May 12, 2020

The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them
J Harris: This is just about the most practical and useful article that I have sent out in two months. I recommend that you read it all, twice, and mail it to all of your family and friends. Thank you, Tony Crosby, for sending it to me.

Which Covid-19 Data Can You Trust?
This pandemic has been studied more intensely in a shorter amount of time than any other human event. Our globalized world has rapidly generated and shared a vast amount of information about it. It is inevitable that there will be bad as well as good data in that mix. These massive, decentralized, and crowd-sourced data can reliably be converted to life-saving knowledge if tempered by expertise, transparency, rigor, and collaboration. When making your own decisions, read closely, trust carefully, and when in doubt, look to the experts.

After Recovery From the Coronavirus, Most People Carry Antibodies
JH: Antibodies do develop after most infections with Covid-19 it seems, but maybe slower than speculated. Hopefully, these antibodies will confer immunity to the patient. (It is also hoped that future studies with the same patients and the same test will demonstrate how long the antibodies persist).Excerpts:”… most (current) antibody tests are fraught with false positives — picking up antibody signals where there are none. The new study relied on a test developed by Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, that has a less than 1 percent chance of producing false-positive results.

“Having antibodies is not the same as having immunity to the virus. But in previous research, Dr. Krammer’s team has shown that antibody levels are closely linked with the ability to disarm the virus, the key to immunity.

“It really shows that most people do develop antibodies and that there’s very good correlation between those antibodies and their capability to neutralize virus…” 
“The team tested 624 people who had tested positive for the virus and had recovered. At first, just 511 of them had high antibody levels; 42 had low levels; and 71 had none. When 64 of the subjects with weak or no levels were retested more than a week later, however, all but three had at least some antibodies.

“That suggests the timing of testing for antibodies can greatly affect the results, the researchers said. “We weren’t looking exactly at this, but we had enough to say that 14 days is probably a little too early…” 

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