Coronavirus pandemic

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Dennis P Brown » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:35 pm

So, apparently, Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mistakenly (?) overstated the benefits of convalescent plasma as a coronavirus treatment. Considering the risks (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146649/ for both risks and possible benifits) this isn't really much of a treatement and is in no way a cure.

Yes, the hype by the administration is heavy for this treatment (guess the media is at fault - lol) but this treatment isn't offering very much considering these actual results and the fact two (limited) stiudies in China and the Netherlands both found it of little benifit; I do feel that further studies are worth while but general use might be a very bad idea considering the down sides - here is one of those situations a double blind but limited test is ideal as long as there are already existing treatments (there are) and it is showing some promise (maybe.)

For a bit more on the Netherland study (and why it was stopped) see: https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/c ... 9-3535580/

The President incorrectly (and frankly, he's no expert and others should have corrected this before he said it) said it would save 35 people per 100 (who otherwise would have died) but the actual results are this treatment appears to save an extra 3 people per 100. This result is barely outside the margin of error.

See: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... Fstory-ans

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Frank Sanns
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Frank Sanns » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:47 pm

Let's not get dragged into the politics of this please.

As for what works and what does not, there are all kinds of numbers. Statistics only work when they are properly applied. An example is with snake anti-venon. Overall, more people die when given anti-venon after they are bitten by a poisonous snake than if they do not get it. The cure is clearly worse than the illness right? So why would such a horse derived, convalescent plasma exist if its outcome is so bad?

The answer lies around the circumstances when the plasma is used. Because of the potential side effects of anti-venon, it is not the first line of treatment. In fact, most people recover quite fine on their own with other supportive measures. When a person has had a large dose of venom or from a particularly fatal snake then anti-venon is the choice as the person does not really have a good chance of survival anyway. In these circumstances that the organs are beginning to shut down, convalescent plasma can be a life saver.

So the statistics on all people that have been bitten by any venomous snake would show that if you gave every one of them anti-venon, the outcome would be bad and the study would have to be suspended because more people would be dying or having severe bad outcomes.

The statistics on those critically ill from the bite and will most likely die without intervention have a decent outcome following anti-venon therapy. In this case, it would be a tool to be used in the treatment of people in this particular stage of the ailment and at a particular time.

This is really important to remember when treating many diseases. Doctors have many tools and treatments for many ailments and individuals. The key is to find the right treatment for the person at the right time to have the best chances for a good outcome. When we quote statistics, we all have to be careful that we are using the same metric. If not, then the interpretations will be different for same facts.

I do not know what the numbers are on the COVID-19 studies but I have seen more and bad studies worldwide on all sorts of things these days. Bias, improper data interpretation, errors, and all sorts of problems with studies abound.

The other issue is the social impact. Is it not better to have a glimmer of hope in some of these treatments than to say you are all probably going to die a horrible death. I mean even keeping people off of ventilators really helps the outcomes. Keeping people off of ventilators itself goes against the previous science data and early on was fought as voodoo medicine. Many things are being worked on and collectively, death rates are falling. It is due to emergent treatment options even when the larger number of people tested continues to increase. It is going to be many years before the effects of all of these treatment and prevention options will even begun to be understood.

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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by John Futter » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:24 pm

Duncan
how about following the rules
your first post was supposed to be in the "please introduce yourself forum"
and now you are posting herbal remedies with no proof of efficacy or being endorsed by the FDA

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Dennis P Brown » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:37 pm

Apparently, MIT is offering a free on line course/lecture series on Covid starting Tuesday:
https://biology.mit.edu/undergraduate/c ... -pandemic/

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Frank Sanns
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Frank Sanns » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:28 pm

We might be farther along in this pandemic than the number suggest.

For herd immunity, something like 70% of the population needs to have immunity. Either by having the disease or by vaccination. This number makes many assumptions. Most are not applicable with a virus such as COVID-19. The number for effective herd immunity may be as low as well under 40%-50%.

For one, in nature, the virus cannot live outside of the human body for any length of time. Unless it is in a person, it is gone in a week or less. This is a sharp contrast to something like bubonic plague which can live on infected clothing, furniture, bodies, in animals, etc. for extended periods of time that could be on the order of months or even more under certain conditions. This is good news for COVID-19 eradication because once it is out of live humans in under a month, it is done in that person and probably in that household.

There was a large spike if new cases when things started to re-open, The spike exceeded the first wave or the earlier part of the first wave depending upon how you want to view it. This was most likely due to the people that wanted out badly and got back to normal living. These are the people that contributed to the second hump of cases.

Now the number nationwide and even worldwide are falling in the early countries that were infected. We cannot be at herd immunity yet since only 6 million out of 330 million Americans have tested positive for it. This is a trivial percentage of around 5%.

Even with all of the testing the actual number of cases is probably way higher when you factor in the asymptomatic untested individuals or those that do not have access to tests. So realistically, it could be as high as 60 million people (10x the number actually tested) have had it if the number are under reported (not deliberately but just reality for the reasons previously stated).

The vast majority of those under 20 years old seem to be asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms. We can add to the 60 million, another 20 million. The puts us at 80 million conservatively. Then there are the elderly that have been sequestered from the general population which is probably another 10 million elderly. So very, very rough estimate might be 100 million people or a little under a third of the population have had it or have some immunity to it now.

Next is the groups of people that have had the virus. Those are the ones that are out and about. No commentary on the risks of this behavior but the fact that it exists, skews the curves. The reason is that half of the country is hunkered down. The other half or at least the top third have been out and about and THEY are the ones that have had it in this second wave after the reopenings.

This is really important because the people that are most likely to catch and spread it are the ones that have already have had it. They now become part of the rate limiting sequence that will short out the viral transmission.

So in the end, there are many rate limiting conditions that have and will continue to slow down this virus. If we keep up the social distancing, mask wearing, and limiting large inside gatherings, we are probably way out there on the extinction curve and will not have to reach 70%+. It only now takes those of us that have been careful up to this time to keep it up. The high risk people can continue to go do what they want, get infected, then become terminations for the virus once they build antibodies.

I feel much better about the overall outcome of this virus today after examining the rates of increase and decreases since March. The pandemic is starting to look less ominous each day. There is also another benefit to this coming flu season. It should not be a very prolific one with all of the current distancing, and hygiene practices in place right now. Let's hope for it.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Dennis P Brown » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:35 pm

From the New England Journal of Medicine some possible good news and one that should help encourage people to wear masks. Wearing a mask might (and that is a big might) reduce the severity of a covid infection; that is, a small virual load allows the body to mount a faster, better defense resulting in less severe illness - Maybe.
See:
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2026913

Whether this is valid or not it makes sense to always wear a mask around other people if there is the slightest chance of transmission.

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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by russssellcrow » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:57 am

We've all read a lot about Covid-19, some of it good and probably a lot of it errant.

I posted earlier about the use of Ionophores to increase Zinc uptake; Zinc has been used for decades to limit viral replication, but politics now say this is questionable. It's not.

On Sept. 1st, I entered the fight against Covid-19 in person, I became a Lab Rat in the Pfizer vaccine trial. On Sept. 24th, I get the 2nd dose of the vaccine. It's a double blind randomized trial, so you are wondering "how does he know he got the vaccine?"

Spoiler Alert: Pfizer is sponsoring BionTech's mRNA vaccine. mRNA drugs act very fast because they don't have to decode instructions from your DNA, they ARE the instructions. The dose is VERY LOW, only 30ug of BNT162R2 will affect you almost instantly. 5 minutes after the injection, I got dizzy, which only lasted about 10 minutes, then vanished. 6 hours later, I got the same ache at the injection site which you get from a Tetanus shot or Flu vaccine. Over the next week I monitored my temp. My normal body temp of 97.1-97.4 was raised to 98.4-98.6. Recently it has begun to go back to normal. It was 98.0 today.

In Phase 2, the BionTech vaccine evoked an avg 3.5X count of IgG & IgM antibodies in healthy adults 18-45 years old, as compared to the same adults who had survived the virus naturally. In the At Risk Group (55-85 year olds), Pfizer hopes to evoke a 1.5-1.8X antibody response. They took my blood in 2 vials before the trial, they plan to draw blood from 3,000 participants (Test Group?) on Oct 1st.

I'll keep you posted, this is a big deal.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Dennis P Brown » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:13 pm

Again, face masks are our best (and currently, only) defense against Covid even with active spreaders close up and in an enclosed environment; see - https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020 ... masks.html

Anecdotal and unsupported speculation is not worth the risk - masks are proven, effective, and as some scientist think, might even act to improve one's ability to fight off the illness. Even a vaccine isn't likely to protect someone as well as an effective mask as per the CDC director.

Washing hands, eating a balance diet and avoiding close social gatherings are also important but a mask is your best defense.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Dennis P Brown » Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:18 am

Things are getting worse again; much more so than even the first wave! This is solely due to neglect of following basic safety pre-cautions. Even the white house suffered a supper spreader event. So, this is not getting better and looking to continue till either a successful vaccine or people are required to wear masks. The later would curtail massive deaths over the next few months - the former is still many months away and may not be as effective as people hope. Thanks to better treatments that have evolved these last six months (at ghastly cost in lives to learn these lessons) the death rates are not as bad but their is no cure desprite incorrect claims by some.
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Frank Sanns
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Re: Coronavirus pandemic

Post by Frank Sanns » Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:13 pm

Once this virus left China, the outcome was inevitable; global pandemic. Nothing and nobody could stop it short of being on a deserted island with no to and fro transportation.

The rate of increase (slope) in each of the waves is getting lower. This appears to be true even though numbers are still high in the waves. This implies that people have not totally abandoned social distancing and mask wearing despite massive openings of states.

I also feel that this is here to stay no matter what anybody does. At least for the next year or two. Again, it was inevitable. This massive push to get a vaccine and to actually prepay for some of it while approvals are occurring is an excellent roll of the dice. One or more of these vaccines will work at least in part. Having them ready for those that want them, in a single year is phenomenal. The process is usually several years. Other countries have that option already but the US is slower albeit more careful before releasing to the masses. Still, people are dying and we should have the choice if we want the vaccines concomitantly with the 3rd phase or at least very soon after the last trial dose is given. This delay until after November is unconscionable. This should fall under compassionate use that was streamlined this year. Why are they holding back at this point with the death rates? Even in the statistics of the 2nd phase, it is clear that there were no deaths. This is a much better option than nothing even in the worst case.

Then there are the anti vaxers. They are like the anti maskers. Both will prevent this pandemic from coming under control expediently.

Then there are the do gooders that wear their masks totally ineffectively. This last category is the most prevalent. I have been in a couple of airports and around town enough now to see how ineffective masks are within the general populations. Masks HAVE to fit and be worn properly to be effective. I would estimate that 90% are approaching being a waste of time. Masks work if, and only if, they are worn properly and they are of the correct materials. Tugging at a mask or terrible poor fit or down off the nose or on the chin as many are just don't do the deed. And neck gators just don't work.

The only effective way to slow this virus by social measures is to shut down the country. We tried this in March through August in my state. The numbers still relentlessly climbed but to a lower plateau. So even that has only limited effectiveness because of the need for essential services.

Effects of closing the economy is now starting to show more and more. In my city in PA, around a quarter of the stores and restaurants are closed for good. Lives ended due to overly restrictive closures by our state. From being given only 4 hours notice that we were on lock down only to leave open Walmarts, Target, supermarkets, home improvement stores, and on and on but the rest of us were not allowed to leave home for months. BUT NO MASKS OR LIMITS ON PEOPLE INSIDE WERE GIVEN despite the national guidelines and people loitered at stores that were open. Entire families had their daily outings there. They only needed to say they were buying essentials. People learn quickly how to navigate the systems. Governors chose to ignore it until months had passed. As such, numbers after the months of quarantine immediately soared. People died alone. Businesses closed permanently. The cost of locking down for months has had a huge cost to human life that is still escalating. And we have more cases of the virus than ever before.

And on top of that, we have unleashed the next wave of idiots that try to ostracize people for doing what they choose. Even at the HEAS, i was ridiculed by someone for wearing a mask when indoors or in close proximity and that it was totally ineffective. After a lecture on supplements I should be taking and heckles at my mask, I actually left the event early. It seems that besides religion and politics, there are just people that will not allow people to just quietly enjoy their lives the way they want. Then they bring misused statistics or "their own research" into things and won't give it up until they beat you into submission or escape. It is no longer about issues in our society. It is about close minded, self proclaimed experts that are on a mission to not stop until there is total capitulation of others.

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