Reply Wed 20 May, 2020 01:52 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

maxdancona wrote:
I talked to my microbiologist friends, they all said that re-infection is very unlikely ... This is based on their knowledge of how coronaviruses work.
One brush with the viruses that cause chickenpox or polio, for instance, is usually enough to protect a person for life.
But coronaviruses still frequently trade segments of their genetic code with each other, leaving the potential for immune evasion wide open.

I've read that European governments are easing lockdowns and restrictions.

Are they aware of this potential you're talking about of coronaviruses changing to 'evade immune systems?'
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 20 May, 2020 04:17 pm
White House’s Own Data Crunchers: Southern Counties About to Get Hit Hard


Joe Raedle/Getty

The coronavirus task force has been using data from PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to chart the disease. And the new projections aren’t great.
Erin Banco

National Security Reporter
Updated May. 20, 2020 5:28PM ET / Published May. 20, 2020 4:27PM ET

A new analysis being reviewed by the White House shows southern states that moved too quickly to relax social distancing guidelines face significant risk for a resurgence of the coronavirus over the next several weeks. In several cases, counties will see hundreds of additional cases by June 17.

The study, which was put together by PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is part of a data set being reviewed by top coronavirus task force officials and people working with the team, The Daily Beast reported earlier this month. A previous model by the PolicyLab predicted that if officials moved too quickly and too aggressively to reopen in mid-May, individual counties could witness hundreds, if not a thousand-plus, more coronavirus cases reported each day by August 1.

The new model shows that in southern counties, particularly in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Virginia, the risk for resurgence is high over the next four weeks. These states have moved to reopen, at least partially, since the team published its last model in April.

The data set now takes into consideration current levels of social distancing rather than projections about what would happen when local communities reopened. It also includes data for more than 200 additional counties across the country. The findings indicate that the risk for large second waves of outbreaks remains low if communities continue to implement cautious, incremental plans to reopening that limit crowding and travel to non-essential businesses. Doctors working on the study said that without vigilance in masking, hygiene, and disinfection, certain southern counties will remain high risk.

The new data, which has been presented to members of the White House’s coronavirus task force, is likely to validate fears by doctors and scientists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease official in the administration, that opening states too soon could have disastrous health consequences. The news comes as the Trump White House continues to promote the idea of local communities opening up for business, and as the president seeks to shuffle his coronavirus task force in a way that would allow members to focus on reopening the economy. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Florida, where he grabbed lunch at a burger joint where few patrons were wearing masks or practicing social distancing, according to photos of the event.

While the study does not measure the death toll, it does paint a worrisome picture for southern counties over the next month. It raises questions about how local officials will handle a second wave and whether they have enough supplies to handle a spike in daily coronavirus cases.

“The key now is understanding the resurgence risk as social distancing begins to change. The picture our models are painting for Texas and Florida provide ample evidence to others who would choose to move too quickly,” the doctors working on the study wrote in an analysis associated with Wednesday’s update. “We see these concerns even as we adjust for additional testing capacity that might have inflated our forecasts.”

Florida was one of the first states to reopen. Gov. Ron DeSantis allowed some beaches in the state to reopen in the middle of April even as other areas throughout the state were continuing to see an increasing number of coronavirus cases and related deaths. Since then, he allowed gyms, salons, and theme parks to open. Now, the governor is taking more drastic reopening measures, allowing Miami-Dade and Broward counties to reopen retails shops and salons.
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/CHoP Policy Lab

As these communities reopen, individuals residing in Miami-Dade County will see the daily coronavirus case count spike from 232 to 785 over the next four weeks and from 68 to 211 in Broward County, according to the study's projections.

Dallas County in Texas will see a similar spike, as will Mobile and Montgomery counties in Alabama, the study says. In Dallas, the daily case count is projected to jump from 233 to 715 by June 17. In Montgomery it’s projected to go from 35 to 216. And in Mobile County the case count is projected to spike by more than 300 cases from 31 to 366 in the next month.

While states in the southern part of the country may suffer a second wave in the next few weeks, counties in the northeast, including hotspot states like New York and New Jersey, will see a decline in the daily number of coronavirus cases. Doctors working on the study attribute that decline to implementing slow, safe reopening measures. In both New York and New Jersey, state officials have moved to reopen parks, outdoor activity facilities, and some construction sites but have avoided allowing mass gatherings. Both states will soon begin to allow more nonessential businesses to reopen, including some doctors offices and retail stores.

In Essex County, New Jersey, for example, a county with one of the highest coronavirus case counts and death tolls in the nation, the case count will drop from 54 to 10 by June 17. And in Queens County, New York, where doctors have in the last few months been inundated with coronavirus patients, the case count will drop from 243 to 74 in the next four weeks, according to the study.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 20 May, 2020 08:33 pm
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 20 May, 2020 08:40 pm
Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show

Even small differences in timing would have prevented the worst exponential growth, which by April had subsumed New York City, New Orleans and other major cities, researchers found.

By James Glanz and Campbell Robertson

May 20, 2020
Updated 9:14 p.m. ET

By Lazaro Gamio·Source: “Differential Effects of Intervention Timing on COVID-19 Spread in the United States,” by Sen Pei, Sasikiran Kandula and Jeffrey Shaman, Columbia University

If the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.

And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated.

Under that scenario, about 54,000 fewer people would have died by early May.

The enormous cost of waiting to take action reflects the unforgiving dynamics of the outbreak that swept through American cities in early March. Even small differences in timing would have prevented the worst exponential growth, which by April had subsumed New York City, New Orleans and other major cities, the researchers found.

“It’s a big, big difference. That small moment in time, catching it in that growth phase, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of deaths,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia and the leader of the research team.


The findings are based on infectious disease modeling that gauges how reduced contact between people starting in mid-March slowed transmission of the virus. Dr. Shaman’s team modeled what would have happened if those same changes had taken place one or two weeks earlier and estimated the spread of infections and deaths until May 3.

The results show that as states reopen, outbreaks can easily get out of control unless officials closely monitor infections and immediately clamp down on new flare-ups. And they show that each day that officials waited to impose restrictions in early March came at a great cost.

After Italy and South Korea had started aggressively responding to the virus, President Trump resisted canceling campaign rallies or telling people to stay home or avoid crowds. The risk of the virus to most Americans was very low, he said.

“Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,” Mr. Trump tweeted on March 9, suggesting that the flu was worse than the coronavirus. “At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

In fact, tens of thousands of people had already been infected by that point, researchers later estimated. But a lack of widespread testing allowed those infections to go undetected, hiding the urgency of an outbreak that most Americans still identified as a foreign threat.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment, but Mr. Trump has repeatedly cited restrictions on travel from China in January and Europe in mid-March as actions that halted the spread of the virus.

On March 16, Mr. Trump urged Americans to limit travel, avoid groups and stay home from school. Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, closed the city’s schools on March 15, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a stay-at-home order that took effect on March 22. Changes to personal behavior across the country in mid-March slowed the epidemic, a number of disease researchers have found.

But in cities where the virus arrived early and spread quickly, those actions were too late to avoid a calamity.

In the New York metro area alone, 21,800 people had died by May 3. Fewer than 4,300 would have died by then if control measures had been put in place and adopted nationwide just a week earlier, on March 8, the researchers estimated.

All models are only estimates, and it is impossible to know for certain the exact number of people who would have died. But Lauren Ancel Meyers, a University of Texas at Austin epidemiologist who was not involved in the research, said that it “makes a compelling case that even slightly earlier action in New York could have been game changing.”

“This implies that if interventions had occurred two weeks earlier, many Covid-19 deaths and cases would have been prevented by early May, not just in New York City but throughout the U.S.,” Dr. Meyers said.

The fates of specific people cannot be captured by a computer model. But there is a name, a story and a town for every person who was infected and later showed symptoms and died in March and early April. Around the country, people separate from this study have wondered what might have been.

Rushia Stephens, a music teacher who had become a county court records technician in an Atlanta suburb, collapsed on her bedroom floor, unable to breathe, and died on March 19. Adolph Mendez, a businessman in New Braunfels, Texas, was confined to his own bedroom as his terrified family tended to him until he died on March 26. Richard Walts, a retired firefighter in Oklahoma, was ferried to a hospital in an ambulance and died two weeks later, on April 3.

Mr. Mendez’s widow, Angela Mendez, said she still couldn’t say for sure whether action should have been taken earlier. It didn’t matter now anyway, not for her husband.

“They probably could have had earlier a better way to not let this pandemic go that far,” she said. “But they didn’t.”

Official social distancing measures don’t work unless people follow them. While the measures have enjoyed generally widespread support among Americans, the findings rely on the assumption that millions of people would have been willing to change their behavior sooner.

People are apt to take restrictions much more seriously when the devastation of a disease is visible, said Natalie Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida who specializes in emerging infectious diseases. But in early March, there had been few deaths, and infections were still spreading silently through the population.

“If things are really taking off, people are likely to clamp down more,” Dr. Dean said. “Do people need to hear the sirens for them to stay home?”

Dr. Shaman’s team estimated the effect of relaxing all control measures across the country. The model finds that because of the lag between the time infections occur and symptoms begin emerging, without extensive testing and rapid action, many more infections will occur, leading to more deaths — as many as tens of thousands across the country

The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

The timing and circumstances of those who were infected in March raise haunting questions.

It was a Friday night in mid-March when Devin Taquino began feeling sick. Neither he nor his wife was thinking at all about the coronavirus. There were already more than 200 cases in the state by that time, but most of those cases were in the eastern part of the state, not in the small city of Donora, south of Pittsburgh.

Plus, Mr. Taquino did not fit the profile: he was only 47 years old with no underlying conditions and his main symptom — diarrhea — was not something broadly associated with the disease. He was planning to work a Saturday morning overtime shift at a call center half an hour away, but he called in sick. Offices all over the area were asking people not to come in, but Mr. Taquino’s had not taken that step.

He worked on Monday, but on Tuesday he returned home sick from work, passed out in bed and didn’t wake up for 16 hours. The next morning, his wife, Rebecca Taquino, 42, woke him up and told him they needed to get tested. She didn’t think he had the virus, but she thought it was the smart thing to do.

Without primary care doctors, they went to a nearby urgent care clinic, where they learned that his blood oxygen level was very low. The people at the clinic offered to call an ambulance, but fearing the cost, and still skeptical that this was that serious, the Taquinos chose to drive to an emergency room.

At the hospital, he was given an X-ray and diagnosed with pneumonia. He stayed, kept in an isolation unit just in case, and she returned home. The next evening, March 26, he called her with two developments. One: his work had emailed with the news that someone at the call center, where the work stations sat about a foot apart, had tested positive for the virus. The other bit of news was that he had tested positive.

There has been a lot for Ms. Taquino to think about in the weeks since that phone call, including the long days during which she never left the house and her husband’s situation got more horrifyingly worse.

Should the call center have sent the employees home earlier? When she called the center on Friday to report his condition, it was already empty: the workers had been sent home. Did they act too late?

“I kind of tossed that one back and forth myself,” she said. “I really want to blame it on them, I really do.”

Could she know definitively where he got it? It was hard to say for sure. Still, given that email the day of his diagnosis, it seemed by far the most likely possibility that he got it at work.

After three weeks of agony, Mr. Taquino died on April 10. Whether he was one of the thousands of people who might be alive if social distancing measures had been put in place a week earlier can never be known.

Ms. Taquino said officials should have known.

“If it’s spreading that fast you have to know it would have come here,” Ms. Taquino said. “They should have been implementing programs. I think it was a giant lapse in our country. There was no way to think that we were going to be spared from this.”
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Wed 20 May, 2020 10:46 pm
livinglava wrote:
I've read that European governments are easing lockdowns and restrictions.

Are they aware of this potential you're talking about of coronaviruses changing to 'evade immune systems?'
I suppose that this is a rhetorical question. If not, you could search for a website which gives the awareness of the scientific knowledge in the 44 European countries.
What I know is that the Belarus government neglects this.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 12:21 am
This past Christmas Eve the woman across the street was found unconscious in her home. Her parents were driving up from Georgia but Sheila was not answering the phone. She had told her parents she wasn't feeling well and when they couldn't reach her they called the police to check on her. She was in a coma and didn't survive, she died on the 26th of December. Sheila was just a month away from turning 50 and it all happened so quickly. Her Dad told me she had Asthma and was over weight, but I didn't think she was obese. It all happened so quickly, now we are hearing the hospital will be re-examining her death and it's possible she was an early victim of the Corona virus. Ultimately it doesn't make a difference to Sheila or her parents, she's not ever coming back...but I'm hoping it wasn't corona...not for myself but for all of the people she worked with, she was a Bank executive and came in contact with many people.

Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 03:55 am
Britain’s highly rated disease preparation failed on coronavirus – possibly because ministers followed a plan for flu.
When the coronavirus struck, the British government repeatedly said it was among the best-prepared countries in the world – with some justification. As recently as October, an international review of pandemic planning ranked the UK the second best prepared country in the world (behind the US).

Two months on, any breezy confidence has evaporated. The government is facing growing complaints over a series of policy missteps that critics say are responsible for the worst death toll in Europe.

How did a country that supposedly had one of the best pandemic plans in the world end up suffering one of the worst outbreaks?

A review of official documents and interviews with politicians, national security advisers and experts in risk management suggests one answer may be that ministers stuck closely to the recommendations of a well-honed plan for a different disease: the flu.
... ... ...
The Guardian
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 06:30 am
Monkeys develop virus immunity after infection, vaccine: studies
Source: Yahoo News

Two studies on monkeys published on Wednesday offer hope that humans can develop protective immunity to the novel coronavirus.

The studies, published in the journal Science, looked at a prototype vaccine and whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 provides immunity against re-exposure.

Both questions are critical as researchers tackle the virus, which has infected nearly five million people around the world and caused more than 325,000 deaths.

The studies were carried out on rhesus macaque monkeys to see whether they develop protective virus immunity from natural infection or from a vaccine.

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has made the development of a vaccine a top biomedical priority, but very little is currently known about protective immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus," said senior author Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

"In these two studies, we demonstrate in rhesus macaques that prototype vaccines protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection and that SARS-CoV-2 infection protected against re-exposure," Barouch said.

Read more: https://news.yahoo.com/monkeys-develop-virus-immunity-infection-vaccine-studies-201111396.html
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 07:41 am
@bobsal u1553115,
similar to the Oxford (UK) studies reported two weeks ago. Im not sure of the "partnership networks" involved buut I hope theyre all well founded and they work.
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 09:00 am
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 09:17 am
Official findings add to concerns about Sweden’s laissez-faire strategy towards the pandemic: just 7.3% of Stockholm’s inhabitants had developed Covid-19 antibodies by the end of April, according to a study, raising concerns that the country’s light-touch approach to the coronavirus may not be building up broad immunity.

Study by Sweden’s public health agency

The Guardian: Just 7.3% of Stockholm had Covid-19 antibodies by end of April, study shows
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 21 May, 2020 12:59 pm
I just don't see your logic.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 04:19 pm
Montgomery hospitals are down to 1 ICU bed and sending patients to Birmingham
Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser Published 1:06 p.m. CT May 20, 2020 | Updated 1:48 p.m. CT May 20, 2020


Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed holds a coronavirus update briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday May 20, 2020. Montgomery Advertiser

Hospitals in Montgomery and Prattville have a total of one ICU bed remaining and are now being forced to send acute care patients to Birmingham for treatment.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said he called a news conference to reveal the sobering situation at the urging of overwhelmed area doctors, and with the Memorial Day weekend ahead. It’s a situation that has had a ripple effect on rural communities around Alabama’s Capital City.

“Many people in Montgomery hospitals are not from Montgomery,” Reed said. “They’re suffering because they don’t have the rural health care system in place that they need.

“Right now, if you’re from Montgomery and you need an ICU bed, you’re in trouble. If you’re from central Alabama and you need an ICU bed, you may not be able to get one. … We don’t want to lose anyone — any life — because we don’t have the resources to treat them in this community.”

There were 950 confirmed coronavirus cases in Montgomery County as of Wednesday morning and 25 COVID-19 related deaths. The county’s total of confirmed cases rose 45% May 1-7, 46% May 7-14, and 20% May 14-19, Reed said.

Meanwhile, hospitals are nearing capacity. Baptist East, Baptist South and Prattville Baptist Hospital were all out of ICU beds. Jackson Hospital had one bed available as of Wednesday morning, Reed said.

The days ahead are crucial, said city Emergency Management Agency Director Christina Thornton. She pleaded with people to reach out to family members through phone calls or video chat, and to be kind to front-line workers while staying home as much as possible.

“This isn’t the time to have big block parties,” Thornton said. “This isn’t the time to get 50 or 75 people crammed into an apartment because you can’t get into a club.

Reed urged everyone to wear a mask in public and not to relax social distancing habits just because more businesses are beginning to open.

He didn’t rule out imposing more city-wide restrictions if there’s another spike in the numbers.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to lock down the city,” he said. “That’s why we’re trying to take our message to a louder level so that people understand exactly where we are and exactly what’s at stake.

“There’s a domino effect on each step that we take, on each action that we take, and we don’t know where that’s going to end up for someone else who may need (care).”

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brad Harper at [email protected].
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 04:21 pm
You cheated!!!
0 Replies
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 04:43 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
The facts are not confirming my bias. It just seems to me that something so contagious, and often without symptoms would show such a low level of antibodies.

I'm not challenging the facts, but it just don't seem right.
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 05:58 pm
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 06:35 pm
Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in COVID patients
Source: Washington Post

A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who received an antimalarial drug promoted by President Trump as a “game changer” in the fight against the virus had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not.

People treated with hydroxychloroquine, or the closely related drug chloroquine, were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, that can lead to sudden cardiac death, it concluded.

The study, published Friday in the medical journal the Lancet, is the largest analysis to date of the risks and benefits of treating covid-19 patients with antimalarial drugs. It is based on a retrospective analysis of medical records, not a controlled study in which patients are divided randomly into treatment groups — a method considered the gold standard of medicine. But the sheer size of the study was convincing to some scientists.

“It’s one thing not to have benefit, but this shows distinct harm,” said Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “If there was ever was hope for this drug, this is the death of it.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/

96,000 hospitalized patients on six continents is a LARGE test sample. And it clearly shows this drug is NOT helpful (and is in fact deadly) in treating COVID19
0 Replies
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 07:16 pm
It is entirely possible that the virus is evolving since it jumped to humans, which only took place about six months ago. The body may produce antibodies, which don't recognize the evolved virus which can show up pretty quickly. (Microorganisms reproduce two or three times an hour--in a few days, they've gone through hundreds of generation.) Just tryin' to cheer everyone up.
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 07:19 pm
I guess I'm cheered up, then. And now something else to worry about
0 Replies
Reply Fri 22 May, 2020 08:11 pm
There has been a dramatic rise in threats to and assaults on Asians in Vancouver. Of course, to the racist, Koreans and Japanese are indistinguishable from Chinese. Community leaders in the city complain of vandalism to buildings in Chinatown. This report is from a week ago. I bring this up now, because of a story on CBC radio that it has gotten even worse in the last week.

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