CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 02/17/2021

HELLO

J. Harris: Some of the numbers remain slow to be tabulated, but Texas Department of  Health Services does a nice, accurate job. Sometimes I transcribe it incorrectly and I have real trouble keeping up with the date. 

TEXAS COVID=BEST SITE OF ALL

States ranked by COVID-19 test positivity rates: Feb. 15

1st South Africa variant reinfection case confirmed; UK variant likely deadlier, scientists say — 6 COVID-19 updates

(J. Harris: Several short, crisp Becker Hospital selections. I don’t know who does their Covid work, but they do a first rate job. Not infrequently, I pass along their selections which save me considerable time.)

Hopkins Selection:

1. How ‘Killer’ T Cells Could Boost COVID Immunity in Face of New Variants (Nature) Concerns about coronavirus variants that might be partially resistant to antibody defences have spurred renewed interest in other immune responses that protect against viruses. In particular, scientists are hopeful that T cells — a group of immune cells that can target and destroy virus-infected cells — could provide some immunity to COVID-19, even if antibodies become less effective at fighting the disease. Researchers are now picking apart the available data, looking for signs that T cells could help to maintain lasting immunity.

2. Researchers Propose that Humidity from Masks May Lessen Severity of COVID-19 (NIH) The study, led by researchers in the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), found that face masks substantially increase the humidity in the air that the mask-wearer breathes in. This higher level of humidity in inhaled air, the researchers suggest, could help explain why wearing masks has been linked to lower disease severity in people infected with SARS-CoV-2, because hydration of the respiratory tract is known to benefit the immune system.

3. Researchers Propose That Humidity from Masks May Lessen Severity of COVID-19 Masks help protect the people wearing them from getting or spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but now researchers from the National Institutes of Health have added evidence for yet another potential benefit for wearers: The humidity created inside the mask may help combat respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. The study, led by researchers in the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), found that face masks substantially increase the humidity in the air that the mask-wearer breathes in. This higher level of humidity in inhaled air, the researchers suggest, could help explain why wearing masks has been linked to lower disease severity in people infected with SARS-CoV-2, because hydration of the respiratory tract is known to benefit the immune system. (NIH, 2/12/2021)

A lone infection may have changed the course of the pandemic

““We can’t afford to keep giving the virus more and more chances to mutate to new, stable configurations,…keeping the current restrictions until we really get transmission down is very, very important.”

(J. Harris: Readable, seems valid, interesting.)

TOM ALLIN sent me the following WEATHER HISTORY:

on record for the ArkLaTex

By Jeff Castle | February 13, 2016 at 2:28 AM CST – Updated July 25 at 5:00 AM

A chill is coming for the weekend after seeing well above average temperatures the last couple of days.  50s on Saturday may feel chilly after we almost hit 80 on Thursday, but that’s nothing compared to what the ArkLaTex was dealing with at this time 117 years ago.

In what became known as the ‘Great Arctic Outbreak’ of February 1899, many locations in the south plummeted to levels that haven’t been seen since.

The ArkLaTex was included in the record cold.  On February 12th 1899, the mercury fell to 5 below zero in Shreveport…the coldest temperature ever recorded in the city!  This was part of a 5 day stretch of record cold that hasn’t been matched since.

The cold snap began in earnest on the 9th when after starting at 17 in the morning in Shreveport, the high temperature didn’t even get above freezing.  What followed was multiple days of record cold for both low and high temperatures.  It wasn’t until 5 days later on Valentine’s Day that we climbed back above freezing.  And then in typical ArkLaTex fashion it was in the 70s just 1 week later.

The record low temperature for the entire state of Louisiana was also set during this cold snap.  Minden fell to -16 degrees on the morning of the 13th.

Weather data from that far back is hard to come by, but here are a few reports of the lowest temperatures from other locations around the ArkLaTex during the record setting cold.

-6  Mansfield, LA

-14 Plain Dealing, LA

-6  Robeline, LA

-15 Ruston, LA

-8  Stamps, AR

-9  Marshall, TX

This little snippet from the February 16, 1899 edition of the Bossier Banner kind of says it all about how people in Plain Dealing were handling the cold.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 02/04/2021

Harleton ISD to switch elementary school to virtual only.  

HARLETON — Harleton ISD officials announced late Wednesday the district’s elementary school will switch to virtual learning only, beginning Friday and running through next Thursday, due to a large number of students out on COVID-19 quarantine. (J. Harris: The Harrison County school systems Covid counts since about 1/22/21 have not been released to the public.)

HOPKINS SUGGESTIONS:

1. Safety and Efficacy of an rAd26 and rAd5 Vector-based Heterologous Prime-boost COVID-19 vaccine: an interim analysis of a randomized controlled phase 3 trial in Russia (The Lancet) A heterologous recombinant adenovirus (rAd)-based vaccine, Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V), showed a good safety profile and induced strong humoral and cellular immune responses in participants in phase 1/2 clinical trials. Here, we report preliminary results on the efficacy and safety of Gam-COVID-Vac from the interim analysis of this phase 3 trial.

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: January 2021

(J. Harris: Kaiser polls extensive evaluation of the characteristics of various groups of US residents regarding willingness to take Covid Vaccines and why or why not.)

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WHERE TO GET VACCINATIONS

SOME OLD, SOME NEW

1/22/2021

1.     CHRISTUS IN MARSHALL WILL NOT LIKELY HAVE MORE VACCINATIONS UNTIL A BIG HUB IS ESTABLISHED IN MARSHALL IN ANOTHER FACILITY (LIKE THE CIVIC CENTER?). THIS WILL HAPPEN WHEN SUPPLIES OF VACCINE ARE  AVAILABLE. NO NEED TO CALL THEM. CHRISTUS LONGVIEW IS IN THE SAME SITUATION. WATCH THE PAPERS AND THE NET.

2.     VACCINATION SITES IN HARRISON COUNTY, TX VACCINATION SITES IN HARRISON COUNTY, TX:                

SUPER 1 PHARMACY ON HWY 59      — 903 938 3096                                                          

HALLSVILLE BROOKSHIRE PHARMACY   — 903 668 1409

3.     MARSHALL/HARRISON COUNTY HEALTH DEPT (BEST VACCINE SITE IN MARSHALL AT THIS TIME)

https://mhchd.org/

(and click on the sign up for a COVID 19 Vaccine link) THE INTERNET IS BETTER THAN CALLING OVER AND OVER UNTIL THEY ANSWER. SIGN UP. THEY GET VACCINE SHIPMENTS PERIODICALLY, SO DOES GREGG COUNTY.

THE MARSHALL NUMBER IS 903-938-8338

4.    TEXAS VACCINATION INFORMATION EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW RE VAC. IN TX           COVID-19 Vaccine Information TEXAS 

5.     SOME LONGVIEW DRUG STORE NUMBERS:       

BROOKSHIRES ON GILMER RD. LONGVIEW 903-297-6963, SUPER ONE ON HWY.80 LONGVIEW 903-753-1964, SUPER ONE ON HIGH ST. LONGVIEW 903-234-2785, AND BROOKSHIRES IN WHITEOAK, 200 W.US80, 903-297-2785, LOUIS MORGAN #4 IN LONGVIEW 110 JOHNSTON ST. 903-730-6580

6.    TRY SHREVEPORT, LA. THEY SOMETIME HAVE VACCINE.

SEE KSLA.ORG TO GET A LIST OF NUMBERS

7.     TWO HUB VACCINE SOURCES IN TYLER: 

NORTHEAST TEXAS PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT WILL BE DISTRIBUTING VACCINE TO ANYONE WHO QUALIFIES REGARDLESS OF COUNTY OF RESIDENCE. NET HEALTH CEO GEORGE ROBERTS SAID THE HEALTH DISTRICT WILL BE HOSTING VACCINE DRIVE-THRU CLINICS AT HARVEY CONVENTION CENTER IN TYLER EVERY WEEK BASED ON AN APPOINTMENT AND WAITING LIST SYSTEM.

TO BECOME A PART OF THE WAITING LIST, VISIT nethealthcovid19.org.

THE NEXT DRIVE IN EVENT WILL BE SOON.  THOSE ON THE WAITING LIST BE THE FIRST CALLED ON AN APPOINTMENT. GET ON THE WAITING LIST

THE SECOND HUB IN TYLER IS UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT TYLER: I DON’T KNOW WHEN THIS HUB WILL START DISTRIBUTING VACCINE.

THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES SAID THAT THIS WEEK MOST COVID-19 VACCINES WILL BE DISTRIBUTED TO LARGE SITES AROUND THE STATE TO VACCINATE MORE THAN 100,000 PEOPLE. THE GOAL IS TO PROVIDE MORE PEOPLE WITH THE VACCINE AND AN EASIER WAY TO SIGN UP FOR AN APPOINTMENT. ALL PHASE 1A AND 1B INDIVIDUALS ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VACCINE AT THESE HUBS, NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE.

PHASE 1A INCLUDES FRONT-LINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND RESIDENTS AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES, WHILE PHASE 1B INCLUDES PEOPLE OVER 65 OR WITH A CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITION THAT PUTS THEM AT INCREASED RISK FOR SEVERE ILLNESS FROM COVID‑19.

PEOPLE SHOULD NOT SHOW UP TO A HUB IF THEY DON’T HAVE AN APPOINTMENT. PROVIDERS ARE FOCUSING ON VACCINATING AREAS AND POPULATIONS HARDEST HIT BY COVID‑19, DSHS SAID. 

ACCORDING TO THE STATE, VACCINE SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED BUT MORE SUPPLY IS COMING EVERY WEEK. 

FOR WEEK FIVE OF THE VACCINE ALLOCATION, NET HEALTH AND UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT TYLER EACH RECEIVED 1,500 DOSES OF THE VACCINE. 

APPOINTMENTS ARE FULL AT UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT TYLER, BUT UT HEALTH EAST TEXAS SAID THAT OFFICIALS WILL PUBLICIZE THE NEXT APPOINTMENT AVAILABILITY THROUGH THE MEDIA. APPOINTMENTS HAVE BEGUN, AND PEOPLE USED AN ONLINE LINK TO SIGN UP FOR THESE APPOINTMENTS AS WELL. 

I WOULD GUESS THAT THERE ARE DRUG STORES IN TYLER OFFERING VACCINE????

IF YOU KNOW OF FRIENDS OR RELATIVE OR ACQUAINTANCES WHO MIGHT HAVE TROUBLE FIGURING OUT HOW TO SIGN UP FOR VACCINATION,  PLEASE TRY AND HELP THEM.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 01/19/2021

GOOD EDITORIAL STRONGLY RECOMMENTKG TAKING THE VACCINE AND WHY. CLICK ATTACHMENT

Can you travel to another county in Texas for a COVID-19 vaccine?

  Yes.

People across Texas who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can travel to another county in which they don’t reside for inoculation…Douglas Loveday, a spokesman for Texas Department of State Health Services, said the focus for providers remained people who fall under Phase 1A and 1B, which includes “our frontline healthcare workers, people over 65 years of age and those 16 years and older who have an underlying condition that would lead to a severe illness or death if infected with COVID-19….There is no residency requirement to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas,” Loveday said. “Vaccine is still limited, so people should first visit the websites of vaccine providers for information or call to see if vaccine is available and to set up an appointment.

This Common Household Cleaner Was Just Proven to Kill COVID, EPA Says

(J. Harris: A certain Norwegian housekeeper who I have enjoyed  for 54 years sent 

me this. Of course, you don’t drink or inject it.)

WHICH FLU HOT SHOULD ELDERLY PEOPLE TAKE?

(J. Harris: It doesn’t matter. Both work. No difference in side effects.)

REPEAT ARTICLE

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission From People Without COVID-19 Symptoms

“… transmission from asymptomatic individuals was estimated to account for more than half of all transmissions. In addition to identification and isolation of persons with symptomatic COVID-19, effective control of spread will require reducing the risk of transmission from people with infection who do not have symptoms. These findings suggest that measures such as wearing masks, hand hygiene, social distancing, and strategic testing of people who are not ill will be foundational to slowing the spread of COVID-19 until safe and effective vaccines are available and widely used.”

(J. Harris: This is why EVERYONE needs to wear a mask and distance and wash–including CHILDREN)

Click here to read: ‘We’re underselling the vaccine

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 01/13/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 01/13/2021

1/13/2021

J. Harris: Look at the above chart and notice that Harrison County has recorded 9.12 new cases/1000 person county population in the last two weeks. This rate of new disease is higher than the rate in Harris County (Houston) over the last two weeks. Harrison County has an true and documented epidemic. We have Covid patients in our local hospital as well as in LGV, Tyler, and other cities. PLAY IT SAFE, PLEASE.  Sign up for your vaccination now, especially those over 65. How many folks do you know who have died with Covid recently? The list grows. 

Brazilian researchers find a Chinese vaccine once hailed as a triumph is far less effective than thought.

Officials at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo said a trial conducted in Brazil showed that the CoronaVac vaccine, manufactured by Beijing-based Sinovac, had an efficacy rate of just over 50 percent. That rate was far lower than the 78 percent efficacy rate announced last week.

When to Quarantine

Updated quarantine requirements.

Large NCAA athletes study

J. Harris: a good, short read.

As the New C.D.C. Chief, I’ll Tell You the Truth

By Rochelle P. Walensky MD

Dr. Walensky has been nominated by President-elect Biden to be the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Jan. 20, I will begin leading the C.D.C., which was founded in 1946 to meet precisely the kinds of challenges posed by this pandemic. I agreed to serve as C.D.C. director because I believe in the agency’s mission and commitment to knowledge, statistics and guidance. I will do so by leading with facts, science and integrity — and being accountable for them, as the C.D.C. has done since its founding 75 years ago.

J. Harris: Good. 

When will smell, taste come back? 5 COVID-19 questions answered

J. Harris: Good short article.

“…The average time of olfactory dysfunction reported by patients was 21.6 days, according to the study in the Journal of Internal Medicine. Nearly a quarter of the 2,581 COVID-19 patients studied didn’t regain smell and taste within 60 days of infection.”  

HOPKINS SELECTIONS:

1. Assessment of Day-7 Postexposure Testing of Asymptomatic Contacts of COVID-19 Patients to Evaluate Early Release from Quarantine — Vermont, May–November 2020 On May 8, 2020, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) issued a Health Update* recommending shortening the duration of quarantine for persons exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Exposed persons who were in quarantine could be tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on or after quarantine day 7. Those who had remained asymptomatic throughout quarantine and who received a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result on or after day 7 could end quarantine. This policy was based on a report suggesting that symptom onset occurs within this time frame in approximately three-quarters of COVID-19 cases (1) and on consultation of the Vermont Health Commissioner with the US Surgeon General. VDH implemented this policy to minimize restrictions on state residents, recognizing that some reduction could occur in the prevention benefit of quarantine to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2. (CDC MMWR, 1/7/2021)

2. FDA Issues Alert Regarding SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutation to Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratory Staff The US Food and Drug Administration is alerting clinical laboratory staff and health care providers that the FDA is monitoring the potential impact of viral mutations, including an emerging variant from the United Kingdom known as the B.1.1.7 variant, on authorized SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests, and that false negative results can occur with any molecular test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 if a mutation occurs in the part of the virus’s genome assessed by that test. The FDA is taking additional actions to ensure authorized tests remain accurate by working with test developers and conducting ongoing data analysis to evaluate all currently authorized molecular tests. The FDA believes the risk that these mutations will impact overall testing accuracy is low. (FDA, 1/8/2021)

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CULT (definition)

CULT (definition)

By George Smith — 1/13/2021

* A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.

“a cult of personality”

If you are a believer in the actions, deeds, musings and pronouncements of President Donald Trump despite his constant stream of lies, deranged attacks on enemies and allies, blatant examples of inciting his followers to commit unlawful acts, and being responsible for the failed efforts to control the pandemic in this country, you are a member of a cult:

If you are a politician and believe your livelihood , your freedom, and, your very life, is umbilically connected to supporting the president, right or wrong, you are a cult member.

If you see Trump as a messenger from God, sent to do battle with the liberal elements trying to turn America into a socialist nation, you are a member of the Cult of Trump.

If you see the president as being solely responsible for the uptick in the stock  market and refuse to recognize the steady growth in stocks since 2010, you are a cult member.

If you do not see a

systemic racist bent of the white establishment in the US, or acknowledge Trump actively encourages members of the white supremacy movement, you a card-carry cult member.

If you believe the president is an honest businessman, ignoring his six bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits from former business contacts, the shutting down of his foundation for misuse of funds, the close of Trump University and massive cash settlement with former students on charges of fraud and giving his cozying up to the world’s most abusive  dictators a pass, you are a Trump cultist.

Do you believe the president focused his attention and the immense power  of the federal government on attacking  the COVID virus and minimizing its effect on US citizens, or still believe the virus is a hoax and scientists are double-dead-dog wrong, you are a cult member.

And, if you refuse to denounce his fiery words on January 6 when he gave his followers tacit permission to “attack” the nation’s Capitol, leading to five deaths and extensive property damage…look in the mirror and you’ll see a member of Trump’s cult. 

President Trump incited an insurrection of citizens against the government because he could not accept the absolute fact he lost the 2020 race for re-election.

He will go down in history as a liar, an insurrectionist and the most corrupt president in the nation’s history.

Don’t be a part of that legacy. Make a decision to leave the cult…now.

Help save American by, first, saving yourself.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 01/12/2021

1/12/2021

HELLO

County adds 220 new cases, three new fatalities this past week

“Harrison County Judge Chad Sims announced Monday that this past week the county has seen 220 new cases of COVID-19, along with three new fatalities from the virus.

This past week the county averaged 31 new cases per day, with hospitalization percentage at 25 percent as of Saturday.” (Not yet reflected on State charts above)

THANK YOU MARSHALL NEWS MESSENGER FOR YOUR TIMELY AND EXTENSIVE LOCAL PANDEMIC COVERAGE.  J. Harris

COVID-19 Vaccination Hub Providers

J. Harris: No, Harrison County is not on this list, but two Hub outlets announced yesterday in Tyler:

To become a part of the waiting list, visit nethealthcovid19.org.

Click on “Vaccine” then “Click here to register.”  The NET is one of two Hubs that will be giving injections to anyone who wants one, when they are available., which will be intermittently for now.  The NET is The Northeast Texas Health District, which is an association of several area counties (not Harrison) that have a wonderful website with information which is largely taken from the same state site that I use. Greg County joined this association within the last year, I believe. …. I cannot find anyone to tell me much about this organization. I don’t know if Harrison County should or could join and  what the advantages of membership might be. I suspect there would be some costs. They do a nice job of informing their member counties what is going on with Covid and take most public health responsibilities from the member counties. 

I believe that most folks should continue to get on the local vaccine waiting lists as well as all the new ones that are being formed and take either one of the vaccines that are offered ASAP. I must say that were I to be reaction prone, I’d rather get my vaccination in a hospital setting with immediate hospital access. Otherwise, I’d take the first vaccine I could get.  

Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 14–23, 2020 During December 14–23, 2020, monitoring by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses); 71% of these occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination. Locations administering COVID-19 vaccines should adhere to CDC guidance for use of COVID-19 vaccines, including screening recipients for contraindications and precautions, having the necessary supplies available to manage anaphylaxis, implementing the recommended postvaccination observation periods, and immediately treating suspected cases of anaphylaxis with an intramuscular injection of epinephrine.

J. Harris: Reactions are RARE and reversible. I have not seen reports of any deaths. If you have had anaphylactic reactions in the past, carry your Epi Pen with you, even though vaccination sites are also equipped to handle reactions (just not as quickly getting your epi out of your purse. (If you don’t know what an anaphylactic reaction is, you have never had one.)

How do you get a COVID-19 vaccine? In Texas’ rollout, it’s a game of luck and chance.

“In Texas, eligibility is now divided into two phases. The first, or 1A, is ongoing and prioritizes health care workers who have contact with COVID patients and to residents and staff at long-term care facilities. The second phase, 1B, was announced Dec. 28 and has much broader criteria. It is available to those over 65 or anyone over 16 with at least one serious health issue that puts them at higher risk, including diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart conditions, sickle cell disease, pregnancy or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“The stakes for getting the vaccine right could not be higher, health experts say. But there is growing concern that the state’s parameters are too broad, and officials shipped out the vaccine without specific guidelines to make sure it was delivered where needed most…

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, zeroed in on the lack of planning. “We’ve not had a national strategy from the very beginning of this pandemic. We still don’t have one. And we certainly have not had a statewide strategy,” she said. “Why would we expect this to be any different?”

COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Frequently Asked Questions

J. Harris: This answers some of your questions while also annoying the dickens out of you. 

New Hopkins Selections:

6-month Consequences of COVID-19 in Patients Discharged from Hospital: a Cohort Study (The Lancet) The long-term health consequences of COVID-19 remain largely unclear. The aim of this study was to describe the long-term health consequences of patients with COVID-19 who have been discharged from hospital and investigate the associated risk factors, in particular disease severity. At 6 months after acute infection, COVID-19 survivors were mainly troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression. Patients who were more severely ill during their hospital stay had more severe impaired pulmonary diffusion capacities and abnormal chest imaging manifestations, and are the main target population for intervention of long-term recovery.

FROM HOPKINS:

Confirmation of COVID-19 in Gorillas at a California Zoo The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in three gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California. These are the first gorillas in the United States to be confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. Samples from several gorillas were taken after two began coughing. All eight of the gorillas in the troop are being re-sampled and monitored. The gorillas are expected to fully recover. It is suspected that they acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member with COVID-19, despite precautions taken by the zoo. 

(Please avoid close contact with  all local Gorillas.)

.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 1/9/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 1/9/2021

1/9/2021

COVID INFORMATION FROM TEXAS HAS SLOWED. SORRY.

Emergency Management outlines goals for COVID vaccine distribution

J. Harris: This is current information from the state as per MNM. 

MISD gives update on COVID-19 cases following Christmas break

55 cases. Unfortunately, will likely be more in a week? If you don’t subscribe to MNM, you should consider doing so. They do a nice job with breaking important local information frequently, all day long. 

COVID NEWS THIS MORNING FROM WASHINGTON POST

The Best Evidence for How to Overcome COVID Vaccine Fears

Opening of Large Institutions of Higher Education and County-Level COVID-19 Incidence — United States, July 6–September 17, 2020

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

Increasing COVID-19 incidence was observed among young adults in August 2020, and outbreaks have been reported at institutions of higher education (colleges and universities).

What is added by this report?

U.S. counties with large colleges or universities with remote instruction (n = 22) experienced a 17.9% decrease in incidence and university counties with in-person instruction (n = 79) experienced a 56% increase in incidence, comparing the 21-day periods before and after classes started. Counties without large colleges or universities (n = 3,009) experienced a 6% decrease in incidence during similar time frames.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Additional implementation of effective mitigation activities at colleges and universities with in-person instruction could minimize on-campus COVID-19 transmission and reduce county-level incidence.

Blood Plasma Reduces Risk of Severe Covid-19 if Given Early

Convalescent plasma, the pale yellow liquid left over after blood is stripped of its red and white cells, teems with disease-fighting molecules called antibodies. 

In 80 people, an infusion of plasma decreased the risk of developing a severe case of Covid by 48 percent, compared with another group of 80 who received a saline solution instead, the study found. But the study’s parameters were strict: Everyone enrolled in the trial was at least 65 years old — a group known to be at higher risk of falling seriously ill. About half of the participants also had health conditions that made them more vulnerable to the virus. And the plasma therapy, which was screened to ensure it contained high levels of antibodies, was always given within three days of when the patients started to feel symptoms.

Other trials testing convalescent plasma’s effects in sicker patients have flopped, finding that the therapy did little to hasten recovery or prevent death — contradicting the treatment’s emergency authorization, which specifies use in hospitalized people….Some experts pointed out that the benefits of convalescent plasma may be difficult to study and capitalize on, since most people’s illnesses are too far along by the time they seek medical care.

J. Harris: Good NYT article to read; it also discusses Monoclonal Antibody use. 

Approach to Chilblains During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Abstract:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) chilblains is a well-reported cutaneous pattern of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Through this narrative review, we provide an evidence-based overview of idiopathic and secondary chilblains, distinguishing features of COVID-19 chilblains, and a systematic clinical approach to history, examination, investigations, and treatment. In the absence of cold or damp exposure, COVID-19 should be considered as a cause of acute chilblains. The timing of onset of COVID-19 chilblains relative to active SARS-CoV-2 viremia remains unclear. Patients with suspected COVID-19 chilblains should thus follow public health guidelines for COVID-19 testing and self-isolation.

J. Harris: I always thought “Chilblaines” was some Dickensonian British melodramatic disease. It turns out that it can be caused by Covid _19 disease (as well as many other maladies including extreme cold). If you see a case around here, get a Covid test. Below are a few pictures. It can affect the finger or the toes. 

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 01/04/2021

1/4/2021

FROM THE NYT THIS AM BY  David Leonhardt:

“…the world may now be at risk of a new Covid-19 surge…

The variants already seem to have spread around much of the world. More than 30 other countries, including the U.S., have diagnosed cases with the variant first detected in Britain, which is known as B.1.1.7. Scientists say that it could soon become the dominant form of the virus…

The B.1.1.7 variant appears to be between 10 percent and 60 percent more transmissible than the original version. One possible reason: It may increase the amount of the virus that infected people carry in their noses and throats, which in turn would raise the likelihood that they infect others through breathing, talking, sneezing, coughing and so on…

 the biggest factor that will determine how many more people die from the virus isn’t likely to be the precise effectiveness of the vaccines or even the speed of their rollout. The biggest factor is instead likely to be how much we reduce the spread of the virus over the next few months, through a combination of mask wearing, social distancing and expanded testing. Those efforts can cut caseloads — and, by extension, deaths — more rapidly than a mass vaccination campaign can.

J. HARRIS: I still have not seen any studies that show the “B 17” Virus is any more virulent (deadly) than the original, but, since more people get sick, more people will die. If any readers find such an article, please bring it to my attention. 

FROM DALLAS TODAY: 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 3,864 healthcare workers and first responders have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Dallas County.

Over the past 30 days, there have been 5,971 COVID-19 cases in school-aged children and staff reported from 756 separate K-12 schools in Dallas County, including 569 staff members. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 21 school nurses have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 12/16/2020

12/16/2020

Harrison County Tax office and County Clerks Office Closed due to Covid

WONDERFUL AREA WEB SITE, WITH GOOD INFORMATION

Moderna Information From Hopkins:

Moderna Vaccine Is Highly Protective and Prevents Severe Covid-19, Data Show (New York Times) The positive review likely ensures that the F.D.A. will grant emergency authorization for a second coronavirus vaccine this week for millions of Americans….U.S. Buys Another 100 Million Doses of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine as Emergency Use Authorizations Roll Out (Homeland Preparedness News) With the distribution of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine underway in the United States and an emergency use authorization (EUA) expected to follow for Moderna’s vaccine this week, the federal government is preparing through massive logistics and additional purchases.

Good Summary of a Recent Jama Article:

Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (JAMA Network) In this meta-analysis of 54 studies with 77 758 participants, the estimated overall household secondary attack rate was 16.6%, higher than observed secondary attack rates for SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Controlling for differences across studies, secondary attack rates were higher in households from (1) symptomatic index cases than asymptomatic index cases,  (2)to adult contacts than to child contacts, (3)to spouses than to other family contacts, and (4) in households with 1 contact than households with 3 or more contacts.

(My mail  has several  reports of Super Spreader Thanksgiving Events. Stay home Christmas if you can. 

Study Finds No Link Between COVID-19, Guillain-Barré Syndrome (CIDRAP) A large epidemiologic study in the United Kingdom today finds no association between COVID-19 and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune condition linked to other bacterial and viral infections. 

EUROPE COVID-19 HOLIDAY RESTRICTIONS (From Johns Hopkins selections

GERMANY

Despite implementing “partial lockdown” measures in early

November, Germany is strengthening restrictions ahead of the winter holidays. Germany’s daily incidence has increased tenfold since the beginning of October, and its cumulative incidence increased quadrupled over that time. The magnitude of this “second wave” spurred the German government to take further actions. In the previous partial lockdown, bars and restaurants were closed, while stores and schools remained open.

In this new “reinforced” lockdown, currently scheduled from December 16 to January 10, schools, retail stores other than grocery stores and supermarkets, and other non-essential businesses will be closed, in addition to bars and restaurants. Businesses that are mandated to close will receive financial support from the government, up to €500,000 (US$600,000) per month. Germany is also implementing household visiting restrictions, with some minor exceptions for Christmas. Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 5 total individuals from 2 households. Over Christmas, including Christmas Eve, households may invite 4 additional people “from the closest family circle.” These celebratory exceptions do not apply to New Year’s Eve. Scheduled New Year’s events are being cancelled, and

Germany banned the sale of fireworks. By entering this period of reinforced lockdown, German authorities are hoping to stave off another potential wave that could overwhelm its healthcare system and provide enough time for the European Medicines Agency to authorize a vaccine and vaccination efforts to commence.

UNITED KINGDOM

Many areas of the UK are entering the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions. All boroughs of London as well as areas of Essex and Hertfordshire in England will enter Tier 3 restrictions, which include limitations on indoor and outdoor gatherings and closures for non-essential businesses. A majority of England’s population, 34 million people, will be affected. Individuals not living in Tier 3 areas are advised not to travel to and from those areas. A number of the restrictions, including on indoor gatherings, will be relaxed for Christmas celebrations. The UK will permit individuals and families to form

a “Christmas bubble”, which will allow individuals from up to 3 households to visit each other indoors and stay overnight. Travel restrictions will also be lifted to allow individuals to visit family members anywhere in the UK.

NETHERLANDS

Like its neighbor Germany, the Netherlands is also strengthening “lockdown” restrictions ahead of the holiday season. The Dutch government decided to order renewed measures against COVID-19 following a sharp rise in cases over the last 2 weeks. Following a 50% decrease in daily incidence from its

second peak, the Netherlands jumped back up 70% since December 1. Under the updated restrictions, non-essential businesses must close, schools must switch to remote learning, and gatherings are limited to 2 people, even outdoors. Notably, households will be permitted to have 3 guests indoors from December 24-26, not including children aged 12 years and younger. The Dutch government also outlined “crucial professions” that are permitted to continue in-person operations and noted that children of crucial workers may still attend primary school or after-care programs.

FRANCE

In contrast to some other European countries, France is taking steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions. After passing its second peak, France ended its “lockdown” today and relaxed some social distancing measures. Rather than a formal lockdown period, France is instituting an 8pm curfew that aims to limit transmission at gatherings at times when people may be less vigilant about implementing appropriate protections, such as physical distancing and mask use. After 8pm, most businesses will be directed to close, and individuals will need to carry official exemption certificates in order to be out in public. Violators could face fines of €135, and up to € 3,750 for repeat offenders. Bars, restaurants, and nightclubs are scheduled to remain closed until January 20. The French government will permit individuals and families to travel on December 24 but public gatherings will be prohibited. While the restrictions will be eased slightly for Christmas Eve, France intends to enforce the curfew on January 31, New Year’s Eve. 

A serological assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in at-home collected finger-prick dried blood spots.               We report the development and validation of a at-home finger-prick dried blood spot collection kit and an analysis method. We demonstrated 100% sensitivity and specificity using at-home collected specimens across the US. Such methods may facilitate the conduct of unbiased serosurveys within hard to reach populations and help reduce the sample collection burden of serological testing on both health care systems and individuals alike.        (J. Harris: This report was buried,  but it looks promising for those individuals who are capable of pricking their finger and obtaining a drop of blood and mailing it off.)

COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculation: (J. Harris: If you really want to know your risk of dying should become infected with Covid, here it is. Likely, it will make you want to get vaccinated.)

I bought a boat because it was for sail.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.

Christmas Pun

A man and his wife were discussing the weather, he said that it was raining, she said it was cold enough to be snowing. He insisted that it was raining, she was sure that it was snowing. He told her to see for herself, when she returned, she agreed that he was right.

He looked at her and said, “Rudolph the Red knows rain dear.

A cheerful heart is good medicine…(Prov 17:22a)

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