September 18, 2020

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

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.)


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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