month after Buddy’s breathing trouble began.

A few days later, the clinic called. Buddy’s test results were in: He was positive. Mahoney was told to bring both the family’s dogs to the clinic immediately because health officials needed to confirm Buddy’s results and test Duke, their puppy. When Mahoney arrived at the clinic with the dogs on May 20, he says that “they came greeting me looking like space martians with hazmat suits.”

“For us it was a shock factor for a moment there...how do we protect our staff?” says Robert Cohen, veterinarian at Bay Street who treated Buddy, because little is known about infected dogs’ ability to transfer the virus to other dogs or humans. “We were well-PPE’d,” he says, referring to personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

Officials collected samples from Buddy and Duke, then sent them home.

First dog to test positive

On June 2, the New York City Department of Health called Mahoney to tell him that Buddy had indeed contracted the virus. They confirmed that Buddy’s original samples collected on May 15 by his vet were positive for SARS-CoV-2, but the additional samples they collected on May 20 were negative, indicating that the virus was no longer present in the dog’s body, a department spokesperson told National Geographic. Duke had tested negative, but he did have antibodies, indicating he had been infected at some point.

Yet Buddy’s health continued to decline. He soon started urinating uncontrollably and had blood in his urine. Later that month, his breathing became so labored that it sounded “like a freight train,” Allison Mahoney says. In early July, Buddy began to have trouble walking.

Robert Mahoney took him back to the vet each time his health seemed to get worse, which was about every two weeks. He and Allison say they were surprised that no one seemed to consider that the coronavirus—though no longer in his system—may have had lasting effects on Buddy’s health.

“If [health officials] had said, ‘Mahoney family, get in the car and come to [a veterinary lab],’ I would have done it,” says Allison, Nobody even mentioned it.”

Cohen, the veterinarian at Bay Street Animal Clinic, said that his team’s focus was on treating Buddy’s symptoms. “We know that we had a very sick patient,” he says, adding that the clinic was only “peripherally involved in the [SARS-CoV-2] case in a lot of ways.”

He says he had three or four conversations with the New York City Health Department and the USDA about Buddy and whether COVID-19 could be related to any of his health problems. “We had zero knowledge or experience with the scientific basis of COVID in dogs,” he says. Even with all the experts on one call, he says, “there was a lot of silence on the phone. I don’t think anybody knew. I really don’t think anybody knew at that point.”

On the morning of July 11, Allison found Buddy in the kitchen throwing up clotted blood. “It looked like it was his insides coming out. He had it all over. It was coming from his nose and mouth. We knew there was nothing that could be done for him from there. What are you going to do for a dog with this? But he had the will to live. He didn’t want to go.”

She and her husband rushed Buddy to the vet, and they made the decision to euthanize him. No one asked Robert about a necropsy, he says—only if he wanted to do cremation or a burial. He chose to have Buddy cremated. Although that day was a blur, he says he knows that if he’d been asked about a necropsy to learn more about the virus in his body, “I would have said, ‘Take whatever you need,’ because I don’t want any other dog to suffer like he did.”

After Buddy’s death, Cohen says he asked the New York City Department of Health whether they needed the dog’s body for any follow-up research. The city had to consult with the USDA and other federal partners, Cohen says they told him. By the time the Department of Health got back to him with the decision to do a necropsy, Buddy had been cremated.

On the day Buddy was euthanized, the vet told Robert that new blood work results indicated that he almost certainly had lymphoma, which could explain many of his symptoms.

The Mahoneys say they’re confident the team at Bay Street did their best for Buddy. They acknowledge that these are uncharted waters for everyone. “I think they are learning as well. It’s all trial and error. And they tried to help us the best way they can,” Allison says, although they still wonder whether COVID played a role in Buddy’s fatal illness.

Cohen says he personally relates to the Mahoneys’ confusion and heartbreak because his father died of COVID-19 two weeks ago in a Florida nursing home at age 94.

“I was unable to see him. And I could say exactly the same criticisms [as the Mahoneys] about how his case was handled—the people didn’t act fast enough,” he says. But like the Mahoneys, he acknowledges that “everyone has good intentions,” grappling with the challenges of treating a horrific, widespread, and little-understood disease.

Knowledge gaps

Buddy’s case highlights an important question: Are animals with underlying conditions more likely to get sick from the coronavirus, just as humans are? It also highlights just how little information is available about infected pets.

Most of what’s known about the coronavirus in companion animals comes from research done on dogs and cats in labs, says Elizabeth Lennon, a veterinarian who specializes in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, who reviewed Buddy’s medical records for National Geographic. The coronavirus in dogs and cats in the real world could look and act differently than in a lab, and that’s what Lennon’s research is trying to discern.

Despite this being her area of study, Buddy’s vet records were the first she’d seen of an infected pet. While writing a funding proposal to study the virus in dogs and cats recently, she says she realized “this is the first time in my life I've ever written a grant proposal where I’ve cited more press releases and media reports than actual scientific reports.”

Besides the published research on cats and dogs in labs, scientists also have access to the USDA’s public database of every positive animal case in the U.S., with only basic information. The World Organization of Animal Health maintains a similar database of global cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an extensive toolkit on its website that includes a regularly updated list of known symptoms in animals, but more specific case data is not currently available to the public or the broader research community.

Twelve dogs and at least 10 cats have tested positive in the U.S. Lennon says few case details have been made available to researchers. “What are their signs? How long did they present? What are the blood work changes?” Lennon asks. (Researchers are scrambling to understand which animals the novel coronavirus—which is believed to have originated in bats—can infect.)

Experts involved in these cases will likely publish the details in scientific journals in the next six to 12 months, she says, but while publication of the scientific research on COVID-19 in humans has generally been fast-tracked, “on the vet side of things, we haven’t seen that acceleration yet.”

Buddy’s case also highlights the need to take a more holistic look at all the known cases of infected pets. There has been “no analysis of all cases as a single unit to determine whether there are risk factors other than living in a house with a positive human,” says Shelley Rankin, chief of clinical microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a colleague of Lennon’s.

It seems that potentially helpful specific case information isn’t always shared among state veterinarians either. State veterinarians typically take the lead when a pet tests positive, and they report details up to the CDC and USDA. Casey Barton-Bahravesh, director of the CDC’s One Health Office in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, says she has a weekly call with state veterinarians to share what the CDC is learning about the virus in animals. It’s not clear, however, whether states are learning enough details of each other’s cases. When National Geographic contacted state veterinarians in the seven states where dogs have tested positive, several said that each state is focused on its own cases and communicating directly with the CDC and USDA.

'Cart before the horse'

Lennon says that based on research so far, people can feel fairly confident that healthy dogs and cats don’t pose a big risk of infection to humans or each other in most situations. The primary message from the CDC and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is similar: There is no evidence that animals play a significant role in the spread of the virus. Because of that, they do not recommend widespread testing of pets.

That doesn’t necessarily make sense to Rankin, who says that broader testing of pets would allow public health experts to say with more confidence that pets aren’t being infected on a broad scale (or playing a significant role in the spread off the virus). “We’ve sort of put the cart before the horse,” she says. “If we’re telling the world that prevalence [of animal cases] is low, then we have to look at high numbers."

It’s not clear how many animals in the U.S. have been tested. The CDC’s Barton-Bahravesh says her team is working to collect that data, but it’s difficult because reporting of animal testing is not mandatory.

Lennon says more testing would also shed light on whether animals in certain circumstances—such as those with underlying conditions—are more likely to contract the virus or have the virus for longer.

The second dog to test positive in the U.S., in Georgia, and the sixth dog, in South Carolina, have both died, for example, and their deaths were attributed to other conditions. Similar to Buddy’s case, state veterinarian Boyd Parr says that while there was no compelling evidence that the South Carolina dog’s condition made it more susceptible to the virus, there also wasn’t enough data to say that it didn’t.

“Certainly it is likely the underlying condition could weaken the dog’s natural defenses to a lot of things,” he said in an email.

The CDC’s toolkit includes guidance on caring for and treating a positive pet, and safety guidelines for caregivers, but Lennon says it would be helpful to see guidance that specifies what information veterinarians should collect and what tests they perform on a coronavirus-positive animal to build a consistent and complete picture of how the virus affects pets.

There’s also room to create more opportunities for owners of pets with the virus to connect with researchers. In the Mahoneys’ case, they were keen to have Buddy more closely examined but say that they struggled to connect with experts. “It highlights a missed connection for people who are interested in researching this and owners interested in donating samples," Lennon says.

“My pet was like my son,” Allison Mahoney says. “When he was passing away in front of me, he had blood all over his paws. I cleaned him up before we drove to the vet and stayed with him in the back seat. I said, ‘I will have your voice heard, for all our furry friends. Your voice will be heard, Buddy.’ ”

One of those furry friends is Duke, the Mahoney’s surviving dog. Even though he didn’t get sick, the Mahoneys worry about possible long-term effects of the virus. The puppy has been visibly depressed since Buddy died, the Mahoneys say, and he lies in all of Buddy’s old napping spots.

The Mahoneys hope to pick up Buddy’s ashes this week.

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2nd US virus surge hits plateau, but few experts celebrate

By MIKE STOBBE and NICKY FORSTER
today

While deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. are mounting rapidly, public health experts are seeing a flicker of good news: The second surge of confirmed cases appears to be leveling off.

Scientists aren’t celebrating by any means, warning that the trend is driven by four big, hard-hit places — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — and that cases are rising in close to 30 states in all, with the outbreak’s center of gravity seemingly shifting from the Sun Belt toward the Midwest.

Some experts wonder whether the apparent caseload improvements will endure. It’s also not clear when deaths will start coming down. COVID-19 deaths do not move in perfect lockstep with the infection curve, for the simple reason that it can take weeks to get sick and die from the virus.

The future? “I think it’s very difficult to predict,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s foremost infectious-disease expert.

The virus has claimed over 150,000 lives in the U.S., by far the highest death toll in the world, plus more than a half-million others around the globe.

Over the past week, the average number of COVID-19 deaths per day in the U.S. has climbed more than 25%, from 843 to 1,057. Florida on Thursday reported 253 more deaths, setting its third straight single-day record, while Texas had 322 new fatalities and California had 391.

The number of confirmed infections nationwide has topped 4.4 million, which could be higher because of limits on testing and because some people are infected without feeling sick.

In other developments:

— The collateral damage from the virus mounted, with the U.S. economy shrinking at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter — by far the worst quarterly plunge on records dating to 1947. And more than 1.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, further evidence that employers are still shedding jobs five months into the crisis.

— Amid the outbreak and the bad economic news, President Donald Trump for the first time publicly floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election, warning without evidence that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud. Changing Election Day would require an act of Congress, and the notion ran into immediate resistance from top Republicans and Democrats alike.

— Herman Cain, the former pizza-chain CEO who in 2012 unsuccessfully sought to become the first Black candidate to win the Republican nomination for president, died of complications from the virus at 74.

Based on a seven-day rolling average, daily cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. fell from 67,317 on July 22 to 65,266 on Wednesday, according to data kept by Johns Hopkins University. That is a decline of about 3%.

Researchers prefer to see two weeks of data pointing in the same direction to say whether a trend is genuine. “But I think it is real, yes,” said Ira Longini, a University of Florida biostatistician who has been tracking the coronavirus and has been a source of disease forecasts used by the government.

The Associated Press found the seven-day rolling average for new cases plateaued over two weeks in California and decreased in Arizona, Florida and Texas.

The trends in Arizona, Texas and Florida are “starting to bend the curve a bit,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins public health researcher. Those states, along with California, have been pouring large numbers of cases each day into the national tally. So when those places make progress, the whole country looks better, she said.

Also, in another possible glimmer of hope, the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus across the U.S. dropped from an average of 8.5% to 7.8% over the past week.

But with the outbreak heating up in the Midwest, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers ordered masks be worn statewide because of a spike in cases, joining some 30 other states that have taken such measures.

The latest surge in cases became evident in June, weeks after states began reopening following a deadly explosion of cases in and around New York City in the early spring. Daily case counts rose to 70,000 or more earlier this month. Deaths, too, began to climb sharply, after a lag of a few weeks.

Some researchers believe that the recent leveling-off is the result of more people embracing social distancing and other precautions.

“I think a lot of it is people wearing masks because they’re scared,” Longini said.

But Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska College of Public Health, said the trend could also be due to natural dynamics of the virus that scientists to do not yet understand.

Without robust testing and other measures to keep the virus in check, a third peak is possible — or even likely — given that only an estimated 10% of Americans have been infected so far, experts said. And there’s no reason to believe the peak can’t be larger than the first two.

“This disease will continue to hopscotch around until it finds tinder — susceptible individuals — like any good fire,” said Khan, a former top infectious-disease outbreak investigator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fauci said he is “somewhat comforted” by the recent plateau. But a stabilization of cases at around 60,000 is “still at a very high level.” He said he is also worried about rising percentages of tests coming back positive in states like Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.

“That’s a warning sign that you might be seeing a surge,” Fauci said. “They’ve really got to jump all over that.”

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Illinois Reports Highest Daily COVID-19 Case Count In Two Months, With 1,772 New Coronavirus Cases; Gov. Pritzker Says ‘This Is Hugely Problematic’
By CBS 2 Chicago Staff
July 30, 2020 at 2:45 pm

Illinois reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in more than two months on Thursday, with 1,772 confirmed cases of the virus in the past day, a trend Gov. JB Pritzker called “hugely problematic.”

It’s the first time that the Illinois Department of Public Health has reported more than 1,700 new COVID-19 cases since May 25, when the state reported 1,713 cases, and the most daily cases reported since May 24, when IDPH reported 2,508 new cases.

Gov. JB Pritzker, who on Thursday visited two counties currently on the state’s warning list for the virus, said “this is our moment to pull together to protect the progress that Illinois has made since the beginning of the pandemic, and to keep our families and our friends and our neighbors healthy and safe.”

“As much as I’d like to, this virus isn’t something we can wish away. So we have to act responsibly and collectively to protect the people that we love,” he said. “To date, relative to most other states, Illinois has seen real success in handling this pandemic, but it doesn’t take long at all for a trajectory of success to turn around, and right now things are not headed in the right direction.”

Illinois has now reported more than 1,000 daily cases of the virus 17 times in July, compared to only twice in all of June.

“Every region, every region has increasing positivity rates, and increasing cases. This is hugely problematic,” Pritzker said. “It’s not something that we wanted to see happen, but it means that we’re going to have to take a hard look at what do we need to do, what mitigations do we need now in order to get us back in line with the direction that we were going, which was reducing those positivity rates.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the state has reported 176,896 total COVID-19 cases, including 7,478 deaths.

The new cases announced Thursday came as IDPH reported 41,134 tests for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, for a one-day positive test rate of 4.3%. The seven-day statewide positive test rate for the past week stands at 3.8%, compared to 3.4% one week ago, and 2.6% three weeks ago.

As of Wednesday night, 1,452 virus patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, including 353 in intensive care, and 149 on ventilators. The state’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have been relatively flat since late June.

So far, the vast majority of COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease, with a 95% statewide recovery rate as of Monday. The state’s recovery rate calculates the number of people who have tested positive for the virus, and have survived at least 42 days after their test.

Four counties in Illinois — Adams, LaSalle, Peoria, and Randolph — have been placed on a “warning level” for COVID-19, meaning tighter restrictions could be imposed if infection rates and hospitalizations continue to increase.

Specifically, Pritzker said in Region 2 of Illinois, which includes LaSalle County, there have been seven straight days of increases in the positivity rate, and three straight days of increases in hospitalizations. If the region sees four more days of increasing hospitalizations, many businesses could be forced to close, or reduce operations.

“That means bars will close again, a possible reduction in service at restaurants, and smaller capacity limits on other activities. The specifics of the reversal will be determined and dependent upon the types of activities that are most likely causing, or could cause greater community spread of the virus,” he said.

The governor said public health officials also have seen troubling trends in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs, although neither of those regions is yet at “warning level.”

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, not only has the state seen a recent rise in overall virus cases, but officials also have seen a slow increase in hospital admissions.

“Of course, these are indicators that we are making a bit of a u-turn, and so this may mean that businesses temporarily will have to further reduce capacity limits. It may mean that our favorite restaurants now has to go back to takeout dining,”

Ezike said Illinois residents can help avoid those kinds of rollbacks in reopening rules by regularly washing their hands, keeping six feet away from other people whenever possible, and wearing a mask whenever they go out in public.

She also said officials have seen too many instances of people having large parties and other gatherings, without observing the proper health precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

“A lot of private gatherings, people in their homes, in their basements, having large gatherings where there’s no masking and no distancing; that is a huge driver of the new cases that we’re seeing. But it doesn’t stop there,” she said. “From the private party – that no one is able to monitor, of course – people can get infected, and have gotten infected in those spaces, and then they do move on to a bar or a restaurant, where there’s additional opportunity to spread.”

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Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds
The research does not prove that infected children are contagious, but it should influence the debate about reopening schools, some experts said.

By Apoorva Mandavilli
July 30, 2020

It has been a comforting refrain in the national conversation about reopening schools: Young children are mostly spared by the coronavirus and don’t seem to spread it to others, at least not very often.

But on Thursday, a study introduced an unwelcome wrinkle into this smooth narrative.

Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found.

That measurement does not necessarily prove children are passing the virus to others. Still, the findings should influence the debate over reopening schools, several experts said.

“The school situation is so complicated — there are many nuances beyond just the scientific one,” said Dr. Taylor Heald-Sargent, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, who led the study, published in JAMA Pediatrics.

“But one takeaway from this is that we can’t assume that just because kids aren’t getting sick, or very sick, that they don’t have the virus.”

The study is not without caveats: It was small, and did not specify the participants’ race or sex, or whether they had underlying conditions. The tests looked for viral RNA, genetic pieces of the coronavirus, rather than the live virus itself. (Its genetic material is RNA, not DNA.)

Still, experts were alarmed to learn that young children may carry significant amounts of the coronavirus.

“I’ve heard lots of people saying, ‘Well, kids aren’t susceptible, kids don’t get infected.’ And this clearly shows that’s not true,” said Stacey Schultz-Cherry, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I think this is an important, really important, first step in understanding the role that kids are playing in transmission.”

Jason Kindrachuk, a virologist at the University of Manitoba, said: “Now that we’re rolling into the end of July and looking at trying to open up schools the next month, this really needs to be considered.”

The standard diagnostic test amplifies the virus’s genetic material in cycles, with the signal growing brighter each round. The more virus present in the swab initially, the fewer cycles needed for a clear result.

Dr. Heald-Sargent, who has a research interest in coronaviruses, began noticing that children’s tests were coming back with low “cycle thresholds,” or C.T.s, suggesting that their samples were teeming with the virus.

Intrigued, she called the hospital lab on a Sunday and asked to look back at test results for the past several weeks. “It wasn’t even something we had set out to look for,” she said.

She and her colleagues analyzed samples collected with nasopharyngeal swabs between March 23 and April 27 at drive-through testing sites in Chicago and from people who came to the hospital for any reason, including symptoms of Covid-19.

They looked at swabs taken from 145 people: 46 children younger than age 5; 51 children aged 5 to 17; and 48 adults aged 18 to 65. To forestall criticisms that really ill children would be expected to have a lot of the virus, the team excluded children who needed oxygen support. Most of the children in the study reported only a fever or cough, Dr. Heald-Sargent said.

To compare the groups fairly, the team included only children and adults who had mild to moderate symptoms and for whom they had information about when symptoms began. Dr. Heald-Sargent left out people who didn’t have symptoms and who did not remember when they had started to feel ill, as well as those who had symptoms for more than a week before the testing.

The results confirmed Dr. Heald-Sargent’s hunch: Older children and adults had similar C.T.s, with a median of about 11 and ranging up to 17. But children younger than age 5 had significantly lower C.T.s of about 6.5. The upper limit of the range in these children was a C.T. of 12, however — still comparable to those of older children and adults.

“It definitely shows that kids do have levels of virus similar to and maybe even higher than adults,” Dr. Heald-Sargent said. “It wouldn’t be surprising if they were able to shed” the virus and spread it to others.

The results are consistent with those from a German study of 47 infected children between the ages 1 and 11, which showed that children who did not have symptoms had viral loads as high as adults’, or higher. And a recent study from France found that asymptomatic children had C.T. values similar to those of children with symptoms.

C.T. values are a reasonable proxy for the amount of coronavirus present, said Dr. Kindrachuk, who relied on this metric during the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa.

Still, he and others said that ideally researchers would grow infectious virus from samples, rather than test only for the virus’s RNA.

“I suspect that it probably will translate into meaning that there is more actual virus there as well, but we can’t say that without seeing the data,” said Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside.

Some RNA viruses multiply quickly and are prone to genetic errors that render the virus incapable of infecting cells. Some RNA detected in children may represent these “defective” viruses: “We need to understand how much of that is actually infectious virus,” Dr. Schultz-Cherry said.

(The researchers said they did not have access to the type of high-security lab required to grow infectious coronavirus, but other teams have cultivated virus from children’s samples.)

The experts all emphasized that the findings at least indicate that children can be infected. Those who harbor a lot of virus may spread it to others in their households, or to teachers and other school staff members when schools reopen.

Many school districts are planning to protect students and staff members by implementing physical distancing, cloth face coverings and hand hygiene. But it’s unclear how well staff members and teachers can keep young children from getting too close to others, Dr. Kindrachuk said.

“Frankly, I just haven’t seen a lot of discussion about how that aspect is going to be controlled,” he said.

Observations from schools in several countries have suggested that, at least in places with mild outbreaks and preventive measures in place, children do not seem to spread the coronavirus to others efficiently.

Strong immune responses in children could limit both how much virus they can spread to others and for how long. The children’s overall health, underlying conditions such as obesity or diabetes, and sex may also influence the ability to transmit the virus.

Some experts have suggested that children may transmit less virus because of their smaller lung capacity, height or other physical aspects.

Dr. Morrison dismissed those suggestions. The virus is shed from the upper respiratory tract, not the lungs, she noted.

“We are going to be reopening day care and elementary schools,” she said. If these results hold up, “then yeah, I’d be worried.”

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Why some people who haven't had Covid-19 might already have some immunity
By Jacqueline Howard
Updated 3:35 PM ET, Thu July 30, 2020

The immune systems of some people who have not been exposed to the novel coronavirus could have some familiarity with the pathogen -- possibly helping to reduce the severity of illness if that person does get Covid-19, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, found that among a sample of 68 healthy adults in Germany who had not been exposed to the coronavirus, 35% had T cells in their blood that were reactive to the virus.

T cells are part of the immune system and help protect the body from infection. T cell reactivity suggests that the immune system might have had some previous experience fighting a similar infection and may use that memory to help fight a new infection.

So how could their immune system have reactive T cells if they never had Covid-19? They were "probably acquired in previous infections with endemic" coronaviruses, the researchers -- from various institutions in Germany and the United Kingdom -- wrote in the new study. Using this T cell memory from another-yet-similar infection to respond to a new infection is called "cross-reactivity."

The new study involved analyzing blood samples from 18 Covid-19 patients, ages 21 to 81, and healthy donors, ages 20 to 64, based in Germany. The study found that T cells reactive to the coronavirus were detected in 83% of the Covid-19 patients.

While the researchers also found pre-existing cross-reactive T cells in the healthy donors, they wrote in the study that the impact those cells might have on the outcome of a Covid-19 illness still remains unknown.

The study findings certainly call for more research, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, who was not involved in the new study.

"It does appear in this study that there is a significant proportion of individuals that have this cross-reactive T cell immunity from other coronavirus infections that may have some impact on how they fare with the novel coronavirus. I think the big question is trying to jump from the fact that they have these T cells to understanding what the role of those T cells might be," Adalja said.

"We know, for example, children and younger adults are relatively spared from the severe consequences of this disease, and I think that one hypothesis might be that the pre-existing T cells that exist may be much more numerous or more active in younger age cohorts than in older age cohorts," Adalja said.

"And if you could compare people maybe with severe and mild illness and try and look at the T cells in those individuals and say, 'Are people who have severe disease less likely to have cross reactive T cells versus people who have mild disease maybe having more cross reactive T cells?' I think that there's biological plausibility to that hypothesis," he said. "It's clear though that the T cell presence doesn't prevent people from getting infected, but does it modulate the severity of infection? That's what it appears could be the case."

So far during the coronavirus pandemic, much focus has been on Covid-19 antibodies and the role they play in building immunity against the disease.

But infectious disease expert Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville who was not involved in the new study, said that T cells can not be overlooked.

"Here's a study that suggests actually there may be some cross-reactivity -- some priming of the pump if you will -- with the normal conventional coronaviruses that cause colds in humans and there may be some cross-reactivity with the Covid virus that's causing so much damage. That's in and of itself intriguing because we had thought from the antibody perspective that there wasn't much cross at all," Schaffner said.

"It's not entirely surprising because these are all members of a family. It's as though they're cousins in the same family," he said. "Now we have to see whether there is any impact of this in clinical practice. ... Does it make it more or less likely that the person who is infected with Covid actually will develop an illness? And does it have any implications for vaccine development?"

'Almost every person in the world has had some encounter with a coronavirus'

Adalja added that he was not surprised to see this T cell cross-reactivity in the study participants who had not been exposed to the novel coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2.

"SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh human coronavirus that has been discovered, and four of the human coronaviruses are what we call community-acquired coronaviruses, and together those four are responsible for 25% of our common colds," Adalja said. "Almost every person in the world has had some encounter with a coronavirus, and since they are all part of the same family, there is some cross reactive immunity that develops."

The new Nature study isn't the only paper to suggest a certain level of pre-existing immunity among some people to the novel coronavirus.

Alessandro Sette and Shane Crotty, both of the University of California, San Diego, wrote in a comment paper published in the journal Nature earlier this month, that "20--50% of unexposed donors display significant reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 antigen peptide pools," based on separate research -- but they noted that the source and clinical relevance of the reactivity remains unknown.

Sette and Crotty wrote that "it is now established that SARS-CoV-2 pre-existing immune reactivity exists to some degree in the general population. It is hypothesized, but not yet proven, that this might be due to immunity to" common cold coronaviruses.

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air
Transmission through aerosols matters — and probably a lot more than we’ve been able to prove yet.

Linsey C. Marr
July 30, 2020

Finally. The World Health Organization has now formally recognized that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is airborne and that it can be carried by tiny aerosols.

As we cough and sneeze, talk or just breathe, we naturally release droplets (small particles of fluid) and aerosols (smaller particles of fluid) into the air. Yet until earlier this month, the W.H.O. — like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Public Health England — had warned mostly about the transmission of the new coronavirus through direct contact and droplets released at close range.

The organization had cautioned against aerosols only in rare circumstances, such as after intubation and other medical procedures involving infected patients in hospitals.

After several months of pressure from scientists, on July 9, the W.H.O. changed its position — going from denial to grudging partial acceptance: “Further studies are needed to determine whether it is possible to detect viable SARS-CoV-2 in air samples from settings where no procedures that generate aerosols are performed and what role aerosols might play in transmission.”

I am a civil and environmental engineer who studies how viruses and bacteria spread through the air — as well as one of the 239 scientists who signed an open letter in late June pressing the W.H.O. to consider the risk of airborne transmission more seriously.

A month later, I believe that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via aerosols matters much more than has been officially acknowledged to date.

In a peer-reviewed study published in Nature on Wednesday, researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that aerosols collected in the hospital rooms of Covid-19 patients contained the coronavirus.

This confirms the results of a study from late May (not peer-reviewed) in which Covid-19 patients were found to release SARS-CoV-2 simply by exhaling — without coughing or even talking. The authors of that study said the finding implied that airborne transmission “plays a major role” in spreading the virus.

Accepting these conclusions wouldn’t much change what is currently being recommended as best behavior. The strongest protection against SARS-CoV-2, whether the virus is mostly contained in droplets or in aerosols, essentially remains the same: Keep your distance and wear masks.

Rather, the recent findings are an important reminder to also be vigilant about opening windows and improving airflow indoors. And they are further evidence that the quality of masks and their fit matter, too.

The W.H.O. defines as a “droplet” a particle larger than 5 microns and has said that droplets don’t travel farther than one meter.

In fact, there is no neat and no meaningful cutoff point — at 5 microns or any other size — between droplets and aerosols: All are tiny specks of liquid, their size ranging along a spectrum that goes from very small to really microscopic.

(I am working with medical historians to track down the scientific basis for the W.H.O.’s definition, and we have not found a sensible explanation yet.)

Yes, droplets tend to fly through the air like mini cannonballs and they fall to the ground rather quickly, while aerosols can float around for many hours.

But basic physics also says that a 5-micron droplet takes about a half-hour to drop to the floor from the mouth of an adult of average height — and during that time, the droplet can travel many meters on an air current. Droplets expelled in coughs or sneezes also travel much farther than one meter.

Here is another common misconception: To the (limited) extent that the role of aerosols had been recognized so far, they were usually mentioned as lingering in the air, suspended, and wafting away — a long-distance threat.

But before aerosols can get far, they must travel through the air that’s near: meaning that they are a hazard at close range, too. And all the more so because, just like the smoke from a cigarette, aerosols are most concentrated near the infected person (or smoker) and become diluted in the air as they drift away.

A peer-reviewed study by scientists at the University of Hong Kong and Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China, published in the journal Building and Environment in June concluded, “The smaller the exhaled droplets, the more important the short-range airborne route.”

So what does this all mean exactly, practically?

Can you walk into an empty room and contract the virus if an infected person, now gone, was there before you? Perhaps, but probably only if the room is small and stuffy.

Can the virus waft up and down buildings via air ducts or pipes? Maybe, though that hasn’t been established.

More likely, the research suggests, aerosols matter in extremely mundane scenarios.

Consider the case of a restaurant in Guangzhou, southern China, at the beginning of the year, in which one diner infected with SARS-CoV-2 at one table spread the virus to a total of nine people seated at their table and two other tables.

Yuguo Li, a professor of engineering at the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues analyzed video footage from the restaurant and in a preprint (not peer reviewed) published in April found no evidence of close contact between the diners.

Droplets can’t account for transmission in this case, at least not among the people at the tables other than the infected person’s: The droplets would have fallen to the floor before reaching those tables.

But the three tables were in a poorly ventilated section of the restaurant, and an air conditioning unit pushed air across them. Notably, too, no staff member and none of the other diners in the restaurant — including at two tables just beyond the air conditioner’s airstream — became infected.

Similarly, just one person is thought to have infected 52 of the other 60 people at a choir rehearsal in Skagit County, Wash., in March.

Several colleagues at various universities and I analyzed that event and in a preprint (not peer-reviewed) published last month concluded that aerosols likely were the dominant means of transmission.

Attendees had used hand sanitizer and avoided hugs and handshakes, limiting the potential for infection through direct contact or droplets. On the other hand, the room was poorly ventilated, the rehearsal lasted a long time (2.5 hours) and singing is known to produce aerosols and facilitate the spread of diseases like tuberculosis.

What about the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan early this year? Some 712 of the 3,711 people on board became infected.

Professor Li and others also investigated that case and in a preprint (not peer reviewed) in April concluded that transmission had not occurred between rooms after people were quarantined: The ship’s air-conditioning system did not spread the virus over long distances.

The more likely cause of transmission, according to that study, appeared to be close contact with infected people or contaminated objects before the passengers and crew members were isolated. (The researchers did not parse precisely what they meant by contact, or if that included droplets or short-range aerosols.)

But another, recent, preprint (not peer reviewed) about the Diamond Princess concluded that “aerosol inhalation was likely the dominant contributor to Covid-19 transmission” among the ship’s passengers.

It might seem logical, or make intuitive sense, that larger droplets would contain more virus than do smaller aerosols — but they don’t.

A paper published this week by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine that analyzed the aerosols produced by the coughs and exhaled breaths of patients with various respiratory infections found “a predominance of pathogens in small particles” (under 5 microns). “There is no evidence,” the study also concluded, “that some pathogens are carried only in large droplets.”

A recent preprint (not peer reviewed) by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that viral samples retrieved from aerosols emitted by Covid-19 patients were infectious.

Some scientists have argued that just because aerosols can contain SARS-CoV-2 does not in itself prove that they can cause an infection and that if SARS-CoV-2 were primarily spread by aerosols, there would be more evidence of long-range transmission.

I agree that long-range transmission by aerosols probably is not significant, but I believe that, taken together, much of the evidence gathered to date suggests that close-range transmission by aerosols is significant — possibly very significant, and certainly more significant than direct droplet spray.

The practical implications are plain:
  • Social distancing really is important. It keeps us out of the most concentrated parts of other people’s respiratory plumes. So stay away from one another by one or two meters at least — though farther is safer.
  • Wear a mask. Masks help block aerosols released by the wearer. Scientific evidence is also building that masks protect the wearer from breathing in aerosols around them.
When it comes to masks, size does matter.

The gold standard is a N95 or a KN95 respirator, which, if properly fitted, filters out and prevents the wearer from breathing in at least 95 percent of small aerosols.

The efficacy of surgical masks against aerosols varies widely.

One study from 2013 found that surgical masks reduced exposure to flu viruses by between 10 percent and 98 percent (depending on the mask’s design).

A recent paper found that surgical masks can completely block seasonal coronaviruses from getting into the air.

To my knowledge, no similar study has been conducted for SARS-CoV-2 yet, but these findings might apply to this virus as well since it is similar to seasonal coronaviruses in size and structure.

My lab has been testing cloth masks on a mannequin, sucking in air through its mouth at a realistic rate. We found that even a bandanna loosely tied over its mouth and nose blocked half or more of aerosols larger than 2 microns from entering the mannequin.

We also found that especially with very small aerosols — smaller than 1 micron — it is more effective to use a softer fabric (which is easier to fit tightly over the face) than a stiffer fabric (which, even if it is a better filter, tends to sit more awkwardly, creating gaps).

  • Avoid crowds. The more people around you, the more likely someone among them will be infected. Especially avoid crowds indoors, where aerosols can accumulate.
  • Ventilation counts. Open windows and doors. Adjust dampers in air-conditioning and heating systems. Upgrade the filters in those systems. Add portable air cleaners, or install germicidal ultraviolet technologies to remove or kill virus particles in the air.
It’s not clear just how much this coronavirus is transmitted by aerosols as opposed to droplets or via contact with contaminated surfaces. Then again, we still don’t know the answer to that question even for the flu, which has been studied for decades.

But by now we do know this much: Aerosols matter in the transmission of Covid-19 — and probably even more so than we have yet been able to prove.

.
 

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Vaccine distribution will be ‘joint venture’ between CDC and Pentagon
The plan breaks with the longstanding precedent that CDC distributes vaccines during major outbreaks through a centralized ordering system.

SARAH OWERMOHLE
07/30/2020 05:29 PM EDT

Nationwide distribution of any coronavirus vaccine will be a “joint venture” between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which typically oversees vaccine allocation, and the Department of Defense, a senior administration official said today.

The Department of Defense “is handling all the logistics of getting the vaccines to the right place, at the right time, in the right condition,” the official said in a call with reporters, adding that CDC will remain in charge of tracking any side effects that emerge post-vaccination and “some of the communications through the state relationships [and] the state public health organizations.”

The plan breaks with the longstanding precedent that CDC distributes vaccines during major outbreaks — such as bad flu seasons — through a centralized ordering system for state and local health officials.

“We believe we’ve actually combined the best of both,” the official said. A second senior administration official stressed the agencies would be working as “one team” to distribute hundreds of millions of doses if any of the vaccines in development are approved in the coming months.

Private companies are also likely to join the effort. The first official said the government is bringing in people to integrate CDC IT capabilities with “some new applications that we’re going to need that the CDC never had.”

The background: The Pentagon will be guiding not just distribution logistics but also manufacturing and “kitting,” the process of safely packaging a vaccine with its necessary equipment such as syringes and needles.

“The DoD is handling all of those logistics — that is where their comparative advantage is,” said the first senior official. “And the CDC, some of their IT systems, relationships with the states following post-vaccination will belong to them.”

Pentagon chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman told reporters earlier in the day that distribution would be “a collaborative process” between the private sector and the military.


Operation Warp Speed, the government's coronavirus vaccine and drug accelerator, is examining “how do we take advantage of the commercial capability of the private sector to handle things like distribution, and where will either DoD step in to help manage that process, or if necessary, will DoD be required to step in and actually physically deliver items itself,” Hoffman said.

The debate:

The comments come just one day after McClatchy reported that neither the White House nor Warp Speed officials had formally asked the Pentagon to help with vaccine distribution. While the White House said Defense is ready to assist, an HHS official told McClatchy Wednesday that their involvement would be the exception, not the norm.

State and local government groups have already raised concerns about Pentagon involvement and using new methods in coronavirus vaccine distribution. The CDC “already leads and maintains a highly effective system of vaccine ordering and distribution,” groups including the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials wrote in June. “With time of the essence we strongly recommend against designing new and untested systems of vaccine distribution.”

The state and local officials also questioned whether military involvement in vaccine administration would undermine already shaky public confidence in vaccines.

What’s next:


Senior health officials told reporters that they are in constant discussion about first-priority populations for receiving possible coronavirus vaccines, including the elderly and medically vulnerable, but that those plans will depend on which candidates are ready first.

Two vaccines entered the final stage of human trials this month and several more are readying for the sweeping phase three stage. Results are expected later this year or early 2021. In the meantime, an expert committee has been convened by the National Academies of Science to discuss a distribution framework.

.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
Vaccine distribution will be ‘joint venture’ between CDC and Pentagon
The plan breaks with the longstanding precedent that CDC distributes vaccines during major outbreaks through a centralized ordering system.

SARAH OWERMOHLE
07/30/2020 05:29 PM EDT
My former county used to have flu vaccine drive throughs. You came in your car on the scheduled day. You drove a premarked route, then stopped and answered a question from a nurse on any allergies, signing that you had received the information. You paid your 10 bucks. Then you drove forward in the line, stuck your arm out the window and Bob's your Uncle, got your shot.
 

marsh

TB Fanatic
Just a heads up, but I will be unable to continue to post videos on this thread as of late next week. My daughter and grandkids will be going back to school. Each kid will be in their own room distance learning with a computer and headphones. The littlest one is hyperactive and needs someone to sit and proctor him so he stays on task and schedule.

My daughter will be teaching seventh grade English and other subjects in a separate room she has set up as a classroom. Eventually, I will only proctor him during her two English classes and she will try and work around keeping an eye on him and teaching her lighter subjects the rest of the time.

It should be pretty safe as she and the kids won't have a lot of direct contact with people. Her hubby works in a relatively safe environment with few contacts. However, with so many people needing the internet, I will be unable to post. I should be able to get some knitting done, however.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: bev

Tristan

Veteran Member
(fair use applies)

Vaccine distribution will be ‘joint venture’ between CDC and Pentagon
The plan breaks with the longstanding precedent that CDC distributes vaccines during major outbreaks through a centralized ordering system.

SARAH OWERMOHLE
07/30/2020 05:29 PM EDT

Nationwide distribution of any coronavirus vaccine will be a “joint venture” between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which typically oversees vaccine allocation, and the Department of Defense, a senior administration official said today.

The Department of Defense “is handling all the logistics of getting the vaccines to the right place, at the right time, in the right condition,” the official said in a call with reporters, adding that CDC will remain in charge of tracking any side effects that emerge post-vaccination and “some of the communications through the state relationships [and] the state public health organizations.”

The plan breaks with the longstanding precedent that CDC distributes vaccines during major outbreaks — such as bad flu seasons — through a centralized ordering system for state and local health officials.

“We believe we’ve actually combined the best of both,” the official said. A second senior administration official stressed the agencies would be working as “one team” to distribute hundreds of millions of doses if any of the vaccines in development are approved in the coming months.

Private companies are also likely to join the effort. The first official said the government is bringing in people to integrate CDC IT capabilities with “some new applications that we’re going to need that the CDC never had.”

The background: The Pentagon will be guiding not just distribution logistics but also manufacturing and “kitting,” the process of safely packaging a vaccine with its necessary equipment such as syringes and needles.

“The DoD is handling all of those logistics — that is where their comparative advantage is,” said the first senior official. “And the CDC, some of their IT systems, relationships with the states following post-vaccination will belong to them.”

Pentagon chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman told reporters earlier in the day that distribution would be “a collaborative process” between the private sector and the military.


Operation Warp Speed, the government's coronavirus vaccine and drug accelerator, is examining “how do we take advantage of the commercial capability of the private sector to handle things like distribution, and where will either DoD step in to help manage that process, or if necessary, will DoD be required to step in and actually physically deliver items itself,” Hoffman said.

The debate:

The comments come just one day after McClatchy reported that neither the White House nor Warp Speed officials had formally asked the Pentagon to help with vaccine distribution. While the White House said Defense is ready to assist, an HHS official told McClatchy Wednesday that their involvement would be the exception, not the norm.

State and local government groups have already raised concerns about Pentagon involvement and using new methods in coronavirus vaccine distribution. The CDC “already leads and maintains a highly effective system of vaccine ordering and distribution,” groups including the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials wrote in June. “With time of the essence we strongly recommend against designing new and untested systems of vaccine distribution.”

The state and local officials also questioned whether military involvement in vaccine administration would undermine already shaky public confidence in vaccines.

What’s next:

Senior health officials told reporters that they are in constant discussion about first-priority populations for receiving possible coronavirus vaccines, including the elderly and medically vulnerable, but that those plans will depend on which candidates are ready first.

Two vaccines entered the final stage of human trials this month and several more are readying for the sweeping phase three stage. Results are expected later this year or early 2021. In the meantime, an expert committee has been convened by the National Academies of Science to discuss a distribution framework.

.

Could this be an indication that there is a belief the virus is a bio-weapon?
 

TorahTips

Veteran Member
Could this be an indication that there is a belief the virus is a bio-weapon?
Could this be an indication that there is a belief THE VACCINE is a bio-weapon?

Or at least something to exert force on the people against their will. Only terrorists refuse to take the chip vaccine.
 
  • OMG
Reactions: bev

marsh

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNH6vW2Yaf8
27:24 min


127 - Dr. Ruth Karron Answers Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions
•Jul 31, 2020


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

How close are we to a vaccine? What do efficacy trials actually entail? What are the challenges to achieving diversity in clinical trials? How long would a COVID-19 vaccine provide some level of protection? How is vaccine safety assessed? Should pregnant women be included in vaccine trials for COVID-19? Dr. Ruth Karron, one of the top vaccine experts in the world and a professor in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health speaks to Dr. Josh Sharfstein to answer these and more questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
 
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