CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –12/02/2021

Covid Numbers Creeping Up in Area? 

FROM THE NYT:

Most new cases in South Africa are now the Omicron variant.

”…Nearly three-quarters of the 249 positive test samples that were checked genetically in South Africa in November were found to involve the Omicron variant, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases announced…New cases are rising sharply in South Africa, after having dropped to low levels in recent months. The institute said that there were 8,651 new cases reported on Wednesday, almost twice as many as the day before; as recently as early November, the country was averaging fewer than 300 new cases a day…”

(J. Harris: Awaiting more information regarding vaccination status of victims as well as the severity of their illness.)

An Israeli doctor with Omicron met dozens of people. Just one tested positive.

Biden’s winter Covid plan includes insurance reimbursement for at-home tests.

”…Senior administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to preview the president’s strategy, said the administration would also distribute an additional 25 million at-home tests to community health centers and rural clinics to make them more available to those who are not covered by private insurers, including Medicaid recipients….Looking forward, experts envision a world where people will test themselves as soon as they exhibit symptoms — and then, if they are positive, quarantine and seek treatment with new antiviral medicines that are in the development pipeline…”

AN EXCELLENT DAILY WAY TO FOLLOW COVID IN LOCATIONS  OF INTEREST (NYTIMES)

(J. Harris: After almost 2 years of looking, I believe the best statistic to follow locally as well as worldwide is “cases/100,000 population” I tried to use a “per 10,000” cases value but only the Texas Tribune agreed with me. NYT subscribers can make their own chart and receive it daily from the NYT. Below is mine.I get it daily.)

An F.D.A. panel endorses Merck’s Covid pill for high-risk adults.

BUT: “In the coming weeks, the F.D.A. may also authorize a similar pill from Pfizer that appears to be significantly more effective than Merck’s. Together, the arrival of the two easy-to-use treatments could provide a cushion against a resurgent virus.”

(J. Harris: Early tests concluded that the Pfizer oral treatment capsule for Covid Infections is better. Tests and early treatment are vital.)

Federal health officials say that they are expanding the search for Omicron in the U.S.

”…Four international airports — in New York, Atlanta, Newark and San Francisco — would enhance screening in a search for possible Omicron cases. “This program allows for increased Covid testing for specific international arrivals, increasing our capacity to identify those with Covid-19 on arrival to the United States,”…C.D.C. was working with airlines to collect information on passengers that can be used for contact tracing if a case of Omicron is discovered. [The] C.D.C. plans to toughen testing and screening of international fliers to the United States by requiring them to provide a negative result from a test taken within 24 hours of departure….The United States had already made substantial progress this year in scaling up the number of virus samples examined for possible worrisome variants,…sequencing roughly 80,000 samples each week and one in seven positive P.C.R. test samples, a volume that suggests it might not be long before scientists find the virus.

More from1 Dec. NYT REGARDING REGENERON IV ANTIBODY INJECTION FOR ACUTE COVID TREATMENT:

”…Regeneron said that its Covid-19 antibody treatment might be less effective against Omicron, based on laboratory analyses and computer modeling….”It’s an indication that the company’s popular and widely beneficial monoclonal antibody drugs may need to be updated in case the new variant spreads aggressively….”Regeneron said it had already been testing future antibody drug candidates, and that preliminary analyses indicated that some of those “may have the potential to retain activity against the Omicron variant.” More data is expected in the coming month.”
FROM JAMA:Measles a Growing Global Threat as COVID-19 Disrupts Childhood VaccinationsFROM NYT: OMICRON IDENTIFIED IN THESE COUNTRIES:  ROM HOPKINS:1.A Reason for Optimism on Omicron: Our Immune Systems are Not Blank Slates (STAT News) The emergence of a new Covid-19 variant with a startlingly large constellation of mutations has countries around the world sounding alarms. While the concerns are understandable, experts in immunology say people need to remember a critical fact: Two years and 8 billion vaccine doses into the pandemic, many immune systems are no longer blank slates when it comes to SARS-CoV-2.2. What the Moderna-NIH COVID Vaccine Patent Fight Means for Research (Nature) Collaborators are locked in a high-stakes dispute over which researchers should be named as inventors on a key vaccine patent application. The stakes are high. Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has projected that it will make up to US$18 billion on its COVID-19 vaccine this year. Inventor status could enable the NIH to collect royalties and to license the patent as it sees fit. We look at four key questions about the patent spat and its potential ripple effects on collaborations between government and industry.3. What the Moderna-NIH COVID Vaccine Patent Fight Means for Research (Nature) Collaborators are locked in a high-stakes dispute over which researchers should be named as inventors on a key vaccine patent application. The stakes are high. Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has projected that it will make up to US$18 billion on its COVID-19 vaccine this year. Inventor status could enable the NIH to collect royalties and to license the patent as it sees fit. We look at four key questions about the patent spat and its potential ripple effects on collaborations between government and industry.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

Definitions:

1. Arbitrator: A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonald’s

2. Sudafed: Brought litigation against a government official.

What To Say When Someone Tells You To Lose Weight:

“I ate the last person who said that to me.”

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