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A COVID-19 Post.

We haven’t done a post on COVID-19 in awhile, and we thought we’d update some things.

First, a large scale, phase three test of a vaccine is about start.

The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine got underway Monday with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the pandemic.

[….]

Final-stage testing of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began with volunteers at numerous sites around the U.S. given either a real dose or a dummy without being told which.

“I’m excited to be part of something like this. This is huge,” said Melissa Harting, a 36-year-old nurse who received an injection in Binghamton, New York. Especially with family members in front-line jobs that could expose them to the virus, she added, “doing our part to eradicate it is very important to me.”

Another company, Pfizer Inc., announced late Monday that it had started its own study of its vaccine candidate in the U.S. and elsewhere. That study also aimed to recruit 30,000 people.

It will be months before results trickle in, and there is no guarantee the vaccines will ultimately work against the scourge that has killed over 650,000 people around the world, including almost 150,000 in the U.S.

“We’ve been sitting on the sidelines passively attempting to wear our masks and social distance and not go out when it’s not necessary. This is the first step of becoming active against this,” said Dr. Frank Eder of Meridian Clinical Research, the company that runs the Binghamton trial site. “There’s really no other way to get past this.”

That’s a huge step although the time frame to get a vaccine to everyone is not close and there are issues with the number of vaccines required for the US alone.

Vaccinating enough people to get safely back to our old, communal habits will also pose more practical challenges.

Even with a jump start on manufacturing, which is happening now, there won’t be enough supply, at least at first, to address the sheer scale of a global pandemic. So we need some kind of system to distribute the global supply, and then to prioritize who in the U.S. gets our doses.
And if distrust in a vaccine stops large numbers of people from getting it, then the U.S, may not achieve the “herd immunity” that prevents widespread outbreaks.

Two of the leading candidates — drugs under development by Oxford University and the U.S. biotech firm Moderna — require patients to get two shots.

So if you want to vaccinate 300 million people, you’ll need 600 million doses. And getting 300 million doses will already be a tall order.

The bottom line: Even after a vaccine becomes available, the coronavirus may still hang around, infect and even kill people. The numbers would just be lower.

That may not be what the quarantine-weary public is imagining, but experts say it’s a realistic expectation — and would be an incredible step forward. (emphasis ours)

Remember how horrible some states, including Florida, were doing in regards to new cases of COVID-19, especially in light of other countries? Specifically European countries?

Not so much right now.

Coronavirus outbreaks in Arizona, Florida and Texas appear to be slowing down as more people practice social distancing and states halt reopening plans.

On Sunday, Arizona reported a 13% drop in the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases, logging 2,627 newly diagnosed cases over the previous 24 hours, down from 3,022 the previous week, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The state has also begun to see signs that its Covid-19 hospitalizations may be slowing down, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer group founded by journalists from The Atlantic magazine. As of Sunday, coronavirus hospitalizations also fell by about 14% from the previous week to a seven-day average of 2,919.

Cases in Texas have fallen almost 19% over the previous week, hitting roughly 8,404 daily new cases based on a seven-day moving average on Sunday, according to the CNBC analysis. Its peak in average daily new cases was 10,572 on July 20. CNBC uses a seven-day average to calculate Covid-19 trends because it smooths out inconsistencies and gaps in state data.

Although Texas is showing signs that its number of new infections is starting to slow, it hit a record high in average hospitalizations of 10,840 Covid-19 patients on Sunday. The same day, the state also broke a grim record of average daily new deaths of 152.

Florida has just begun seeing its curve start to flatten since reaching a record-high average of daily new cases of 11,870 on July 17, according to data from Johns Hopkins. On Sunday, the state had 10,544 average new cases, which is an 8% decrease compared with a week ago.

However, the state is still reporting growth in hospitalizations and fatalities as the virus continues to hit densely populated cities in southern Florida.

As for the European countries?

  • In France, health officials said Friday that a recent rise in new coronavirus cases in the country has “erased” much of the headway made since the country crept out from their lockdown, The Telegraph reported.
  • 1,130 new daily cases were reported Friday, a far cry from the mere 81 counted this time last month, and France is working to have their residents work from home as a mitigation effort.
  • Spain is also concerned about a potential second wave as new, localized clusters appear to spring up just a month after their lockdown ended, with cities like Barcelona experiencing spikes as its larger region, Catalonia, announced it would shutter nightclubs for two weeks to try and get a grasp of the spread.
  • Germany’s “second coronavirus wave is already here,” Michael Kretschmer, Saxony’s Minister President, was quoted as saying in the Rheinische Post Saturday per a Deutsche Welle translation.
  • The country has counted an upward slope of new daily cases over a week, according to media reports, with most coming from the south and southwestern parts of the country.
  • It’s not just Europe—Israel counted 1,770 new cases on Saturday alone, enough to boost the country to 60,496 total cases, a mournful milestone as Israel has seen a new rise in cases since reopening in April.

In other news, the CDC is dropping its recommended quarantine period for those with mild symptoms from 14 days to 10 days.

Available data indicate that persons with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. Persons with more severe to critical illness or severe immunocompromise likely remain infectious no longer than 20 days after symptom onset. Recovered persons can continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA in upper respiratory specimens for up to 3 months after illness onset, albeit at concentrations considerably lower than during illness, in ranges where replication-competent virus has not been reliably recovered and infectiousness is unlikely. The etiology of this persistently detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA has yet to be determined. Studies have not found evidence that clinically recovered persons with persistence of viral RNA have transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to others. These findings strengthen the justification for relying on a symptom based, rather than test-based strategy for ending isolation of these patients, so that persons who are by current evidence no longer infectious are not kept unnecessarily isolated and excluded from work or other responsibilities.

Finally, a kickstarter program for a new multi-purpose mask has reached and surpassed it’s goal $20,000 funding by instead raising over $1.5 MILLION dollars.

The mask is currently pricey, requiring donations of $100 to get one of the first run masks, but the concept and the technology is impressive. That fact that it is more than just a dust particle mask and more than just a filter mask is very interesting.

Time will tell whether the mask itself is ever realized and whether it actually works, but we can see other companies with more resources looking to develop something similar.

Cool stuff.

The sad thing about this type of technology is that as part of the Affordable Care Act, (ObamaCare) there was a 2.3% additional sales tax placed on medical devices, including the development of such devices. Such a tax cuts down on innovation and research as well as hurting consumers.

Luckily, in 2016 the tax was put on hiatus and killed off forever in 2019.

There you have it. The latest on and somewhat promising outlook on COVID-19.



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