CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 08/13/2021

THE VIDEO IS  HELD OVER UNTIL SATURDAY! HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH THE VIDEO ANYWAY.

DAILY CASES PER 100,000 POPULATION FROM NYT AS OF 13 AUG:

FROM LANCET AUG 14:

 Risk of acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke following COVID-19 in Sweden: a self-controlled case series and matched cohort study

”…In conclusion, our findings suggest that COVID-19 is an independent risk factor for acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. Our results indicate that acute cardiovascular complications might represent an essential clinical manifestation of COVID-19 and the long-term effects might be a challenge for the future…”

J. Harris: Some high points: ”In our study, we identified COVID-19 as an independent risk factor for ischaemic stroke and acute myocardial infarction… it is highly likely that patients at day 0 were indeed infected with SARS-CoV-2 before their event, and that the systemic response to infection precipitated the event…The risk of acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke was significantly increased during the buffer period (day −28 to −4), probably owing to reverse causality—ie, nosocomial COVID-19 during hospitalisation for acute myocardial infarction or ischaemic stroke…we consistently identified COVID-19 as an independent risk factor for acute myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke…These findings suggest that the true risk is increased by between three and eight times for acute myocardial infarction and by between three and seven times for ischaemic stroke following COVID-19….Previous studies [have shown that] infections with other viruses or bacteria increase transiently the risk of ischaemic stroke and acute myocardial infarction however, this risk seems to be higher following COVID-1925 (eg, the risk of stroke was 7·6 times higher with COVID-19 compared with influenza26), probably due to the disease’s unique pathophysiological alterations.27 The exaggerated inflammatory response (cytokine storm)27 and the direct effect of the virus on endothelial cells28 are likely to precipitate cardiovascular events through ACE2 receptor downregulation, platelet activation, hypercoagulability,27 and effects on endothelial cells (activation, injury, dysfunction, and apoptosis)…. Long-term effects of COVID-19 on cardiovascular risk might also be a concern but need further analyses.

JAMA ENT TODAY:

NO Association of COVID-19 Vaccination and Facial Nerve Palsy

Question  Is the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine associated with increased risk of peripheral facial nerve palsy?

Findings  In this case-control study of 37 patients with acute-onset facial nerve palsy and a matched control group, no increased risk of facial nerve palsy was observed after vaccination. In addition, no meaningful increase in the number of admissions for facial nerve palsy was observed compared with preceding years.

Meaning  These outcomes suggest that recent vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine is not associated with an increased risk of facial nerve palsy.

NYT THURSDAY AFTERNOON LATE:

Texas hospitals are on the brink, again

”The worst is also far from over for Texas. According to the University of Texas at Austin Covid-19 Modeling Consortium, the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations across the state is projected to climb to well over 15,000 by the end of this month….More than 10,000 Texans have been hospitalized this week and at least 53 hospitals were at maximum capacity in their intensive care units….”

(J. Harris: And the governor is out to lunch?)

From Beckers;

1. Texas to deploy 2,500 medical workers to help hospitals amid COVID-19 surge

2. Breakthrough COVID-19 infection risk may differ with vaccine type, early Mayo Clinic research suggests

Hotez: As schools reopen, Houston will ‘pay the price’ for not doing more with masks, vaccines (An Interview)

FROM HOPKINS THURSDAY:

1. A Majority of Americans in Highly Vaccinated Counties Now Live in COVID Hot Spots (Washington Post) Two-thirds of Americans in highly vaccinated counties now live in coronavirus hot spots, according to an analysis by The Washington Post, as outbreaks of the highly transmissible delta variant — once concentrated in poorly vaccinated pockets — ignite in more populated and immunized areas.

2. Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PNAS) By analyzing over 350 papers, we estimated that more than one-third of infections are truly asymptomatic. We found evidence of greater asymptomaticity in children compared with the elderly, and lower asymptomaticity among cases with comorbidities compared to cases with no underlying medical conditions. Greater asymptomaticity at younger ages suggests that heightened vigilance is needed among these individuals, to prevent spillover into the broader community.

FROM NYT YESTERDAY:

America’s largest teachers’ union offered its support for policies that would require all teachers to be vaccinated or submit to regular testing.

MORE FROM HOPKINS:

1. GOOD NEWS ABOUT J&J VACCINE’S EFFECTIVENESS:

J&J-JANSSEN VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS Researchers leading the Sisonke clinical trial in South Africa on August 6 presented data showing the J&J-Janssen SARS-CoV-2 single-shot vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe disease and death from COVID-19 among healthcare workers. The Phase 3b study enrolled 477,234 healthcare workers at 122 sites throughout South Africa, administering the J&J-Janssen vaccine between February and May 2021. Data collection ran through July 17, and researchers will continue to monitor participants for another 2 years. Overall, the J&J-Janssen vaccine provided 91-96.2% protection against death from both the Beta and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants. When the Beta variant was dominant, the vaccine offered 67% protection from hospitalization, and 71% protection against hospitalization when the Delta variant became dominant. When breakthrough cases occurred, healthcare workers experienced mild symptoms and less than 0.05% of those cases resulted in severe disease or death. Two cases of rare blood clots occurred among participants, but both fully recovered. 

The data have not yet been peer reviewed nor published in a scientific journal, but they should alleviate some concerns over the J&J-Janssen vaccine’s effectiveness. Some previous studies suggest the vaccine might not be as effective against the Delta variant, leading some people to seek out an additional vaccine dose; however, the researchers concluded additional doses are not warranted at this time based on the data. J&J-Janssen is expected to release results of a trial evaluating a 2-dose regimen in the coming weeks. South Africa granted conditional approval to the J&J-Janssen vaccine in April, and so far has administered more than 1.85 million doses. The country also uses the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and has administered more than 6.77 million doses of that vaccine.

(J. Harris: This is GREAT news for those who took J&J vaccine. It also means that this vaccine can be used with a clear conscience and with great effect in areas where refrigeration is poor — and only one jab is needed.)

2. 2. Judge OKs Cruise Lines’ COVID Vaccination Requirement For Passengers In Florida (NPR) Norwegian Cruise Line can require passengers show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination before boarding any of its ships in Florida, a federal judge has ruled. The decision by U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams in Miami to grant Norwegian’s request for a preliminary injunction comes despite a state law passed in May that fines businesses which require proof of such vaccinations. The law, championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, slaps businesses with a fine of $5,000 per violation for asking customers to prove they were inoculated against the coronavirus. In her decision, Williams said Norwegian would likely succeed in a court trial with its argument that Florida’s so-called “vaccine passport” ban risks public health and infringes on the cruise line’s First Amendment rights.

3. .PRESS RELEASE

FDA Authorizes REGEN-COV Monoclonal Antibody Therapy for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for COVID-19 The US Food and Drug Administration revised the emergency use authorization (EUA) for REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together) authorizing REGEN-COV for emergency use as post-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) for COVID-19 in adults and pediatric individuals (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death. REGEN-COV is not authorized for pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent COVID-19 before being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus — only after exposure to the virus. REGEN-COV also remains authorized for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kg) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

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IS ANYTHING FUNNY WHEN WE ARE DOING NOTHING LOCALLY ABOUT COMBATING THE PANDEMIC? 

WILL NO ONE STEP FORWARD? 

 HEALTH CARE WORKERS EVERYWHERE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE ANGRY. 

 IT MAY BE TIME TO MOVE TO STURGIS WHERE THE BIKERS PROBABLY REALLY DO NOT KNOW ANY BETTER.

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