CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/11/2021

HELLO,

FROM BECKERS SELECTIONS:

1. Mu unlikely to replace delta as a dominant variant, virologists say

“…The delta coronavirus variant, which accounts for 99 percent of U.S. COVID-19 cases, will likely maintain its dominance over new variants such as mu (B.1.621) and lambda (C.37), virologists told The Wall Street Journal… they expect delta to outcompete these strains because of its high transmissibility. In short, other variants can’t spread to susceptible people as fast as delta can, which gives it a leg up…This means that new case surges will likely be driven by delta and its sub-variants, not a new virus lineage…At present, delta accounts for about 88 percent of new cases globally… on its current trajectory, delta would achieve fixation as the dominant strain worldwide within about a year of its emergence… In contrast, seasonal flu strains typically take two to five years to achieve fixation…”

2. New York health system to halt maternity care after staff resign over vaccine mandate

NYT SUMMARY

Breaking News: Unvaccinated Americans are 11 times more likely to die of Covid, the C.D.C. reported, among other data showing vaccines’ protection from severe cases.

GOOD SUMMARY OF PRESIDENT BIDDEN’S NEW COVID PLANS:

US COVID-19 RESPONSE In a speech delivered on September 9 from the White House, US President Joe Biden laid out a 6-pronged COVID-19 pandemic action plan, including new federal vaccine requirements for about two-thirds of the nation’s federal and private workforce, in an effort to stem the surge caused by the Delta variant and jumpstart economic recovery. President Biden excoriated unvaccinated individuals, saying “our patience is running thin” and blaming them for harming fellow Americans. He also pushed back against the politicization of the pandemic, promising to use the power of the federal government to take on state elected officials who are “undermining” the implementation of vaccination requirements, mask mandates, and other preventive measures.

Under the new plan, all private sector companies employing more than 100 people will be required to mandate vaccination or conduct weekly testing, affecting about 80 million people. Workers at healthcare facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, about 17 million people, also will have to be vaccinated, extending an earlier requirement for workers at nursing homes to include facilities such as hospitals, home-health agencies, and dialysis centers. President Biden also is requiring all executive branch employees and federal contractors to be fully vaccinated, with no testing option, covering several million more workers. Additionally, employees of Head Start programs and schools run by the Department of Defense and Bureau of Indian Education, about 300,000 people, will be required to be vaccinated.

President Biden announced several other pieces of the plan, including a doubling of fines for travelers who refuse to wear masks in transit stations or on airplanes or trains. The government also is working with manufacturers and large retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger, to lower the cost of at-home SARS-CoV-2 tests and distribute the tests to easily accessible sites such as shelters and food banks. The Department of Defense plans to send more teams into hard-hit areas, and the federal government will increase shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments and offer new support to small businesses

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. COVID-19 Vaccines Don’t Raise Miscarriage Risk, 3 Studies Show (CIDRAP) Pregnant women who received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine were not at higher risk for miscarriage than their unvaccinated counterparts, according to a trio of new US studies.

2. Los Angeles Mandates Student Vaccinations in Nation’s Second-largest School District (Washington Post) The Los Angeles school board on Thursday agreed to require coronavirus vaccinations for students ages 12 and up in the city’s public school system, with board members arguing that it is the best way to protect students and keep schools open for in-person learning. Los Angeles is by far the largest school district in the country to take this step as experts and officials across the country worry the surging and highly contagious delta variant could upend yet another school year. Already, many school districts mandate vaccination for school faculty and staff members, and in California the requirement is statewide.

AND FINALLY:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/10/2021

Biden mandates vaccines for workers, saying, ‘Our patience is wearing thin.’

(J. Harris: Public Health mandates are occasionally necessary and usually have been effective; Polio and Small Pox are examples of diseases virtually eleminated by judicious and persistent vaccination programs — world wide. Mandated Covid vaccination is now imperative for public health protection against Covid-19. Covid vaccines are available, effective, and are SAFE — and they are necessary to control the Delta variant. As new variants come along, and likely they will, additional vaccinations will be scientifically crafted and utilized.)

FROM HOPKINS CITED ARTICLES:

1. Kids and COVID: Why Young Immune Systems Are Still on Top (Nature) For most other viruses, from influenza to respiratory syncytial virus, young children and older adults are typically the most vulnerable; the risk of bad outcomes by age can be represented by a U-shaped curve. But with COVID-19, the younger end of that curve is largely chopped off. The novelty of SARS-CoV-2 levelled the playing field, and showed that children are naturally better at controlling viral infections.

2. Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2021–2022 (American Academy of Pediatrics) This statement updates recommendations for the routine use of influenza vaccine and antiviral medications in the prevention and treatment of influenza in children during the 2021–2022 influenza season. We recommend annual influenza immunization of all children without medical contraindications, starting at 6 months of age. Influenza vaccination is an important intervention to protect vulnerable populations and reduce the burden of respiratory illnesses during circulation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which is expected to continue during the 2021–2022 influenza season.

(J. Harris: Remember, we all need to get our flu shots this fall.)

FROM NEJM 8 SEPT:

1. Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines in Ambulatory and Inpatient Care Settings

CONCLUSIONS

Covid-19 vaccines in the United States were highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospitalization, ICU admission, or an emergency department or urgent care clinic visit. This vaccine effectiveness extended to populations that are disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection.

2. Effect of Vaccination on Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

”…We provide empirical evidence suggesting that vaccination may reduce transmission by showing that vaccination of health care workers is associated with a decrease in documented cases of Covid-19 among members of their households. This finding is reassuring for health care workers and their families…”

(J. Harris: The correspondence related to the early immunization of Scottish health care workers is very reassuring to all vaccinated folks)

THE LAST TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL DATA IS DATED AUG. 29, 2021. NOTE STUDENT CASES ON THE LEFT, STAFF ON THE RIGHT

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

(thank you G. C.)

For all of you with any money left or that do not know what to do with all of your government funds…. be READY for the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks.

Watch for these consolidations in 2021:

1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W. R. Grace Co. will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2. Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Darco Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

And finally….

9. Victoria ‘s Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/9/2021

GOOD NEWS:

EXCELLENT CALIFORNIA COVID SUMMARY: READABLE AND SURPRISING

(J. Harris: Interesting comparisons of the Covid situation in the various geographic areas of CA including the northernmost portions which are “the East Texas of California.”)

Scientists Find Genetic Link to Loss of Smell Among COVID-19 Patients

FROM HOPKINS SELECTIONS:

1. Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Israeli Children During the Circulation of Different SARS-CoV-2 Variants (JAMA Network Open) Since December 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant has been spreading in Israel, and by January or February 2021 it quickly became the predominant circulating strain; concomitantly, a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched. We compared the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 spread in children in 2 periods when different variants were circulating. 

‘…These results demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 spread more effectively and more rapidly among young children during the time of B.1.1.7 [DELTA] variant circulation in Israel. Transmission rates from children aged 0 to 9 years to other contacts were doubled during the time of B.1.1.7 circulation in Israel. However, hospitalization rates among children decreased. The latter finding is supported by studies in adults reporting increased contagiousness of the B.1.1.7 strain but not necessarily with increased severity.”

2. Pediatric Cases Surge in U.S. as Students Head Back to School (Washington Post) It’s back-to-school week for many families in the United States — just as coronavirus cases surge among children and teens. Weekly pediatric coronavirus cases surpassed 250,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to the most recent data published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Its data shows that more than a quarter of weekly reported coronavirus cases in the United States were among children for the week ending Sept. 2. And while most pediatric cases are not severe, nearly 2,400 children were hospitalized nationwide with covid-19 in the seven days ending Tuesday — more than ever before, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

 The pandemic’s toll on educators has made Texas’ teacher shortage worse

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

CAN’T GET UP TO VOTE?
YOU MAY HAVE ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/8/2021

Startling COVID report: Five things to know

J. Harris: Read it and weep — from the Longview paper.

FROM BECKER:

1. Americans didn’t avoid travel over holiday,

”…Daily infections reported were … higher than last year, with 316 percent more new daily COVID-19 cases reported on Labor Day this year compared to 2020, according to Baltimore… Daily virus deaths were almost twice as high, and hospitalizations were up 158 percent compared to the same time in 2020…”.

2. CDC: Child COVID-19 hospitalizations 10X higher for unvaccinated

”…The hospitalization rate among unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-17 was 10 times higher compared to those who were fully vaccinated…”

(J. Harris: Short article with 6 good points.)

3. LA reports 167 cases of new ‘mu’ variant — 8 updates

”…California had reported 399 cases of the strain as of Sept. 6, the highest in the country…The strain still accounts for less than 1 percent of samples sequenced in the state…Current evidence suggests the strain is likely “more transmissible,” according to Paul Cardenas, MD, PhD, an infectious disease and genomics expert in Ecuador who is studying the virus. Mu has “been able to outcompete gamma and alpha in most parts of Ecuador and Colombia,…”

FROM HOPKINS CITED ARTICLES:

1. Covid-19: Malaysia Hit by Record Cases Despite Prolonged Lockdown (BMJ) On 23 May 2021, Malaysia surged past India to record one of South East Asia’s highest covid-19 infection rates, with deaths per capita now exceeding India and neighbouring Indonesia. Since then, the numbers have only grown, despite the nation being in a state of emergency for seven months and in lockdown since June. Malaysia reported a record high of 22 242 daily cases on 18 August 2021, with a total of 1.47 million cases and 13 302 deaths during the pandemic. Doctors in east Malaysia and the southern state of Johor told The BMJ that emergency departments are seeing a surge in cases and have reached maximum capacity. The situation has been worsened by insufficient ventilators and staff. Musa Mohd Nordin, paediatrician and resident doctor in KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, told The BMJ that patient-facing staff are “overstretched and overworked” and have “reported physical, occupational, psychological, and socially negative impacts.”

(J. Harris: In May, most of these cases were various variants. Now the new cases are primarily Delta according to various Malaysia sequencing reports.)

2. US HOSPITAL BURDEN Across the US, hospitals are straining under the volume of COVID-19 patients, and several states are nearly out of ICU beds. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Texas have less than 10% of their ICU beds available. Georgia hospitals have topped their January highs on some days, and adult ventilator use has far outpaced the previous high. A US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:

What the Sturgis rally shows us about the delta variant (and Twits)

 By Ashish K. Jha

Ashish K. Jha is a physician, health policy researcher and the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

(J. HARRIS: 3 LARGE RALLIES TURNED OUT DIFFERENTLY):

I  ”…The annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota is America’s largest bike rally, a 10-day blowout, with attendance this year exceeding 250,000.If it [the 2021 Sturgis Rally] had gone off without big spikes in covid cases, it would have provided strong evidence that this level of population immunity — around 75 percent [in SD] — would allow us to get back to the way we did things in 2019. But unfortunately, that’s not what happened. In the weeks since the rally began in early August [2021], infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota. We can expect to see big increases in other states, too, since bikers returned home from the event. Last year, after Sturgis, we saw massive outbreaks across the Dakotas, Wyoming, Indiana, even Nevada. Much of the region was aflame because of Sturgis, probably causing thousands of deaths...[attendance each August in Sturgis is usually over 400,000 people as it was in 2020]

II  [In contrast] ”… what happened in Provincetown, Mass., over the July 4 weekend. Provincetown unfortunately also led to a spike in cases — but the infection numbers peaked quickly, dwindled and were gone three weeks later. There were very few hospitalizations and no deaths. Why? Because most of the people in Provincetown were vaccinated. That may be an indicator that population immunity from vaccinations is better and more protective than immunity from infections…”

III. ”Consider also this summer’s Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. All those attending were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. Anyone unvaccinated was required to wear masks throughout, even though the festival was outdoors. And those attending were asked to accept a “Lollapalooza Fan Health Pledge” promising they had not tested positive or been exposed to covid within two weeks or experienced any covid symptoms within 48 hours. The result? Of the hundreds of thousands of fans who attended the festival, only a few hundred have subsequently tested positive — and it is unclear whether any of them were infected at Lollapalooza.”

”Over the past year, every time we have tried to defy the virus by scorning precautions, the virus has won, and people have suffered and died: significant outbreaks, a lot of hospitalizations, too many deaths. Large gatherings like rallies, festivals and fairs are the biggest test of what our society can do in a pandemic….It’s important for Americans to find ways to come together. So we should ask how we can make gatherings safer…Here, the pandemic playbook is straightforward: Ensure you have a highly vaccinated population. Verify people’s vaccination status. Require rapid and frequent testing, especially for the unvaccinated. Improve indoor air quality, and use masking intermittently when needed.

None of these are difficult to achieve. And none of them should be particularly inconvenient. If we do all that, we can safely get back to the things we love and the events that bring us together, like music festivals, concerts and motorcycle rallies.

Resolution on Continued COVID Prevention by the NET Health Board of Directors (September 2nd 2021) (J.Harris: Our neighboring medical authorities are ahead of us, again.  It is worth reading the “whereas’. ”)

ANOTHER RESOLUTION SIGNED BY VIRTUALLY ALL AREA PHYSICIANS AND ASSOCIATED PRACTITIONERS IN ACTIVE PRACTICE;

(J. Harris: Thank you, Dr. Allman)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

As I watch this new generation try to rewrite our history, one thing I’m sure of … it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.

Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/7/2021

NOTE: School Data was supposedly reported on Friday, Sept. 3 but is still not available. 

AREA COUNTIES FROM NYT TODAY AND UNVACCINATED ET COUNTIES LOOK SICK:

One in 5,000

”…Delta has increased the chances of getting Covid for almost everyone. But if you’re vaccinated, a Covid infection is still uncommon, and those high viral loads are not as worrisome as they initially sounded…”

FROM NEJM:

Safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine in a Nationwide Setting

”…In this study in a nationwide mass vaccination setting, the BNT162b2 [PFIZER] vaccine was not associated with an elevated risk of most of the adverse events examined. The vaccine was associated with an excess risk of myocarditis (1 to 5 events per 100,000 persons). The risk of this potentially serious adverse event and of many other serious adverse events was substantially increased after SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

(J. Harris: A massive vaccination study with almost 900,000 vaccinated and a like number of controls that once again demonstrated that VACCINATION IS MUCH SAFER THAT GETTING THE DISEASE.)

FROM HOPKINS:

1.  WHO Warns New Mu Variant Could Be More Vaccine Resistant (The Hill) The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the Mu SARS-CoV-2 strain, first detected in Colombia, as a “variant of interest” adding in its weekly bulletin that it will be monitoring the variant’s spread. According to WHO, the Mu variant was first detected in Colombia in January 2021.

2. India’s DNA COVID Vaccine Is a World First – More Are Coming (Nature) India has approved a new COVID vaccine that uses circular strands of DNA to prime the immune system against the virus SARS-CoV-2. Researchers have welcomed news of the first DNA vaccine for people to receive approval anywhere in the world, and say many other DNA vaccines may soon be hot on its heels. ZyCoV-D, which is administered into the skin without an injection, has been found to be 67% protective against symptomatic COVID-19 in clinical trials, and will likely start to be administered in India this month. Although the efficacy is not particularly high compared to that of many other COVID-19 vaccines, the fact that it is a DNA vaccine is significant, say researchers.

3. Massive Randomized Study is Proof That Surgical Masks Limit Coronavirus Spread, Authors Say (Washington Post) The authors of a study based on an enormous randomized research project in Bangladesh say their results offer the best evidence yet that widespread wearing of surgical masks can limit the spread of the coronavirus in communities. The preprint paper, which tracked more than 340,000 adults across 600 villages in rural Bangladesh, is by far the largest randomized study on the effectiveness of masks at limiting the spread of coronavirus infections.

Rate of Recurrent Guillain-Barré Syndrome After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine BNT162b2

”…To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing safety of messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine in previously diagnosed cases of GBS. In this cohort study, which included 702 patients, only 1 needed short medical care for relapse of previous syndrome, which represents a minimal risk...”

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/6/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/6/2021

SEPT 5 KIDNEY ARTICLE FOR LONG HAULERS AND GOODBY MILTON

HELLO

HOPKINS CITATION:

1. COVID Long-haulers May Be At Risk for Severe Kidney Disease (CIDRAP) COVID-19 long-haulers—even those who experienced mild cases—are at significantly increased risk for substantial declines in kidney function, such as organ damage and chronic and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), according to a study today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.4.

THE ARTICLE ITSELF FROM THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF NEPHROLOGY:

Kidney Outcomes in Long COVID (summary and access to PDA copy of the 71 page medical article with many elegant charts)

(J. Harris:  This is an important article concerning VA patients — about 89000 with Covid, 1.7 million vets without Covid. I humbly attach my attempts at an understandable and readable summary of this study, which has profound implications for millions of people as well as for potentially massive future health care costs due to increased numbers of patients worldwide who are likely to develop chronic renal failure. The abbreviations are not mine, but I tried to label them.)

HARRIS SUMMARY OF VA LONG HAUL KIDNEY STUDY

‘’…..In this work, we characterize post-acute kidney outcomes in a cohort of 89,216 30-day survivors of COVID-19. The results show that beyond [after] the first 30 days of infection, COVID-19 survivors exhibited increased risk (and burden) of AKI [ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY], eGFR [GLOMERULAR FILTRATION RATE, A MEASURE OF KIDNEY FUNCTION] decline, ESKD [END STAGE KIDNEY DISEASE], and MAKE [MAJOR ADVERSE KIDNEY EVENTS]. The risks (and burdens) of kidney outcomes increased according to the severity of the acute infection. While AKI during the acute phase contributed to the increased… COVID-19 should involve attention and care for acute and chronic kidney disease…… Examination of intra- individual longitudinal change in eGFR suggested that COVID-19 survivors experienced greater loss of eGFR than non-infected controls and that eGFR loss was more profound as the severity of the acute COVID-19 infection increased. Taken together, these results suggest that beyond the acute phase of COVID-19 infection, people with COVID-19 experience higher risk adverse kidney outcomes… Post-acute care of [these kidney damaged] people …highlights the need for integration of kidney care as a component of the multidisciplinary post-acute COVID… The implications of our findings are clear. Given the large number of people infected with COVID-19 (>34 million people in the US, and > 193 million globally), and given that estimates by the World Health Organization suggest that 10% of people infected with COVID-19 may experience post-acute sequelae, the numbers of people with long COVID in need of post COVID care will likely be staggering and will present substantial strain on already overwhelmed health systems. Governments and health systems around the world are establishing post-acute COVID clinics to attend to the needs of people with post-acute COVID sequelae. The optimal composition of those clinics is not yet clear… In sum, we show that 30-survivors of COVID-19 exhibited higher risk of AKI, eGFR decline, ESKD, and MAKE than those not infected by COVID-19. Greater longitudinal eGFR loss was observed in COVID-19 survivors (compared to non-infected controls). The risk of adverse kidney outcomes increased according to the severity of the acute infection as proxied by the care setting (non-hospitalized, hospitalized, and admitted to intensive care). The totality of the evidence suggests that substantial risk of kidney outcomes in people with COVID-19 and highlights the need to integrate a kidney care component in post-acute COVID care pathways.

AUTHORS:

Bowe, Benjamin; VA Saint Louis Health Care System Clinical Epidemiology Center, Research and Development Service; Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Veterans Research and Education Foundation of Saint Louis

Xie, Yan; VA Saint Louis Health Care System Clinical Epidemiology Center, Research and Development Service; Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Veterans Research and Education Foundation of Saint Louis

Xu, Evan; VA Saint Louis Health Care System Clinical Epidemiology Center, Research and Development Service; Saint Louis University School of Medicine

Al-Aly, Ziyad; VA Saint Louis Health Care System Clinical Epidemiology Center, Research and Development Service; Veterans Research and Education Foundation of Saint Louis; Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Department of Medicine; Medicine Service, VA Saint Louis Health Care System, Department of Medicine.

A Message from Milton,

Milton asked me to let you know that he’s headed to the Valley for the winter, but hopes to visit our area again. He is considering enrolling at the famous school, Bishop Sycamore, in order to acquire a horticulture degree. He does not intend to participate in sports while in school….Later this year, when the woods and the ground get good and wet, the stalks that he left behind will be placed atop a massive funeral pyre and cremated. (See photo below) 

Milton said, however, that he will be unable to attend the ceremony, although he expects that the press will cover the ceremony in-depth…..Interestingly, an autopsy on the desiccated stalks that remained after he departed revealed that Milton actually had two separate stalks that grew independently (neither well) after he was rescued from the vicious Wild Boar attack that occurred shortly after he initially arrived…His parting words to me were” Speak softly and keep your hoe sharp.” Then with a farewell smile he whispered\”Okraaaaaaaaa.”

MILTON’S LAST STAND — ACCOMPANIED BY  MARY GOLD, HIS  LONG TIME COMPANION

MILTON’S STALKS CEREMONIAL PYRE, GUARDED BY A LARGE GERMAN SHEPHARD, LADY, WHO SWEARS THAT SHE NEVER DIGS IN THE GARDEN.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/04/2021

HELLO,

More than 5,000 Fort Worth students and teachers in quarantine for COVID-19 exposure

MISD COVID COUNTS AS OF 29 AUGUST:

NET Health board recommends masking in schools, businesses due to COVID-19 rise

Amazon algorithm directing readers to ivermectin, COVID-19 misinformation sites

Federal Health Officials Want The White House To Slow Its COVID Booster Shot Rollout

”…The leaders of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are telling White House COVID advisors that there is not enough data right now to make a blanket recommendation on boosters and that it may be prudent to start boosters with older adults first, pending FDA authorization…At a White House briefing Thursday to support a recommendation for boosters, Fauci presented additional data from Israel on the use of a booster in adults aged 60 and older…The [ISRAELI] study looked at more than a million people who had received a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine starting at the end of July. Those results showed a strong immune response, Fauci said, adding that he believes a three-dose regimen of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines would become “routine.”

(J. Harris: As we saw last week, recent studies also show a marvelous rise in antibodies after a J&J Vaccine booster jab in those who have already had that vaccine.)

FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:

Israel’s COVID-19 Boosters Are Preventing Infections, New Studies Suggest (Science) Israel’s nationwide campaign to provide its population with COVID-19 vaccine boosters appears to benefit recipients. A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine significantly lowers the risk of infection, according to two new studies. A report for the country’s Ministry of Health, posted Friday, showed a third dose reduced recipients’ risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 by more than 10-fold 2 weeks later. And in a preprint posted yesterday, researchers used data from a health maintenance organization (HMO) to calculate that a third dose roughly halves a person’s chances of testing positive for the virus starting 1 week after the shot and further reduces it after the second week.

2. Prevalence of Allergic Reactions After Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination Among Adults With High Allergy Risk (JAMA Network) Can patients at high risk for anaphylactic reactions receive the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 vaccine? In this cohort study of 8102 individuals with an allergy history, an algorithm was used to define 429 (5%) as “highly allergic”; this group was referred to receive immunization under medical supervision. A total of 98% of the highly allergic individuals had no allergic reaction, 6 (1%) had mild allergic responses, and 3 (0.7%) had anaphylactic reactions.

3. If You’re Unvaccinated, The CDC Wants You To Stay Home This Labor Day Weekend (NPR) If you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t travel over the long Labor Day weekend. That’s the bottom line, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.

4. Full FDA Approval Triggers More Universities To Require The COVID-19 Vaccine (NPR) It’s been a week since the FDA announced full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, and the decision has opened the door for colleges and universities to require the vaccine for their campuses. With a new academic year underway, about 100 colleges across the country added a mandate after the FDA approval. While more than 800 colleges and universities have now adopted COVID-19 vaccination requirements for their students and staff to be able to return to campus in person, most institutions — whether or not they have a requirement — have been highly encouraging or incentivizing their students to get vaccinated.

5. US SCHOOLS As the school year begins for many in the US, COVID-19 cases among children are rising, with nearly 204,000 new cases added the week ending August 26, representing 22.4% of the total weekly reported cases. This marks the second week with child cases at the level of the winter surge of 2020-21 and a 5-fold increase from July 22 to August 26, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). US CDC data show the number of COVID-19 cases and related emergency room visits and hospitalizations among children were 4 times higher in states with low vaccination rates than those with higher vaccination rates during the month of August. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week that recently opened schools with COVID-19 outbreaks generally are not following federal guidelines for vaccination and universal masking among staff and students. In one Iowa school district where masking is optional, parents are being given the option to quarantine their children if they have a known exposure, as long as they remain symptom-free, increasing the risk of transmission among asymptomatic children. In schools already operating, some outbreaks have caused districts to return to virtual learning, including one Texas school district where 2 junior high teachers died of COVID-19 complications the same week. 

A Texas school district closed all its schools after two teachers died from Covid-19 (WACO AREA)

AND LASTLY:

HOW TO CATCH A TEN-POUND BASS: BY HAND!

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/3/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/3/2021

HELLO,

NUMBERS ARE INCREASING IN OTHER EAST TEXAS COUNTIES:

FROM BECKERS:

1. ‘We never had a chance to take a breath’: 8 nurses on latest COVID-19 surge

2. WHO adds new strain ‘mu’ to its variants of concern list

The World Health Organization classified a new COVID-19 strain as a variant of concern Aug. 30. The strain, named mu, was first detected in Colombia in January, according to the WHO’s  weekly COVID-19 epidemiological update

Five things to know:

1. B.1.621 (MU), the strain’s scientific name, has since been identified in at least 39 countries, including the U.S., though its global prevalence is below 0.1 percent based on sequenced cases. 

2. Mu is most prevalent in Colombia and Ecuador, where it accounts for 39 percent and 13 percent of cases, respectively, and has consistently been on the rise in those countries, according to the report. 

3. The strain carries “a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” though further research is needed. 

4. It’s not yet known whether mu is more transmissible or if it causes more severe illness

5. Early data suggests the strain has characteristics that allow it to evade some protection offered by current vaccines or monoclonal antibody treatments, similar to levels seen in other variants such as beta. 

FROM HOPKINS CITED ARTICLES:

1. COVID Long-haulers May Be At Risk for Severe Kidney Disease (CIDRAP) COVID-19 long-haulers—even those who experienced mild cases—are at significantly increased risk for substantial declines in kidney function, such as organ damage and chronic and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), according to a study today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.4. (Detailed discussion to follow this weekend)

2. Rogue Antibodies Involved in Almost one-fifth of COVID Deaths (Nature) Antibodies that turn against elements of our own immune defences are a key driver of severe illness and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection in some people, according to a large international study. These rogue antibodies, known as autoantibodies, are also present in a small proportion of healthy, uninfected individuals — and their prevalence increases with age, which may help to explain why elderly people are at higher risk of severe COVID-19.

3. Long Covid: One in Seven Children May Still Have Symptoms 15 Weeks After Infection, Data Show (BMJ) A large study of children and young people who caught SARS-CoV-2 has found that as many as one in seven (14%) may still have symptoms 15 weeks later.1 However, this figure is lower than in some studies that have reported a prevalence of long covid as high as 51% in children and young people. Speaking at a Science Media Centre briefing, the study’s lead author, Terence Stephenson, who is Nuffield professor of child health at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in London, said, “It is reassuring that the figures were lower than the worst case scenarios predicted last December. However, they are not of trivial importance.”

4. COVID CAN CAUSE MYOCARDITIS IN CHILDREN

Association Between COVID-19 and Myocarditis Using Hospital-Based Administrative Data — United States, March 2020–January 2021 (CDC MMWR) Viral infections are a common cause of myocarditis. Some studies have indicated an association between COVID-19 and myocarditis.During March 2020–January 2021, patients with COVID-19 had nearly 16 times the risk for myocarditis compared with patients who did not have COVID-19, and risk varied by sex and age. These findings underscore the importance of implementing evidence-based COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination, to reduce the public health impact of COVID-19 and its associated complications.

BE CAREFUL LABOR DAY!

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

 The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.

-Phyllis Diller

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/2/2021

Please note that my main data chart has been altered considerably with new categories that the state has come out with — which are largely self-explanatory. I filled in all the old data and did some averaging and then inadvertently deleted it without a copy. Expletive deleted.  I’ll try again later. Notice we still are using most of our adult ICU beds but don’t have many hospitalized pediatric cases (at least not in the hospital). Note that the local counts remain high and that the Covid admissions over the last 24 hour reporting period continue to climb. In short, we are still in a MESS. Encourage masks, vaccinations and boosters, crowd avoidance, and distance from others when you have to be around people. Don’t give up now; things are improving slowly in the global sense. 

We investigate Covid’s mysterious two-month cycle.

WHY? ”’…1. One [theory] involves the virus itself. Rather than spreading until it has reached every last person, perhaps it spreads in waves that happen to follow a similar timeline. How so? Some people may be especially susceptible to a variant like Delta, and once many of them have been exposed to it, the virus starts to recede — until a new variant causes the cycle to begin again (or until a population approaches herd immunity)…”

Or

 2. ”…The second plausible explanation involves human behavior. People don’t circulate randomly through the world. They live in social clusters,..Perhaps the virus needs about two months to circulate through a typically sized cluster, infecting the most susceptible — and a new wave starts when people break out of their clusters, such as during a holiday.

Or

3. ”… people may follow cycles of taking more and then fewer Covid precautions, depending on their level of concern….”

”Whatever the reasons, the two-month cycle predated Delta. It has repeated itself several times in the U.S., including both last year and early this year, with the Alpha variant, which was centered in the upper Midwest:”

Breakthrough infections are less likely to lead to long Covid, a study suggests.

“People who experience breakthrough infections of the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated are about 50 percent less likely to experience long Covid than are unvaccinated people who catch the virus, researchers said in a large new report on British adults….”

And directly from New York City, some humor:

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/1/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 09/1/2021

HOW DO WE COMPARE TO OUR NEIGHBORS IN NEW ACTIVE CASES PER 100,000 POPULATION:

NEED A VACCINATION? CALL 903 938 8338. LISTEN TO A RECORDING FROM THE MARSHALL HARRISON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT WHICH TELLS YOU WHERE AND  WHEN TO COME. Vaccinations are FREE. You need an ID card with your name on it. Any kind of card will do. No hassle. No charge. Spanish spoken. Not crowded. Professionally done under ideal conditions. Do you need your company employees vaccinated? Your church? Your poker club? The Health Department will help you set up injections at your business. You need to take your vaccination card, but, as one careless old doctor found out, lost cards can be replaced. There is virtually no valid reason or excuse not to be vaccinated. You might still get a mild case of Covid, especially when the Variants like Delta are plaguing the area — but you are unlikely to wind up on a respirator or stacked in a refrigerated truck with the bodies of your careless friends. Am I wrong or do the pictures in the obits in the papers seem to feature a plethora of rugged, outdoor, self-sufficient folks who “don’t need to take no damn shots?”

 CHRISTUS HOSPITALS VACCINATION SCHEDULER

https://vaccinate.christushealth.org/4

 MOST DRUG STORES: CALL OR GO TO THEIR WEBSITES

FROM NYT TODAY:

1. 180 cases are traced to a church camp and conference that didn’t require vaccinations or testing, the C.D.C. says.

(29/180 had been vaccinated. No deaths. 5 hospitalized. It’s too soon to tell if there will be any permanent harm or Long Covid. It’s lucky they didn’t kill Grandma — but, well, she’s old and all that.)

2. Pennsylvania’s governor announces a mask requirement for schools.

FROM CDC: MMWR: 

1. New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Among Adults, by Vaccination Status — New York, May 3–July 25, 2021

”…This study’s findings suggest currently available vaccines have high effectiveness for preventing laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalization. However, VE against infection appears to have declined in recent months in New York, coinciding with a period of easing societal public health restrictions††† and increasing Delta variant circulation (8). These findings support a multipronged approach to reducing new COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases, centered on vaccination, and including other approaches such as masking and physical distancing.

2. SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Hospitalizations Among Persons Aged ≥16 Years, by Vaccination Status — Los Angeles County, California, May 1–July 25, 2021 During May 1–July 25, 2021, among 43,127 SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents of Los Angeles County, California, 10,895 (25.3%) were in fully vaccinated persons, 1,431 (3.3%) were in partially vaccinated persons, and 30,801 (71.4%) were in unvaccinated persons. On July 25, infection and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons were 4.9 and 29.2 times, respectively, those in fully vaccinated persons. In July, when the Delta variant was predominant, cycle threshold values were similar for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and vaccinated persons. (CDC MMWR, 8/27/2021)

FROM HOPKINS:

1. Immunity To COVID-19 Could Last Longer Than You’d Think (NPR) All around the world, there seem to be signs that immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, doesn’t last very long after you’re vaccinated. Israel is now having one of the world’s worst COVID-19 surges about five months after vaccinating a majority of its population. And in the U.S., health officials are recommending a booster shot eight months after the original vaccine course. So, how long does immunity last after two doses of the vaccine? Six months or so? And at that point, how much protection is left over?(Some Repetition here.)

2.  Outbreak Associated with SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant in an Elementary School — Marin County, California, May–June 2021

”…The two classrooms were separated by a large outdoor courtyard with lunch tables that were blocked off from use with yellow tape. All classrooms had portable high-efficiency particulate air filters and doors and windows were left open…’

(J. Harris: This is a good quick read and has made news all week. I envy neither teachers nor students right now. )

Area Schools Covid through Aug 22 ATTACHED

LAST BUT NOT LEASED:

It turns out that being an adult now is mostly just googling how to do stuff.

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