May 1, 2020

County Judge Chad Sims:

April 30, 2020 – Today we have 13 new cases of the COVID-19 virus to report in Harrison County bringing our total to 108. We also have 2 new recoveries to report. Removing the 7 fatalities and 15 recoveries leaves us with 86 active cases.

As mentioned yesterday, the Governor has eased some of the restrictions effective tomorrow. This should not be viewed as an all clear sign rather we should proceed with caution.

Our daily case count hasn’t shown any signs of easing yet so I urge all our residents to continue to take all precautions to protect yourselves and those around you.

FEMA Prepares to Send protective Gear to Nursing Homes (CNN Politics) The Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing to send personal protective equipment to nursing homes, which have struggled to obtain gear weeks into the pandemic as the death toll climbs.A FEMA spokesperson told CNN the agency is preparing to coordinate shipments of PPE, like surgical masks, gowns and gloves, to nursing homes across the nation.


“REINFECTIONS” MAY HAVE BEEN FALSE POSITIVE TESTS According to South Korean media, national health experts reported that more than 260 COVID-19 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 shortly after recovering were likely false positive tests rather than reinfections. The false positive test results are believed to have resulted from the test detecting the RNA of virus fragments. The PCR tests used to detect nucleic acids from clinical samples cannot distinguish between virus that is viable and not viable. When reports emerged several weeks ago about recovered COVID-19 patients testing positive, it raised concerns that individuals could be reinfected soon after recovering. At that time, some experts, including Dr. Keiji Fukuda, Director of Hong Kong University’s School of Public Health, suggested that it was more likely that the tests were detecting viral fragments than the recovered patients being immediately reinfected.

What you can do (NY Times)
Track your symptoms. If you think you have Covid-19, it’s important to mark your calender at the first sign of illness and keep track as they develop. Here, from our colleague Tara Parker-Pope, is a rough timeline of how the virus progresses:
·       Days 1 to 3 — It can start with a tickle in your throat or a cough, a fever, headaches, feeling winded or a little pressure in your chest. Some people may just feel tired. Some may lose their sense of taste and smell.·       Days 4 to 8 — Fevers, cough and fatigue will intensify in many patients. Around Day 5, older patients and those with underlying conditions should start watching for signs of a more serious infection, like increasing shortness of breath.·       Days 8 to 12 — People with mild cases may start to feel better, but doctors urge caution at this stage. Many patients will continue recovering, but some may quickly take a turn for the worse. It can happen in younger and healthier patients as late as Day 12.·       After that — If your illness was relatively mild, you should be well recovered by this point. Those whose symptoms were worse, but who maintained normal blood oxygen levels, should be feeling mostly recovered. Patients who had severe symptoms or needed medical intervention will recover more slowly.Suggested by Former Mayor Audrey Kariel: An important Ted Talk WITH WHICH I AGREE: high points: B: “… So I think the kind of equation to keep in mind is that the virus moves dependent on three major issues. One is the R0, the first number of secondary cases that there are when the virus emerges. In this case, people talk about it being 2.2, 2.4. But a really important paper three weeks ago, in the “Emerging Infectious Diseases” journal came out, suggesting that looking back on the Wuhan data, it’s really 5.7. So for argument’s sake, let’s say that the virus is moving at exponential speed and the exponent is somewhere between 2.2 and 5.7. The other two factors that matter are the incubation period or the generation time. The longer that is, the slower the pandemic appears to us. When it’s really short, like six days, it moves like lightning. And then the last, and the most important — and it’s often overlooked — is the density of susceptibles. This is a novel virus, so we want to know how many customers could it potentially have. And as it’s novel, that’s eight billion of us. The world is facing a virus that looks at all of us like equally susceptible. Doesn’t matter our color, our race, or how wealthy we are.“… it (the danger) is exactly the combination of the short incubation period and the high transmissibility. …And I get calls from doctors in emergency rooms and treating people in ICUs all over the world, and they all say the same thing: “How do I choose who is going to live and who is going to die? I have so few tools to deal with.” It’s a terrifying disease, to die alone with a ventilator in your lungs, and it’s a disease that affects all of our organs. It’s a respiratory disease — perhaps misleading. Makes you think of a flu. But so many of the patients have blood in their urine from kidney disease, they have gastroenteritis, they certainly have heart failure very often, we know that it affects taste and smell, the olfactory nerves, we know, of course, about the lung. The question I have: is there any organ that it does not affect? And in that sense, it reminds me all too much of smallpox.(What can we do?)  “…slow down, slow down the speed of the epidemic, and then in the troughs, in between waves, jump on, double down, step on it, and find every case, trace every contact, test every case, and then only quarantine the ones who need to be quarantined, and do that until we have a vaccine.“…Oh, of course we can do this. I mean, Taiwan did it so beautifully, Iceland did it so beautifully, Germany, all with different strategies, South Korea. It really requires competent governance, a sense of seriousness, and listening to the scientists, not the politicians following the virus. Of course we can do this. Let me remind everybody — this is not the zombie apocalypse, it’s not a mass extinction event. You know, 98, 99 percent of us are going to get out of this alive. We need to deal with it the way we know we can, and we need to be the best version of ourselves. Both sitting at home as well as in science, and certainly in leadership.”Question: “And how does that translate into a likely timeline, do you think? A year, 18 months, is that possible? “LB: “You know, Tony Fauci is our guru in this, and he said 12 to 18 months. I think that we will do faster than that in the initial vaccine. But you may have heard that this virus may not give us the long-term immunity — that something like smallpox would do. So we’re trying to make vaccines where we add adjuvants that actually make the vaccine create better immunity than the disease, so that we can confer immunity for many years. That’s going to take a little longer.“What I found is that in the Smallpox Eradication Programme people of all colors, all religions, all races, so many countries, came together. And it took working as a global community to conquer a global pandemic. Now, I feel that we have become victims of centrifugal forces. We’re in our nationalistic kind of barricades. We will not be able to conquer a pandemic unless we believe we’re all in it together. This is not some Age of Aquarius, or Kumbaya statement, this is what a pandemic forces us to realize. We are all in it together, we need a global solution to a global problem. Anything less than that is unthinkable.”BEST UP TO DATE STATS ON NETGenetic Engineering Could Make a COVID-19 Vaccine in Months Rather Than YearsA very readable introduction to various vaccines. (Did not come through yesterday). ORIGINAL ARTICLE  Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19CONCLUSIONSOur study confirmed previous observations suggesting that underlying cardiovascular disease is associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death among patients hospitalized with Covid-19. Our results did not confirm previous concerns regarding a potential harmful association of ACE inhibitors or ARBs with in-hospital death in this clinical context. 

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