CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/24/2020

September 24, 2020

Yesterday, Harrison County reported 8 new cases, Gregg 7, and Smith County 22. 

From Johns Hopkins:

1. WEDDING RECEPTION OUTBREAK An August wedding in Maine has been linked to more than 175 associated cases and 8 deaths, including many who did not attend the wedding. Notably, none of the associated deaths attended the wedding. Six of the 8 deaths were residents of a nearby long-term care facility, where an employee who lives with someone who attended the wedding is believed to have introduced the virus. Associated cases have been identified in multiple long-term care facilities and the county jail. The outbreak at the jail has been attributed to an employee who attended the wedding, and it has resulted in at least 84 cases, including nearly half of the incarcerated population and employees as well as 17 household contacts of employees.

The wedding reportedly had 62-65 attendees and an indoor ceremony and reception, which violated the state prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people, and attendees reportedly did not adhere to recommendations regarding physical distancing or mask use. All attendees had their temperatures checked before entering; however, this failed to identify infectious individuals. The Maine CDC issued an “imminent health hazard” citation to the event facility where the reception was held for failing to maintain social distancing measures, allowing too many people to congregate, and neglecting to collect contact information from wedding guests. The facility reportedly suspended all operations due to the outbreak. This case study highlights the potential for transmission at individual events to spill over into the community as well as the limitations of temperature or symptom monitoring to identify infectious individuals.(J. Harris: This could happen tomorrow at any site in the US. Good tracking and testing made the situation informative — as well as frightening. The contagiousness of the virus is still as prevalent as it was in August. So, space out, avoid crowds, and wear your mask.)

2. Long-term hydroxychloroquine use in patients with rheumatic conditions and development of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a retrospective cohort study

From The Atlantic:The Core Lesson of the COVID-19 Heart Debate (The Atlantic) Autopsies have found traces of the coronavirus’s genetic material in the heart, and actual viral particles within the heart’s muscle cells. Experiments have found that SARS-CoV-2 can destroy lab-grown versions of those cells. Several studies have now shown that roughly 10 to 30 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had high levels of troponin—a protein released into the blood when the heart’s muscle cells are damaged. Such patients are more likely to die than others with no signs of heart injury.
Massive genetic study shows coronavirus mutating and potentially evolving amid rapid U.S. spread
“…The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say. The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say…. A larger batch of sequences was published earlier this month by scientists in the United Kingdom, and, like the Houston study, concluded that a mutation that changes the structure of the “spike protein” on the surface of the virus may be driving the outsized spread of that particular strain…“Although we don’t know yet, it is well within the realm of possibility that this coronavirus, when our population-level immunity gets high enough, this coronavirus will find a way to get around our immunity,….If that happened, we’d be in the same situation as with flu. We’ll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we’ll have to tinker with our vaccine.”The genetic data show the virus arrived in Houston many separate times, presumably at first by air travel. Notably, 71 percent of the viruses that arrived initially were characterized by a now famous mutation, which appears to have first originated in China, that scientists increasingly suspect may give the virus a biological advantage in how it spreads. It is called D614G, referring to the substitution of an amino acid called aspartic acid (D) for one called glycine (G) in a region of the genome that encodes the spike protein…’

Yesterday, Harrison County reported 8 new cases, Gregg 7, and Smith County 22. From Johns Hopkins:1. WEDDING RECEPTION OUTBREAK An August wedding in Maine has been linked to more than 175 associated cases and 8 deaths, including many who did not attend the wedding. Notably, none of the associated deaths attended the wedding. Six of the 8 deaths were residents of a nearby long-term care facility, where an employee who lives with someone who attended the wedding is believed to have introduced the virus. Associated cases have been identified in multiple long-term care facilities and the county jail. The outbreak at the jail has been attributed to an employee who attended the wedding, and it has resulted in at least 84 cases, including nearly half of the incarcerated population and employees as well as 17 household contacts of employees.
The wedding reportedly had 62-65 attendees and an indoor ceremony and reception, which violated the state prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people, and attendees reportedly did not adhere to recommendations regarding physical distancing or mask use. All attendees had their temperatures checked before entering; however, this failed to identify infectious individuals. The Maine CDC issued an “imminent health hazard” citation to the event facility where the reception was held for failing to maintain social distancing measures, allowing too many people to congregate, and neglecting to collect contact information from wedding guests. The facility reportedly suspended all operations due to the outbreak. This case study highlights the potential for transmission at individual events to spill over into the community as well as the limitations of temperature or symptom monitoring to identify infectious individuals.(J. Harris: This could happen tomorrow at any site in the US. Good tracking and testing made the situation informative — as well as frightening. The contagiousness of the virus is still as prevalent as it was in August. So, space out, avoid crowds, and wear your mask.)
2. Long-term hydroxychloroquine use in patients with rheumatic conditions and development of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a retrospective cohort study

From The Atlantic:The Core Lesson of the COVID-19 Heart Debate (The Atlantic) Autopsies have found traces of the coronavirus’s genetic material in the heart, and actual viral particles within the heart’s muscle cells. Experiments have found that SARS-CoV-2 can destroy lab-grown versions of those cells. Several studies have now shown that roughly 10 to 30 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had high levels of troponin—a protein released into the blood when the heart’s muscle cells are damaged. Such patients are more likely to die than others with no signs of heart injury.
Massive genetic study shows coronavirus mutating and potentially evolving amid rapid U.S. spread
“…The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say. The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say…. A larger batch of sequences was published earlier this month by scientists in the United Kingdom, and, like the Houston study, concluded that a mutation that changes the structure of the “spike protein” on the surface of the virus may be driving the outsized spread of that particular strain…“Although we don’t know yet, it is well within the realm of possibility that this coronavirus, when our population-level immunity gets high enough, this coronavirus will find a way to get around our immunity,….If that happened, we’d be in the same situation as with flu. We’ll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we’ll have to tinker with our vaccine.”The genetic data show the virus arrived in Houston many separate times, presumably at first by air travel. Notably, 71 percent of the viruses that arrived initially were characterized by a now famous mutation, which appears to have first originated in China, that scientists increasingly suspect may give the virus a biological advantage in how it spreads. It is called D614G, referring to the substitution of an amino acid called aspartic acid (D) for one called glycine (G) in a region of the genome that encodes the spike protein…’

Yesterday, Harrison County reported 8 new cases, Gregg 7, and Smith County 22. From Johns Hopkins:1. WEDDING RECEPTION OUTBREAK An August wedding in Maine has been linked to more than 175 associated cases and 8 deaths, including many who did not attend the wedding. Notably, none of the associated deaths attended the wedding. Six of the 8 deaths were residents of a nearby long-term care facility, where an employee who lives with someone who attended the wedding is believed to have introduced the virus. Associated cases have been identified in multiple long-term care facilities and the county jail. The outbreak at the jail has been attributed to an employee who attended the wedding, and it has resulted in at least 84 cases, including nearly half of the incarcerated population and employees as well as 17 household contacts of employees.
The wedding reportedly had 62-65 attendees and an indoor ceremony and reception, which violated the state prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people, and attendees reportedly did not adhere to recommendations regarding physical distancing or mask use. All attendees had their temperatures checked before entering; however, this failed to identify infectious individuals. The Maine CDC issued an “imminent health hazard” citation to the event facility where the reception was held for failing to maintain social distancing measures, allowing too many people to congregate, and neglecting to collect contact information from wedding guests. The facility reportedly suspended all operations due to the outbreak. This case study highlights the potential for transmission at individual events to spill over into the community as well as the limitations of temperature or symptom monitoring to identify infectious individuals.(J. Harris: This could happen tomorrow at any site in the US. Good tracking and testing made the situation informative — as well as frightening. The contagiousness of the virus is still as prevalent as it was in August. So, space out, avoid crowds, and wear your mask.)
2. Long-term hydroxychloroquine use in patients with rheumatic conditions and development of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a retrospective cohort study

From The Atlantic:The Core Lesson of the COVID-19 Heart Debate (The Atlantic) Autopsies have found traces of the coronavirus’s genetic material in the heart, and actual viral particles within the heart’s muscle cells. Experiments have found that SARS-CoV-2 can destroy lab-grown versions of those cells. Several studies have now shown that roughly 10 to 30 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had high levels of troponin—a protein released into the blood when the heart’s muscle cells are damaged. Such patients are more likely to die than others with no signs of heart injury.
Massive genetic study shows coronavirus mutating and potentially evolving amid rapid U.S. spread
“…The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say. The new report, however, did not find that these mutations have made the virus deadlier or changed clinical outcomes. All viruses accumulate genetic mutations, and most are insignificant, scientists say…. A larger batch of sequences was published earlier this month by scientists in the United Kingdom, and, like the Houston study, concluded that a mutation that changes the structure of the “spike protein” on the surface of the virus may be driving the outsized spread of that particular strain…“Although we don’t know yet, it is well within the realm of possibility that this coronavirus, when our population-level immunity gets high enough, this coronavirus will find a way to get around our immunity,….If that happened, we’d be in the same situation as with flu. We’ll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we’ll have to tinker with our vaccine.”The genetic data show the virus arrived in Houston many separate times, presumably at first by air travel. Notably, 71 percent of the viruses that arrived initially were characterized by a now famous mutation, which appears to have first originated in China, that scientists increasingly suspect may give the virus a biological advantage in how it spreads. It is called D614G, referring to the substitution of an amino acid called aspartic acid (D) for one called glycine (G) in a region of the genome that encodes the spike protein…’

J. Harris’ version of Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Review of Viral, Host, and Environmental Factors Click here to read the document

When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new
car or a new wife.
~ Prince Philip

If a 7-Eleven is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/23/2020

September 23, 2020

Recently in East Texas: Monday Harrison County reported 1 new case and 4 on Tuesday, while Gregg had 40 and 20 and Smith 60 and 15 on the same days.

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(J. Harris: notice that the green area above, which I consider the most important and which represents Covid Hospitilizations in Texas. It shows a great deal of stability at present, except in the Paris, Lufkin, Austin, and  Waco areas.)

From Johns Hopkins:

1. Measurement of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in Wastewater Tracks Community Infection Dynamics(Nature Biotechnology) We measured severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA concentrations in primary sewage sludge in the New Haven, Connecticut, USA, metropolitan area during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Spring 2020. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected throughout the more than 10-week study and, when adjusted for time lags, tracked the rise and fall of cases seen in SARS-CoV-2 clinical test results and local COVID-19 hospital admissions. Relative to these indicators, SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in sludge were 0–2 d ahead of SARS-CoV-2 positive test results by date of specimen collection, 0–2 d ahead of the percentage of positive tests by date of specimen collection, 1–4 d ahead of local hospital admissions and 6–8 d ahead of SARS-CoV-2 positive test results by reporting date. Our data show the utility of viral RNA monitoring in municipal wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 infection surveillance at a population-wide level. In communities facing a delay between specimen collection and the reporting of test results, immediate wastewater results can provide considerable advance notice of infection dynamics.

2. EYEGLASSES Researchers from China published findings from study investigating whether the use of eyeglasses provides protection against SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The study, published in JAMA: Ophthalmology, included a cohort of 276 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Hubei Province in January-March. Among these patients, 5.8% routinely wore eyeglasses—defined as more than 8 hours per day—compared to an estimated 31.5% among the general public. The researchers hypothesize that wearing glasses could reduce the amount that people touch their eyes, which could reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. While protective eyewear is recommended for healthcare professionals, peer-reviewed evidence is limited regarding any potential protective effect for the general public. Further research is necessary to better characterize any effect of eyeglasses on mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk outside the context of the healthcare setting.

3. SARS-CoV-2–Associated Deaths Among Persons Aged <21 Years — United States, February 12–July 31, 2020 Among 121 SARS-CoV-2–associated deaths among persons aged <21 years reported to CDC by July 31, 2020, 12 (10%) were infants and 85 (70%) were aged 10–20 years. Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native persons accounted for 94 (78%) of these deaths; 33% of deaths occurred outside of a hospital. Persons aged <21 years exposed to SARS-CoV-2 should be monitored for complications. Ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2–associated infection, hospitalization, and death among persons aged <21 years should be continued as schools reopen in the United States. (CDC MMWR, 9/18/2020)

Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making
(J. Harris: A guide for school to use with COVID.)

The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix
(J. Harris: Small world. A local Norwegian housekeeper’s father built the 3M Plant mentioned in South Dakota  in this story — over 40 years ago.)

Apple is designing a new automatic car. But they’re having trouble installing Windows!

How did the picture end up in jail? It was framed!

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/21/2020

September 21, 2020

Harrison County is averaging a little over 4 new cases daily for the last several days. 

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Click here to enlarge this table

(J. Harris: notice the above area figures show a decrease in the total hospital census of Covid patients but no improvement in the number of cases in ICU in or area. The number of ICU beds available is aboutis about the same as last month. So, we’re stagnant right now. We did not have increased cases associated with labor day, and STATEWIDE cases are down about 50% over the last month or so. However, FLU season is coming. Please get your Flu shot.There is still no COVID prevention better than Masks and distance and good sense.)

SOMETHINGS NEW ABOUT TRANSMISSION OF COVIDD: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Review of Viral, Host, and Environmental Factors

(From Annals of Internal Medicine)

(J. Harris: I wrote and erased a summary of this article. You need to read it. I’ve read it 3 times so far, and learn something new each time. If you read and digest this article, you will know more about COVId that 99.9% of the people in this world know about it! I believe that it was purposefully written in an understandable manner without any gibberish and “doctor speak” —-and there are few abbreviations. I’m now going to put in on “Word” and play with it some more. I have to stop reading, make my mind quit racing ahead, and reread virtually every paragraph. It’s loaded. 

I’m not going to send anything out for awhile so that you can read the WHOLE ARTICLE and one good letter to the editor following the article. If you have comments or questions, send me an email).Great News: I’ve volunteered for the vaccine trials for Covid-19 which apparently were made by a Russian Pharmaceutical company.
I received my first shot and wanted to let ya’ll know that it’s completely safe with иo side effects whatsoeveя, and that I feelshκι χoρoshό я чувствую себя немного странно и я думаю, что вытащил ослиные уши.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/20/2020

September 20, 2020

From MNM:

Harrison County’s COVID-19 numbers experienced a great leap on Friday with 13 new cases reported…School Cases Also on Friday, Marshall Independent School District reported three active cases — two at Marshall Early Childhood Center and one at Marshall High School. Of the cumulative total of eight cases for MISD campuses, five have been recoveries, which include one recovery at MECC, two recoveries at MHS and two recoveries at Marshall Junior High School.

  HERD IMMUNITY (From THE LANCET)      (.”How did herd immunity enter the language of public health? The phrase seems to have first appeared in the work of American livestock veterinarians concerned about “contagious abortion”—epidemics of spontaneous miscarriage—in cattle and sheep. By the 1910s, it had become the leading contagious threat to cattle in the USA. Farmers destroyed or sold affected cows. Kansas veterinarian George Potter realised that this was the wrong approach. Writing with Adolph Eichhorn in 1916 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, he envisioned “herd immunity”. As he wrote in 1918, “Abortion disease may be likened to a fire, which, if new fuel is not constantly added, soon dies down. Herd immunity is developed, therefore, by retaining the immune cows, raising the calves, and avoiding the introduction of foreign cattle.”…..With potential vaccines still likely to be many months away, and with lockdowns and social distancing causing social and economic disruption, there are no ideal options. British public health expert Raj Bhopal likened the situation to being in zugzwang, “a position in chess where every move is disadvantageous where we must examine every plan, however unpalatable”. He sought to overcome the animal connotations of “herd immunity” by encouraging the use of “population immunity” instead. Changing the label of herd immunity might remove the connotations but not fix the problem. Without a vaccine, many people would have to die from COVID-19 before population immunity is achieved.” J. Harris: Click here to read an article that explains “Population Immunity” and which is a good read including attempts at achieving immunity in Diptheria before the vaccine was available,) ….

FROM JOHHS HOPKINS1. Fast Coronavirus Tests: What They Can and Can’t Do (Nature) The United States leads the world in COVID-19 deaths but lags behind many countries — both large and small — in testing capacity. That could soon change. (J. Harris: another good review of tests and testing).
2. Lilly’s Covid-19 Antibody Helps Some Patients Rid their Systems of Virus Sooner in Early Analysis (STAT) A drug being developed by Eli Lilly helped sick patients rid their systems of the virus that causes Covid-19 sooner and may have prevented them from landing in the hospital, according to newly released data. The drug is what is known as a monoclonal antibody, which experts view as being among the most likely technologies to help treat Covid-19. It’s a manufactured version of the antibodies that the body uses as part of its response to a virus.
3. Why Can’t America Make Enough N95 Masks? 6 Months Into Pandemic, Shortages Persist(NPR) Since the coronavirus pandemic began, President Trump and industry officials have talked a lot about the need to ramp up domestic manufacturing of critical protective gear. But six months on, there are still shortages of all kinds of PPE, like N95 respirator masks, while face shields are easy to find. The disconnect can be traced, in part, to the lack of a coherent national plan.
4. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Review of Viral, Host, and Environmental Factors(Annals of Internal Medicine) This article presents a comprehensive review of the evidence on transmission of this virus. Strong evidence from case and cluster reports indicates that respiratory transmission is dominant, with proximity and ventilation being key determinants of transmission risk. In the few cases where direct contact or fomite transmission is presumed, respiratory transmission has not been completely excluded. Infectiousness peaks around a day before symptom onset and declines within a week of symptom onset, and no late linked transmissions (after a patient has had symptoms for about a week) have been documented. The virus has heterogeneous transmission dynamics: Most persons do not transmit virus, whereas some cause many secondary cases in transmission clusters called “superspreading events.” 
Why a “Wear No Mask” Preacher Changed his Mind

UT researcher: 20% of Houston may already have been infected with COVID

France Encourages Use Of Transparent Masks To Help Those With Hearing Loss

‘A Very Serious Situation’: WHO Says Coronavirus Cases Are Rising In Europe Again
The World Health Organization warned on Thursday that weekly coronavirus case numbers are rising in Europe at a higher rate than during the pandemic’s peak in March.
(J. Harris: Short article, worth the read. We still have a ways to go.)

What do you call a girl with one leg that’s shorter than the other? Ilene.

What did syrup to the waffle? I love you a waffle lot!

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Tweetsanity

By George Smith

When Trump was elected, I wrote: “He is our president, my president, and I want him to be the best president. Our country needs leadership, needs healing and an end to division…in politics, in suspicion, in hatred, and in irresponsible use of social media and vitriolic tweeting.”

But Trump kept tweeting his irrepressible anger and juvenile judgmental harrangues and I wonder why.

He has Fox News and NewsMax and the Washington Examiner; he has his parroting communications team, his all-in cabinet officials, his Hell-Yeah kids and in-laws and in-GFs and aides and staffers to do his shouting.

So, why does he keep tweeting craziness-cubed statements aimed at aggravating some folks that might — MIGHT — consider his point of view if he would take a more gentle approach in his rhetoric?

Trump should rely more on  his Mulvaneys, his Cruzes, his McElehenys and his Grahams to carry the dirty word-water…and shhhhhhhh…stop the tweetsanity!

Trump should leave the nastiness to his attack dogs and try and rev up support from those who detest his bully-boy social media tactics.

It is obvious the president has never heard the English proverb: Why buy a dog if you’re going to bark?

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You doing okay?

By George Smith

Before the weekend, maybe as early as Wednesday, 200,000 Americans will have died from COVID 19.

This is the pandemic President Trump called  “Democratic hoax” and said  numerous times it “would disappear” and was “not as bad” as the flu. This was months AFTER he told an investigative journalist (on tape) writing a book about his presidency that is was “airborne and deadly” five times more deadly than the flu.

Trump has been consistent only in his inconsistency.

National Public Radio reported “Trump has gone from downplaying the risk early on, to overselling the availability of test kits, to encouraging strict social distancing measures, to questioning whether those measures were causing too much economic and emotional pain. He has claimed ‘total’ authority and then insisted it’s really up to the states to manage the response.”

He proudly states he “banned” travel from China early in without mentioning more than 45,000 people from China — American travelers returning home, businessmen and women—were exempt from the ban, which exploded the number of cases on bith coasts.

His mismanagement of this global health crisis, and his constant pronouncements about the “incredible job” the U.S. has done in combatting the virus, caused needless deaths and suffering and was the catalyst for the nation’s economic chaos and turmoil.

Bottomline, his lies — constant and umwavering, which continue today — killed Americans. And the toll continues to rise thanks to his ego-driven need to be re-elected, and his cult-like followers.

Those who support him today, after hearing in his own words how he lied to all Ametican residents about the dangers of the pandemic, are “in for penny, in for a pound” in his vision of a Trump America of death, destruction, divided and with a war raging among the haves and have nots.

History will condemn this religious and fiscal heretic who is devoid of empathy, compassion and love of anything but his name, his money and his need for instant adulation.

And those that support him for whatever reason, are complicit in this slow-motion destruction of America.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/18/2020

September 18, 2020

HOT OFF THE PRESS[Marshall News Messenger] Governor Abbott provides update on state openings

WAS THE USPS GOING TO SEND FREE MASKS TO ALL AMERICANS?
Suboptimal US Response to COVID-19 Despite Robust Capabilities and Resources
(J. Harris: This is a “Viewpoint”   article from the “Journal of the American Medical Association”  that outlines and briefly discusses in an understandable manner some of the problems that the US (and others) have had in combating COVID. It is worth the time to read and consider. I agree with most if not all of it.)

FROM JOHNS HOPKINS

1. Bridging the Gap at Warp Speed — Delivering Options for Preventing and Treating Covid-19(NEJM) Much attention has been directed to OWS’s goal of delivering substantial quantities of safe and effective vaccines by early 2021. But the initiative also aims to combat Covid-19 by improving the use of existing therapies and providing additional treatment options. We hope in this way to ameliorate the pandemic as we wait for the U.S. population to be fully immunized.

2. Synthetic Biologists Have Created a Slow-growing Version of the Coronavirus to Give as a Vaccine(MIT Technology Review) Now, researchers say, synthetic biology has led to a way to create a weakened form of the pandemic coronavirus that causes covid-19. Although the idea remains a long-shot in the vaccine race, an attenuated coronavirus could be formulated into inexpensive nose drops for use around the world. The startup company behind the new version of SARS-CoV-2, called Codagenix, is working with Serum Institute of India, based in Pune, which bills itself as the world’s largest vaccine maker. Plans are for the first volunteers to sniff up the synthetically designed virus starting in November, in initial human safety tests in the UK.

3. As Controversies Swirl, CDC Director is Seen as Allowing Agency to Buckle to Political Influence (STAT) Public health experts at the CDC who led the country’s responses to countless threats over decades — the deadly emergence of HIV, the anthrax attacks of the autumn of 2001, SARS, the H1N1 flu pandemic, and Ebola — have been sidelined and silenced by the administration in the midst of President Trump’s reelection campaign. On multiple occasions, guidance documents written by CDC staff — recommendations that are meant to be the most up-to-date distillation of the emerging science on the SARS-CoV-2 virus — have been revised by political appointees in Washington to reflect administration goals.(J. Harris: One of the most important and trusted publications sent without charge weekly by the CAC and read by working doctors, every week,  is the MMWR: ” In recent days, first Politico and then other news organizations have reported that officials in Washington have been attempting to revise or delay the publication of scientific reports in the CDC’s online journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. MMWR, as it is better known, is a bedrock of public health. It is where the first reports of AIDS cases in the United States were published; it is where public health workers seeking the latest on an outbreak or a disease first turn.

4. Viable SARS-CoV-2 in the Air of a Hospital Room with COVID-19 Patients (International Journal of Infectious Diseases) Viable SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from air samples collected 2 to 4.8 m away from the patients. The genome sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 strain isolated from the material collected by the air samplers was identical to that isolated from the newly admitted patient. Patients with respiratory manifestations of COVID-19 produce aerosols in the absence of aerosol-generating procedures that contain viable SARS-CoV-2, and these aerosols may serve as a source of transmission of the virus.

In Vitro Efficacy of a Povidone-Iodine Nasal Antiseptic for Rapid Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2

How much does the heaviest skeleton weigh? A skele ton.

Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the P is silent.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/11/2020

September 11, 2020

JOHNS HOPKINS SUPPLIED:
1. Clinical Outcomes in Young US Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19 (JAMA) Young adults age 18 to 34 years hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced substantial rates of adverse outcomes: 21% required intensive care, 10% required mechanical ventilation, and 2.7% died. This in-hospital mortality rate is lower than that reported for older adults with COVID-19, but approximately double that of young adults with acute myocardial infarction.4 Morbid obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were common and associated with greater risks of adverse events. Young adults with more than 1 of these conditions faced risks comparable with those observed in middle-aged adults without them. More than half of these patients requiring hospitalization were Black or Hispanic, consistent with prior findings of disproportionate illness severity in these demographic groups.
(J. Harris: If you’re thinking that getting it over with now and catching  COVID and then getting back to work wouldn’t be too bad, read the above. Even young adults have a 2.7% chance of dying as well as a 21% chance of requiring ICU care as well as the potential for multiorgan permanent damage and lots of debt. Wear your mask and space out. We’re getting there. Be patient.)
2. Adverse Outcomes and Mortality in Users of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs Who Tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study (PLOS Medicine) Concerns over the safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been raised. We studied whether the use of NSAIDs was associated with adverse outcomes and mortality during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Use of NSAIDs was not associated with 30-day mortality, hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, or renal replacement therapy in Danish individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-(J. Harris: Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not seem to cause any adverse effects with COVID infection.
Reassuring the Public and Clinical Community About the Scientific Review and Approval of a COVID-19 Vaccine
On September 8 the CEOs of 9 pharmaceutical companies released a joint pledge that they are committed to “developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles.”…..
Important safeguards should be established to reassure the clinical community and the public about any vaccine approval. The FDA should explain the role of the data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) for the vaccine trials, the first “independent” group that reviews the data, and any correspondence between the DSMB and the project investigators should be shared with the public. Two additional groups have an important consultant responsibility to the government and the public: the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee11,12 and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).13 These advisory groups are composed of medical, scientific, health policy, and public health experts who review data and develop recommendations for the use of vaccines…
The FDA should share all allowable and available data about a vaccine candidate with the FDA vaccine advisory committee and ACIP prior to making any decision about an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approval. Typically, the FDA’s vaccine committee makes recommendations prior to agency action, and ACIP soon afterward. In this challenging situation, the FDA should seek the input of both committees prior to making a decision. An FDA decision consistent with the advice of these independent experts will then reassure the public. However, if the FDA goes in a different direction, the agency will need to explain the reasons well to avoid confusion and vaccine hesitancy. If either panel is excluded from reviewing data, the FDA may struggle to convince the public and clinical community about the strength of the evidence, and vaccine uptake may be adversely affected.

Important safeguards should be established to reassure the clinical community and the public about any vaccine approval. The FDA should explain the role of the data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) for the vaccine trials, the first “independent” group that reviews the data, and any correspondence between the DSMB and the project investigators should be shared with the public. Two additional groups have an important consultant responsibility to the government and the public: the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee11,12 and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).13 These advisory groups are composed of medical, scientific, health policy, and public health experts who review data and develop recommendations for the use of vaccines.

(J. Harris: The public as well as civilian health care providers must have confidence that the Vaccines that are being developed are safe and effective. Civilian physicians, which is to say, working doctors who are not on the government payroll, must be satisfied that the Vaccine(s) selected are safe and worthwhile. If civilian physicians are unable to reassure their patients and convince them to take the Vaccine, then the people, understandably, won’t take them. 

Some of us remember the Swine Flu fiasco when President Gerald Ford was ill-advised by his medical experts as well as by revered historical vaccination doctors in 1976, an election year. In those days, private physicians like myself  FIRMLY believed in and trusted The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and The Food and Drug Administration. We knew many of the doctors who ran those agencies, and we trusted them. Everyone involved well knew the horrors of “Spanish Flu;”  that knowledge was  still fresh and familiar to practicing physicians and to  most American citizens in those 1976 days. 

That fall, I administered many, many Swine Flu shots and fortunately had no mishaps — and no flu.  I was lucky, but retrospectively, I made a mistake in giving the vaccinations. I wasn’t alone, and until recently, I have not reconsidered my decision then to try and prevent another H1N1 flu epidemic. But my revered experts were wrong in’76 as was Washington. 

 WE will get it right this time. The world’s need for an effective and safe vaccine is acute and desperate. This Pandemic is real — and dreadful. A good vaccine is mandatory and will be forthcoming. It should be possible to share it worldwide. 

What do you call a belt made of watches?     A waist of time!

What do sprinters eat before a race? Nothing. They fast.

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I’m waiting

By George Smith

Just twiddling my thumbs…waiting.

I am waiting, waiting all a-twitter, for a reasonable explanation why the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump would sit down for 18 interviews in nine hours total over six months with a reporter and admit he lied to the American people about the dangers of the COVID 19 virus.

Trump didn’t regurgitate truth pellets to the American people about the dangers of the coronavirus in February —at the same time he was going on Twitter and holding news conferences — he was stating emphatically the virus, which was virulent in its global pandemic specifications — was “no big deal and would “magically disappear”.

He lied. Regularly. Repeatedly. He spat in the face of scientists and experts on infection diseases. He pooh-poohed the use of and effectiveness of face masks to put the damper on the virus’ spread and said he was doing a good job as people died needlessly. He preached about reopening businesses prematurely.

President Trump lied. And people died.

Lying about the dangers and watching residents die while continung to spout the lie over and over was abjectly stupid.

Also abjectly stupid was agreeing to interviews with the reporter, Bob Woodward.

Bob Woodward. You do know the name, right? The “Robert Redford” of “All the President’s Men.” The Watergate Woodward. The dismantling of the Nixon Administration. The disgrace and resignation of Richard Nixon.

THAT Bob Woodward.

In the Watergate saga, Woodward and his investigative partner, Carl Bernstein, had “Deep Throat,”
an anonymous source that helped them focus the investigation along a ligical path.

In Woodward’s newest investigative effort, his new “Deep Throat” is … the president.

One has to assume one of two things about Trump agreeing to lengthy taped — TAPED — interviews with the world’s most famous investigative journalist: 1. That President Trump had never read the book about Watergate by Woodward and Bernstein, or seen the movie, or 2. He is so enamored with enhanced his bloviated image he was flattered by the attention.

Regardless of whether it was stupidity (there is no reason to plead “ignorance” in this case) or vanity, Trump can blame no one but himself.

This is the Supreme Gotcha! But in this case, Trump “got” himself. All  Woodward “got” was a money-making best seller and, maybe, another notch in the handle of his presidential pistol.

Waiting, just waiting. Waiting to see how Trumpuppets spin this newest revelation, waiting to watch the president try and explain away his taped words that killed thousands of American residents.

What is there to say?

Trump lied. And people died as a direct result of his lies.

Is he worthy to be president. Not then. Not now. Not in the future.

This newest Trumpisode in ignorance and egomaniacal behavior teminds me of the Dietks Bentley song:

“I know what I was feelin’
But what was I thinkin’”?

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 9/7/2020

September 7, 2020

On Friday, there were 4 new COVID cases in Harrison County and 8 in Gregg, and 18 in Smith County. 

FROM JOHNS HOPKINS:
1. It appears that the case fatality, both globally and for individual continents, is converging around 3%. However, there remains considerable variation between countries. Six (6) countries continue to report COVID-19 case fatality greater than 10%. Notably, 4 of these countries—Belgium, France, Italy, and the UK—were severely affected early in the pandemic, and all 4 are reporting decreasing trends. Yemen is reporting the world’s highest case fatality (29%)…. Mexico’s case fatality has largely leveled off since early August, holding steady at approximately 11%. A number of other countries around the world are reporting case fatality greater than 5%. The majority of these countries are reporting decreasing trends; however, in addition to Yemen, Iran and Egypt have both reported increasing case fatality since approximately mid-June. As a reminder, the case fatality ratio is determined not just by the virus, but also by case ascertainment and factors related to underlying population health and medical care.

UNITED STATES

The US CDC reported 6.09 million total cases (41,193 new) and 185,092 deaths (1,009 new). The United States’ average mortality fell below 900 deaths per day for the first time since July 24. In total, 19 states (no change) are reporting more than 100,000 cases, including California with more than 700,000 cases; Florida and Texas with more than 600,000; New York with more than 400,000; and ArizonaGeorgia, and Illinois with more than 200,000.

2. ‘Carnage’ in a Lab Dish Shows How the Coronavirus May Damage the Heart (STAT News) Maybe we should think of Covid-19 as a heart disease. When SARS-CoV-2 virus was added to human heart cells grown in lab dishes, the long muscle fibers that keep hearts beating were diced into short bits, alarming scientists at the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institutes, especially after they saw a similar phenomenon in heart tissue from Covid-19 patients’ autopsies.  Their experiments could potentially explain why some people still feel short of breath after their Covid infections clear and add to worries that survivors may be at risk for future heart failure.

3. Association of Vitamin D Status and Other Clinical Characteristics With COVID-19 Test Results (JAMA)  In this cohort study of 489 patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing, the relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status compared with patients with likely sufficient vitamin D status, a difference that was statistically significant. These findings appear to support a role of vitamin D status in COVID-19 risk; randomized clinical trials are needed to determine whether broad population interventions and interventions among groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 could reduce COVID-19 incidence. (J. Harris: “The Mayo Clinic states that the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D for most adults is 600 international units a day (IU). Doctors may prescribe higher doses to treat medical conditions such as vitamin D deficiency, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, for a short period of time. Daily use of high-dose vitamin D supplements for several months is toxic.” If you are taking Vit. D capsules from your doctor, they are usually 5,000-10,000 units each. If you are taking a multivitamine, it probably contains at least 600 units. DON’T TAKE MEGA DOESE OF VIT. D. If in doubt, your doctor can run a simple Vit. D level in your blood. 

In hotel rooms I worry. I can’t be the only guy who sits on the furniture naked.~ Jonathan Katz

Why don’t oysters donate to charity? Because they’re shellfish.

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