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ASPartOfMe
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12 Aug 2020, 9:05 pm

New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy

Quote:
Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility.

The truth, according to the home, is far worse: 21 dead, most transported to hospitals before they succumbed.

“It was a cascading effect,” administrator Emil Fuzayov recalled. “One after the other.”

New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.

That statistic could add thousands to the state’s official care home death toll of just over 6,600. But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire.

“That’s a problem, bro,” state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat, told New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker during a legislative hearing on nursing homes earlier this month. “It seems, sir, that in this case you are choosing to define it differently so that you can look better.”

How big a difference could it make? Since May, federal regulators have required nursing homes to submit data on coronavirus deaths each week, whether or not residents died in the facility or at a hospital. Because the requirement came after the height of New York’s outbreak, the available data is relatively small. According to the federal data, roughly a fifth of the state’s homes reported resident deaths from early June to mid July — a tally of 323 dead, 65 percent higher than the state’s count of 195 during that time period.

Even if half that undercount had held true from the start of the pandemic, that would translate into thousands more nursing home resident deaths than the state has acknowledged.

Another group of numbers also suggests an undercount. State health department surveys show 21,000 nursing home beds are lying empty this year, 13,000 more than expected — an increase of almost double the official state nursing home death tally. While some of that increase can be attributed to fewer new admissions and people pulling their loved ones out, it suggests that many others who aren’t there anymore died.

However flawed New York’s count, Cuomo has not been shy about comparing it to tallies in other states.

Nearly every time Cuomo is questioned about New York’s nursing home death toll, he brushes off criticism as politically motivated and notes that his state’s percentage of nursing home deaths out of its overall COVID-19 death toll is around 20%, far less than Pennsylvania’s 68%, Massachusetts’ 64% and New Jersey’s 44%.

“Look at the basic facts where New York is versus other states,” Cuomo said during a briefing Monday. “You look at where New York is as a percentage of nursing home deaths, it’s all the way at the bottom of the list.”

In another briefing last month, he touted New York’s percentage ranking as 35th in the nation. “Go talk to 34 other states first. Go talk to the Republican states now — Florida, Texas, Arizona — ask them what is happening in nursing homes. It’s all politics.”

Boston University geriatrics expert Thomas Perls said it doesn’t make sense that nursing home resident deaths as a percentage of total deaths in many nearby states are more than triple what was reported in New York.

“Whatever the cause, there is no way New York could be truly at 20%,” Perls said.

A Cuomo spokesman did not respond to repeated requests for comment. New York’s Department of Health said in a statement that it has been a leader in providing facility-specific information on nursing home deaths and “no one has been clearer in personalizing the human cost of the pandemic.”

A running tally by The Associated Press shows that more than 68,600 residents and staff at nursing homes and long-term facilities across the nation have died from the coronarivus, out of more than 164,000 overall deaths.

For all 43 states that break out nursing home data, resident deaths make up 44% of total COVID deaths in their states, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Assuming the same proportion held in New York, that would translate to more than 11,000 nursing home deaths.

To be sure, comparing coronavirus deaths in nursing homes across states can be difficult because of the differences in how states conduct their counts. New York is among several states that include probable COVID-19 deaths as well as those confirmed by a test. Some states don’t count deaths from homes where fewer than five have died. Others don’t always give precise numbers, providing ranges instead. And all ultimately rely on the nursing homes themselves to provide the raw data.

“Everybody is doing it however they feel like doing it. We don’t have very good data. It’s just all over the place, all over the country,” said Toby Edelman of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a nonprofit representing nursing home residents.

New York health chief Zucker explained during the legislative hearing that New York only counts deaths on the nursing home property to avoid “double-counting” deaths in both the home and the hospital. And while he acknowledged the state keeps a running count of nursing home resident deaths at hospitals, he declined to provide even a rough estimate to lawmakers.

“I will not provide information that I have not ensured is absolutely accurate,” Zucker said. “This is too big an issue and it’s too serious an issue.”

Zucker promised to provide lawmakers the numbers as soon as that doublechecking is complete. They are still waiting. The AP has also been denied access to similar nursing home death data despite filing a public records request with the state health department nearly three months ago.

Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, said it is unethical of New York to not break out the deaths of nursing home residents at hospitals. “From an epidemiological and scientific perspective, there is absolutely no reason not to count them.”

Nursing homes have become a particular sore point for the Cuomo administration, which has generally received praise for steps that flattened the curve of infections and New York’s highest-in-the-nation 32,787 overall deaths.

A controversial March 25 order to send recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals into nursing homes that was designed to free up hospital bed space at the height of the pandemic has drawn withering criticism from relatives and patient advocates who contend it accelerated nursing home outbreaks.

Cuomo reversed the order under pressure in early May. And his health department later released an internal report that concluded asymptomatic nursing home staffers were the real spreaders of the virus, not the 6,300 recovering patients released from hospitals into nursing homes.

But epidemiologists and academics derided the study for a flawed methodology that sidestepped key questions and relied on selective stats, including the state’s official death toll figures.

“We’re trying to find out what worked and what didn’t work and that means trying to find patterns,” said Bill Hammond, who works on health policy for the nonprofit Empire Center think tank. “You can’t do that if you have the wrong data.”


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blooiejagwa
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12 Aug 2020, 9:14 pm

Today when I went to the grocery store with the funny one (I called while in the parking lot explaining that he never wears the masks and refuses - and the man said, 'That wouldn't be a problem." so ALL THAT TIME i was angry that I would not be able to go anywhere in emergencies with him, I was wrong! Wow)

And at grocery store in magazine shelves saw something so lame
a MAGAZINE solely about coronavirus.

The type you get a subscription to- not an information booklet, but presented as magazine with eye catching headlines proclaiming disaster and doom!
:roll:
If I go back, I should take a picture to post here.


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jimmy m
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13 Aug 2020, 8:26 am

CORONAVIRUS IN FOODS

There has been several stories recently out of China that are rather interesting.

Back in 7 April 2020 the World Health Organization issued guidance titled COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses

It is highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and the primary transmission route is through person-to- person contact and through direct contact with respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply.


Well apparently that is not true. The exception is frozen food.

In today's news:

A batch of frozen chicken wings exported from Brazil to China tested positive for coronavirus, Chinese officials announced Thursday.

The infected poultry was discovered in the city of Shenzhen during routine screenings of imported meat and seafood carried out since June, the city government said in a notice.

The screenings were implemented after a coronavirus outbreak in Beijing was linked to a seafood market.

People who may have come into contact with the chicken wings, along with food products stored near the batch, were tested by Shenzhen’s health authorities. All those results came back negative.

On Wednesday, China also reported that the coronavirus was found on packages of shrimp shipped in from Ecuador.

Source: China says chicken wings from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus

I guess from my perspective, this transmission route may not be a problem if the frozen foods are well cooked prior to consumption. Because heat will destroy this virus. BUT I COULD BE WRONG!

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

In another article this morning;

The cases of the coronavirus in New Zealand is starting to rise. A puzzling new outbreak of the coronavirus in New Zealand's largest city grew to 17 cases on Thursday, with officials saying the number will likely increase further.

The health official seemed to be stumped. “At the moment we haven’t established a direct connection."

Some of those infected work at an Auckland refrigerated food facility, leading to speculation the virus could have survived from abroad on chilled or frozen food.

Source: New Zealand coronavirus outbreak hits 17 cases as source remains mystery


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jimmy m
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15 Aug 2020, 8:19 am

LONG TERM EFFECTS OF CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS

I read an interesting article on the long term effects today. I particularly liked one of the graphics.

The finding that almost nine in 10 of people who had recovered from Covid-19 reported persistence of at least one symptom two months later, illustrates the flaw in focusing solely on fatality rates.

Image

Covid-19 is far more than a transient respiratory infection. Although it shares some pulmonary symptoms with influenza, for example severe pneumonia and a fever, once flu is gone, it’s gone and rarely leaves permanent damage. Not so with Covid-19. For example, “post-Covid pulmonary fibrosis” leaves permanent damage in the lungs, presumably resulting from blood clotting in the lungs. And it doesn’t stop there.

Influenza is an infection of the respiratory system, while the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of Covid-19, attacks a long (and growing) list of other tissues in the body. In addition, there have been numerous reports of non-respiratory manifestations, such as loss of sense of smell or taste. This symptom is now so specific to coronavirus infection that is sometimes used to diagnose it. Covid-19 also often affects the brain and central nervous system. This leads to neurological symptoms, including confusion and cognitive impairments, fainting, sudden muscle weakness or paralysis, seizures, and ischemic strokes. Also, children can (quite rarely) develop a life-threatening malfunction of the immune system called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), which presents with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease.

The virus also can attack the digestive system; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not uncommon, especially in younger people.

Kidney damage, an inherently unlikely symptom for a respiratory infection, may also occur; the death rate of Covid-19 patients on dialysis is disturbingly high. Some experts are predicting that an epidemic of kidney failure is likely in the near future.

For those who survive, recovery is often incomplete, with various symptoms persisting after the acute infection has subsided. A recent article in JAMA found that 87.4% of patients who had recovered from Covid-19 reported persistence of at least one symptom, most often fatigue or dyspnea (i.e., shortness of breath) two months after recovery.

Particularly worrisome are the numerous reports of patients experiencing long-term adverse effects that resemble a condition variously known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Its signs and symptoms may include fatigue, loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, swelling of neck or armpit lymph nodes, unexplained muscle or joint pain, headaches, non-restorative sleep, and extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24 hours after physical exercise or mental stimulation ("post-exertional malaise").

People with ME/CFS are often incapable of performing ordinary activities, and sometimes become completely debilitated, unable even to get out of bed. A good word picture was provided in an interview of three Covid-19 patients on NPR's July 11 "Weekend Edition," who described in poignant terms their ongoing symptoms, and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo recently described on-air his experience with some of these symptoms following his bout with Covid-19. The manifestations of ME/CFS can persist for years, although, of course, we can't yet know what the typical, long-term post-Covid-19 course will be.

The appearance of serious, persistent Covid-19 sequelae has important implications.

Source: [url=https://www.acsh.org/news/2020/08/10/deaths-are-incomplete-measure-covid-19’s-impact-14959]Deaths Are An Incomplete Measure Of Covid-19’S Impact[/url]


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jimmy m
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15 Aug 2020, 9:05 am

DRESS REHEARSAL

I am an old timer at 71 going onto 72.

My dad told me a story about when he was young kid going to school. He lived on a Michigan farm out in the country. He went to a one room schoolhouse. That is a school where all the grades (1-8) were taught in the same classroom. One time a pandemic swept through the area. School was closed for a few months. When it reopened and he returned to school, maybe half the desk were empty. His classmates had passed away. Entire families had succumbed.

Since the current coronavirus pandemic does not appear to seriously affect the young, the old days must have been very frightening to live through.

The thought that hit me is that even though this pandemic is mild in comparison, it is like a dress rehersal for the real thing. The lessons learned here will if people pay attention to, help in mitigating the next big one.


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ASPartOfMe
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15 Aug 2020, 10:52 am

jimmy m wrote:
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS

I read an interesting article on the long term effects today. I particularly liked one of the graphics.

The finding that almost nine in 10 of people who had recovered from Covid-19 reported persistence of at least one symptom two months later, illustrates the flaw in focusing solely on fatality rates.

Image

Covid-19 is far more than a transient respiratory infection. Although it shares some pulmonary symptoms with influenza, for example severe pneumonia and a fever, once flu is gone, it’s gone and rarely leaves permanent damage. Not so with Covid-19. For example, “post-Covid pulmonary fibrosis” leaves permanent damage in the lungs, presumably resulting from blood clotting in the lungs. And it doesn’t stop there.

Influenza is an infection of the respiratory system, while the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of Covid-19, attacks a long (and growing) list of other tissues in the body. In addition, there have been numerous reports of non-respiratory manifestations, such as loss of sense of smell or taste. This symptom is now so specific to coronavirus infection that is sometimes used to diagnose it. Covid-19 also often affects the brain and central nervous system. This leads to neurological symptoms, including confusion and cognitive impairments, fainting, sudden muscle weakness or paralysis, seizures, and ischemic strokes. Also, children can (quite rarely) develop a life-threatening malfunction of the immune system called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), which presents with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease.

The virus also can attack the digestive system; nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not uncommon, especially in younger people.

Kidney damage, an inherently unlikely symptom for a respiratory infection, may also occur; the death rate of Covid-19 patients on dialysis is disturbingly high. Some experts are predicting that an epidemic of kidney failure is likely in the near future.

For those who survive, recovery is often incomplete, with various symptoms persisting after the acute infection has subsided. A recent article in JAMA found that 87.4% of patients who had recovered from Covid-19 reported persistence of at least one symptom, most often fatigue or dyspnea (i.e., shortness of breath) two months after recovery.

Particularly worrisome are the numerous reports of patients experiencing long-term adverse effects that resemble a condition variously known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Its signs and symptoms may include fatigue, loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, swelling of neck or armpit lymph nodes, unexplained muscle or joint pain, headaches, non-restorative sleep, and extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24 hours after physical exercise or mental stimulation ("post-exertional malaise").

People with ME/CFS are often incapable of performing ordinary activities, and sometimes become completely debilitated, unable even to get out of bed. A good word picture was provided in an interview of three Covid-19 patients on NPR's July 11 "Weekend Edition," who described in poignant terms their ongoing symptoms, and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo recently described on-air his experience with some of these symptoms following his bout with Covid-19. The manifestations of ME/CFS can persist for years, although, of course, we can't yet know what the typical, long-term post-Covid-19 course will be.

The appearance of serious, persistent Covid-19 sequelae has important implications.

Source: [url=https://www.acsh.org/news/2020/08/10/deaths-are-incomplete-measure-covid-19’s-impact-14959]Deaths Are An Incomplete Measure Of Covid-19’S Impact[/url]

I fear becoming severely disabled for the after effects as much if not more then dying from COVID-19. Those that want to “just let people live their lives again” often cite the low death rate as a reason the whole thing is way overblown. They do not take into account mid term to permanent lingering impairments.


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16 Aug 2020, 5:03 pm

The Somewhere-In-Between on Face Mask Design.

I have been waiting for N95 face mask to begin showing up in the stores. N95's have been out of stock since the pandemic began. It is really frustrating. It is important for me to get a few before winter hits and the humidity levels begin to drop again.

I was in Menards home improvement store two days ago and they had N95 masks available. They were not labeled KN95 but rather N95. KN95 in my opinion are a Chinese knock-off [illegal copy of a product] of the N95s and they lack the construction to protect against the coronavirus. So I decided to buy a box [of 10] and investigate when I got home. The box of 10 mask was $24.69 and each mask was individually sealed in packaging. The price worked out to $2.47 each, which is a little pricey for an N95 but not by much. They were sold as non-medical face masks.

The mask were made by a company called "Zhengzhou Ruipu Medical Technology" out of Xinzheng city China. When I got home I searched the Internet and found they were no longer on the approved list for N95s by the CDC. At the beginning of the pandemic when masks were scarce to nonexistent, they allowed some mask to be accepted under waiver provisions and then later the NIOSH went about testing these and this particular mask did not pass the test so it was removed from the FDA list on May 7, 2020. It received initial waiver as an EU waiver. [Source: Respirator Models Removed from Appendix A

Ruipu Medical Technology has been around for about 20 years and produced a line of KN95s. Ruipu Medical Technology

So the first thing I did when I got back in my car was to put on one of these mask. I opened the box and found each mask was individual sealed in a plastic pouch. This was nice. Most times N95 are stacked one onto the other in a box and are unsealed. The fit was so loose, I thought no way this met N95 requirements. But then I noticed that each packet contained a pair of ear buds. These ear buds fit on the strap that wraps around each ear strap. So I installed the earbuds and tightened the face mask and it was a good seal. The mask also has a built-in metal nose clip that conforms to the area around the nose to provide a tight seal. This metal nose clip is standard on most N95s.

The mask appear to be fairly well constructed using a 4 layer design.

On returning home I subjected the mask to two tests. The first was a match blow test. If you can blow out a match with the mask on, it means it allows too much airflow and is not a good filter. These mask passed that test.

The second test was to cycle the mask through UVC sanitizer. I cycled this mask through 20 UVC sanitizer cycles and I could see no degradation. Normally N95s are restricted to a single use. But in a time of scarcity, these N95 mask can be reused. But it is important to sterilize the mask after each use to kill any viruses that contacted the surface of the mask while it is being worn. The best way to do that is to buy a UVC sanitizer box and place the mask inside for a timed cycle. I wore a single N95 mask intermittently for over 3 months before it became so ratty that I threw it away. UVC light can damage some plastics, so I wanted to make sure the sanitizer did not damage the mask and as far as I could perceive it did not.

So from my personal observation, the mask is well constructed. IMHO (in my humble opinion) it will provide protection against the coronavirus much better than most types of mask such as cloth mask, surgical mask. It may fall a little short in meeting N95 mask protection but not by much. So come winter I plan on wearing this mask unless the N95s begin showing up in the stores.


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16 Aug 2020, 5:27 pm

I recovered from COVID.

I walk 7.5 miles a day — but I sometimes still get mild chest congestion. And occasionally a sort of feverish feeling that doesn’t affect my strength. And goes away when I push myself a little.



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17 Aug 2020, 8:20 am

Good Signs for Herd Immunity

A series of new studies have revealed signs of strong and lasting immunity in people who developed a mild coronavirus infection, according to a report on Sunday.

The studies, which have yet to be peer-reviewed, uncovered that antibodies and immune cells capable of recognizing the virus were apparently present months after infections concluded. The findings could help to eliminate the previous concerns over whether the virus could trick the immune system into having a poor memory of prior infections.

“This is exactly what you would hope for,” Marion Pepper, an immunologist at the University of Washington who authored one of the new studies told the New York Times. “All the pieces are there to have a totally protective immune response.”

While scientists have yet to forecast how long the immune responses will last, researchers who have been monitoring immune responses to the virus for months now, believe the recent findings are encouraging signs.

Having those defense mechanisms present means the body has a good chance of fending off the coronavirus if reinfected.

“This is very promising,” said Smita Iyer, an immunologist at the University of California. “This calls for some optimism about herd immunity, and potentially a vaccine.”

Source: Lasting immunity seen after mild COVID-19 infection


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17 Aug 2020, 12:07 pm

I have heard that they reckon about 250,000 people in the UK are going to die from non-COVID deaths due to neglect from the national health care because of the GPs hiding away behind doors to avoid the COVID. :roll: That is a lot more than the number of people that died of COVID, which was mostly elderly people.
I know people who have health problems that need annual check-ups but are only allowed to talk to a doctor over the phone, so that the doctor can make a guess that you're still OK, even though some of these health conditions need physically checking.

Shutting down society to save lives my arse.


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jimmy m
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17 Aug 2020, 8:34 pm

Why did the World Health Organization (WHO) get this Coronavirus so Wrong?

Are you saying that WHO got the pandemic wrong?
yes
Proof?
Well with 22 million infections worldwide and 777,000 deaths, I wouldn't call it a stellar success.

But the operative word in the question is WHY?

I believe it has to do with the seasonal nature of the virus. There is a dual nature to the viral transmission. In low humidity environments where relative humidity is below 40% (such as cold winter environments), IMHO the primary transmission route is through aerosols. Whereas in high humidity environments where humidity is above 60% the primary transmission route is though touch contact.

Since WHO's hands-on experience is primarily preventing pandemics in Third World poor countries, it taints their perspective. Most of the countries that they provide a service to are hot tropical environments. That is where their expertise is grounded.

So their advise about constantly washing your hands and cleanliness makes absolute sense. In high humidity tropical environments. But they missed the boat when it comes to high latitude winter environments.

The other part is the speed of transmission. One can travel in our modern world almost instantly between any parts of the world. This allows rapid transportation of infected individuals thus sustaining and constant mixing of both dry and wet transmission routes.


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18 Aug 2020, 11:38 am

GOOD NEWS ON HERD IMMUNITY

To achieve so-called herd immunity — the point at which the virus can no longer spread widely because there are not enough vulnerable humans — scientists have suggested that perhaps 70 percent of a given population must be immune, through vaccination or because they survived the infection.

Now some researchers are wrestling with a hopeful possibility. In interviews with The New York Times, more than a dozen scientists said that the threshold is likely to be much lower: just 50 percent, perhaps even less. If that’s true, then it may be possible to turn back the coronavirus more quickly than once thought.

The new estimates result from complicated statistical modeling of the pandemic, and the models have all taken divergent approaches, yielding inconsistent estimates. It is not certain that any community in the world has enough residents now immune to the virus to resist a second wave.

But in parts of New York, London and Mumbai, for example, it is not inconceivable that there is already substantial immunity to the coronavirus, scientists said.

The initial calculations for the herd immunity threshold assumed that each community member had the same susceptibility to the virus and mixed randomly with everyone else in the community.
“That doesn’t happen in real life,” said Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. “Herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation,” and even by postal codes, he said.

For example, a neighborhood of older people may have little contact with others but succumb to the virus quickly when they encounter it, whereas teenagers may bequeath the virus to dozens of contacts and yet stay healthy themselves. The virus moves slowly in suburban and rural areas, where people live far apart, but zips through cities and households thick with people.

Once such real-world variations in density and demographics are accounted for, the estimates for herd immunity fall. Some researchers even suggested the figure may be in the range of 10 to 20 percent, but they were in the minority.

Assuming the virus ferrets out the most outgoing and most susceptible in the first wave, immunity following a wave of infection is distributed more efficiently than with a vaccination campaign that seeks to protect everyone, said Tom Britton, a mathematician at Stockholm University.

His model puts the threshold for herd immunity at 43 percent — that is, the virus cannot hang on in a community after that percentage of residents has been infected and recovered.

Source: What if ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Closer Than Scientists Thought?


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19 Aug 2020, 4:21 am

jimmy m wrote:
GOOD NEWS ON HERD IMMUNITY

To achieve so-called herd immunity — the point at which the virus can no longer spread widely because there are not enough vulnerable humans — scientists have suggested that perhaps 70 percent of a given population must be immune, through vaccination or because they survived the infection.

Now some researchers are wrestling with a hopeful possibility. In interviews with The New York Times, more than a dozen scientists said that the threshold is likely to be much lower: just 50 percent, perhaps even less. If that’s true, then it may be possible to turn back the coronavirus more quickly than once thought.

The new estimates result from complicated statistical modeling of the pandemic, and the models have all taken divergent approaches, yielding inconsistent estimates. It is not certain that any community in the world has enough residents now immune to the virus to resist a second wave.

But in parts of New York, London and Mumbai, for example, it is not inconceivable that there is already substantial immunity to the coronavirus, scientists said.

The initial calculations for the herd immunity threshold assumed that each community member had the same susceptibility to the virus and mixed randomly with everyone else in the community.
“That doesn’t happen in real life,” said Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. “Herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation,” and even by postal codes, he said.

For example, a neighborhood of older people may have little contact with others but succumb to the virus quickly when they encounter it, whereas teenagers may bequeath the virus to dozens of contacts and yet stay healthy themselves. The virus moves slowly in suburban and rural areas, where people live far apart, but zips through cities and households thick with people.

Once such real-world variations in density and demographics are accounted for, the estimates for herd immunity fall. Some researchers even suggested the figure may be in the range of 10 to 20 percent, but they were in the minority.

Assuming the virus ferrets out the most outgoing and most susceptible in the first wave, immunity following a wave of infection is distributed more efficiently than with a vaccination campaign that seeks to protect everyone, said Tom Britton, a mathematician at Stockholm University.

His model puts the threshold for herd immunity at 43 percent — that is, the virus cannot hang on in a community after that percentage of residents has been infected and recovered.

Source: What if ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Closer Than Scientists Thought?

This might explain why New York has the lowest infection rates. We have had the same protests and riots, maskless young people at bars and raves as other states that are getting slammed.


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jimmy m
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19 Aug 2020, 7:49 am

I read an interesting article about the multi-national nature of vaccine development and distribution. Here is an excerpt:

Currently, there are several vaccines in Phase III clinical trials – which examine efficacy and safety in thousands of human volunteers – that are on the cusp of regulatory approval. Notably, they are being produced by firms located all over the world. The leading candidates are from a British company (AstraZeneca), two U.S. companies (Moderna and Pfizer, the latter collaborating with German firm BioNTech), and two Chinese companies (Sinovac and Sinopharm). For manufacturing or financial reasons, it is common for pharmaceutical companies to collaborate with or license their products to other organizations. AstraZeneca, which intends to provide 400 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. and the U.K. and another 400 million to Europe, has also licensed 1 billion vaccines to an institute in India for distribution to low- and middle-income countries. The British firm also just announced a deal to produce the vaccine in China.

Image

Source: Vaccine Nationalism Is An Exaggerated Threat


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19 Aug 2020, 11:21 am

AEROSOL TRANSMISSION OF THE CORONAVIRUS

Skeptics of the notion that the coronavirus spreads through the air — including many expert advisers to the World Health Organization — have held out for one missing piece of evidence: proof that floating respiratory droplets called aerosols contain live virus, and not just fragments of genetic material.

Now a team of virologists and aerosol scientists has produced exactly that: confirmation of infectious virus in the air.

“This is what people have been clamoring for,” said Linsey Marr, an expert in airborne spread of viruses who was not involved in the work. “It’s unambiguous evidence that there is infectious virus in aerosols.”

A research team at the University of Florida succeeded in isolating live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with Covid-19 — farther than the six feet recommended in social distancing guidelines.

Source: ‘A Smoking Gun’: Infectious Coronavirus Retrieved From Hospital Air


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19 Aug 2020, 11:41 am

AEROSOL TRANSMISSION OF THE CORONAVIRUS

Smithsonian Magazine recently published an article on this subject:

Jones adds that the possibility of airborne transmission raises the issue of how to protect workers in healthcare and other settings alike. A shortage of respirators means that the devices should go to healthcare workers first, but if they become more widely available, service industry and transportation workers might benefit substantially from access to them. Surgical masks offer some protection, but it may not be enough for workers who routinely interact with the public.

For months after the pandemic began, the World Health Organization (WHO) had been hesitant to accept aerosols were a likely transmission route for the coronavirus. The agency suggested that airborne transmission was likely only during certain medical procedures such as intubation, and focused its warnings on infection risks associated with larger droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing. But evidence that the coronavirus could travel via aerosols began piling up. In a study that was published online in May before being peer reviewed, researchers found SARS-CoV-2 could be carried on a person’s breath, and in June, Marr co-authored a study in Indoor Air that added to the evidence the novel coronavirus could be airborne. A commentary published on July 6 in Clinical Infectious Diseases and co-signed by 239 scientists, clinicians, and engineers called on health officials to recognize the possibility of airborne transmission. A day later, the WHO officially announced that the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can spread via aerosols. Benedetta Allegranzi, technical leader of the WHO task force on infection control denied that the publication of the commentary had any relation with WHO softening its position.

What Scientists Know About Airborne Transmission of the New Coronavirus

It all boils down to if you wear a mask indoors, then wear one that can protect YOU from contracting the coronavirus. That is an N95 MASK. Also indoor ventilation for all our buildings need to be reworked to protect individuals not only from the coronavirus but also all viruses (such as the flu) and respiratory bacterial infections and the NEXT pandemic. We have the technology, but up to this time not the will power to use this technology.


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Author of Practical Preparations for a Coronavirus Pandemic.
A very unique plan. As Dr. Paul Thompson wrote, "This is the very best paper on the virus I have ever seen."