CORONA Main Coronavirus thread

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
[CONTINUED FROM POST ABOVE AND ABOVE THAT ONE TOO - POST 3 of 3]


Questions for lawmakers​

  1. Why can't we have open forums where our public health officials can be challenged by experts who disagree? Is there proof that having open debate results in worse outcomes?
  2. Why doesn’t anyone want to see the Israeli safety data?
  3. Why isn’t anyone asking for Fauci’s unredacted emails?
  4. Is there a scientific reason that the CDC is ignoring me and all the experts I work with?
  5. Questions I'd love to ask Congresswoman Anna Eshoo... that she'll never answer

Questions I’d like to ask the CDC​

  1. Why hasn’t anyone calculated the minimum VAERS under-reporting factor (URF)?
  2. Did the propensity to report change in 2021 vs. previous years. What is the new number in 2021 and 2022 compared to previous years? How did you calculate it?
  3. Why do John Su and Tom Shimabukuro never talk about the URF in the ACIP meetings?
  4. There were over 14,000 excess deaths reported in VAERS. That’s before the URF is applied. If these weren’t caused by the vaccine, what caused them?
  5. If these vaccines are so safe, why are there more adverse events reported for these vaccines than for all other vaccines in history combined?
  6. I found thousands of adverse events that are elevated by these vaccines compared to all other vaccines combined in previous years. How many adverse events did the CDC find?
  7. There was a dramatic rise in adverse events reported in the VAERS system for the COVID vaccines. How could this not be a serious safety concern? The propensity to report did not increase. If you believe the propensity to report did increase, what data do you have to support that?
  8. My neurologist has been in practice for 11 years. She has 20,000 patients in her multi-physician practice. In that time, she’s never had to report a single event to VAERS. With the COVID vaccines, she now needs to make 1,000 reports. If the vaccines are safe and effective and most all the symptoms are mild and short term, how do you explain this? Her event rate similar to the 4.5% injury rate that the Israeli MoH found. So her reporting rate is more than 10,000 times higher than for any other vaccine. Couldn’t that be the explanation for the higher rate of VAERS reports? Doesn’t this suggest that the propensity to report is much lower this year because there are so many more events and doctors simply don’t have the time to report them all?
  9. The NEJM pregnancy paper by Tom Shimabukuro noted that the results on safety for pregnant women was preliminary since many of the women were still pregnant. What was the final result and why wasn’t it published?
  10. There was an analysis of the VAERS data by Hannah Rosenblum published in the Lancet. It never goes into explaining why there were elevated reporting rates and also the nature of the reported events are not normal background events. Couldn’t the elevated reporting rates be caused by a dangerous vaccine? Does she want to look at the Israeli safety data? If not, why not? The Israeli data directly contradicts the conclusion of the paper. Shouldn’t we figure out which conclusion is correct?
  11. Why does Carol Crawford not answer my questions about an open discussion with the top vaccine misinformation spreaders to resolve our differences and reduce vaccine hesitancy?
  12. Why does Martha Sharan ignore my emails and phone messages when I attempted to ask for permission to talk to the authors of the Rosenblum paper? Can’t she reply with the reason questions are not allowed?

The unanswered questions​

Questions I’d love to get the answer to. These were asked, but never answered.
  1. Why did the CDC never publish the follow up on the NEJM pregnancy paper by Tom Shimabukuro?
  2. The CEO of Moderna was asked how the 19 nucleotide sequence from a Moderna patent got into the SARS-CoV-2 genome. That sequence is never found in a virus. How did it get in this one? The CEO said he’d look into it, but never reported the explanation. I’d love to know what it was.
  3. Why hasn’t any Democratic committee chairman asked the NIH for Tony Fauci’s unredacted emails? Don’t we want to know the truth about whether there was a deliberate cover-up? If there was, shouldn’t Fauci be fired?
  4. Fauci wasn’t supposed to be funding gain of function research but he was. How is he being held accountable?
  5. How much is Fauci making every time someone gets a Moderna shot? He’s a public official… Why is this a secret?

Debates​

People who disagree with the mainstream narrative are rewarded with censorship, permanent bans on posting on social media, demonetization of your YouTube account, revocation of your medical license, revocation of your medical certifications, loss of hospital privileges, loss of job, loss of funding, loss of friends, and a Wikipedia entry labeling you a “misinformation spreader” and/or “conspiracy theorist.”
This is a problem. I am not aware of any paper published in the medical literature that shows that such tactics result in better health decisions.
Should we use the same rules at the UN when nations disagree? Do you think that will result in better outcomes?
The way people resolve differences is by confronting the issues and talking through them. But we are not doing this:
  1. Why can't we find anyone who will defend the CDC, FDA, and NIH on camera?
  2. Dr. Byram Bridle and 2 colleagues challenged Canada's health authorities to a debate
  3. Vinay Prasad's most important op-ed

Articles about the corruption of science​

  1. The head of the CDC's outside committee on vaccine safety does not want to see the safety data collected by the Israeli Ministry of Health.
This is objective proof of a broken system. It is indefensible. Caught on video camera. There is no reason that anyone in a position of authority on the COVID vaccines would refuse an opportunity to see the most thorough post-vaccine safety study ever done: one that shows causality of serious adverse events.
Professor Grace Lee should be removed from her position by the CDC. Why isn’t she? Does anyone care?

Meta-collections​

If the above isn’t enough, there are hundreds more “hard to explain” data points.
  1. List of over 1,200 papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  2. The safe and effective narrative is falling apart
  3. Think we got it wrong?
  4. How the authorities can INSTANTLY stop the spread of "COVID misinformation"
  5. Examining COVID Vaccine Efficacy

Using all the available evidence​

There is an excellent article written in August 2020 by Norman Doidge entitled “Medicine’s Fundamentalists” which talks about the “all-available-evidence approach.” It should be read by every doctor in America. This is how medical science should work.

The precautionary principle of medicine​

The precautionary principle medicine seems to have been thrown under the bus during the pandemic. It says in the face of uncertainty, one should take reasonable measures to avoid threats that are serious and plausible.

For example, the Pfizer clinical trial showed the vaccine saved only one COVID death per 22,000 injected. That means we might only save around 10,000 lives if we inject 200M Americans. So if VAERS, which is at least 41 times under reported, is showing over 12,000 deaths associated with the vaccine, any reasonable person should say that killing more than 41 people to save 1 life is nonsensical… shouldn’t we put a PAUSE on this intervention until we resolve the uncertainty?

In the current system, questioning the CDC or other authorities results in serious retribution as mentioned earlier.
Is that really the right way to handle scientific dissent?

Summary​

Are the vaccines “safe and effective” as claimed?​


To answer this, science requires that we look at all the available data and see whether the data is more consistent with the hypothesis of “safe and effective” or “not safe and effective.”

All the data that I and my colleagues have seen end up being placed in the “not” bucket.

We are open to being shown we got it wrong on the hundreds of pieces of evidence we have examined, but nobody is willing to discuss the data with us to resolve the issue, not even for $1M dollars.

I even went to extraordinary lengths to offer the Israeli safety data to ACIP Chair Grace Lee. Her response: she called the police on me. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know: they simply refuse to look at any data that goes against their currently held beliefs. That’s the way science works.

Please share this widely.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
There is a really really long Politico article that would take about 5 posts to post so I'm not going to post it. There was also a Lancet article about the same topic. Also too long to post. There were 3 substacks that discussed these articles, some of them would also take multiple posts to post. So for those who are interested in this discussion, I am going to post links to all of them and if you want to read more, please follow those links.


The article:


Special Report
How Bill Gates and partners used their clout to control the global Covid response — with little oversight
Four health organizations, working closely together, spent almost $10 billion on responding to Covid across the world. But they lacked the scrutiny of governments, and fell short of their own goals, a POLITICO and WELT investigation found.

By Erin Banco, Ashleigh Furlong and Lennart Pfahler
09/14/2022 10:00 PM EDT

There are tons of ads and graphics at that link that I found annoying and distracting. ymmv. The easiest way to read without them would be at this link, and choose "text-only version".



The Lancet study:


The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic
Jeffrey D Sachs
, Salim S Abdool Karim, Lara Aknin, Joseph Allen, Kirsten Brosbøl, Francesca Colombo, Gabriela Cuevas Barron, María Fernanda Espinosa, Vitor Gaspar, Alejandro Gaviria, Andy Haines, Peter J Hotez, Phoebe Koundouri, Felipe Larraín Bascuñán, Jong-Koo Lee, Muhammad Ali Pate, Gabriela Ramos, K Srinath Reddy, Ismail Serageldin, John Thwaites, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Chen Wang, Miriam Khamadi Were, Lan Xue, Chandrika Bahadur, Maria Elena Bottazzi, Chris Bullen, George Laryea-Adjei, Yanis Ben Amor, Ozge Karadag, Guillaume Lafortune, Emma Torres, Lauren Barredo, Juliana G E Bartels, Neena Joshi, Margaret Hellard, Uyen Kim Huynh, Shweta Khandelwal, Jeffrey V Lazarus, Susan Michie
Published online September 14, 2022 Redirecting



Substack commentary on those articles:


POLITICO Pushes for WHO Power Grab
Looking behind propaganda headlines to find motive and purpose

Robert W Malone MD, MS
12 hr ago


Jeff Sachs and giving the W.H.O. mo' money
The Lancet COVID Commission and One Health are important parts of the globalists' narrative

Meryl Nass
Sep 20


I Thought the Lancet was a Medical Journal
Jeffrey Sachs is clearly a fan of Tedros and the WHO.

James Roguski
16 hr ago



ETA:

A few more tonight:

Jeffrey Sachs 'whistleblows' what everyone already knew
Throws Fauci, Daszak and Baric under the bus, a year after everyone already knew what they had done, 2 years after those of us paying attention knew it

Meryl Nass
16 hr ago


WaPo editorial on the Lancet Commission Report makes it easy to see the limited hangout.
Meryl Nass
13 hr ago
 
Last edited:

Zoner

Veteran Member
I am so sorry that happened to you and surprised that it happened in your church. Did someone complain about you? After 2.5 years, why now all of a sudden did they approach you about this? Especially now that it's common knowledge that the vaxx neither stops the spread or stops infection. Good for you for standing your ground and trying to enlighten and education them.

HD
Hi HD. When the vaccines were first introduced I didn't know what to say. I trusted medicine and doctors but I realized these shots were rushed so I simply decided to wait. I knew about Ivermectin and Hydroxycloriquin and about Vitamin D and C and Zinc and dw and I went in that direction. I didn't tell the church to do anything at the time because nothing was known or reported about the dangers...at the beginning. So there were those who came up and asked me whether I was getting vaxxed and I said no. So privately I was telling the people but not publicly. And for the most part I didn't say anything about the shots publicly in the church since the horse had left the barn. Everyone who wanted to get vaxxed already did so and the decisions had already been made so why say anything.

I helped two of our people get religious exemptions at the hospital because they didn't want the shot and the church heard about that. Again no one said anything to me. There were those who became aware of the dangers of the vaccines and we commiserated.

But when they recently wanted to inject infants and the young I felt it was my duty to warn parents about it. So I did and no one said anything to me. Then this booster is coming out this month and they have loaded it up. So two weeks ago I said from the pulpit they shouldn't take this booster shot and again no one said anything. Last week a member was upset that her daughter was forced to take the booster jab and had become ill and mentioned it in church. So I commented on it during the sermon. And that was when the Elder confronted me that I shouldn't express my opinions from the pulpit.

I simply told him that I have a duty as a watchman to warn when danger is coming...and that no one has to listen to my warnings. But he was vaxxed you see. He didn't want to hear it. Too bad. I told him if he wanted to find someone else for the pulpit to let me know but I was going to speak what I believe God wants me to say. Yesterday we spoke again and he gave me a hug. I reminded him that it was me that told him a pandemic was coming in January 2020. He laughed at me then and when it hit here, he remembered what I told him. I really like this brother. He fishes hunts and is a great man. He just doesn't get on the internet and read...so he's been in the dark. I told him what is happening during this pandemic is sinister and he needs to pay attention. I sent him that McCollough video on watchdogusa so we'll see if he wants truth or not.

There is a Nursing Home Administrator in our church who believes in the Vax. Her husband tragically died of a heart attack two weeks after a booster shot in January. He was young, fit and no issues with his heart. This elder knows I believe it was the booster and he can't believe it and strongly disagrees with me. But I can't blame him because he doesn't read. I told him to look at all the athletes having heart issues. So if people choose to remain ignorant there is nothing I can do. But I'll keep warning the people. It's my job. Ezekiel 3
 

jward

passin' thru
World Health Organization (WHO)
@WHO
1m

"At the #UNGA here in New York, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Where do we stand? Is the pandemic over?” At our media briefings over the past two weeks, I have said that pandemic is not over, but the end is in sight"-
@DrTedros
#COVID19


"Yes, we’re in a better position than we’ve ever been. The number of weekly #COVID19 deaths continues to decline, and are now just 10% of what they were at the peak in January 2021"-
@DrTedros
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


Scientists on alert as new Covid strain tears through ’multiple countries’
A new, highly transmissible Covid variant is now tearing through “multiple countries” – and it has scientists on high alert.

Alexis Carey
September 21, 2022 - 3:27PM

A new Covid variant is ripping through “multiple countries”, with experts fearing it could be even more transmissible than the BA. 5 Omicron strain.

Named BF. 7 – short for BA. 5.2.1.7 – the new variant is spreading faster than most other variants of interest that scientists are currently tracking in the US.

While it accounted for 1.7 per cent of sequenced infections in America last week, it now represents 25 per cent of cases in Belgium, while Denmark, Germany and France have each recorded 10 per cent of the world’s identified cases, Fortune reports.

Dr Stuart Ray, vice chair of medicine for data integrity and analytics at Johns Hopkins’ Department of Medicine, told the publication the US Centres of Disease Control (CDC) recently named it as a separate strain after cases hit one per cent, with that figure expected to grow.

“The same growth advantage in multiple countries makes it reasonable to think that BF. 7 is gaining a foothold,” Dr Ray said, adding that it could prove to be more transmissible than parent strain BA.5.

The rise of the new variant is of particular concern as it’s growing steadily compared to other Omicron subvariants, and because the northern hemisphere is heading towards winter, when Covid is most worrying.

And Dr Ray said there was also a chance an entirely new variant could soon emerge.

“It’s been a while since we went from Alpha to Beta to Gamma to Delta, then to Omicron,” he said.

“We may be complacent. This may be feeding into the notion that this is behind us.”

The news is all the more concerning given US President Joe Biden this week stated that the “pandemic is over” – despite a daily death toll in the hundreds in America.

He told CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday US time that while Covid was still a concern, the worst had passed.

“We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. But the pandemic is over,” he said.

“If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing.”

Mr Biden’s surprising comments came after the World Health Organisation declared the end of the pandemic was “in sight” last week, after announcing weekly deaths had dropped to the lowest level since March 2020.

“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

“We are not there yet, but the end is in sight.”

But the world needed to step up to “seize this opportunity”, he added.

“If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty.”

However, that message did not go down well in China, where an aggressive Zero Covid category is still being pursued via mass testing and brutal lockdowns months after the rest of the world moved on.

The WHO announcement was originally reported by some local news outlets and shared on social media, but was then quickly censored, given Covid Zero is inextricably bound to President Xi Jinping’s Covid strategy.

Xi is widely expected to secure a historic third term in power in October, with some speculating the country’s Covid rules might potentially be relaxed after that point.

According to WHO’s latest epidemiological report on Covid-19, the number of reported cases fell 28 per cent to 3.1 million during the week ending September 11, following a 12 per cent drop a week earlier.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
Hi HD. When the vaccines were first introduced I didn't know what to say. I trusted medicine and doctors but I realized these shots were rushed so I simply decided to wait. I knew about Ivermectin and Hydroxycloriquin and about Vitamin D and C and Zinc and dw and I went in that direction. I didn't tell the church to do anything at the time because nothing was known or reported about the dangers...at the beginning. So there were those who came up and asked me whether I was getting vaxxed and I said no. So privately I was telling the people but not publicly. And for the most part I didn't say anything about the shots publicly in the church since the horse had left the barn. Everyone who wanted to get vaxxed already did so and the decisions had already been made so why say anything.

I helped two of our people get religious exemptions at the hospital because they didn't want the shot and the church heard about that. Again no one said anything to me. There were those who became aware of the dangers of the vaccines and we commiserated.

But when they recently wanted to inject infants and the young I felt it was my duty to warn parents about it. So I did and no one said anything to me. Then this booster is coming out this month and they have loaded it up. So two weeks ago I said from the pulpit they shouldn't take this booster shot and again no one said anything. Last week a member was upset that her daughter was forced to take the booster jab and had become ill and mentioned it in church. So I commented on it during the sermon. And that was when the Elder confronted me that I shouldn't express my opinions from the pulpit.

I simply told him that I have a duty as a watchman to warn when danger is coming...and that no one has to listen to my warnings. But he was vaxxed you see. He didn't want to hear it. Too bad. I told him if he wanted to find someone else for the pulpit to let me know but I was going to speak what I believe God wants me to say. Yesterday we spoke again and he gave me a hug. I reminded him that it was me that told him a pandemic was coming in January 2020. He laughed at me then and when it hit here, he remembered what I told him. I really like this brother. He fishes hunts and is a great man. He just doesn't get on the internet and read...so he's been in the dark. I told him what is happening during this pandemic is sinister and he needs to pay attention. I sent him that McCollough video on watchdogusa so we'll see if he wants truth or not.

There is a Nursing Home Administrator in our church who believes in the Vax. Her husband tragically died of a heart attack two weeks after a booster shot in January. He was young, fit and no issues with his heart. This elder knows I believe it was the booster and he can't believe it and strongly disagrees with me. But I can't blame him because he doesn't read. I told him to look at all the athletes having heart issues. So if people choose to remain ignorant there is nothing I can do. But I'll keep warning the people. It's my job. Ezekiel 3

Major kudos to you. I am sure you are being blessed for the lives you are trying to save. And your continued respect and admiration for your Elder is also noted. You are a good man Zoner.


HD
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


COVID raises risk of long-term brain injury, large U.S. study finds
Julie Steenhuysen
Thu, September 22, 2022, 11:03 AM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - People who had COVID-19 are at higher risk for a host of brain injuries a year later compared with people who were never infected by the coronavirus, a finding that could affect millions of Americans, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The year-long study, published in Nature Medicine, assessed brain health across 44 different disorders using medical records without patient identifiers from millions of U.S. veterans.

Brain and other neurological disorders occurred in 7% more of those who had been infected with COVID compared with a similar group of veterans who had never been infected. That translates into roughly 6.6 million Americans who had brain impairments linked with their COVID infections, the team said.

"The results show the devastating long-term effects of COVID-19," senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington University School of Medicine said in a statement.

Al-Aly and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System studied medical records from 154,000 U.S. veterans who had tested positive for COVID from March 1, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021.

They compared these with records from 5.6 million patients who did not have COVID during the same time frame, and another group of 5.8 million people from the period just before the coronavirus arrived in the United States.

Al-Aly said prior studies looked at a narrower group of disorders, and were focused largely on hospitalized patients, whereas his study included both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.

Memory impairments, commonly referred to as brain fog, were the most common symptom. Compared with the control groups, people infected with COVID had a 77% higher risk of developing memory problems.

People infected with the virus also were 50% more likely to have an ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots, compared with the never infected group.

Those who had COVID were 80% more likely to have seizures, 43% more likely to have mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, 35% more likely to have headaches and 42% more likely to suffer movement disorders, such as tremors, compared with the control groups.

Researchers said governments and health systems must devise plans for a post-COVID world.

“Given the colossal scale of the pandemic, meeting these challenges requires urgent and coordinated - but, so far, absent - global, national and regional response strategies,” Al-Aly said.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


Fauci says the Chinese government is 'probably' hiding something about the origins of COVID, but he's not sure it's a lab leak
Hilary Brueck - Business Insider
Thu, September 22, 2022, 12:07 PM
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he's "keeping a completely open mind" about the origins of the pandemic.
  • Fauci told an audience the Chinese government is "probably" hiding something about the origins of the virus.
  • But evidence so far "strongly favors a natural occurrence" over a lab leak.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's dedicated to "keeping a completely open mind" about how the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019, but he still wishes he had more information to go on from the Chinese government.

Scientists and conspiracy theorists alike have been eager to find clear answers to the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for years now. Still, no satisfactory nail-in-the-coffin evidence is pointing to one single, bulletproof explanation for where this pandemic began.

Did the virus emerge naturally in a bat or some other animal host, then hop from animals into people in a spillover event, possibly at a wet market? Many scientists say that's a strong possibility. Might it have leaked out of a lab somewhere? Also possible, but less likely.

"You wanna keep an open mind that it could have been anything that happened," Fauci said Wednesday during a conversation with Atlantic editor Ross Andersen. "But the evidence that they have been working on for years strongly favors a natural occurrence."
Fauci says the Chinese government could 'clear this up' if they really wanted to

Andersen also asked Fauci whether he thought the Chinese government could help "clear this up" once and for all.

"Yeah," Fauci said.

But the doctor was careful to note that he was only referring to "Chinese authorities" stonewalling, and not average Chinese citizens, nor his scientific colleagues in China, who he said "have made major contributions to our knowledge."

"The fact is, as a society, when something occurs that looks like — even if it's naturally coming out of China — they will be secretive about it," Fauci said of the Chinese government. "Because of this feeling that they're gonna get blamed for something."

The same style of secretive cover-up happened in the early 2000s, during the first SARS outbreak. Even though "everybody agrees" that virus "unequivocally, beyond the shadow of a doubt" emerged from a bat, which passed the disease on to another animal (likely, at a wet market), before it got into to a human. Fauci recalls the painstaking efforts it took to get information on that outbreak from Chinese officials.

"They were as reticent to be open and truthful about things, because that's the way the leadership of the society is," he said.

As it happens, advisers to the National Institutes of Health, where Fauci works, met this week to discuss stricter oversight of lab experiments involving deadly viruses.
Hiding information creates a perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories, Fauci said

"It's natural, totally natural for conspiracy people who are thinking it's a conspiracy to say, 'see? they're hiding something.'"

And, "they probably are," Fauci said, but it may not have anything to do with a lab leak at all.
wuhan wet market

Perhaps the virus hopped from animals into humans at the wet market in Wuhan where clusters of illnesses first made news in late 2019.

Giving investigators access to those markets early on would have been invaluable to the quest for clear answers on where and how the pandemic began.

"Animals which were outlawed and not allowed to be in a market where people can be in contact with them were actually brought there because they bring in a lot of money," Fauci said. "That's the thing that you really want them to come clean on."

"If we were able to go and do surveillance easily in China, we would get a lot more information than we have now," he added.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


Israel rolls out new omicron-tailored COVID-19 vaccines

By ELEANOR REICH
yesterday

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel on Thursday began administering doses of coronavirus vaccines tailored to fight the highly infectious omicron variant as its health authorities urged at-risk groups and those over 65 to get the shot.

The rollout of the new vaccine follows Israel’s world-leading drive to vaccinate its population early in 2021 and marks it out as one of the first countries to start distributing omicron-specific vaccines. Health officials are now voicing growing concerns about increased COVID-19 infections in the upcoming winter.

Arsen Arutiunian, an official with the Israeli healthcare provider Clalit, said that there had been “big demand” for the booster since the new campaign began. He said the clinic has been flooded with phone calls from people of all ages looking to schedule an appointment.

“I received all of the previous vaccinations. So far, touch wood, I haven’t been infected even though my entire family has I’ve somehow become Teflon. And as they say, keeping healthy,” said Eytan Gurfinkel, a Tel Aviv resident.

As of Thursday, 95 people were hospitalized with serious cases of coronavirus — the lowest point since May. Over 11,600 Israelis have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, according to Health Ministry statistics.

Israel was a world leader last year in vaccinating its population of 9.5 million against the coronavirus, after it struck a deal with Pfizer to trade vaccines for medical data. It quickly vaccinated over 60% of its population with at least two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by last fall.

Over 4.5 million Israelis have received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but just over 800,000 have taken a fourth shot.

In August, the FDA approved updated COVID boosters that target the omicron strain and U.S. health officials are beginning the rollout this fall.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)

Sen. Rand Paul calls Fauci 'disreputable' scientist, seeks special investigator for COVID-19 origin
The Kentucky lawmaker, himself a doctor, said that he strongly believes COVID originated from a leak in a lab, citing a long history of lab leaks in China.

By Charlotte Hazard
Updated: September 22, 2022 - 11:10pm

Sen. Rand Paul, a likely committee chairman if Republicans win the Senate in November, says an independent special investigator needs to be appointed to look into Dr. Anthony Fauci's handling of the pandemic and the origins of COVID-19 virus.

"To have a true investigation, you need to have someone who's focused just on that," Paul told the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV show on Thursday evening. "You need to have someone who has the breadth of mind and wherewithal to do an investigation. This needs to be somebody who's either been an attorney general, assistant attorney general or someone that's been a director of a law enforcement agency."

The Kentucky Republican, a doctor himself, has been one of the leading critics of Fauci, clashing famously with the nation's infectious disease chief at several congressional hearings. He kept up his criticisms during the interview, saying Fauci has played politics with science.

"What disreputable scientists like Fauci will do is they'll run around the truth and try to confuse the issue with the science," Paul said.

Paul had introduced an amendment back in March to eliminate Fauci's director position at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).

"We've learned a lot over the past two years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed 'dictator-in-chief,'" Paul said in a March press release. "No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans.

"To ensure that ineffective, unscientific lockdowns and mandates are never foisted on the American people ever again, I've introduced this amendment to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci's position as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and divide his power into three separate new institutes."

Paul said Thursday that if Republicans take back control of the Senate, there will be an investigation into COVID and its origins, bringing in scientists who have reached different conclusions regarding the start of COVID.

"I promised the American people, I'll bring in people from both sides," he said. "I will bring in scientists who absolutely say it came from animals, and I will bring in scientists who absolutely believe it came from the lab, and we will weigh the evidence."

Paul said that he strongly believes COVID originated from a leak in a lab, citing a long history of lab leaks in China. He said getting to the truth about the virus' origins is essential to guarding against another pandemic.

"There have been other leaks that have actually caused minor epidemics with thousands of people being infected," Paul concluded. "We know that several of these have happened in China in the past. So it's remarkable the lack of curiosity from Democrats on 6 million people, people dying, and what we might do to prevent something like this from happening again."
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


Face Mask Detects Respiratory Viruses, Alerts User
Conn Hastings Medicine, Public Health
September 22nd, 2022

Scientists at Shanghai Tongji University in China have created a face mask that can alert the wearer to the presence of respiratory viruses in the surrounding environment, including the viruses behind COVID-19 and influenza. The mask includes aptamers, which are short sequences of DNA or RNA that can bind to protein targets. When viral particles bind to the aptamers, ion-gated transistors boost the signal so that the mask can sensitively detect small amounts of virus. The mask sends a message to the wearer’s smartphone within 10 minutes of detecting the virus. The technology could be very valuable for healthcare staff or vulnerable patients who are at high risk of severe disease.

Face masks have been a cornerstone in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The simple and effective barrier function such masks fulfill has doubtless helped to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2. However, what if our masks could do much more, providing us with an early warning system that viral contamination is in the air?

“Previous research has shown face mask wearing can reduce the risk of spreading and contracting the disease,” said Yin Fang, a researcher involved in the study. “So, we wanted to create a mask that can detect the presence of virus in the air and alert the wearer.”

The team behind this latest study has created just that. Their mask does not just detect SARS-CoV-2, but it can also identify two different strains of influenza (H5N1, and H1N1). With the southern hemisphere experiencing a significant resurgence of flu this year, after two years without much flu activity, such technologies could be helpful for vulnerable patients who could experience serious complications if they were to contract flu or COVID-19.

The mask relies on aptamers, which are synthetic molecules made using DNA or RNA, but which function somewhat like antibodies, binding specific molecules such as proteins. The aptamers in the mask are specific for SARS-CoV-2, H5N1, and H1N1. If such viral particles are present in the air around the mask wearer, they will bind to the aptamers in the mask. Ion-gated transistors present in the mask sensor then help to boost this signal, allowing the mask to take highly sensitive measurements.

The mask will then send a signal to the wearer’s smartphone within 10 minutes to alert them to the presence of viral particles. The researchers are working on reducing this time, to help make the system as quick and useful as possible.

Study in journal Matter: Wearable bioelectronic masks for wireless detection of respiratory infectious diseases by gaseous media
 

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The Gates Foundation is Researching How to Manipulate You Into Taking ‘Future’ COVID Vaccines.
...including using hard cash.

by Natalie Winters
September 22, 2022

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now funding studies on how to best manipulate people to receive “future” COVID-19 vaccines – including “targeted” messaging and financial compensation – despite studies continuing to show links between the vaccine and myocarditis.

Researchers supported by the Gates Foundation published a study aimed at curbing vaccine hesitancy titled “Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy for Future COVID-19 and HIV Vaccines: Lessons from Measles and HPV Vaccines.”

Released on August 11th, researchers carried out a “narrative review of studies on interventions to address measles and human papillomavirus vaccine hesitancy” to cross-apply the lessons learned towards future vaccines.

Researchers explicitly reference making people more likely to receive “future” COVID-19 vaccines as their primary goal, concluding that “the most successful interventions directly targeted the population for vaccination.”

ECCA2BE7-2D7E-4A27-8FF8-DFC0203C870D-800x595.jpeg

Gates-backed Study.

“Use of financial incentives could be a potential tool to improve vaccine uptake,” continues the paper, which drew its analysis from a review of over 150 scientific articles.

“Message framing is a powerful tool for vaccine promotion; however, messages should be carefully framed and should be targeted to the population of interest. Financial incentives, free-of-charge vaccines, and use of vaccine champions should be considered in future vaccine promotions as they were successful in increasing both measles and HPV vaccine coverage rates,” concludes the study, which also advocates implementing vaccine programs in “schools, universities, or healthcare settings to target adolescents and/or adults.”

The study comes amidst a roll-out of advertisements focusing on myocarditis in children, which studies have repeatedly demonstrated to be a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The New York Presbyterian Hospital, for example, uploaded a video advertisement to its Youtube channel titled “Pediatric Patient Story – Suri (30s version)” on September 6th.

”Suri had a bad stomach ache that turned out to be myocarditis, a serious inflammation of the heart. Our multidisciplinary pediatric critical care team worked to regulate her heartbeat – and got her back to feeling like herself,” explains the video’s caption.

The advertisement follows an American Heart Association report acknowledging that the “risks in younger people and after sequential vaccine doses are less certain” concerning myocarditis.

The link is especially pronounced in young men, as the study found:

“In men younger than 40 years old, the number of excess myocarditis events per million people was higher after a second dose of mRNA-1273 than after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (97 [95% CI, 91–99] versus 16 [95% CI, 12–18]).”

“In women younger than 40 years, the number of excess events per million was similar after a second dose of mRNA-1273 and a positive test (7 [95% CI, 1–9] versus 8 [95% CI, 6–8],” added the paper.

In addition to the potential drawbacks of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, other studies have demonstrated that the product doesn’t confer immunity as well natural antibodies or as promised by the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the vaccines.
 

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CDC Says Omicron Booster Shots Could Be Available for Children by Mid-October
By Katabella Roberts
September 22, 2022

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates COVID-19 vaccine booster shots that are said to target Omicron subvariants of the virus will be available for children aged 5 to 11 years within a month.

The CDC said in a vaccination planning guide released Sept. 20 that the shots, if they are authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), may be available by the middle of October (pdf).

“It is expected that if bivalent boosters are authorized for individuals aged 5 years and older as a booster, monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may no longer be authorized as booster doses,” the agency said.

COVID-19 vaccines have come under intense scrutiny following a string of studies pointing to adverse effects such as myocarditis, pericarditis, severe allergic reactions, and in some cases, deaths.

A study published in August found that nearly 3 in 10 children who received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine experienced adverse cardiac side effects afterward.

A separate study published earlier in September found that age played a major factor in the risk of death following a COVID-19 shot, with individuals over 80 at higher risk.

Demand for new booster shots has dropped, with just over 109 million people in the United States having received their first booster shot, according to CDC data.

Lack of Data to Support Boosters

Pfizer-BioNTech is developing a bivalent vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years, while Moderna’s bivalent vaccine would be eligible for those aged 6 to 17 years, pending FDA authorization. The shots, which contain the mRNA components of both the spike genes of SARS-CoV-2 virus ancestral strain and the BA.4/5 subvariants, will be available to those who have already received their primary vaccine series.

Both BA.4 and BA.5 currently appear to be the most vaccine-evasive strains of the virus and also largely bypass immunity from a previous infection.

Pfizer’s updated booster shot is currently authorized for use as a single booster dose in those aged 12 years and older, while Moderna’s is authorized for adults 18 and older. The FDA authorized the updated boosters in August.

The CDC formally recommended the booster shots soon after, claiming they help “to restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.”

But there is no human clinical data to support the claim.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has ordered over 170 million doses of the updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine ahead of this fall and winter as part of its plan to manage the virus across the nation.

According to a statement from The White House on Sept. 8, the administration hopes the updated vaccine rollout will “ensure that the nation continues to effectively manage COVID-19 and minimize its disruptions, and to stay prepared for whatever may come.”

The plan includes “free and easy access to new, updated COVID-19 vaccines” for Americans, and “empowering people with facts and answers to their questions” regarding the shots and the virus.

Reuters contributed to this report.
 

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COVID-19 Mutation Linked to Kids With Neurological Diseases, Taiwanese Researchers Find
By Weber Lee
September 23, 2022

As Taiwan experiences another wave of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, doctors report seeing a high number of children with neurological diseases, including encephalitis. According to a research report by a Taipei hospital, the surge in encephalitis cases appears to be correlated with an Omicron subvariant mutation.

The study by Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, found a new mutation in the S protein that belongs to the Omicron BA.2.3.7 lineage.

The K97E mutation had not been observed in Taiwan before the surge of Omicron cases, and researchers infer that with this mutation, the virus can cause a cytokine storm, which may explain the sudden rise of pediatric COVID-19 patients with adverse neurological complications.

Mutation Interferes With Immune Regulation


At a press conference on Sept. 14, spokespersons for the Tri-Service Hospital said that after analyzing samples of six pediatric patients with COVID-19 infection and encephalitis, the Omicron BA.2.3.7 variant was discovered. The location of the K97E mutation is related to the coronavirus replication process and interferes with the patient’s immune regulation, which could induce acute encephalitis.

Hung Sheng Shang, the director of the Clinical Pathology Department at Tri-Service General Hospital, noted that K97E mutation was not seen in the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, the latter of which is currently dominant in Taiwan.

According to Chi-Sheng Chen, the director of the Department of Pediatrics at the same hospital, the K97E mutation was found in critically ill children, and a high number of inflammatory indices were observed. However, no evidence of viral infection was found in the central nervous system, and further research is needed to scientifically validate the cause of encephalitis, Chen said.
 

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Pfizer COVID Vaccine alters your DNA according to Study
By The Exposé
on September 22, 2022

A Swedish study has demonstrated and confirmed that the mRNA in the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid injections infiltrates cells and transcribes its message onto human DNA within 6 hours, altering our own DNA.

A previous study published in October 2021 from Sweden found that the spike protein enters our cells’ nuclei and impairs the mechanism our cells have to repair damaged DNA. We’ve included this study here as The Highwire made an easy-to-understand video explaining it, including graphics, and so it is a good starting point to help understand the significance of the latest study from Sweden.

[video at link; not from youtube so no link to embed]

Earlier Studies

Preclinical animal studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid mRNA injection (BNT162b2) showed reversible effects on the livers of rats including: enlarged liver, vacuolation and increased enzyme levels (γGT, AST, ALP). In the assessment report on BNT162b2 provided to EMA by Pfizer, studies in rats demonstrated that the contents do not stay at the injection site and a relatively large proportion (up to 18%) of the total “vaccine” dose ends up in the liver.

Another study in May 2021 by MIT scientists showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be reverse transcribed and integrated into the genome of human cells and expressed as chimeric transcripts. Although no one from corporate media or corporate science seemed to ask at the time, the findings of this study give rise to the question of whether this same reverse transcription may also occur with RNA in Covid injections.

ABC 10 News reported on the MIT study shortly after it was published.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjZMgtzG6dE
ABC 10 News: Study suggests Covid-19 can alter DNA, 13 May 2021 (3 mins)
3 min 10 sec

What is Reverse Transcription?

Pictures speak a thousand words and so rather than try to write an explanation we found a video which introduces the mechanism of reverse transcription of HIV, a retrovirus. It may be a little dated and overly simplistic but it illustrates how HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase and the host’s cellular machinery.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlSvywlLuNw
HHMI BioInteractive: HIV Life Cycle, 5 October 2016 (5 mins)
4 min 57 sec

The First Study of Reverse Transcription of Injection Spike Proteins

Because of the findings of the animal studies and the MIT study, a group of Swedish scientists from Lund University conducted a study to investigate the effect the Pfizer/BioNTech injection (BNT162b2) had on human liver cells and if Pfizer’s encoded spike protein RNA can be reverse transcribed into DNA. The study, ‘Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line’, was published on 25 February 2022.

“In this study, we investigated the effect of BNT162b2 on the human liver cell line Huh7 in vitro,” the study authors wrote.

The study found that the mRNA injection is able to enter the human liver cell line Huh7 and that the injections’ mRNA is reverse transcribed into DNA as fast as six hours after the cells were exposed to it.

“A possible mechanism for reverse transcription is through endogenous [intracellular] reverse transcriptase LINE-1, and the nucleus protein distribution of LINE-1 is elevated by BNT162b2,” the study authors wrote.

“Huh cells are ‘immortal’ liver tumour cells and grow ad-infinitum if you give them love,” Jessica Rose explained, “LINE-1 is a reverse transcriptase that we carry and comprises ~17% of our genome!”

“Our study shows that [Pfizer’s mRNA injection] … can be reverse transcribed to DNA … and this may give rise to the concern if [injection]-derived DNA may be integrated into the host genome and affect the integrity of genomic DNA, which may potentially mediate genotoxic side effects.”

Feb-27aa.png

Intracellular Reverse Transcription of Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 In Vitro in Human Liver Cell Line, Discussion section, Alden et al, Lund University, Sweden, 25 February 2022

In the video below, Dr. Mobeen Syed, host of Dr. Been, explains this study in layman’s terms. We have embedded the video to begin at timestamp 8:17 where he begins to explain, over the next 9 mins, reverse transcription, Huh7 cells, LINE-1 gene expression, LINE-1 protein and what this all means.**

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjxlvduyJyc
DrBeen Medical Lectures: Pfizer Vaccine Becomes DNA in Liver Cells. (In-vitro Swedish Study), 26 February 2022 (26 mins)
25 min 43 sec

The paper concludes: “Our study is the first in vitro study on the effect of Covid-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 on human liver cell line. We present evidence on fast entry of BNT162b2 into the cells and subsequent intracellular reverse transcription of BNT162b2 mRNA into DNA.”

Referring to the study Dr. Peter McCullough tweeted: “Alden et al, Lund University, Sweden, confirms one of our worst fears. The exogenous [extracellular] genetic material coding for the dangerous Spike Protein is reverse transcribed into the human genome; possible long-term constitutive expression / synthesis of disease-promoting / lethal Spike.”

Was This the Plan All Along?

To answer the question whether this has been planned, below is a selection of excerpts from infamous individuals regarding gene editing, in their own words. No further comment is required, these excerpts speak for themselves, you decide.

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Klaus Schwab said: “You see the difference of this fourth industrial revolution is it doesn’t change what you are doing, it changes you. If you take genetic editing, just as an example, it’s you who are changing. And of course, this has a big impact on your identity.”

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWURQXVidcY
Klaus Schwab on the Charlie Rose Show, 2015 (2 mins)
2 min 2 sec
View more: The Charlie Rose Show, Klaus Schwab

Tal Zaks, chief medical officer of Moderna, stated, “In every cell there’s this thing called messenger RNA or mRNA for short, that transmits the critical information from the DNA in our genes to the protein, which is really the stuff we’re all made out of. This is the critical information that determines what the cell will do. So, we think about it as an operating system. …. So, if you could actually change that, … if you could introduce a line of code, or change a line of code, it turns out, that has profound implications for everything, from the flu to cancer.”

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHB2bLILAvM
TEDxBeaconStreet: Rewriting the Genetic Code: A Cancer Cure in the Making, Tal Zaks, 8 December 2017 (10 mins)
10 min 15 sec
Read more: Bombshell: Moderna Chief Medical Officer Admits MRNA Alters DNA, 12 March 2021

During an interview with Anthony Fauci on 30 April 2020, Bill Gates said he was particularly excited about pursuing a new approach called ‘RNA vaccine’. Gates explained, “Unlike a flu shot, which contains fragments of the influenza virus so your immune system can learn to attack them, an RNA vaccine gives your body the genetic code needed to produce viral fragments on its own.”

Around this time Gates made a promotional video for his “RNA vaccines.”
(not a youtube video so can't embed; go to page to watch)
Welt: Bill Gates explains Covid-19 and the race for a vaccine, 4 May 2020 (2 mins)

Forbes published an article on 29 November 2021 from Steven Salzberg titled, “Yes, The Vaccine Changes Your DNA. A Tiny Bit. That’s A Good Thing.” And later retitled the article to “Covid Vaccines Don’t Alter Your DNA – They Help Choose Cells to Strengthen Your Immune Response”.

The author changed the headline to emphasise that the vaccines “don’t alter your DNA” without changing any of the article’s content.

Read more: Forbes Admits mRNA Vaccines Alter DNA Then Changes the Headline, 2 December 2021
 

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RNA-Editing Tool a Fast, Easy Test for COVID-19 and Other Diseases
By Rice University
September 22, 2022

Cas13 Engineered To Simplify the Identification of Coronavirus

A new engineered CRISPR-based method accurately finds RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The highly sensitive detector promises to make testing for COVID-19 and other diseases fast and easy.

Collaborators at Rice University and the University of Connecticut further engineered the RNA-editing CRISPR-Cas13 system to boost its power for detecting minute amounts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in biological samples. A huge benefit is that it does this without the time-consuming RNA extraction and amplification step necessary in gold-standard PCR testing.

The new platform was highly successful compared to PCR testing. In fact, it found 10 out of 11 positives and no false positives for the virus in tests on clinical samples directly from nasal swabs. The scientists showed their technique finds signs of SARS-CoV-2 in attomolar (10-18) concentrations.

The study will be published today (September 22, 2022) in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. It was led by chemical and biomolecular engineer Xue Sherry Gao at Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering and postdoctoral researchers Jie Yang of Rice and Yang Song of Connecticut.


Gene-Editing-Tool-COVID-Test-1536x653.jpg

Using structure-guided Cas13, researchers at Rice University and the University of Connecticut modified a gene editing tool to serve as a highly sensitive diagnostic test for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They used an off-the-shelf electrochemical sensor to deliver results. Credit: Jie Yang/Rice University

Cas13, like its better-known cousin Cas9, is part of the system by which bacteria naturally defend themselves against invading phages. Since its discovery, CRISPR-Cas9 has been adapted by scientists to edit living DNA genomes and shows great promise to treat and even cure diseases.

And it can be used in other ways. Cas13 on its own can be enhanced with guide RNA to find and snip target RNA sequences, but also to find “collateral,” in this case the presence of viruses like SARS-CoV-2.

“The engineered Cas13 protein in this work can be readily adapted to other previously established platforms,” Gao said. “The stability and robustness of engineered Cas13 variants make them more suitable for point-of-care diagnostics in low-resource setting areas when expensive PCR machines are not available.”

Yang said wild-type Cas13, drawn from a bacterium, Leptotrichia wadei, cannot detect attomolar level of viral RNA within a time frame of 30 to 60 minutes, but the enhanced version created at Rice does the job in about half an hour and detects SARS-CoV-2 in much lower concentrations than the previous tests.

She said the key is a well-hidden, flexible hairpin loop near Cas13’s active site. “It’s in the middle of the protein near the catalytic site that determines Cas13’s activity,” Yang said. “Since Cas13 is large and dynamic, it was challenging to find a site to insert another functional domain.”

The research team fused seven different RNA binding domains to the loop, and two of the complexes were clearly superior. When they found their targets, the proteins would fluoresce, revealing the presence of the virus.

“We could see the increased activity was five- or six-fold over wild-type Cas13,” Yang said. “This number seems small, but it’s quite astonishing with a single step of protein engineering.

“But that was still not enough for detection, so we moved the whole assay from a fluorescence plate reader, which is quite large and not available in low-resource settings, to an electrochemical sensor, which has higher sensitivity and can be used for point-of-care diagnostics,” she said.

With the off-the-shelf sensor, Yang said the engineered protein was five orders of magnitude (100,000x) more sensitive in detecting the virus compared to the wild-type protein.

The lab wants to adapt its technology to paper strips like those in home COVID-19 antibody tests, but with much higher sensitivity and accuracy. “We hope that will make testing more convenient and with lower cost for many targets,” Gao said.

The researchers are also investigating improved detection of the Zika, dengue, and Ebola viruses and predictive biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. Their work could lead to rapid diagnosis of the severity of COVID-19.

“Different viruses have different sequences,” Yang said. “We can design guide RNA to target a specific sequence that we can then detect, which is the power of the CRISPR-Cas13 system.”

But because the project began just as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, SARS-CoV-2 was a natural focus. “The technology is quite amenable to all the targets,” she said. “This makes it a very good option to detect all kinds of mutations or different coronaviruses.”

“We are very excited about this work as a combinational effort of structure biology, protein engineering, and biomedical device development,” Gao added. “I greatly appreciate all the efforts from my lab members and collaborators.”

Reference: “Structure-Guided Engineering of LwaCas13a with Enhanced Collateral Activity for Ultrasensitive Nucleic Acid Detection 22 September 2022, Nature Chemical Biology.
DOI: 10.1038/s41589-022-01135-y

Co-authors of the paper are Rice postdoctoral researcher Xiangyu Deng, undergraduate Jeffrey Vanegas, and graduate student Zheng You; graduate students Yuxuan Zhang and Zhengyan Weng of the University of Connecticut; microbiology supervisor Lori Avery and Kevin Dieckhaus, a professor of medicine, of UConn Health; Yi Zhang, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Connecticut; and Yang Gao, an assistant professor of biosciences at Rice.

Xue Sherry Gao is the Ted N. Law Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice.

The National Science Foundation (2031242, 2103025), the Welch Foundation (C-1952, C-2033-20200401), and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (RR190046) supported the research.
 

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Acquired immunity to random food allergens may protect some lucky people against COVID-19
by Frontiers
September 22, 2022

Why do some people become seriously ill with COVID-19, while others have no symptoms at all? The answer may lie in the proteins our immune system has previously been exposed to.

A recent study in open-access journal Frontiers in Immunology finds that common foods, vaccines, bacteria and viruses may all prime our immune system to attack SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These agents all contain proteins that are similar to those found in SARS-CoV-2. As such, exposure to these proteins may train our immune system to respond when it encounters the virus. The study paves the way for new immunotherapies or vaccines that lead to stronger immunity against COVID-19.

SARS-CoV-2: Comfort in the familiar?


SARS-CoV-2 is new, and the pandemic can make it feel like an alien invader from another planet. However, it actually shares features with many existing biological molecules.

As a member of the coronavirus family, SARS-CoV-2 shares many characteristics with other viruses, but the similarities don't end there. Proteins present in bacteria, human cells, vaccines, and even foods may all share similarities with those in SARS-CoV-2. The researchers behind this latest study hypothesized that similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other common proteins may affect our susceptibility to the virus.

When our body is attacked by a pathogen, such as a virus or bacterium, it launches an immune response that involves antibodies. These immune proteins stick to specific parts of the pathogen and contribute to its destruction. After the initial infection has subsided, white blood cells called memory T and B cells will retain a memory of the pathogen, or at least certain parts of its structure. These cells will be ready to mount an immune response very rapidly if they ever encounter the pathogen again.

Testing antibody cross-reactions

Could such an "immune memory" to proteins we have encountered in our past underlie immune resistance and reduced susceptibility to COVID-19? To begin to test this hypothesis, these researchers investigated whether antibodies that target proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus could also bind to proteins in other agents, such as foods or common bacteria.

The researchers tested the ability of these antibodies to bind to 180 different proteins from common foods, two different vaccines, and 15 bacterial and viral proteins. The antibodies reacted most strongly with a common gut bacterium called E. faecalis and a vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Interestingly, they also reacted very strongly against proteins found in common foods, including broccoli, roasted almonds, pork, cashews, milk, soy, and pineapple.

Eat for immunity?

Unfortunately, you will likely not be able to eat your way to COVID-19 immunity. "Immunity" against a food type, for instance, is typically characterized by a food allergy. "Usually only people with leaky gut can make antibodies against food, so I wouldn't actually recommend eating foods that give you leaky gut, because this would give you a whole new set of problems," said Dr. Aristo Vodjani of Cyrex Laboratories in Arizona, lead author on the study.

Indeed, the researchers caution that although these agents could potentially provide some protection from SARS-CoV-2, they don't envisage them as a replacement for current vaccines. In addition, further testing is needed to confirm that these proteins do indeed confer some protection, and if so, whether it is mediated through a short-lived antibody response or a longer-term memory cell response.

The findings may shed some light on our variable responses to COVID-19 infection. With more research, these results could lead to more effective treatments or better vaccines against the virus. Another application may lie in assessing an individual's susceptibility to the virus before they have even been infected.
 

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Quick test kit to determine a person's immunity against COVID-19 and its variants
by Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)
September 22, 2022

A team of scientists from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT's research enterprise in Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed a quick test kit that can tell if a person has immunity against COVID-19 and its variants, based on the antibodies detected in a blood sample.

Different from ART test kits—which look for the presence of viral proteins produced during a COVID-19 infection to determine if a person is infected—this rapid point-of-care test kit is a serology test that measures antibodies made by the patient. It requires a drop of blood and takes just 10 minutes to show results, as compared to the 24 to 72 hours required for conventional laboratory testing.

The test kit detects the levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-COV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, and its variants such as delta and omicron, and can be easily adapted for new variants of concern and other diseases in the future.

Using a paper-based assay that is coated with chemicals that bind to antibodies in the blood sample, the test kit is low-cost, fast and has up to 93% accuracy. It paves the way for personalized vaccination strategies, where people are only given vaccinations and booster shots when necessary, depending on their variance in antibody levels and immune response.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3j37pPFhZE
Credit: NTU Singapore

1 min 9 sec

The findings were published in the scientific journal Microbiology Spectrum by the joint team led by SMART's Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) and NTU's School of Biological Sciences, in collaboration with Singapore's National University Hospital (NUH) and National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Fast and accurate tests to overcome challenges

Having an accurate and rapid serology test can enable governments and health care organizations to effectively manage limited vaccine resources, and address vaccine hesitancy, particularly concerning multiple booster doses.

Vaccination has been an integral component of public health strategies to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 12.6 billion doses across 184 countries administered as of Sept. 9, 2022. Vaccines reduced the COVID-19 death toll by 63% within the first year of their rollout, preventing an estimated 19.8 million deaths worldwide, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) estimated in February 2022 that COVID-19 vaccines had prevented 8,000 deaths during the wave of the delta variant in 2021, as well as preventing an estimated 33,000 severe cases and 112,000 hospitalizations.

However, a clinical study by the joint research team has shown that the protection offered by currently available vaccines steadily declines over three months, with varying degrees of decline across individuals. The study showed that after three months of a booster shot, the neutralizing antibody (NAb) response against wildtype and delta still remained high at medians of 91.8%, while medians against beta and gamma had dropped to 82.7 and for omicron, a large drop to 70.7%, down from 92.9%.

The emergence of novel variants with much higher transmissibility than the wild-type virus—such as delta and omicron—has exacerbated the issue of using mRNA vaccines developed based on the wildtype virus to boost immunity, especially when some current vaccines are showing reduced protection against these novel variants of concern (VoC).

In addition, vaccine hesitancy remains among limited subsets of the population, where people are wary of taking the vaccine or booster shots due to fear of side effects, further compounding the difficulty in employing a widespread vaccination strategy to build herd immunity.

To address vaccine hesitancy and efficacy of vaccination against novel variants, a personalized vaccination approach could be more effective, one which offers booster doses to individuals assessed to be more at risk, such as health care workers and the elderly.

For a personalized approach to be effective, health care workers need to be able to quickly evaluate the level of NAb response against variants at the individual level, using an easy-to-use point-of-care test kit in clinics, hospitals or vaccination centers.

Corresponding author of the paper, Professor Peter Preiser, Co-Lead Principal Investigator at SMART AMR and Associate Vice President for Biomedical and Life Sciences at NTU Singapore said, "Our team's work in the development of a rapid test kit has given us valuable insights into vaccine effectiveness and protection longevity. Our study proves that our new test kit can be a powerful tool, allowing health care organizations to screen people and determine their vaccination needs, especially against the current and upcoming variants. This will help allay some people's fears that they will be 'over-vaccinated with a booster,' since the results will inform them accurately if they are well-protected against COVID-19 or not."

Dr. Hadley Sikes, SMART AMR Principal Investigator, Associate Professor at MIT and co-corresponding author of the paper added, "Over the course of the pandemic, several large studies have shown that NAb levels against the dominant variant at the time of the study are a reliable indicator of protection from infection. Some segments of the population have low tolerance for risk of infection. The test kit we developed can provide valuable, individualized information about how quickly or how slowly a person's antibodies levels have fallen, allowing them to stay informed of their health and, whenever required, get a necessary booster dose to protect themselves."

Proven effectiveness of antibody test kit

In their research paper, the team describes a clinical study of their cellulose pulled-down virus neutralization test kit (cpVNT), a neutralizing antibody blood test designed to assess an individual's immunoprotective profile against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.

With a drop of finger prick blood, the test kit can evaluate an individual's neutralizing antibody level against a specific COVID-19 variant within 10 minutes, making this an efficient, low-cost, and easy-to-use tool that will enable large-scale testing and can be widely deployed anywhere as part of a personalized vaccination strategy.

The test reveals the individual's level of neutralizing antibodies, which can then inform a person when a booster should be taken, and how cautious they should be about potential transmission before it is taken.

It can be administered by a layperson without medical training and does not require any specialized laboratory equipment, paving the way for large-scale testing of vulnerable subsets of the population such as the elderly.

Co-first author of the paper and former Postdoctoral Associate at SMART AMR Hoi Lok Cheng said, "This is an exciting breakthrough for us, and a continuation of our long-running work to develop efficient, low-cost, and easy-to-use NAb tests to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As a quantitative test that can detect NAb levels specific to key variants such as delta and omicron, the cpVNT has given us valuable insights into the effectiveness of various vaccines vis-à-vis variants of concern. This test kit will also prove integral to a more personalized vaccination approach that will benefit higher-risk individuals such as the elderly and health care workers. Individuals from these communities can have their immuno-protective profile assessed on a regular basis via the cpVNT, allowing them to know when a booster dose may be appropriate or necessary. Furthermore, this test can be easily adapted to test for novel SARS-CoV-2 variants that may emerge in the future."

This research builds on years-long body of work by the SMART team. In a paper published in the medical and public health journal Communications Medicine, the team laid out the foundation for a cellulose-based vertical-flow test to detect neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

A separate paper published in premier chemical engineering journal Bioengineering and Translational Medicine discussed the test's effectiveness against other methods such as the pseudovirus-based virus neutralization test (pVNT) and surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT), with favorable results.

Using clinical samples (including both whole blood and plasma) and the World Health Organization International Standard and Reference Panel for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, the team established that a whole-blood test such as the cpVNT could be as informative as a plasma-only test.

As plasma- or serum-based tests require laboratory equipment to process the blood sample as well as higher quantities of blood samples to be taken, the cpVNT is therefore more resource-efficient and less invasive.

Furthermore, the cpVNT's viability demonstrates that neutralizing antibody and point-of-care tests can be successfully performed using such a format and protocol—paving the way for further development and innovation of this platform to tackle other diseases.

Further development of the test kit is underway to meet the necessary regulatory approvals and manufacturing standards for public use. The team that has developed the tests at SMART has also spun off a biotech startup, Thrixen, which is developing the test into a commercially ready product.

Key development of the rapid test was done at SMART AMR together with NTU scientists, who helped in the design of the study, providing specific reagent supplies and clinical sample collections. NUH and NCID had provided clinical sample supplies and consultation on medical use of the test, while MIT supervised the project.
 

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New study reveals breakthrough infections increase immunity to COVID-19
by Erik Robinson, Oregon Health & Science University
September 22, 2022

Vaccine boosters and breakthrough infections following vaccination both provide a substantial and potentially pandemic-breaking immunity against COVID-19, according to new laboratory research from Oregon Health & Science University.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Med, is the latest in a series of OHSU discoveries using blood samples to characterize immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

"As the number of omicron subvariant cases rise and as global vaccination and booster campaigns continue, an increasing proportion of the world's population will acquire potent immune responses that may be protective against future SARS-CoV-2 variants," the researchers conclude.

The research measured a powerful immune response among samples from 99 OHSU employees who had blood drawn for the research. Notably, researchers measured an equally potent immune response to the virus—with dramatic increases in magnitude, potency and breadth—among people whose blood was drawn three months after a third vaccine booster dose and another group one month after a breakthrough infection.

In addition, the study found the immune response was just as powerful among people 65 and older.

"Early in the pandemic, we had very high mortality in certain vulnerable groups, such as older adults in nursing homes, but that reality is slowly changing," said co-senior author Marcel Curlin, M.D., associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine and medical director of OHSU Occupational Health. "Our study bolsters the idea that vaccination is a pathway to a milder illness. Even if you're older, your chances of having a severe illness if you're re-infected down the line appears to be much lower than it was at the start of the pandemic."

Co-senior author Fikadu Tafesse, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine, said he would expect an even more robust immune response among people receiving the new bivalent vaccine booster targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.

"We anticipate that updated vaccine strategies with variant-specific regimens will significantly improve the breadth of the immune response and provide better protections against the SARS-CoV-2 variants," he said.

In contrast to the onset of the pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is no longer "novel" to the human immune system. Most people in the world have now been vaccinated, infected or both—meaning the virus is running up against a much more effective immune response with each new infection.

Curlin said the new study most likely reflects the fact that the virus is evolving to become more transmissible but less harmful.

"Evolutionary pressure is driving the virus to find more ways to infect people at the cost of pathogenicity, most likely," he said. Pathogenicity refers to the capacity to cause symptoms associated with the disease.
 

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A novel method to predict the behavior of different COVID-19 waves in the vaccinated or previously infected

by Luciana Constantino, FAPESP
September 22, 2022


novel-method-to-predic.jpg

Predictors of epidemic size of the Delta growth phase across seven Brazilian cities. Convalescent-normalized mean anti-S IgG signal to cut-off was calculated for the month when Delta reached 10% dominance in each of the cities (range 19 June 2021 in Curitiba to 16 August 2021 in Manaus). Percentage coverage with the first and second doses was also calculated up to (and inclusive of) the month of 10% dominance in each city. Total severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARI) cases, within the age range of blood donors (15–65 years) were age-standardized using the direct method and the age structure of São Paulo as the reference population. A two-month period starting from the date of 10% dominance was used to calculate epidemic size. R-squared terms are from separate simple linear models fit to the seven points shown on the figure. Credit: Vaccines (2022). DOI: 10.3390/vaccines10091437


Researchers at the Brazil-UK Center for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnosis, Genomics and Epidemiology (CADDE) have developed a faster, more affordable method of analyzing serological data to monitor and predict the epidemiological behavior of COVID-19.

A study conducted by the scientists showed that the method predicted the arrival in Brazil of the delta variant first detected in India in 2020 and originally named B.1.617.2. They now aim to validate its use in epidemiological surveillance to detect and to assure a faster response to novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viruses.

Using samples from blood donors in the capitals of seven Brazilian states—São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, Recife, Fortaleza, Curitiba and Belo Horizonte—the researchers conducted anti-spike protein microparticle assays to measure levels of immunoglobin G (IgG) antibodies, which bind to the virus's S protein and prevent it from infecting cells. The main aim was to assess the protection afforded by vaccination against delta.

At the start of the pandemic, seroprevalence studies were important to estimate the proportion of the population that was infected, but their significance declined as more and more people acquired immunity via vaccination or infection. In this context, novel methods of analyzing and predicting the behavior of the virus became increasingly important to track case numbers per region and help formulate public policy.

"In this study, instead of calculating the proportion of the population with antibodies, which was close to 100%, we analyzed blood antibody levels and how these correlated with the morbidity caused by delta. In this manner, we demonstrated the value of collecting, analyzing and sharing this kind of data," Lewis Buss, a researcher at Imperial College London (UK), told Agência FAPESP.

A former graduate student at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Tropical (IMT), part of the University of São Paulo's Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil, Buss is the first author of an article on the study published in the journal Vaccines.

The results of the study showed that while cases of COVID-19 caused by the delta variant were on the rise in Brazil, low numbers of cases of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) correlated strongly with levels of antibodies measured in donor blood samples.

The risk of infection by delta was found to be lower for subjects who had already been infected by SARS-CoV-2 or vaccinated. Hybrid immunity (due to vaccination plus prior infection) produced a higher level of protection.

"Vaccines are very important to boost immunity. Infection alone isn't sufficient. We saw from our study that antibody levels rose very quickly after the first dose of the vaccine in cities where case numbers were highest in the first wave of COVID-19, such as Manaus and Fortaleza. The second dose had a stronger effect in cities where case numbers rose at a later stage, such as Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro. Their populations were better protected, and this helps explain why delta's effects in Brazil weren't as bad as in other countries," said Ester Sabino, last author of the article. Sabino is a professor at FM-USP and principal investigator for CADDE in Brazil.

Marker

The study showed that, boosted by vaccination, which began in Brazil in January 2021, the average number of antibodies rose by a factor of 16 in the period analyzed—between March and November of that year. Among eligible blood donors aged 15-69, first dose coverage reached 75% in all cities by the end of the period. Second dose coverage was also high.

"We looked for a marker that could facilitate the analysis and could be used routinely to infer the degree of protection provided by vaccination," Sabino said. "In epidemics we have to use simple tools that can provide answers quickly. Testing the entire population is costly and hard to do."

Previous research showed that levels of neutralizing antibodies are strong predictors of protection against symptomatic infection by SARS-CoV-2. However, complex and expensive tests are required to detect these antibodies, which effectively stop the virus from entering human cells. Not all anti-S antibodies are necessarily neutralizing, but in this study the researchers found that high levels of anti-S antibodies could predict lower incidence of severe cases caused by a novel variant introduced into a seropositive population. They used semi-quantitative tests, which provide an estimate of the levels of antibodies produced in a subject against infection by SARS-CoV-2.

The group then conducted different kinds of analysis of samples collected in 2021, when the gamma, delta and omicron variants emerged in rapid succession, estimating the extent to which vaccination and prior infection contributed to levels of anti-S IgG in the population and how far these variables predicted the incidence of severe cases of COVID-19 caused by delta.

The tests were performed on 850 samples per month. In the second week of each month, samples were selected from donated blood or from the city neighborhoods analyzed, in order to ensure they were representative. Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassays were conducted to detect IgG antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Vaccine dose administration statistics were taken from OpenDataSUS, the database maintained by Brazil's unified health service (SUS).

Three sources were consulted to obtain case numbers: records of SARI and deaths from the Ministry of Health's Flu Epidemiological Surveillance System (SIVEP-Gripe); the total number of confirmed cases from the Ministry of Health; and a SARS-CoV-2 test positivity time series from a chain of pharmacies in the city of São Paulo.

They also used metadata for all genomes of the virus posted to the GISAID platform between March 2020 and March 2022 by the seven Brazilian states.

Context

The cities analyzed in the study experienced distinct moments of the epidemic. The cumulative attack rate (inferred from seroprevalence) in December 2020, before the second wave caused by the gamma variant and before vaccination began in Brazil, ranged from 20.3% in Curitiba to 76.3% in Manaus. Attack rate is a term used in epidemiology to refer to the number of new cases divided by the total population.

While all seven cities saw a sharp gamma-dominated surge in cases and deaths, the ensuing period, dominated by delta, had different characteristics, with low levels of cases and deaths in Manaus, Fortaleza and Recife, and declining levels in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo.

The analysis of omicron showed varying rises in case numbers in the cities. Deaths rose only 3.7%. There was a modest surge in SARI cases except in Fortaleza, where omicron-associated SARI rose more sharply, although this appears to have been due to inconsistent reporting.

In sum, the authors conclude that antibodies acquired via infection and vaccination were sufficiently high in Brazil to prevent a significant public health impact from the emergence of omicron and other novel variants at that time.

Access to the data used in the study is open via GitHub.
 

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Newly discovered COVID-like virus could infect humans, resist vaccines
by Washington State University
September 22, 2022

A recently discovered virus in a Russian bat that is similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, is likely capable of infecting humans and, if it were to spillover, is resistant to current vaccines.

A team lead by researchers in Washington State University's Paul G. Allen School for Global Health found spike proteins from the bat virus, named Khosta-2, can infect human cells and is resistant to both the monoclonal antibodies and serum from individuals vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2. Both Khosta-2 and SARS- CoV-2 belong to the same sub-category of coronaviruses known as sarbecoviruses.

"Our research further demonstrates that sarbecoviruses circulating in wildlife outside of Asia—even in places like western Russia where the Khosta-2 virus was found—also pose a threat to global health and ongoing vaccine campaigns against SARS-CoV-2," said Michael Letko, WSU virologist and corresponding author of the study published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Letko said the discovery of Khosta-2 highlights the need to develop universal vaccines to protect against sarbecoviruses in general, rather than just against known variants of SARS-CoV-2.

"Right now, there are groups trying to come up with a vaccine that doesn't just protect against the next variant of SARS-2 but actually protects us against the sarbecoviruses in general," Letko said. "Unfortunately, many of our current vaccines are designed to specific viruses we know infect human cells or those that seem to pose the biggest risk to infect us. But that is a list that's everchanging. We need to broaden the design of these vaccines to protect against all sarbecoviruses."

While hundreds of sarbecoviruses have been discovered in recent years, predominantly in bats in Asia, the majority are not capable of infecting human cells. The Khosta-1 and Khosta-2 viruses were discovered in Russian bats in late 2020, and it initially appeared they were not a threat to humans.

"Genetically, these weird Russian viruses looked like some of the others that had been discovered elsewhere around the world, but because they did not look like SARS-CoV-2, no one thought they were really anything to get too excited about," Letko said. "But when we looked at them more, we were really surprised to find they could infect human cells. That changes a little bit of our understanding of these viruses, where they come from and what regions are concerning."

Letko teamed with a pair of WSU faculty members, first author viral ecologist Stephanie Seifert and viral immunologist Bonnie Gunn, to study the two newly discovered viruses. They determined Khosta-1 posed low risk to humans, but Khosta-2 demonstrated some troubling traits.

The team found that like SARS-CoV-2, Khosta-2 can use its spike protein to infect cells by attaching to a receptor protein, called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), found throughout human cells. They next set out to determine if current vaccines protect against the new virus.

Using serum derived from human populations vaccinated for COVID-19, the team saw that Khosta-2 was not neutralized by current vaccines. They also tested serum from people who were infected with the omicron variant, but the antibodies, too, were ineffective.

Fortunately, Letko said the new virus is lacking some of the genes believed to be involved in pathogenesis in humans. There is a risk, however, of Khosta-2 recombining with a second virus like SARS-CoV-2.

"When you see SARS-2 has this ability to spill back from humans and into wildlife, and then there are other viruses like Khosta-2 waiting in those animals with these properties we really don't want them to have, it sets up this scenario where you keep rolling the dice until they combine to make a potentially riskier virus," Letko said.

In addition to Letko, Seifert and Gunn, co-authors on this study include Shuangyi Bai and Stephen Fawcett of WSU as well as Elizabeth Norton, Kevin Zwezdaryk and James Robinson of Tulane University.
 

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'COVID time' is a real thing, and it's not good
by Chris Rutkowski, University of Manitoba
September 22, 2022

Have you ever noticed that time seems to slow down sometimes? Like when you are waiting in line at a bank or grocery checkout, and it just seems to take forever?

During the peak of the pandemic, and mid-lockdown, many people reported they felt their days dragged on, inducing fatigue and making some tasks almost unbearable during "COVID time."

An interdisciplinary team of researchers studied this effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, called Blursday, to understand how our perception of time is malleable and influenced by many factors. Blursday was the altered sense of time and difficulty in determining the day of the week during the lockdown.

Dr. Fuat Balci, a UM biologist and part of the research team, notes, "A new lingo emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic to capture the altered psychological state under the extraordinary conditions imposed by the pandemic such as the lockdown and social isolation, including doomscrolling and Blursday."

The researchers had volunteers answer a questionnaire and perform 15 behavioral tasks, such as estimating how long they had been logged on to the study's website. They were also asked to guess if a stated time interval was shorter or longer than they experienced to test how the pandemic affected temporal awareness.

Balci says, "We found that more isolated the participants felt during the pandemic, the slower time seemed to pass, probably mediated by boredom and more attention paid to time. Also, the more isolated the participants felt, the more distant in time past and future events seemed to be."

A similar effect is experienced while waiting in line at Starbucks, for example.

"Whenever a situation causes you to pay more attention to time, it will have a similar effect," Balci explains. "This is why magazines are made available in doctors' waiting rooms. And don't watch your egg boil because it will seem to take longer."

The pandemic lockdown created this time effect because sleep patterns, level of physical activity and daily routines changed during the lockdown along with increases in depression and anxiety.

Balci says, "These vast changes were experienced by virtually the entire world population. We were already investigating how these factors affected our sense of time and in a sense the lockdown introduced a natural experiment to address the same research questions that we used to study in the lab."

He adds, "From earlier research, we know that cognitive, affective and physiological factors influence our sense of time and these factors were largely affected during the lockdown. Time perception is malleable given that it is the pure product of our brain with no objective reference in the external world, unlike vision for which we have a dedicated sensory system that processes external stimuli."

The research team also found there was an age effect, in that older individuals rated their subjective distances to the future shorter (their future appeared closer to them) but their past subjective distances were similar to younger participants.

Balci says, "The effect of aging on subjective time is a contemporary research topic particularly given the anecdotal evidence that time passes faster as we age. But in the lab setting, we see the effect of age on time perception particularly when the cognitive system is taxed, like making a time judgment when trying to remember a list of words or when the attention is divided between different tasks."

He concludes, "Slowed sense of time does not feel good; it would be nice if pleasurable events felt longer. Waiting in your apartment for the pandemic/lockdown to end so that you can again enjoy what a normal life used to offer is certainly not one of those activities. When you add the uncertainty and anxiety into this picture, it certainly gets even worse."

The team of which Balci was part consisted of scientists from disciplines including science, engineering, psychology and medicine, and from countries including France, Japan, India, Argentina, England, and Canada. The results of the truly international and interdisciplinary Blursday study were published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
 

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COVID-19 infections increase risk of long-term brain problems
by Washington University in St. Louis


covid-19-infections-in.jpg

A comprehensive analysis of federal data by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows people who have had COVID-19 are at an elevated risk of developing neurological conditions within the first year after infection. Movement disorders, memory problems, strokes and seizures are among the complications. Credit: Sara Moser/Washington University School of Medicine

If you've had COVID-19, it may still be messing with your brain. Those who have been infected with the virus are at increased risk of developing a range of neurological conditions in the first year after the infection, new research shows. Such complications include strokes, cognitive and memory problems, depression, anxiety and migraine headaches, according to a comprehensive analysis of federal health data by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care system.

Additionally, the post-COVID brain is associated with movement disorders, from tremors and involuntary muscle contractions to epileptic seizures, hearing and vision abnormalities, and balance and coordination difficulties as well as other symptoms similar to what is experienced with Parkinson's disease.

The findings are published Sept. 22 in Nature Medicine.

"Our study provides a comprehensive assessment of the long-term neurologic consequences of COVID-19," said senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University. "Past studies have examined a narrower set of neurological outcomes, mostly in hospitalized patients. We evaluated 44 brain and other neurologic disorders among both nonhospitalized and hospitalized patients, including those admitted to the intensive care unit. The results show the devastating long-term effects of COVID-19. These are part and parcel of long COVID. The virus is not always as benign as some people think it is."

Overall, COVID-19 has contributed to more than 40 million new cases of neurological disorders worldwide, Al-Aly said.

Other than having a COVID infection, specific risk factors for long-term neurological problems are scarce. "We're seeing brain problems in previously healthy individuals and those who have had mild infections," Al-Aly said. "It doesn't matter if you are young or old, female or male, or what your race is. It doesn't matter if you smoked or not, or if you had other unhealthy habits or conditions."

Few people in the study were vaccinated for COVID-19 because the vaccines were not yet widely available during the time span of the study, from March 2020 through early January 2021. The data also predates delta, omicron and other COVID variants.

A previous study in Nature Medicine led by Al-Aly found that vaccines slightly reduce—by about 20%—the risk of long-term brain problems. "It is definitely important to get vaccinated but also important to understand that they do not offer complete protection against these long-term neurologic disorders," Al-Aly said.

The researchers analyzed about 14 million de-identified medical records in a database maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation's largest integrated health-care system. Patients included all ages, races and sexes.

They created a controlled data set of 154,000 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 sometime from March 1, 2020, through Jan. 15, 2021, and who had survived the first 30 days after infection. Statistical modeling was used to compare neurological outcomes in the COVID-19 data set with two other groups of people not infected with the virus: a control group of more than 5.6 million patients who did not have COVID-19 during the same time frame; and a control group of more than 5.8 million people from March 2018 to December 31, 2019, long before the virus infected and killed millions across the globe.

The researchers examined brain health over a year-long period. Neurological conditions occurred in 7% more people with COVID-19 compared with those who had not been infected with the virus. Extrapolating this percentage based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., that translates to roughly 6.6 million people who have suffered brain impairments associated with the virus.

Memory problems—colloquially called brain fog—are one of the most common brain-related, long-COVID symptoms. Compared with those in the control groups, people who contracted the virus were at a 77% increased risk of developing memory problems. "These problems resolve in some people but persist in many others," Al-Aly said. "At this point, the proportion of people who get better versus those with long-lasting problems is unknown."

Interestingly, the researchers noted an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease among those infected with the virus. There were two more cases of Alzheimer's per 1,000 people with COVID-19 compared with the control groups. "It's unlikely that someone who has had COVID-19 will just get Alzheimer's out of the blue," Al-Aly said. "Alzheimer's takes years to manifest. But what we suspect is happening is that people who have a predisposition to Alzheimer's may be pushed over the edge by COVID, meaning they're on a faster track to develop the disease. It's rare but concerning."

Also compared to the control groups, people who had the virus were 50% more likely to suffer from an ischemic stroke, which strikes when a blood clot or other obstruction blocks an artery's ability to supply blood and oxygen to the brain. Ischemic strokes account for the majority of all strokes, and can lead to difficulty speaking, cognitive confusion, vision problems, the loss of feeling on one side of the body, permanent brain damage, paralysis and death.

"There have been several studies by other researchers that have shown, in mice and humans, that SARS-CoV-2 can attack the lining of the blood vessels and then then trigger a stroke or seizure," Al-Aly said. "It helps explain how someone with no risk factors could suddenly have a stroke."

Overall, compared to the uninfected, people who had COVID-19 were 80% more likely to suffer from epilepsy or seizures, 43% more likely to develop mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression, 35% more likely to experience mild to severe headaches, and 42% more likely to encounter movement disorders. The latter includes involuntary muscle contractions, tremors and other Parkinson's-like symptoms.

COVID-19 sufferers were also 30% more likely to have eye problems such as blurred vision, dryness and retinal inflammation; and they were 22% more likely to develop hearing abnormalities such as tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

"Our study adds to this growing body of evidence by providing a comprehensive account of the neurologic consequences of COVID-19 one year after infection," Al-Aly said.

Long COVID's effects on the brain and other systems emphasize the need for governments and health systems to develop policy, and public health and prevention strategies to manage the ongoing pandemic and devise plans for a post-COVID world, Al-Aly said. "Given the colossal scale of the pandemic, meeting these challenges requires urgent and coordinated—but, so far, absent—global, national and regional response strategies," he said.
 

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New study finds that SARS-CoV-2 infects fat tissue and creates inflammatory storm cloud
by Stanford University Medical Center
September 22, 2022


Is SARS-CoV-2 hiding in your fat cells?

A study by Stanford Medicine investigators shows that SARS-CoV-2 can infect human fat tissue. This phenomenon was seen in laboratory experiments conducted on fat tissue excised from patients undergoing bariatric and cardiac surgeries, and later infected in a laboratory dish with SARS-CoV-2. It was further confirmed in autopsy samples from deceased COVID-19 patients.

Obesity is an established, independent risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as for the patients' progression, once infected, to severe disease and death. Reasons offered for this increased vulnerability range from impaired breathing resulting from the pressure of extra weight, to altered immune responsiveness in obese people.

But the new study provides a more direct reason: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can directly infect adipose tissue (which most of us refer to as just plain "fat"). That, in turn, cooks up a cycle of viral replication within resident fat cells, or adipocytes, and causes pronounced inflammation in immune cells that hang out in fat tissue. The inflammation converts even uninfected "bystander" cells within the tissue into an inflammatory state.

"With 2 of every 3 American adults overweight and more than 4 in 10 of them obese, this is a potential cause for concern," said Tracey McLaughlin, MD, professor of endocrinology.

The findings are described in a study published online Sept. 22 in Science Translational Medicine. McLaughlin and Catherine Blish, MD, Ph.D., professor of infectious diseases, are the study's senior authors. Lead authorship is shared by former postdoctoral scholar Giovanny Martínez-Colón, Ph.D., and graduate student Kalani Ratnasiri.

The fat-COVID-19 connection

Obesity is defined medically as having a body mass index (weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) of 30 or greater. Someone with a BMI of 25 or greater is defined as being overweight. Obese individuals are up to 10 times as likely to die from COVID-19, McLaughlin said, but increased risk for poor outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection begins at BMIs as low as 24.

"Fat tissue's susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection may be playing a role in making obesity a COVID-19 risk factor," said Blish, who is the George E. and Lucy Becker Professor in Medicine. "Infected fat tissue pumps out precisely the inflammatory chemicals you see in the blood of severe COVID patients. It's reasonable to infer that having a lot of infected fat could contribute to the overall inflammatory profile of severely ill COVID-19 patients."

The scientists obtained samples of fat tissue from various locations in the bodies of 22 patients undergoing bariatric or cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford Medicine Bariatric Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery clinic. Then, in a secure facility, the researchers infected the samples with a solution containing SARS-CoV-2 or, as a control, a SARS-CoV-2-free solution. Rigorous experiments showed that the virus could infect and replicate in fat cells, exit the cells and cause new infections in other cells.

Fat tissue contains not only fat cells but also a wide variety of immune cells, including a type called macrophages. These cells (whose name derives from two Greek words meaning "big eaters") carry out a number of actions ranging from tissue repair and general garbage cleanup to fierce attacks on perceived pathogens—sometimes producing substantial collateral damage to normal tissue in the process.

The researchers identified a subset of macrophages in fat tissue that become infected by SARS-CoV-2, although only fleetingly. SARS-CoV-2 infection of these macrophages is abortive: It produces no viable viral progeny. But it does induce a major mood change in the macrophages.

"Once infected, these macrophages not only become inflamed themselves but also secrete substances that call in more inflammatory immune cells, in addition to inducing inflammation in uninfected neighboring 'bystander cells,'" Blish said.

Fat tissue surrounds our hearts, guts, kidneys and pancreases, which can be adversely affected by tissue inflammation. Ominously, the scientists found infection capable of driving inflammation in virtually every SARS-CoV-2-infected fat-tissue sample they collected and analyzed.

Genetic material encoding SARS-CoV-2 was almost invariably present in fat tissue from various bodily regions of eight patients who had died of COVID-19. Examining tissue from two other deceased COVID-19 patients, the team saw an infiltration of inflammatory immune cells adjacent to infected fat cells in epicardial fat.

"This was of great concern to us, as epicardial fat lies right next to the heart muscle, with no physical barrier separating them," McLaughlin said. "So, any inflammation there may directly affect the heart muscle or coronary arteries."

Missing ACE2

Oddly, ACE2—the cell surface molecule that's been implicated as the cardinal receptor for SARS-CoV-2—appeared to play little or no role in the ability of the virus to infect fat cells.

The method by which SARS-CoV-2 gains entry to fat cells and macrophages in fat tissue remains mysterious. The established primary mode of entry occurs when the virus ties up with a protein called ACE2 that sits on cell surfaces in numerous bodily tissues. Although ACE2 carries out important, legitimate functions, the virus doesn't care what ACE2 does for a living—it considers this cell-surface protein a mere docking station.

This was the height of irony for McLaughlin and Blish, who initiated the study because they'd seen reports suggesting, although not proving, that ACE2 might be present in fat tissue. (Nobody had claimed to have sighted the protein itself, Blish added.)

But the researchers found, to their surprise, that ACE2 was virtually nonexistent on cells present in fat tissue.

"It's highly unlikely the virus is entering through ACE2, because we couldn't detect the functional protein in adipose tissue," said Blish.

That means clearing SARS-CoV-2 from fat tissue could require new drugs. Monoclonal antibody therapies licensed for COVID-19, for instance, generally work by interfering with ACE2/SARS-CoV-2 interaction.

Fat tissue's potential to serve as a reservoir where SARS-CoV-2 can hide out also raises the possibility that it could contribute to the enduring post-infection symptoms collectively called long COVID, a hypothesis that McLaughlin and Blish are beginning to explore.

Researchers from the University of Tübingen, University of Basel, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and Cantonal Hospital Baselland in Liestal, Switzerland contributed to the work.
 

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TB Fanatic
I don't like to comment on articles as I post them but I will as a separate post in this instance because those last two articles are pretty much establishing that long-covid is a real thing and not a bunch of 'hysterical women' with psychological issues, which we've been saying all along (on this thread comments).

And a 2nd thing I wanted to add is that of course some of these issues can be vaxx issues, because they don't say if the person also got the vaxx (as well as having had covid) - BUT - spike protein is harmful no matter how you get it. You can have effects from the vaxx, but you can also have effects from having covid. I don't want anyone to think you get a free ride if you didn't get the vaxx. If you got covid, you are also at risk for these long term issues unfortunately. Which happens to be the only real bone I have to pick with Geert - he keeps saying - just catch it, you'll get over it and you'll build natural immunity and help herd immunity too. IMHO, as a non-medical professional, getting covid is no a ride in the park and the lasting effects of having gotten it aren't either. Not saying get the vaxx - that compounds the issue because your body, again, imho and I'm not a doctor, is a spike protein generator. But you don't want to be cool with getting covid either. Try to avoid it.

HD
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


Until this COVID Pfizer & Moderna gene injection vaccine is stopped, then the pandemic will not end; never end & Francis Collins, Fauci, Bourla etc. know it; it is selecting for more lethal virulence

We warned them, Vanden Bossche did, Yeadon did, I did, McCullough did, we did, that non-neutralizing vaccinal antibodies pressure the spike & drives infectious & more virulence; it is happening now!

Dr. Paul Alexander
7 hr ago

This pandemic would have been over January February 2021, the data was clear. We needed no vaccine. We never did! We had early treatment, we knew who was at risk, we knew that COVID was amenable to risk stratification and a steep age-risk curve existed. We knew how to manage it and we knew as long as you strongly protect the high-risk e.g. elderly, then allow the rest of society to live normal lives. They would have gained baseline natural immunity and inched us to herd immunity and dealt with omicron effectively. Today we have people who were locked down too long and hard, now facing a failed injection that provides no protection (does not stop infection or transmission and does not protect the upper airways), and with the injection driving constant infectious pressure, and trying to emerge. Many are old and vulnerable. Will succumb. Please protect your elderly and I have shared about using the nasal-oral hygiene wash, it will eliminate the pathogen, you have to use it as we indicate, swish, spit, no swallow as the virus lingers in the gum line and back of the throat (povidone-iodine 10% or hydrogen peroxide both diluted, just a little is needed, if it stings means not diluted enough).

I am afraid one of the two must be stopped, either we reduce the infectious pressure (circulating virus) or we stop the vaccine. One of them. We must stop one of them NOW! and ideally both. This will all end if vaccine is stopped. Complete. We have done neither and this is the reason we are stuck. This will not end if we do not stop these failed injections that is driving infection to the vaccinated.

Be warned. This fraud failed ineffective and harmful gene injection must be stopped and never ever must you allow them to inject your child. Defend your child as the parent, grand-parent. Take them out of school, move if you have to. Protect them for Azar ensured they all had liability protection BUT your child. So now it is up to you parents! Trump was lied to, deceived, I have to believe, he is not a malevolent person like the others involved who subverted him, IMO a good man, but he was so misled to bring this, that I am warning again. Many ordinarily healthy American children WILL die from this injection. WILL die. Parents, this is your greatest battle.

There is no science, no data, no study, NONE, that shows these ineffective failed injections provide any benefit to your near zero, statistical zero risk child, though we have data to show how harmful the shot is. Again, under no condition do you as a parent inject your child with these ineffective COVID mRNA gene injections, any of them! This is your ‘hot gates’, this is your Thermopylae.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


mRNA Covid shots for kids are dead
Only 325,000 of the 19 million children under 5 are fully vaccinated, not even 2 percent. Cue the excuses from vaccine fanatics

Alex Berenson
11 hr ago

Even Elmo couldn’t save the mRNAs.

The verdict is so obvious even the Washington Post noticed: despite a massive media and public relations campaign, American parents have overwhelmingly rejected Covid shots for their youngest children.

Three months after federal regulators okayed mRNA vaccines for kids under 5, more than 98 percent of them have not been fully vaccinated.

Put another way, out of any group of 50 children under 5, not even ONE is likely to have been fully vaccinated for Covid. And parents who started the process of vaccinating their children are having second thoughts. About 7 in 10 of of the 1.2 million children under 5 who received a first shot have not completed their vaccinations.

The rejection stretches across red and blue states. Even in Rhode Island and Hawaii, where over 90 percent of adults have received Covid shots, 97 percent of children are not vaccinated.

(THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE. AND IN HERE.)

(I don’t care how much the little brat screams, she’ll get the mRNA and she’ll like it!)

https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F1949aff1-d87a-4643-b5b5-078da407336f_1170x1528.jpeg

SOURCE

Nor are parents changing their minds with kids back in school and cooler weather approaching. Vaccine advocates had hoped that as summer ended and kids received routine well-child visits with pediatricians, mRNA uptake would increase.

Instead, only about 1 out of every 300 eligible kids received their first shot in the week ended Sept. 14.

It’s hard to overstate how extraordinary this rejection is.

Despite what hard-core vaccine fanatics claim, the United States does not have a crisis of vaccine denialism or rejection. Even as the schedule of recommended shots has lengthened, most American parents continue to vaccinate their children with standard vaccines on the schedule recommended by pediatricians (as my wife and I have).

More than 90 percent of children under 2 receive the polio, hepatitis, measles, and chickenpox vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rates have actually risen over the last several years. Even the HPV vaccine, which is more controversial because it is designed against a virus that is generally transmitted sexually, is now taken by about two-thirds of all adolescents.



The mass parental refusal to give children mRNA has thus left vaccine fanatics like Dr. Peter Hotez confused.

“I thought maybe it was just the summer, and people were traveling,” Hotez told the Post in its Sep. 18 article. (Hotez, maybe the most hysterical of all vaccine fanatics, suggested in 2021 that “federal hate-crime protections” were needed to save him from people who disagreed with him about the mRNA shots.)

Vaccine advocates have now turned to the hoariest excuse of all: claiming that parents just don’t know the shots are available!

[A pediatrician] said he wishes there had been more robust promotion of vaccines by public health officials across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok… That scant messaging stands in stark contrast to when the coronavirus vaccines first came to market in December 2020 for adults.

Huh.

Yeah, I guess places like the Post should have done more to promote the shots -





Okay, so the Post wrote one story -





Okay, so the Post wrote a few stories here and there.

What about directing the messaging where it would have mattered, at young kids and their parents -





In fact, the media campaign around the shots for kids was as relentless as every other aspect of vaccine advocacy since the mRNA shots began in December 2020. Like previous iterations, it included paid advertising, free public service announcements, and open advocacy masquerading as journalism (“Doctors say children should get vaccinated even if they were previously infected”).

At what point will vaccine advocates admit that the problem wasn’t failed messaging, but a failed product?
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)



Study: Vaccine Risk Awareness Tied to Concern Over Moral Concerns Over "Purity"
Study finds that personal moral values, not classic "conservative" and "liberal" ideology, is associated with vaccine uptake. Association with "purity" implies "Vaccine Risk Aware" is a better label.

James Lyons-Weiler
17 hr ago

This study in the journal American Psychologist -

Reimer, N.K., et al. (2022) Moral values predict county-level COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States. American Psychologist. doi.org/10.1037/amp0001020.

utterly shreds the standard tropes about “antivaxxers”.

The study authors combined data on self-reported moral concerns (106,465 people) with county-level data on vaccination rates, structural barriers to vaccination, religiosity, and political behavior (3,106 counties).

Using geospatial models to estimate vaccination rates in a cross-section of time when vaccines had been widely available in the United States for several months, they compare the relative importance of moral values and other factors in predicting vaccination rates.

Surprise, surprise: individualism and concern over purity (bodily integrity) were associated with refusal to consent to experimental vaccines.

Further, the “party lines” that separated regions of high willingness to be experimented upon and jab refusal did not follow traditional “liberal”/“conservative” political lines.

The study authors found evidence that moral concerns about Fairness, Loyalty, and Purity, but neither Care nor valuing deference to Authority were associated with county-level vaccination rates. When race was adjusted for, Authority was associated with vaccine acceptance.

I can see the abuses now: “Anti-vaxxers are unfair, are not loyal and don’t care”…

Except that’s not what the study found.

The authors wrote:

“Authority centers around deference to authority and social order within a hierarchical structure.”

According to study-author Morteza Dehghani, associate professor of psychology and computer science at USC Dornsife:

“The (vaccine-risk aware) anti-vaxxers tend to be not high on loyalty, but high on purity. These include conservatives who are low on loyalty, and also liberals who tend to prioritize purity concerns, most likely focusing on bodily aspects of purity contamination”. (Source)

I know a ton of vaccine-risk aware conservatives and liberals alike who value loyalty to the point of wanting to defend their families, their communities, and their countries against Pharma - and they dislike deference to false authority. Without any hint of irony, the authors suggest that messaging about ingroup protection might help increase vaccination rates in counties with low experimental jab uptake.

We can expect some messaging about how vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to protect your loved ones; oh, wait, they already tried that, but the science shows that even with data fudging using PCR cycle thresholds and misclassification as single-jabbed persons as “unvaccinated”, the vaccines do not protect against the spread of COVID-19, nor do they reduce hospitalization.

As long as public health believes that their problem is messaging, they will simply continue to produce more and more vaccine risk awareness. This is because, regrettably, more and more people will experience the realities of myocarditis, blood clots, and unexplained sudden deaths in adults.

And more and more people will continue to learn what a colossal, catastrophic disaster the COVID-19 shots program has been - due to Science.

Science that that done in this study from Japan that shows that vaccine-induced disease enhancement is real, just as Dr. Jacque Fantini modeled, and just as so many warned about (and provided data on).

I can see how, if an injection makes you more susceptible to disease, increased risk of recurring infection, and increased risk of hospitalization compared to people with natural immunity, one might be inclined to avoid the jab on “purity”.
When I suggested that we adopt the moniker “vaccine risk aware”, many people thought that was more accurate than “anti-vaxxer”. Because if I’m vaccine risk aware, and you’re not, then one of us knows something the other does not yet know.

Regarding increased risk of disease following COVID-19 jab, you can watch Dr. Bean break the study down the study for you. He does such a great job breaking down this study

Reevaluation of antibody-dependent enhancement of infection in anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic antibodies and mRNA-vaccine antisera using FcR- and ACE2-positive cells https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-19993-w
and shows you why vaccine-induced antibodies that might neutralize Wuhan strain now appear to enhance cellular entry by current strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, just as Dr. Fantini showed would happen in his computational molecular models.
 

northern watch

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


COVID raises risk of long-term brain injury, large U.S. study finds
Julie Steenhuysen
Thu, September 22, 2022, 11:03 AM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - People who had COVID-19 are at higher risk for a host of brain injuries a year later compared with people who were never infected by the coronavirus, a finding that could affect millions of Americans, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The year-long study, published in Nature Medicine, assessed brain health across 44 different disorders using medical records without patient identifiers from millions of U.S. veterans.

Brain and other neurological disorders occurred in 7% more of those who had been infected with COVID compared with a similar group of veterans who had never been infected. That translates into roughly 6.6 million Americans who had brain impairments linked with their COVID infections, the team said.

"The results show the devastating long-term effects of COVID-19," senior author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of Washington University School of Medicine said in a statement.

Al-Aly and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System studied medical records from 154,000 U.S. veterans who had tested positive for COVID from March 1, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021.

They compared these with records from 5.6 million patients who did not have COVID during the same time frame, and another group of 5.8 million people from the period just before the coronavirus arrived in the United States.

Al-Aly said prior studies looked at a narrower group of disorders, and were focused largely on hospitalized patients, whereas his study included both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.

Memory impairments, commonly referred to as brain fog, were the most common symptom. Compared with the control groups, people infected with COVID had a 77% higher risk of developing memory problems.

People infected with the virus also were 50% more likely to have an ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots, compared with the never infected group.

Those who had COVID were 80% more likely to have seizures, 43% more likely to have mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, 35% more likely to have headaches and 42% more likely to suffer movement disorders, such as tremors, compared with the control groups.

Researchers said governments and health systems must devise plans for a post-COVID world.

“Given the colossal scale of the pandemic, meeting these challenges requires urgent and coordinated - but, so far, absent - global, national and regional response strategies,” Al-Aly said.
One question, I have about Covid-19, for those who have it or were vaxxed, does it change how a person thinks or reasons? Does it change their personality?

I know several people who were vaxxed or had covid and I am wondering.

Any questions / comments would be helpful

NW
 

MinnesotaSmith

TB Fanatic

Early Puberty in Girls Surged in The Pandemic, And We May Finally Know Why​

21 September 2022
MIKE MCRAE

TeenGirlOnPhone.jpg


"Among the laundry list of health problems COVID has inflicted on the world's population, one of the more perplexing could be an increase in the number of girls experiencing what is known as idiopathic precocious puberty – abnormally early onset of puberty.

More than one study has spotted the spike in numbers during the early months of the pandemic of what is typically a rare condition, highlighting a potential link between the virus and a trigger for early adolescence.

Now a study presented at the 60th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting in Rome suggests it might not have anything to do with the infection at all.

Rather the time spent during lockdowns scrolling through smart devices for hours on end could be to blame.

Researchers from Gazi University and Ankara City Hospital in Turkey exposed 18 immature female rats to a spectrum of light predominantly emitted by our LED screens for relatively short or long periods each day, finding those bathed in the blue-tinged light for longer bouts showed the hallmarks of maturity sooner than the rest.

"We have found that blue light exposure, sufficient to alter melatonin levels, is also able to alter reproductive hormone levels and cause earlier puberty onset in our rat model. In addition, the longer the exposure, the earlier the onset," says endocrinologist and lead author Aylin Kilinç Uğurlu from Gazi University.

Though far from a slam-dunk on the case of why more girls around the world might have hit puberty when they did during the pandemic, it's a finding that should be taken seriously as we become increasingly reliant on personalized digital technology.

Statistically speaking, most of us start to experience the joys (and horrors) of puberty by age 12, smack in the middle of a bell curve that stretches anywhere from 9 to 14 in boys and 8 to 13 in girls.

Precocious puberty for girls is defined as signs of secondary sexual characteristics emerging before the age of eight. Just how many girls that encompasses is difficult to say with confidence as measures on the condition's prevalence vary considerably around the world.

The reasons for the early surge of hormones are also something of a mystery. Putting aside forms of cancer or other disorders of the nervous system, a good proportion are idiopathic, meaning there's just no obvious cause.

So when the number of girls reporting an idiopathic form of precocious puberty in Turkey jumped from 25 in April 2019 to 58 in March 2020, researchers were stumped, proposing anything from high calorie foods to the fear of the pandemic might be to blame.

One intriguing possibility was the stark rise in use of smart devices. Or, to be more precise, a significant increase in time spent exposed to the blue light emitted from our phones and tablets each day.

Being the diurnal animals we are, evolution has shaped our bodies to interpret the blue tinge of daylight as prime waking time, and the less vibrant glow of dawn, dusk, and evening as ideal for resting.

This relationship could be so deeply hardwired into our functionality, any serious disruption to the pattern could mess with our health in profound ways, most likely by disrupting the tides of a hormone called melatonin.

While it's generally seen as the chemical that helps send us off to sleep in the evening, melatonin's inhibition at a crucial time in our development could also tell the body it's go-time for ramping up the hormones that prepare the body for puberty.

Using rats as a more convenient test subject, the team of researchers demonstrated this hypothesis could have a lot going for it.

Not only did the female rats exposed to double the duration of blue light each day undergo their rodent version of puberty at a relatively younger age than their peers, they also had lower melatonin levels and higher levels of the reproductive chemical signals oestradiol and luteinising hormone.

This doesn't imply other factors couldn't also play an important role. The biology of puberty is incredibly complex, leaving plenty of room for a wide variety of influences to be shaping the timeline of adolescence in humans.

"As this a rat study, we can't be sure that these findings would be replicated in children but these data suggest that blue light exposure could be considered as a risk factor for earlier puberty onset," says Uğurlu.

This research was presented at the 60th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting."
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


4.4M Americans roll up sleeves for omicron-targeted boosters
By CARLA K. JOHNSON
yesterday

U.S. health officials say 4.4 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves for the updated COVID-19 booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the count Thursday as public health experts bemoaned President Joe Biden’s recent remark that “the pandemic is over.”

The White House said more than 5 million people received the new boosters by its own estimate that accounts for reporting lags in states.

Health experts said it is too early to predict whether demand would match up with the 171 million doses of the new boosters the U.S. ordered for the fall.

“No one would go looking at our flu shot uptake at this point and be like, ‘Oh, what a disaster,’” said Dr. David Dowdy, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “If we start to see a large uptick in cases, I think we’re going to see a lot of people getting the (new COVID) vaccine.”

A temporary shortage of Moderna vaccine caused some pharmacies to cancel appointments while encouraging people to reschedule for a Pfizer vaccine. The issue was expected to resolve as government regulators wrapped up an inspection and cleared batches of vaccine doses for distribution.

“I do expect this to pick up in the weeks ahead,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha. “We’ve been thinking and talking about this as an annual vaccine like the flu vaccine. Flu vaccine season picks up in late September and early October. We’re just getting our education campaign going. So we expect to see, despite the fact that this was a strong start, we actually expect this to ramp up stronger.”

Some Americans who plan to get the shot, designed to target the most common omicron strains, said they are waiting because they either had COVID-19 recently or another booster. They are following public health advice to wait several months to get the full benefit of their existing virus-fighting antibodies.

Others are scheduling shots closer to holiday gatherings and winter months when respiratory viruses spread more easily.

Retired hospital chaplain Jeanie Murphy, 69, of Shawnee, Kansas, plans to get the new booster in a couple of weeks after she has some minor knee surgery. Interest is high among her neighbors from what she sees on the Nextdoor app.

“There’s quite a bit of discussion happening among people who are ready to make appointments,” Murphy said. “I found that encouraging. For every one naysayer there will be 10 or 12 people who jump in and say, ‘You’re crazy. You just need to go get the shot.’”

Biden later acknowledged criticism of his remark about the pandemic being over and clarified the pandemic is “not where it was.” The initial comment didn’t bother Murphy. She believes the disease has entered a steady state when “we’ll get COVID shots in the fall the same as we do flu shots.”

Experts hope she’s right, but are waiting to see what levels of infection winter brings. The summer ebb in case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths may be followed by another surge, Dowdy said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, asked Thursday by a panel of biodefense experts what still keeps him up at night, noted that half of vaccinated Americans never got an initial booster dose.

“We have a vulnerability in our population that will continue to have us in a mode of potential disruption of our social order,” Fauci said. “I think that we have to do better as a nation.”

Some Americans who got the new shots said they are excited about the idea of targeting the vaccine to the variants circulating now.

“Give me all the science you can,” said Jeff Westling, 30, an attorney in Washington, D.C., who got the new booster and a flu shot on Tuesday, one in each arm. He participates in the combat sport jujitsu, so wants to protect himself from infections that may come with close contact. “I have no issue trusting folks whose job it is to look at the evidence.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s pronouncement in a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast Sunday echoed through social media.

“We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over,” Biden said while walking through the Detroit auto show. “If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing.”

By Wednesday on Facebook, when a Kansas health department posted where residents could find the new booster shots, the first commenter remarked snidely:

“But Biden says the pandemic is over.”

The president’s statement, despite his attempts to clarify it, adds to public confusion, said Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington.

“People aren’t sure when is the right time to get boosted. ‘Am I eligible?’ People are often confused about what the right choice is for them, even where to search for that information,” Michaud said.

“Any time you have mixed messages, it’s detrimental to the public health effort,” Michaud said. “Having the mixed messages from the president’s remarks, makes that job that much harder.”

University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi said he’s worried the president’s pronouncement has taken on a life of its own and may stall prevention efforts.

“That soundbite is there for a while now, and it’s going to spread like wildfire. And it’s going to give the impression that ‘Oh, there’s nothing more we need to do,’” Salemi said.

“If we’re happy with 400 or 500 people dying every single day from COVID, there’s a problem with that,” Salemi said. “We can absolutely do better because most of those deaths, if not all of them, are absolutely preventable with the tools that we have.”

New York City photographer Vivienne Gucwa, 44, got the new booster Monday. She’s had COVID twice, once before vaccines were available and again in May. She was vaccinated with two Moderna shots, but never got the original boosters.

“When I saw the new booster was able to tackle omicron variant I thought, ‘I’m doing that,’” Gucwa said.

“I don’t want to deal with omicron again. I was kind of thrilled to see the boosters were updated.”
 
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