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jimmy m
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23 Dec 2023, 8:24 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:


There are two sides to every story. In this case More Contageous, but also Less Deadly.

Life is getting back to normal.


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25 Dec 2023, 12:18 pm

I came across an interesting article on COVID.

The biggest threat from COVID-19 was in our own homes

The article goes on to make the following points:

Researchers found that transmission was rare in encounters less than 30 minutes long, even if people got within six feet of each other. Many public spaces were never the threat they were deemed to be, and private homes were a major driver of disease spread.

The findings go against many people’s germ-phobic instincts and sense of stranger-danger. “I think people overestimate the risk from supermarkets and very quick exposures,” says Fraser, “and they underestimate the risk from lengthy exposures ... friends, family, people at home, maybe going out to a restaurant.”

There are also important implications here for public health officials. The new data help explain why cases rose so steeply in the US even after the lockdown phase in the spring of 2020. Many people were suddenly in closer contact with friends and relatives in their own homes.

By April of 2020, scientists using manual contact tracing data showed that outdoor exposures were rare, that people in indoor spaces could get infected at greater distances, but that exposure was rare outside of at least 30 minutes.
People were focusing on distance, but duration is what really matters, Ferretti said. Some experts were saying this from the beginning, "but they were sidelined in the discussion".

HOME ISN'T A SAFE HAVEN WHEN IT COMES TO COVID-19

The reason the disease was hard to control wasn’t because it instantly spread to everyone who got within six feet of an infected person - it was hard to control because it could be transmitted by people before they had symptoms (or when they had no noticeable ones).

-------------------------------------

Well there is some good information here. Many people became infected in their own homes. All it took was one infected person entering a home to infect those inside the home. The virus could stay floating in the air for hours and hours.

But it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure the solution. All one had to do was to learn how to purify the air in their homes. It was easy to do. You just needed to clean the air of any COVID particles floating within the home. That technology existed for at least 20 years. It is done by using Germicidal Ultraviolet-C (UVC) light. Around March 2020, I bought several of these devices and ran it continuously 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for over 3 years now. My home became my safe haven. They have even made many high quality HEPA filters and placed them on the market. These devices purify the air beyond the level of UVC. I have been using some of these and they also perform very well.


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ASPartOfMe
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28 Dec 2023, 2:52 am

Long COVID: New Info on Who Is Most Likely to Get It

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The COVID-10 pandemic may no longer be a global public health emergency, but millions continue to struggle with the aftermath: Long COVID. New research and clinical anecdotes suggest that certain individuals are more likely to be afflicted by the condition, nearly 4 years after the virus emerged.

People with a history of allergies, anxiety or depression, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases and women are among those who appear more vulnerable to developing long COVID, said doctors who specialize in treating the condition.

The severity of a patient's initial infection is not the only determining factor for developing long COVID, experts said.

"Don't judge the person based on how sick they were initially," said Mark Bayley, MD, medical director of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute at University Health Network and a professor with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. "You have to evaluate every symptom as best you can to make sure you're not missing anything else."

Someone who only had a bad cough or felt really unwell for just a few days and recovered but started feeling rotten again later — "that's the person that we are seeing for long COVID," said Bayley.

While patients who become severely sick and require hospitalization have a higher risk of developing long COVID, this group size is small compared with the much larger number of people infected overall. As a result, despite the lower risk, those who only become mild to moderately sick make up the vast majority of patients in long COVID clinics.

A small Northwestern Medicine study found that 41% of patients with long COVID never tested positive for COVID-19 but were found to have antibodies that indicated exposure to the virus.

Doctors treating patients with long COVID should consider several risk factors, specialists said. They include:

A history of asthma, eczema, or allergies
Signs of autonomic nervous system dysfunction
Preexisting immune system issues
Chronic infections
Diabetes
Being slightly overweight
A preexisting history of anxiety or depression
Joint hypermobility ( being "double-jointed" with pain

Screening for Allergies
Alba Azola, MD, assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said a history of asthma, allergies, and eczema and an onset of new food allergies may be an important factor in long COVID that doctors should consider when evaluating at-risk patients.

It is important to identify this subgroup of patients because they respond to antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers, which not only relieve their allergy symptoms but may also help improve overall fatigue and their tolerance for basic activities like standing, Azola said.

Signs of Dysautonomia, Joint Hypermobility
Patients should also be screened for signs and symptoms of dysautonomia, or autonomic nervous system disorder, such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) or another type of autonomic dysfunction, doctors said.

"There's a whole list because the autonomic nervous system involves every part of your body, every system," Azola said.

Issues with standing, vision, digestion, urination, and bowel movement, for example, appear to be multisystemic problems but may all be linked to autonomic dysfunction, she explained.

Patients who have POTS usually experience a worsening of symptoms after COVID infection, Azola said, adding that some patients may have even assumed their pre-COVID symptoms of POTS were normal.

She also screens for joint hypermobility or hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which affects connective tissue. Research has long shown a relationship between autonomic dysfunction, mast cell activation syndrome (repeated severe allergy symptoms that affect multiple systems), and the presence of hypermobility, Azola said. She added that gentle physical therapy can be helpful for patients with hypermobility issues.

Previous studies before and during the pandemic have also found that a substantial subset of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, which shares many similarities with long COVID, also have connective tissue/hypermobility disorders.

Depression, Anxiety, and Female Patients
eople with a preexisting history of anxiety or depression also appear to be at a higher risk for long COVID, Bayley said, noting that patients with these conditions appear more vulnerable to brain fog and other difficulties brought on by COVID infection. Earlier research found biochemical evidence of brain inflammation that correlates with symptoms of anxiety in patients with long COVID.

"We know that depression is related to neurotransmitters like adrenaline and serotonin," Bayley said. "The chronic inflammation that's associated with COVID — this will make people feel more depressed because they're not getting the neurotransmitters in their brain releasing at the right times."

It may also put patients at a risk for anxiety due to fears of post-exertional malaise (PEM), where symptoms worsen after even very minor physical or mental exertion and can last days or weeks.

"You can see how that leads to a bit of a vicious cycle," said Bayley, explaining that the cycle of fear and avoidance makes patients less active and deconditioned. But he added that learning to manage their activity can actually help mitigate PEM due to the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise, its positive impact on mood, and benefits to the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Meanwhile, a number of epidemiologic studies have found a higher prevalence of long COVID among women. Perimenopausal and menopausal women in particular appeared more prone, and at least one study reported that women under 50 years were five times more likely to develop post-COVID symptoms than men.

History of Immune Dysfunction, Diabetes, Elevated Body Mass Index (BMI)
Immune dysfunction, a history of recurrent infections, or chronic sinus infections are also common among patients under Azola and her team's care. Those who have arthritis or other autoimmune diseases such as lupus also appear more vulnerable, Bayley said, along with patients who have diabetes or a little overweight.

Recent research out of the University of Queensland found that being overweight can negatively affect the body's immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Narrowing the Information Gap
The latest Centers for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Household Pulse Survey estimates that 14% of all American adults have had long COVID at some point, with > 5% of the entire adult population currently experiencing long COVID. With millions of Americans affected, experts and advocates highlight the importance of bridging the knowledge gap with primary care doctors.


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28 Dec 2023, 10:33 am

I came across an interesting article out of England, that describes brain injury that occurred after being infected with COVID.

A study published in Nature Communications last week describes how markers of brain injury are present in the blood months after COVID-19 infection, despite normal inflammation blood tests.

The findings, which come from research teams at the University of Liverpool and King’s College London, add to the complicated picture of how COVID-19 can cause a range of neurologic symptoms.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic it became apparent that neurological complications were occurring in a significant proportion of hospitalized patients and even in those with mild COVID-19 infection," Benedict Michael, PhD, principal investigator, said in a study press release.

The present study looked at blood samples from 800 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from across England and Wales, half of whom had new neurologic conditions. Researchers looked at blood levels of serum inflammatory proteins (cytokines), antibodies, and brain (neuroglial) injury proteins.

The authors found that in the early convalescent phase (less than 6 weeks post-infection), markers were elevated in participants recovering from COVID-19, with no differences between those who had or had not experienced a neurologic complication. After 6 weeks, elevated markers were seen only in participants who suffered neurologic symptoms in the acute phase of illness.

"These brain injury markers are associated with dysregulated systemic innate and adaptive immune responses in the acute phase of the disease, and suggest that these may represent targets for therapy," the authors said.

Study shows COVID leaves brain injury markers in blood


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28 Dec 2023, 1:24 pm

It is becoming more and more apparent that close medical monitoring needs to continue to happen long after patients with these various respiratory illnesses feel mostly or completely better. There is precedence for this, cancer patients are regularly checked for 5 years before being declared cancer free.

I do not expect this to happen due to insurance reasons. In general for most people cancer is more crippling/fatal and bounces back more often.


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29 Dec 2023, 10:26 pm

My second cousin just died from Covid and complications from it.She was in the hospital around a week on ventilator, developed pneumonia and MERSA.Her husband is still hospitalized.
She was elderly( early 70’s) with some minor age related health issues.It’s the first Covid death in my family.
So it’s still killing , mask up if you are older, have health problems or think you are sick.


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01 Jan 2024, 12:03 pm

During COVID, we were dealing with a virus. But what is happening is that sometimes a virus can lead to bacteria. That is what is happening in China at the moment. They have many people young children and also elderly people dying from a bacterial attack. Normally antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections like pneumonia. But if these antibiotics are misused they can produce antibiotic resistant forms of the disease. When that occurs, the antibiotics will no longer work. That is the problem that has now occurred in China and will travel across the globe.


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01 Jan 2024, 12:59 pm

Double Retired wrote:
We got shots for Flu, COVID-19, and RSV in October, all on different days.

(Different days because, apparently, of availability issues for the hospital where we get our healthcare.)

So...of course...we are now recovering from colds. :-?

Oh, it was a family Christmas event with people from six homes from across four states attending. We got a hotel room but other out-of-staters spent the nights in the host's home.

Does having a running nose count as exercise? :-?


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10 Jan 2024, 2:24 pm

"Why are 1,500 Americans still dying from COVID every week?"

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More than three years into the pandemic, hundreds of Americans are still dying from COVID-19 every week.

For the week ending Dec. 9, the last week of complete data, there were 1,614 deaths from COVID, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The last four weeks of complete data show an average of 1,488 weekly deaths.

By comparison, there were 163 weekly deaths from the flu for the week ending Dec. 9, according to CDC data.

While high, these COVID death figures are still lower than the high of 25,974 deaths recorded the week ending Jan. 9, 2021, as well as weekly deaths seen in previous winters, CDC data shows.

The current "weekly rate of COVID mortality is similar to what we were getting per day at [the worst] parts of the pandemic. So, proportionally, we're in a completely different place than where we were, thankfully," Dr. Cameron Wolfe, a professor of infectious diseases at Duke University in North Carolina, told ABC News. "But there's still a pretty significant mortality; 1,500 patients dying every week is unacceptable, frankly."

Experts said there are several reasons why people might still be dying from the virus, including not enough people accessing treatments or getting vaccinated as well as waning immunity.

Our intent is to keep getting vaccine shots (including COVID) when our provider makes them available.

(We try to get to the cafeteria on these trips. The food is usually quite good and always quite inexpensive.)


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jimmy m
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12 Jan 2024, 9:21 am

Double Retired wrote:
Our intent is to keep getting vaccine shots (including COVID) when our provider makes them available.


Actually Herd Immunity comes into play. Since most people have either had COVID or have received Vaccines (many times more than once) members of our species have built up significant herd immunity. Therefore the infection rates are going down. But they are not zero.

The other bit of information to understand is how COVID passes between people. I live in a northern state in the U.S. When the indoor humidity levels drop during the winter months, COVID spreads between people. It spreads by air. So wearing an N95 mask during social events, can offer some protection from getting the diseases. But it is hard to eat at social gatherings while wearing a mask. You can bring along an air purifier such as a UVC air cleaner or a good HEPA air filter to the event and keep everyone safe with clean air. That is one way to party without using N95s. Some of these filters are fairly inexpensive.

During 2020, they put me into a COVID ward of a hospital. There were many people all around me in separate rooms dying of COVID. Now I didn't have COVID (I was about to die of a heart attack) but people were acting crazy at that time. I had my daughter bring in a small UVC air filter and kept my room safe until they finally realized that I was not suffering from COVID and released me back into the world.


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18 Jan 2024, 9:18 am

I thought I might discuss the topic of Long COVID.

Here is a link to the discussion:

We're Falling Short on COVID Prevention ... and Suffering the Consequences

It is an analysis of COVID. One of the methods used to restore individuals from the long term damage brought by COVID (called Long COVID) is the use of a drug called Paxlovid.

I think my sister and her husband got COVID about a year ago and used this drug to recover some of the long term effects of COVID.

So the link above goes into discussing the use of Paxlovid.

------------------------------------------

Another point regarding the prevention of bad outcomes from COVID infection is the low percentage of physicians prescribing the drug Paxlovid for people who become infected. Paxlovid prevents the COVID virus from replicating and stunningly reduces the risk of severe infection, hospitalization, or death. It may also lower the probability of an infection leading to the persistence of signs and symptoms after the acute infection has passed – that is, “long COVID.” The results of a large study published in March 2023 found that in the 282,000 people in the study who were eligible for Paxlovid, the drug reduced the incidence of long COVID by 26%.

However, physicians have been underprescribing the drug, both because they don’t know much about it (or about long COVID) and because it can interact negatively with numerous other drugs. (These interactions can usually be successfully managed, such as by briefly stopping or changing the dose of the other drug.)

Long COVID is not only potentially debilitating and life-threatening to individual sufferers but also constitutes a significant challenge to our healthcare system. As Dr. Topol wrote on January 5:

There isn’t adequate acknowledgment of the risk of Long COVID — or the protection [afforded by] vaccination. When you think of up to 2 million Americans getting infected in a day, even if only 1% go on to suffer from chronic COVID, which can be profoundly debilitating, that’s 20,000 eventual new long haulers added to the millions here already affected. In one day. The current wave has gone on for weeks and estimates are that 4-5% of Americans have Covid now and up to 1 in 3 will have been infected during the wave cumulatively.


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jimmy m
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24 Jan 2024, 11:22 am

This is an interesting link about where we are in the COVID wars. COVID hasn't gone away but is getting weaker and weaker. The article also discusses the effects of a condition known as Long Covid.

wastewater testing is pointing to a new wave of COVID-19 infections, with as many as one-third of Americans expected to contract the disease by late February.

With pandemic fatigue also in full force, and deaths and hospitalizations well down from peaks in 2021 because of high vaccination and immunity rates, many people are inclined to shrug off the new wave . . . But COVID-19 continues to take thousands of lives a month. Older, sicker people need to take particular precautions, experts point out, and everybody should think about the debilitating condition known as long COVID that can strike even young, healthy people and last years.

Wastewater testing indicates the current wave of COVID-19 peaked in late December with 1.9 million daily infections, the highest since the omicron wave of 2021.

Alarm bells are going off in other states as well: Indiana’s most populous county asked residents with mild symptoms to avoid crowded emergency rooms to prioritize care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Michigan reported its highest weekly COVID-19 death toll since late 2022, around 156, in mid-January. Illinois saw a 17% jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations in one week earlier this month.

Older people and cancer patients make up an increasing proportion of COVID-19 deaths, according to Stateline’s analysis. People 65 or older made up 88% of those deaths last year, compared with 69% in the peak year for deaths, 2021. Cancer patients made up 12% of COVID-19 deaths last year, up from 5% in 2021.

Source: Wastewater tests show COVID infections surging, but pandemic fatigue limits precautions

So the current wave of COVID in the U.S. is very high this year but fewer people are dying. One of the main factors, in my humble opinion, behind this latest outbreak is the distribution of illegal aliens from every corner of the world into the U.S. They have been distributed throughout the U.S. and some have brought in strains of COVID, new variants, that have blown up the infection rate. In the past three years we have let in almost ten million illegal aliens from every corner of the world. In my humble opinion, that is the main driver in the current surge of infections. Many young healthy people can carry COVID and show little to no signs. But they can spread the disease. And the current version is highly contagious.

The other part of the problem is that we have very well constructed houses in the U.S. that minimize the amount of energy required to keep them warm during the cold winter months. Our houses are sealed like a tomb. As a result, the design means that COVID can exist for days within our homes/building during the cold winter and infect people. It is a fairly easy problem to fix. All one has to do is insert a humidifier into the home during the cold of winter. It will keep people from passing on the infection. It will keep them safe.


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24 Jan 2024, 1:02 pm

There are many preventable deaths and disabilities happening because people are not taking precautions that at most usually do not involve more than minor discomfort and inconvenience.

While laziness and selfishness are factors the main reason is distrust of authorities. Some of that is paranoia but a lot of that distrust has been earned.

This means that

1. We are going to continue to see outbreaks of diseases thought to be extinguished.

2. When the next pandemic hits we will be in deep trouble.

A. We won’t know what is hitting us for a period of time because so many monitoring protocols have been abandoned and politicians will be reluctant to restart them.

B. It might take a number of friends dying or walking over dead bodies in the street to get people to take mitigation measures.

3. At this point it will be too f*****g late.


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25 Jan 2024, 9:02 am

If you step back about a hundred and fifty years ago, many, many people died. They died of bacterial infections among other things. Then man invented antibiotics. This stopped the waves of deaths and people began living longer and longer. But these antibiotics are being destroyed by abuse and soon many will be no longer available. Then the deaths will begin again. Life expectancy will go down and down.

The main problem is that some of this appears to be on purpose. Some people want to destroy the use of antibiotics.


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13 Feb 2024, 10:55 am

I came across an article about Long COVID and thought that it might be worth a read. Some of this study came from the epicenter of the COVID pandemic, Wuhan. At the beginning of the pandemic, the damage was very severe and many people died. Therefore this insight from their perspective may provide some information.

Chinese Review Explores Mechanisms of Long COVID

Health is invariably our greatest possession. Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (or COVID-19) pandemic, human society has had several occasions to truly comprehend the meaning of this phrase. The impact of the pandemic on global health and economy has been, undoubtedly, staggering. However, even as the world collectively recovers from the pandemic, the health status of individuals post the original infection continues to cause concern. Many individuals infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to experience debilitating clinical symptoms, years after the initial infection. Such clinical symptoms that persist for longer than 12 weeks and cannot be attributed to an alternate diagnosis are referred to as post COVID-19 syndrome or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), or in simple words, long COVID.

Explaining the complexity of this lingering condition, Dr. Jiuyang Xu, a Physician Researcher at China–Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, says, "Long COVID is highly heterogeneous in its clinical presentation. More than 200 different symptoms are ascribed to long COVID. The most commonly reported complaints include shortness of breath, fatigue, brain fog, anosmia, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, and sleep alteration." A follow-up study among patients in Wuhan, China, infected with the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus, reports symptoms persisting even two years post infection. Now, Dr. Xu and his colleagues reviewed published evidence to describe the prevailing symptoms and possible mechanisms of pathogenesis underlying long COVID. This paper was published in Volume 1 Issue 4 of the Chinese Medical Journal Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine on 6 December 2023.

It was noted that both severe and mild infections could result in long COVID. Older persons, unvaccinated, and those infected with the original SARS-CoV-2 variant show increased incidence of post-acute sequelae.

Gut microbiome analysis identified a multi-kingdom (bacteria, virus, and fungi) cluster, with prognostic value, that significantly correlated with risk of long COVID. Patients with higher antinuclear antibody titers were found to have significantly higher proportions of neurocognitive symptoms. Additionally, chronic symptoms of fatigue are attributed to brain stem dysfunction induced by the tropism of SARS-CoV-2. Damage to the autonomic nervous system reported in long COVID correlates with psychiatric disorders and suicide risk.

There is quite a bit of deeper scan into this condition contained in the article. It is interesting that the research lead to a bacteria, virus, and fungi cluster. In this pandemic, we are not just dealing with a virus but a combination. You can see this coming to the surface by the number of children dying in China due to a bacterial infection, an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection. We are dealing with a pandemic that has a variety of clusters (bacteria, virus, and fungi).


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13 Feb 2024, 11:36 am

US CDC plans to drop five-day COVID isolation guidelines - Washington Post

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The U.S. CDC plans to drop its five-day COVID-19 isolation recommendations under new guidance planned by the agency, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The health agency plans to recommend people who test positive for COVID-19 to take a call on when to end isolation based on their symptoms.

People with mild and improving symptoms would no longer need to stay home if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours, the report said citing CDC officials familiar with the matter, adding the new recommendations would not apply to hospitals and other health-care settings with more vulnerable populations.

The government has yet to sign off on the guidelines the agency is expected to release in April for public feedback, the report added.

The guidelines for isolation when tested positive for COVID-19 has not been updated since Dec. 2021, when the CDC had shortened the recommended isolation time for Americans with asymptomatic cases to five days from the previous guidance of 10 days.

CDC data showed nearly 86% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, as of Jan. 19, were caused by the sub-variant JN.1, classified as a "variant of interest" by the World Health Organization.


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