November 1, 2020

COVID CASES REPORTED FRIDAY, OCT 30Harrison County-14  totalGregg County-45  total, with 22 confirmed and 23 probableSmith County-64 total with 38 confirmed and 26 probable
TSA STATS FOR THE LAST 3 DAYS: NOT TOO BAD!Hospitalized covid patients: 255, 262, and 269 on 31 Oct.Covid in ICU:  73, 72, AND 78ICU  Beds Available: 32, 30, 35 (The lowest this value has been since April is 10 available beds on 23 Oct.)

TSA G:   IS COMPRISED OF THE FOLLOWING TEXAS COUNTIES: Anderson Camp Cherokee Franklin Freestone Gregg Harrison Henderson Houston Marion Panola Rains Rusk Shelby Smith Trinity Upshur Van Zandt Wood 



Humoral Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 in Iceland
Of the 1797 persons who had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, 1107 of the 1215 who were tested (91.1%) were seropositive; antiviral antibody titers assayed by two pan-Ig assays increased during 2 months after diagnosis by qPCR and remained on a plateau for the remainder of the study. Of quarantined persons, 2.3% were seropositive; of those with unknown exposure, 0.3% were positive. We estimate that 0.9% of Icelanders were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and that the infection was fatal in 0.3%. We also estimate that 56% of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in Iceland had been diagnosed with qPCR, 14% had occurred in quarantined persons who had not been tested with qPCR (or who had not received a positive result, if tested), and 30% had occurred in persons outside quarantine and not tested with qPCR.

Our results indicate that antiviral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 did not decline within 4 months after diagnosis. We estimate that the risk of death from infection was 0.3% and that 44% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Iceland were not diagnosed by qPCR.
(J. Harris: Iceland is, of course, relatively easy to “police” and they did a great job controlling the infection. The persistence of antibodies even after 4 months likely indicates longer immunity that some feared. Their medical people will be well set to continue gathering immunity information. I would guess their Chamber of Commerce is not too happy, however).


1. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Alters Barrier Function in 2D Static and 3D Microfluidic In-vitro Models of the Human Blood–brain Barrier (Neurobiology of Disease) The results presented in this report explored whether deleterious outcomes from the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike protein on primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMVECs) could be observed. Key to our findings is the demonstration that S1 promotes loss of barrier integrity in an advanced 3D microfluidic model of the human BBB, a platform that more closely resembles the physiological conditions at this CNS interface. Evidence provided suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins trigger a pro-inflammatory response on brain endothelial cells that may contribute to an altered state of BBB function. Together, these results are the first to show the direct impact that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein could have on brain endothelial cells; thereby offering a plausible explanation for the neurological consequences seen in COVID-19 patients. (J. Harris: The Covid-19 virus can make the protective coverings of the brain leak and not actively function to keep the brain cells from being contaminated)

2. Death Rates Have Dropped for Seriously Ill Covid Patients(New York Times) As the virus continued its rampage over the summer and fall, infecting nearly 8.5 million Americans, survival rates, even of seriously ill patients, appeared to be improving. At one New York hospital system where 30 percent of coronavirus patients died in March, the death rate had dropped to 3 percent by the end of June. (J. Harris: Fabulous news!)

3. Remote Marshall Islands Record First Confirmed Coronavirus Cases(NPR) On Wednesday, the government announced that two workers arriving from the U.S. tested positive for the coronavirus at a U.S. military base on Kwajalein Atoll. The two cases ended the Marshall Islands’ run as one of the few nations in the world with zero known coronavirus cases.(J. Harris: Please note that this island is not located in  Caddo Lake!)

Massachusetts hospital COVID-19 outbreak may be tied to employees eating together
An outbreak of COVID-19 cases among Holyoke (Mass.) Medical Center employees is believed to be linked to staff members eating together while on break… a cluster of employees began to show COVID-19 symptoms about two weeks ago, and 15 employees tested positive…(it was)  traced it back to employees eating a meal together in a break room, and obviously when you are eating a meal, you take your mask off and they contracted it from one employee who was positive.”
(J. Harris: And it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet.)


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