Marshall Begins Mosquito Spraying

[Marshall, Texas, April 20, 2020]

The Public Works Department will begin its spraying program this week to combat the number of mosquitoes in the area after recent rains.

With the recent heavy rains and warmer temperatures, Marshall has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  The City of Marshall is actively addressing the issue by spraying the entire city twice a month until cooler temperatures arrive in the fall.

“The City of Marshall has recorded over eighteen inches of rain the first three months of the year, so the ground is saturated and there’s standing water everywhere which breeds mosquitos,” Public Works Director Eric Powell, PE, said.

The spraying program involves driving every street in the city and spraying with an Ultra-Low Volume machine that produces an ultra-fine mist of mosquito killer.  The ultra-fine mist is not harmful to humans and pets.  The ultra-fine mist allows tiny droplets to drift over a much larger area than will be sprayed.  The spraying zones will remain the same from 2019, but the time will be changed to 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.  The spraying occurred in the early morning hours in 2019, but research has shown city-wide spraying to be more effective in the evening hours.

The spraying isn’t just for the mosquitoes; it’s also for the diseases and viruses they carry.  All residents should take proper precautions to avoid being bitten.  “We urge citizens to enjoy their outdoor areas and use common sense,” Powell said. “Wear a mosquito repellant, consider adding mosquito repellent plants to your landscape, and don’t open windows unless they have screens on them.”

“To combat this issue, we are asking residents to help the entire community to reduce and eliminate standing water on private property.”  Marshall has numerous creeks and drainage ditches and almost all are privately owned as they run across private property, neighborhoods, and subdivisions.

Powell urged private owners and their neighbors to take action and work together to eliminate any unnecessary standing water which serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  “If there’s standing water, try to eliminate it.  Fill it with dirt or turn it over if there’s an object holding water,” he said.

“It’s a hard battle if we don’t have help from residents,” he said.  “As long as we have warm weather reports, we’re going to continue to spray for mosquitoes.”

If there’s an area that’s badly concentrated with mosquitoes, Mr. Powell asks residents to call the City of Marshall Public Works Department so they can double up on spraying in that area. For more information or if an additional application of spray is needed in an area, call the Public Works office at (903) 935-4485.

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April 20, 2020


Serious problems are being reported with a new generation of tests flooding U.S. markets. The Food and Drug Administration allowed more than 90 brands of unvetted antibody tests to be sold to hospitals and acknowledges that some of them may be inaccurate or fraudulent. The tests are supposed to identify people who have been exposed to the virus, but health experts fear they may be giving false results. “Having many inaccurate tests is worse than having no tests at all,” the director of infectious disease programs at the Association of Public Health Laboratories told The Post.

NOT REAL NEWS: More falsehoods around the novel coronavirus

CLAIM: Smithfield Foods was sold recently to China. The hogs will still be raised in the U.S., but slaughtered and packaged for sale in China before being sent back here.

THE FACTS: Smithfield Foods does not import any products from China to the U.S. Social media users began resharing the false claim following the closure of a Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota on Sunday due to hundreds of employees testing positive for the coronavirus. The false claim has been circulating online since 2014. Smithfield Foods was sold to Chinese pork giant WH Group in 2013. Jenna Wollin, a spokeswoman for Smithfield Foods, told The Associated Press in an email that the claims circulating online were false. “No Smithfield products come from animals raised, processed, or packaged in China,” she said. “All our U.S. products are made in one of our nearly 50 facilities across America. These products are produced in compliance with the strict standards and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other federal and state authorities.” Posts with the false claim, which were shared hundreds of times, told social media users to “read this before buying meat.”

Freeze-dried tablets for oral vaccine delivery: Ease of administration and potential for production in existing facilities

(Work in progress, sent by JHopkins) 1. Introduction

Most pathogens enter the human body at mucosal surfaces lining the oral, nasal, rectal, or vaginal orifices and first infect cells at these ports of entry. Systemic disease ensues when the microbes or their toxins break down epithelial barriers and spread via the bloodstream. This mode of infection suggests that the most attractive routes for immunization could be at the mucosal surfaces first encountered, but most vaccines continue to be administered via intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. Mucosal vaccination induces pathogen-specific mucosal immune responses that can stop infection before it spreads to distal sites, but traditional intra- muscular and subcutaneous injections often do not provide this type of protection, especially in infants [1]. As an alternative, the oral route of delivery is acceptable for medicines across all global cultures, with a high rate of patient compliance. The oral cavity itself has potential sites for mucosal immunization (e.g., sublingual) and is also the gateway to the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract. However, only a few vaccines targeting the intestinal mucosa are administered orally because of the challenges of over- coming stomach acid and enzymatic degradation, which typically require large buffer volumes or an enteric coating for protection until the antigen reaches the intestine.

Advantages of oral vaccination include its needle-free format, which prevents needlestick injury and eliminates sharps waste. Oral vaccines can be administered by health workers with minimal training, and needle-free vaccination reduces vaccine hesitancy due to needle phobia, especially for the pediatric population. However, most current products are either in liquid form (cholera and rotavirus vaccines) that require an administration device or are presented as capsules (typhoid fever vaccine) too difficult for children to swallow.

To address disadvantages of current oral vaccines, we have developed a promising novel dosage form, the freeze-dried fast- dissolving tablet (FDT). Freeze-drying is the gold standard method for manufacture of vaccines—both oral and injectable—and our FDTs have the potential to be manufactured in current facilities with minimal changes to production. These tablets dissolve quickly, allowing adults to take them directly without added liquid, and require only 1.5–2 mL of fluid (less than a teaspoon) for administration to children (Fig. 1). FDTs could be administered by all levels of health workers—and possibly by patients themselves—which would accelerate vaccination rates in the event of a disease outbreak. Below we briefly discuss ongoing research on oral vaccines that target the intestinal mucosa, and then describe the techniques used in producing our FDTs, along with the resulting properties that could bring new advantages to oral vaccine production and administration. ….

The Promise and Peril of Antibody Testing for COVID-19       JAMA. Published online April 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6170

Unlike polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests—also referred to as molecular or nucleic acid–based tests—antibody tests aren’t intended to identify active SARS-CoV-2 infections. Instead of detecting viral genetic material in throat or nasal swabs, antibody tests reveal markers of immune response—the IgM and IgG antibodies that for most people show up in blood more than a week after they start to feel sick, when symptoms may already be waning.

Serologic antibody tests not only can confirm suspected cases after the fact, they can also reveal who was infected and didn’t know it. Up to a quarter of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection may unwittingly spread the virus because they have mild or no symptoms.

In their first therapeutic application, serology tests are being used to screen donor blood for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2(Covid-19) Plasma containing the antibodies from recovered patients is then transfused to gravely ill patients in an experimental treatment known as convalescent plasma. Early results from a small number of Chinese patients, published in JAMA in late March, were promising.

But experts strongly underscored that antibody testing generally should not be used to diagnose active cases.

(J.Harris: This is the type of test that Christus Good Shepherd is offering soon in East Texas. It is still not known if positivity for the antibody confers immunity nor how long the antibody will persist in the tested person’s blood. But the test is quick, cheap, and may be very helpful. Health care personnel who are positive might have less chance of reacquiring Covid-19 virus infection again and could perhaps safer work with infected patients.  Read this article for yourself. It contains useful information about other types of tests and vaccine possibilities)


Experience in Spain

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April 19, 2020

Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper?

The Epicenter A week inside New York’s public hospitals.

There are 11 municipal hospitals scattered across New York. They are unified by a single mission: to care for everyone who needs care, regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay. They are underfunded and scarce on beds, ventilators and protective equipment. But inside each of these overwhelmed hospitals, health care workers are doing things they’ve never done before to save the people fighting for their lives.

*J.Harris: Good pictorial history for recent hospital history in New York. See real HEROs at work.

Cases increasing in ages 40 and under, six under 21 have COVID-19 in Tyler

Can’t get story without subscription


The number of coronavirus cases in Louisiana showed modest growth on Sunday.

Caddo Parish has 1,261 positive cases of COVID-19 after having 1,244 on Saturday. The Caddo Parish coroner has reported 72 cases related to COVID-19.

Bossier Parish has 233 cases and 11 deaths related to COVID-19. That’s an increase of three cases.

Hope is on the Horizon, Harrison County

Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce

Local and School information

The Cororano Virus in America: The Year Ahead

J.Harris: Great Article

ExcerpTS: The scenario that … the lockdowns will end soon, that a protective pill is almost at hand, that football stadiums and restaurants will soon be full — is a fantasy, most experts said.

“If Americans pour back out in force, all will appear quiet for perhaps three weeks…

Then the emergency rooms will get busy again…

“There’s this magical thinking saying, ‘We’re all going to hunker down for a while and then the vaccine we need will be available,’” said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

“The tighter the restrictions, experts say, the fewer the deaths and the longer the periods between lockdowns. Most models assume states will eventually do widespread temperature checks, rapid testing and contact tracing, as is routine in Asia.

“As Americans stuck in lockdown see their immune neighbors resuming their lives and perhaps even taking the jobs they lost, it is not hard to imagine the enormous temptation to join them through self-infection, experts predicted. Younger citizens in particular will calculate that risking a serious illness may still be better than impoverishment and isolation.

“Dr. Fauci has said “the virus will tell us” when it’s safe. He means that once a national baseline of hundreds of thousands of daily tests is established across the nation, any viral spread can be spotted when the percentage of positive results rises.

“Ultimately, suppressing a virus requires testing all the contacts of every known case. But the United States is far short of that goal.

“Someone working in a restaurant or factory may have dozens or even hundreds of contacts. In China’s Sichuan Province, for example, each known case had an average of 45 contacts.

“The C.D.C. has about 600 contact tracers and, until recently, state and local health departments employed about 1,600, mostly for tracing syphilis and tuberculosis cases.

“China hired and trained 9,000 in Wuhan alone. Dr. Frieden recently estimated that the United States will need at least 300,000.”


This excellent article continues with discussions regarding treatment and vaccines and scope of manufacturing that will be necessary. This might be a good article to keep for future review. For at least the immediate future, employment and training in “Contact Tracing” should be contemplated and implemented. JH

Africa in the Path of Covid-19

… the numbers from Africa are like the early drops of rain before the clouds open up. Despite the slow arrival of Covid-19, a storm is building, and the 1.2 billion people living in Africa are at tremendous risk.”

J.Harris: The list of what is needed in Africa is now well known to most people in the world; it’s the same as every hospital in the US, Europe, China, and the world. Hopefully, we can spare them some help as our situations improve, especially as enhanced manufacture and distribution progress.

With Broad, Random Tests for Antibodies, Germany Seeks Path Out of Lockdown

When Pet Owners Fall Ill With Coronavirus, What Happens Next?

Experience in Spain

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