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Thread: COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus pandemic

  1. #1076
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiouscat View Post
    I'm not sure if anyone's going to read this except John.
    My dumb mil told my husband that a few people that he knows has rona (my nickname for it) including her landlord. She told him she's thinking about mailing the landlord a check instead of delivering it in person. You think?! I'm sorry, I forgot you didn't have a brain.

    Sure it's better to mail the check but stay in quarantine overall and also depending on the persons priority level get access to vaccines.

  2. #1077
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiouscat View Post
    I'm not sure if anyone's going to read this except John.
    My dumb mil told my husband that a few people that he knows has rona (my nickname for it) including her landlord. She told him she's thinking about mailing the landlord a check instead of delivering it in person. You think?! I'm sorry, I forgot you didn't have a brain.
    I read every thread (although sometimes I just skim, lol). Maybe you should encourage her to deliver it in person...I kid, I kid. Seriously though, I don't even know what to say.

  3. #1078
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Anti-Mask rants continue in Tustin CA as California has a stay at home order. Another one in Canada and Arizona.




  4. #1079
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    https://www.newsweek.com/anti-masker...rizona-1556030

    A group of anti-mask protesters made their way into Arizona retail chains where they protested COVID-19 regulations and restrictions, including wearing a mask.

    A video of the group of about 20 people protesting lockdowns and mask mandates was shared on Twitter by freelance reporter and activist @DaveNewWorld_2, who frequently posts videos of anti-mask protesters, police brutality and scuffles with far-right organizations.

    The video shows two clips. The first appears to show protesters walking through a Wal-Mart, but the latter part appears to have been filmed in front of a fast-food counter at a Target.

    One of the signs visible in the short video, appears to say "End A1 Mask Mandate," but that's the clearest message that these protesters seem to have. Other signs say things like "Masks=666," implying masks are Satanic, or "Love your smile" with "Saving face" on the opposite side. These people clearly don't know how to smile with their eyes.

    Some of the protesters in the clip can be heard singing "We're Not Gonna Take It," by '80s hard rock band Twisted Sister. As previously reported, members of the band have disavowed anti-maskers singing their song.

    Chants of "Free your face" can also be heard in the first clip from the video. In the second part, people also shout things like "This is America," and "You don't have to wear a mask, it's not a law." A few protesters also appear to be wearing festive holiday attire, although Santa would likely put them on the naughty list.

    Many people criticized the protesters for their blatant disregard for others' health. One person responded to the video, showing a screengrab of someone who appears to be a security guard wearing a mask following them out, noting that none of the people seemed to want to mess with the large gentleman.
    Other people mocked the group, calling them Karens. One person came up with a strong analogy to critique them. "This is like marching through a McDonalds with dirty bare feet and then spitting in the fries, filming yourself as you go and declaring it an act of patriotism," he wrote.
    When asked for comment Target directed Newsweek to its "coronavirus response" page, which lists steps that the retail chain is taking to help prevent the spread of the virus. On the page, people can click the various precautions for more information. Besides reminding to social distance, increase cleaning and more, masks are also made available and required by the store. "We require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of our stores, except for guests with underlying medical conditions and young children. We also require all store team members to wear masks at work and have provided them with reusable and disposable masks," an FAQ on the Target website says.

    Newsweek reached out to Wal-Mart for comment via a media contact form, but did not receive a response in time for publication.



  5. #1080
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    I was around my BIL all day today and just found out his wife, my SIL cant taste or smell anything

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  6. #1081
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I was around my BIL all day today and just found out his wife, my SIL cant taste or smell anything
    Yeah, this is why I'm not being around anyone. Hopefully you don't catch it!

  7. #1082
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Yeah, this is why I'm not being around anyone. Hopefully you don't catch it!
    He was helping with our remodel. He helped lay baseboards. They didn't finish and now my husband is somehow (not) going to do it himself before ppl come over Thursday. I still have to clean and decorate. My husbands fam insists on coming over but if we have the coof they can't. I don't feel good so idk what's going to happen.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  8. #1083
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    He was helping with our remodel. He helped lay baseboards. They didn't finish and now my husband is somehow (not) going to do it himself before ppl come over Thursday. I still have to clean and decorate. My husbands fam insists on coming over but if we have the coof they can't. I don't feel good so idk what's going to happen.
    I would just tell them you think you have it, whether you do or not. Christmas or not, you're risking a lot by having family get togethers. Nobody is coming in my house right now unless it's an absolute emergency, and then they're going to be wearing a mask.
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 12-20-2020 at 08:27 PM.

  9. #1084

  10. #1085
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://fox5sandiego.com/news/corona...o-be-extended/

    SAN DIEGO (CNS) – With regional intensive-care unit capacity still officially considered to be zero, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the regional stay-at-home order imposed by the state for the entirety of Southern California will almost assuredly be extended beyond next week’s expiration date.

    “We are likely, I think it’s pretty self-evident, going to need to extend those regional dates,” Newsom said. “… Based upon all the data and based upon all these trend lines, it is very likely based on those current trends that we’ll need to extend that stay at home order, (which) you recall was a three-week order when we announced it.”

    The regional stay-at-home order for the 11-county Southern California region took effect at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 6, and was originally set to end on Dec. 28. Newsom did not give an indication of exactly when a decision on extending the order will be made, or much long the order will remain in place.

    The Southern California region covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Most broadly, the order bars gatherings of people from different households.

    Under the order, the following businesses/recreational facilities were forced to close:

    — indoor recreational facilities;

    — hair salons and barbershops;

    — personal care services;

    — museums, zoos, and aquariums;

    — movie theaters;

    — wineries;

    — bars, breweries and distilleries;

    — family entertainment centers;

    — cardrooms and satellite wagering;

    — limited services;

    — live audience sports; and

    — amusement parks.

    Schools with waivers can remain open, along with “critical infrastructure” and retail stores, which will be limited to 20% of capacity. Restaurants are restricted to takeout and delivery service only. Hotels are allowed to open “for critical infrastructure support only,” while churches would be restricted to outdoor only services. Entertainment production — including professional sports — would be allowed to continue without live audiences.

    Four of the five regions carved out by the state are under stay-at- home orders, covering 98% of the state’s population. Only far northern California is not under a stay-at-home order.

    The order was triggered in each area when the region’s ICU bed availability dropped below 15%. As of Monday, the Southern California and San Joaquin Valley regions both had an official ICU bed availability of 0%. That percentage does not mean that there aren’t any ICU beds available, since the state adjusts the number based on the ratio of COVID-19 patients being housed in the units.

  11. #1086
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    https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/...ost-covid-life

    As COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out in different parts of the world, perhaps it’s finally time to talk about life after the pandemic. But biopharma companies believe it’s too early to put a specific timeline on turning that page now.

    Despite all the unknowns, though, one thing seems certain: How drugmakers conduct their business will change.

    After navigating the past few months, “one thing is clear to us: We will not return to the old ways of working after the corona pandemic,” Bayer spokesman Markus Siebenmorgen said.

    As the virus shakes up the world, many drugmakers—while working hard to sustain critical supply of medicines and develop drugs for COVID-19—have adjusted their policies and updated their toolboxes to help employees adapt to the turmoil. During the process, they have invited employees, many with deep medical backgrounds, into the decision-making for both returning to work and life after the pandemic.

    Some companies had firsthand experience with the virus disrupting operations. Bayer had a coronavirus scare during the early days, before COVID-19 was officially deemed a pandemic. In March, the German conglomerate temporarily closed its campuses in Missouri and New Jersey after an employee was suspected of having contracted the virus. The worker later tested negative and the lockdown was lifted.

    Biogen wasn’t so lucky. The biotech’s February meeting at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel has been fingered as a superspreading event, having contributed to some of the earliest COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts and an estimated 333,000 cases in the U.S., according to a recent Science study led by researchers at the Broad Institute.

    RELATED: Biogen superspreader meeting spawned 300K-plus U.S. coronavirus cases: study

    For now, the Big Biotech is still asking employees to work remotely when possible. “We are closely following the developments in this space and will continue to adjust our protocols as necessary based on local health authority guidelines,” a company spokesperson said.

    A 'phased' approach
    As is the case with many other companies, Bayer’s employees at manufacturing plants and research labs have been working on-site during the pandemic with increased hygienic protocols in place; after all, you can’t make or test a drug from home unless you’re running a “Breaking Bad” type of business, and that's far from the world of pharma.

    But employees who mainly conduct their work in offices have switched to home; about 40% of Bayer’s workforce in its home country worked remotely during the pandemic. For these people, Bayer “gradually arranged” a return to workstations starting the past summer, but only a maximum 40% of workspaces may be occupied at a time, Siebenmorgen said.

    Many companies have taken a similar approach to returning employees to workplaces.

    AbbVie, AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb all cited a “phased approach,” guided by government and medical advice, for returning office staff to their usual sites of work. Johnson & Johnson plans a return in a series of “waves,” a company spokesperson said.

    GlaxoSmithKline continues to tell those who can work from home to keep doing so, a company spokesperson said, adding that “any change to this guidance will be gradual, in adherence to local health guidelines and in line with country specific government rules.”

    RELATED: AbbVie to bring most employees back on site Monday despite COVID-19 concerns: report

    All the multinational biopharma majors we polled declined to put a specific timeline to their return-to-work plans. Some high-profile companies in other industries have been forced to repeatedly change those plans as the pandemic refused to ease up. For example, Google recently extended its work-from-home period again to September 2021 from the previous end date of July 2021.

    Drugmakers referred to local government recommendations as guidelines, but government directions aren't the only factors at play.

    When authorities relax their restrictions, “we expect that the return to normal operations will begin in a phased approach and may depend on certain precautionary and organizational measures,” a Roche spokesperson said.

    Companies also listen to what their own employees have to say. J&J, for its part, bases its return-to-work decisions on “meeting external and internal criteria, including reduced disease transmission, governmental recommendations, infrastructure openings and facility readiness,” and this approach is “informed by employee feedback,” its spokesperson said.

    The company conducts employee sentiment surveys weekly to gather feedback on organizational preparedness, the spokesperson said. Virtual town halls and open mics were held from time to time over the last several months to help the company better understand the best way to support employee needs and shape its approach.

    Not going back
    COVID-19 is changing work tools, schedules and styles, and some of the practices implemented during the pandemic may be here to stay, several drugmakers said.

    “We recognize that the future of work will be much different than work as we knew it before the pandemic,” the J&J spokesperson said.

    During the public health crisis, J&J made several adjustments to its policies, including its employee well-being strategies. This included a digital tool to support mental well-being, an employee online activity challenge to encourage healthy movement and social connectivity, and virtual energy management training to help employees better handle stress and prevent burnout. The spokesperson said the company will continue to adapt its policies.

    RELATED: Pharma's digital promos to doctors keep surging as spending priorities shift

    Bayer’s been trying new ideas as well. “We envision a work environment that is coordinated and collaborative enough to create high-performing teams, but flexible enough to give our employees freedom,” Siebenmorgen said.

    “In the post-pandemic period, we anticipate increased use of home office, with many employees switching flexibly between office and home office in our expectation,” he said. “Our concept expressly does not provide for a fixed home office quota or upper limit.”

    An Eli Lilly spokesperson also said the Indianapolis pharma, for the longer term, is exploring “how to enable more flexibility in work locations and finding new ways to collaborate, which may include more remote work.”

    Takeda has launched an initiative called Project Explore to paint a picture of its future workplace. The effort engages employees across the Japanese pharma to help define a new working environment.

    RELATED: The top 10 best-paying places to work in biopharma

    “Our aim is to develop a leading hybrid model that combines in-person and virtual working,” a Takeda spokesperson said. “This involves taking a look at everything from skills, training, tools and technology to processes, policies and working norms needed to support employees.”

    Going through the pandemic also made Roche realize that many of its office employees can accomplish a large part of their work from home. The Swiss drugmaker is therefore looking to continue to “enable and promote this flexible working independent of the office” even after the pandemic, its spokesperson said.

    “We are convinced that the success of our work lies in the right balance between flexible, location-independent working from home and joint, personal and innovation-promoting collaboration at the site,” the spokesperson added.

  12. #1087
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/...nd-perspective

    It’s been a tough year for humanity, but, with two COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, 2021 might look significantly different. That'll all depend on how the rollouts go, of course, but with multiple shots launching—and more in various stages of testing—there's reason to finally be optimistic.

    So, what should people expect from the shots—and biopharma in general—as the vaccinations steadily ramp up in the coming months? For each individual, the timing of vaccinations will depend on age, risk factors and geography, but in general, officials say there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

    In less than a year, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna conducted clinical testing, submitted their programs to the FDA and won emergency authorizations. The U.K. approved the Pfizer shot Dec. 2, and limited vaccinations started the following week. European regulators just this week signed off on the Pfizer shot.

    But winning an FDA authorization isn't the finish line. It'll be a monumental challenge for Operation Warp Speed and logistics partners to distribute the vaccines and for healthcare workers to administer shots to hundreds of millions of people as COVID-19 continues to spread apace. An early back-and-forth between Pfizer and the U.S. government over dose delivery underscored some of the potential challenges ahead.

    Right on the heels of the emergency authorizations, companies began distributing doses. As of Monday, The New York Times reported that at least 556,000 people had received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine—just as Moderna vaccines started rolling across the U.S. Meanwhile, Warp Speed head Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D., has told CNN the U.S. could have herd immunity in May if an aggressive nationwide immunization program goes as planned.

    "If" is a big word, though. The mRNA vaccines' cold chain requirements and attendant logistics hurdles are well known, but they're not the only challenges. The two-dose format will require a massive database to track doses and ensure people who get a first dose also get a second, and on time. Plus, it isn’t yet known how long the vaccines will protect against COVID-19, which means revaccinations might be needed down the line.

    Nevertheless, states and localities have formulated their own distribution plans and submitted them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a public database, ProPublica has made available those initial plans. In early December, CDC experts determined healthcare workers and long-term healthcare facility residents should be the first to get vaccines.

    On the ground in Northern California, Caesar Djavaherian, co-founder and chief clinical innovation officer of Carbon Health, said his team was “encouraged” that healthcare workers and people at the highest risk of contracting coronavirus will get the first vaccines. But he's noticed some hesitancy among front-line workers about getting mRNA shots, an entirely new technology.

    RELATED: Signed, sealed, delivered: Pfizer marks first 'mass air shipment' of COVID-19 shot amid cold-chain scrutiny

    Some colleagues wonder about being “first in line” for mRNA vaccines when there isn’t “visibility” on the duration of protection or the potential for as-yet-unknown side effects, he said. And if doctors aren’t sure, the general population could rightly be expected to harbor their own reservations, Djavaherian said.

    His company, a chain of healthcare clinics in California, New York, Florida, Alabama and Nevada, hasn’t been privy to planning conversations around vaccine deployment, Djavaherian said. The ER doctor estimates that fall 2021 is a more realistic timeline for herd immunity in the U.S. from vaccines.

    If more vaccines with different characteristics end up making it to market, Djavaherian said he expects people at a lower risk of severe outcomes will be offered “whatever is available” and “easy to distribute.” For those at higher risk, the government will likely prioritize supplies of the best vaccines. That’s already happening in influenza, Djavaherian points out, as people 65 and older get shots with a higher dose.

    Aside from the Pfizer and Moderna shots, AstraZeneca’s AZD1222, a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector vaccine, turned in 70% efficacy in a phase 3 trial, but a dose error in the trial has raised questions. In the pivotal trial, a mistakenly given half-dose of the vaccine, administered to 2,741 people, outperformed the full dose, prompting AZ to start a new half-dose trial. Even after the error, though, the U.K. government asked its drug regulator to consider a temporary approval. AstraZeneca’s CEO has said the company will need another trial to win U.S. approval.

    Behind those programs, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax are also in phase 3 testing and plan to release their initial efficacy results soon, each with the aim to produce around a billion doses in 2021. Dozens of other programs are in early stages of research, too.

    In a note last week, Bernstein analysts said they expect 200 million Americans to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus by May 31, and that the people remaining at that point will either have refused the vaccine or found themselves ineligible. The analysts expect hundreds of millions of doses from Pfizer and Moderna to be delivered through their Warp Speed deals, but also expect "some contribution” from the Johnson & Johnson and Novavax programs. Those companies are set to report efficacy data in early 2021.

    RELATED: The $38B pie: Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines set for lion's share of 2021 sales

    The analysts have said the five leading vaccine players—Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson—will generate about $38.5 billion in COVID-19 shot sales next year. Pfizer and Moderna will take the biggest slices of the pie, the analysts predict, but the other players will still see multibillion-dollar opportunities. The team predicts around 2 billion vaccinations taking place in 2021, with the U.S. and other developed markets hitting herd immunity along the way.

  13. #1088
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    My stepmom got the vaccine, so far so good.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  14. #1089
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    https://www.latimes.com/california/s...ornia-children

    For several seconds, 8-year-old Xitlali Vasquez’s heart stopped beating.

    The girl’s parents had driven her to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in May when her temperature spiked and delirium sent her into a fever-sleep. She was placed in intensive care as specialists tended to inflammation around her heart and arteries.

    Her mother watched helplessly from the hallway as doctors rushed to revive her youngest child. It would be a few more days before the girl regained full consciousness and even longer before she was allowed to return to their Hawthorne home.

    “It was just like a nightmare,” Rosa Vasquez said about her daughter’s 12-day hospitalization. “There was a time where I thought she was going to die.”

    Xitlali, which means “star” in Nahuatl, was one of the first children in Los Angeles County to be diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare and potentially deadly illness known as MIS-C that infects children exposed to the coronavirus.

    Seven months later, at least 45 children in the county have been diagnosed with MIS-C, and one has died.

    Like the coronavirus — which has infected more than 1.85 million people in California, the majority of whom are Black and Latino — MIS-C has also disproportionately infected Black and Latino children.

    In Los Angeles County, Latino children like Xitlali account for 73% of reported cases, according to data from the public health department. And across the country, Latino children make up 40% of MIS-C cases. The second-largest group is Black children, who make up 36% of all cases, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The Mayo Clinic suggests that differences in access to healthcare and the possibility of genetic risks may play a factor in the disparity but says that further studies are needed to help determine why MIS-C affects Black and Latino children more often than others.

    In Xitlali’s case, it’s possible the girl, who turned 9 in July, contracted the virus from her parents. Vasquez said that she and her husband were both ill in late March with what appeared to be COVID-19 symptoms. But the couple tested negative for the virus. Neither of their sons, ages 12 and 24, fell ill, nor did Vasquez’s 68-year-old mother.

    Xitlali, who is often by her mother’s side, didn’t show signs of the coronavirus until weeks later, when her eyes turned bloodshot and a fever pushed the girl to the point of delirium.

    Much is still unknown about MIS-C, including its long-term effects, whether some children are genetically predisposed to the illness and if the case count may be higher. Researchers believe that some children diagnosed between January and May with Kawasaki disease, a rare inflammatory disease that affects about 5,500 children in the U.S. each year, might have actually had MIS-C instead.

    What is clear is that MIS-C cases are directly linked to a surge in COVID-19 infections — a correlation that doctors say could easily match up with a likely uptick around the holidays, given the ongoing spike in coronavirus cases. In the last week, seven additional children have been diagnosed with the syndrome across the state, according to the California Department of Public Health.

    “With the number of [coronavirus] cases we’re seeing in Los Angeles now, I do expect to see more children with MIS-C coming into the hospital in the next few weeks,” said Dr. Jackie Szmuszkovicz, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and one of Xitlali’s doctors. “We’re at a critical moment right now.”

    The mysterious syndrome has killed at least 23 children in the U.S. and infected more than 1,280 — counts that have grown by more than 125% since July, according to a Times analysis of data from the CDC. The data were last reported Dec. 4 and will be updated next in January, the CDC said.

    MIS-C has been diagnosed in patients less than a year old and up to age 20; the majority are 7 to 9.

    In California, at least 152 children have fallen ill with MIS-C, according to the state Department of Public Health.

    One child, whose age and name have not been released, died of the illness this month. Health officials at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where the patient was being treated, said the child had a “complex, preexisting cardiac condition” and died of complications tied to MIS-C. The death marks the first child fatality linked to COVID-19 in the county.

    The state’s health department does not separate MIS-C deaths from COVID-19 fatalities. Among California’s more than 22,000 COVID-19 deaths, three have been children 17 or younger, state data show.
    While the syndrome is rare, it can be serious — and potentially deadly. Typically, children develop symptoms of MIS-C roughly four to five weeks after exposure to the coronavirus, which often goes undetected because most children are asymptomatic carriers. MIS-C symptoms include fever, pain in the abdomen and neck, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, red lips, bloodshot eyes and exhaustion.

    Children have arrived at the hospital with a fever and have been discharged only to return days later in shock, doctors say. Others have been admitted with labored breathing and have to be given oxygen or placed on a ventilator. A MIS-C diagnosis usually is made only after a child tests positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

    “There are kids that are not sick enough to be admitted. Then there are children that go directly into shock with multi-organ failure,” said Dr. Jane Burns, a professor and director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UC San Diego. “We don’t understand why the heart muscles basically pump poorly in these children, but that can be reversed very quickly with the right cocktail of inflammatory treatment. They can go from death’s doorstep in one day.”

    A CDC report from August said that obesity was the most commonly reported underlying medical condition among children with MIS-C. However, two-thirds of the children diagnosed at that time did not have preexisting conditions, the report showed.

    Vasquez said that Xitlali had been given a clean bill of health at her checkup in January. After her bout with MIS-C, she has developed Type 1 diabetes, which Vasquez thinks is in part because of an inflammation in her pancreas related to MIS-C.

    Health experts say early treatment is key to mitigating the severity of MIS-C. A combination of limited information about the illness, avoidance of hospitals and doctor’s offices amid the pandemic and the fact that initial symptoms often present in the GI tract — similar to the flu — has left some children in the emergency room after mild symptoms turn severe.

    “Please do not delay in seeking care for your child if they are ill,” Szmuszkovicz said. “Length of stay is going to be shorter if we can get inflammation under control earlier.”

    Vasquez, who still shudders at the memory of that May day as doctors worked frantically to restart Xitlali’s heart, knows all too well how quickly things can take a turn for the worse.

    “Our kids get sick and we want to treat them with home remedies and Tylenol without knowing that they could die without taking them to the right place,” she said.

    Recently, Xitlali turned to her mother as a news report blared on the television.

    “There was a little kid that died because of the same thing that I had,” she told her mother in disbelief.

    Fear persists for the young girl. But she is alive. And for that, her mother is grateful.

  15. #1090
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://fox40.com/news/coronavirus/f...ne-recipients/

    (KTXL) – The Food and Drug Administration has announced that anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine can no longer donate convalescent plasma, which is used to treat coronavirus patients.

    “Early studies strongly suggest that if you get it to patients early enough in their disease, it is reducing the severity of the illness, keeping them off, in some cases, ventilators, and reducing the death rate,” said Dr. Chris Gresens, senior chief medical officer at Vitalant.

    Dr. Gresens explained that former COVID-19 patients can donate plasma to be transfused into current patients. The idea is that protective antibodies are inside of the plasma and can help patients fight off the disease.

    According to the FDA, people cannot donate convalescent plasma once they have had a COVID-19 vaccine, at least for now.

    “FDA’s concern here is largely related to the law of unintended consequences. In other words, could there be something about the vaccine that potentially might lead to problems with the convalescent plasma?” Dr. Gresens told FOX40.

    Dr. Gresens said he does not believe any issues are likely but understands the FDA’s caution.

    He worries what it will mean for supply as more people get vaccinated.

    “While at the moment it’s not causing a significant problem, it could, if it continues, cause challenges to our supply of this product,” he explained.

    Dr. Gresens said Vitalant is working with the FDA to get permission to resume donations from people who have had the vaccine.

    In the meantime, he urges anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma while they’re waiting on a vaccine.

    “We’re looking forward to convalescent plasma eventually becoming irrelevant. That’s the ideal goal once the vaccine is being used far and wide,” he said.

  16. #1091

  17. #1092
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    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-1...africa-spread/

    A new variant of the coronavirus, which appears to be more transmissible, has been discovered in South Africa and is being blamed for a new surge in COVID-19 cases there.


    Though it emerged independently, it features a similar mutation to the new variant discovered in the United Kingdom that scientists say is more transmissible, prompting many nations to ban travel from Britain.

    South Africa's health minister, Zweli Mkhize, said that the new variant there appeared to be linked to higher rates of severe illness in younger people, and that scientists are working to learn more about it.

    Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are among countries that have stopped flights to and from South Africa.

    On Wednesday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that two cases of a new variant of coronavirus from South Africa had been detected in Britain. He announced that anyone who had been to South Africa in the last to weeks must quarantine immediately.

    "This new variant is highly concerning, because it is yet more transmissible and it appears to have mutated further than the new variant that has been discovered in the U.K.," Hancock said.

    CBS News' Haley Ott spoke with Tulio de Oliveira, director of KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, who is part of the team that discovered the new South African variant. He said on Wednesday that he was working closely with the British government, and that it was the new South African variant discovered in the U.K. A transcript of the interview below has been edited for length and clarity.

    Haley Ott: We're hearing reports of new variants of the coronavirus emerging in countries around the world. What's happening in South Africa?

    Professor Tulio de Oliveira: We have a new variant that has been spreading very fast, and that has done similar (things) to what the variant in London has done — that is, to dominate. What it means — dominate — is displacing all the others, like 20, 30 different lineages, that we had.

    It's very important to notice that the variants between South Africa and the U.K. They are very different. They do not have a common origin, but they have a few similarities. Both of them have a key mutation in the spike glycoprotein that allows the spike protein, most probably, to bind better to the cells and enter the body. Both of us, in South Africa and the U.K., believe that this lineage is much more transmissible than the previous lineage. And we are trying to study that as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

    Is there any indication that these new variants have worse outcomes in terms of the severity of the disease in South Africa or in the U.K.?

    At the moment, we believe, both in South Africa and the U.K., that the severity of the disease is similar. But again, it's still an open question. But we have no reason to believe that the disease severity is dissimilar. However, if it is spreading much faster, we end up with much more people, just by the sheer number, sick.

    As more information comes out about these new variants and, in different countries, as governments announce their plans to respond, I think people might be slightly confused about how intense their reaction should be to this. Some people are saying viruses mutate all the time, this is not unusual. But also we're hearing that it's much more transmissible. How concerned should people be about these new variants?

    Yes, viruses do mutate all the time. And the SARS-CoV-2 [coronavirus] had kind of a fixed linear mutation rate of around two mutations a month. We haven't been worried before about the previous mutations because they seemed not to affect drastically the biological properties of the virus. And that's why we've become more concerned, when two independent variants seem to be spreading quicker in two areas of the world. We wouldn't be surprised if other countries also find strains that that seem to be transmitting better due to mutations in the spike protein.

    Can you tell me a bit about how you discovered this new lineage in South Africa?

    We increased the genomic surveillance in the area in South Africa that was getting the first surge of the second wave, because we were quite surprised. Because in South African summer, we are not expecting a surge and a big second wave to start in the summer. And then when we surveyed that, we saw that this lineage seemed to be displacing the other ones, but also spreading very fast across the coast.

    What do you think people should understand about what's happening here?

    We have to almost take an approach similar to many of the South Asian and Asian and Oceania countries that tried to stop transmission and tried to stop transmission when it starts, reacting very strongly to a small number of cases. So what happened in South Africa, in the U.K., in the United States, or Brazil, is we have been leaving this virus circulating at relatively low or high level and trying to learn to live with the virus. But maybe the virus is beginning to outsmart us.

    We are quite concerned, not only for South Africa, but also for the rest of Africa. Our health system has been has been affected by 20 years of HIV and TB epidemics, so we are quite concerned that while Africa may have escaped the first wave quite successfully, if it doesn't become more strict and try to control this virus, we may not escape this this second wave as successfully as we did in the first one.

  18. #1093
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/it-...les-infertile/

    One of the most common false claims made by the antivaccine movement is that a vaccine (or vaccines in general) somehow result in female infertility. Sure, antivaxxers will sometimes promote the idea that vaccines cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or simply kill older children, but not nearly as often as they like to spread the persistent myth that vaccines somehow “sterilize” females. Examples abound and can be found around the world, for example, from the conspiracy theory promoted by Catholic bishops in Kenya that the tetanus vaccine is “racist population control” and that the false claim in Africa and the Philippines (among other places) that the polio vaccine can impair female fertility, while in some Muslim countries the campaign to eradicate polio has long been plagued by conspiracy theories that claim that the polio vaccine is laced with anti-fertility chemicals that would render their girls sterile before they even became women (and/or can also infect them with HIV) as part of a plot to depopulate the developing world. (Indeed, portraying vaccines as “eugenics” is a popular antivaccine trope.) Of course, the vaccine most commonly falsely cited by antivaxxers as causing female infertility is the HPV vaccine, particularly Gardasil, which is blamed without evidence for premature ovarian failure (now more commonly known as primary ovarian insufficiency), usually based on some hand waving misunderstanding of immunology attributing this “effect” to some vaguely defined autoimmune phenomenon. This claim that a specific vaccine (or vaccines) can cause infertility is what I like to refer to as a “slasher” lie, because, like the killers in 1980s slasher movies, who appear to have been finally killed at the end of one installment, these lies always manage to somehow survive to kill more teenagers in the next movie.

    So it should come as no surprise that, with the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 under an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA), with the vaccine by Moderna very likely to follow very soon in distribution, this old slasher lie has found new life, this time in the form of the claim that these two vaccines cause—surprise! surprise!—female infertility! Like the HPV vaccine before, it even has an alleged former pharmaceutical company employee at a high level fear mongering about the vaccine. (More on the details of that in a moment.) Before I go on to discuss this new bit of antivaccine disinformation and the conspiracy theory associated with it, let me just make a quick observation about how the antivaccine movement treats the genders differently. Notice how the lies about vaccines somehow causing infertility are basically always lies claiming that they cause female infertility. I can’t recall even a single antivaccine claim that vaccines impair male fertility. This is despite experimental vaccines existing for both female and male contraception (the former relying on beta-HCG like an experimental tetanus vaccine, the latter targeting sperm). I’m guessing claims about male infertility have probably been made, but, if so, they are far surpassed in number, imagination, and intensity by the claims that this vaccine or that somehow “sterilizes” females. That antivaxxers like to portray the HPV vaccine as the “promiscuity vaccine” and their obsession with vaccines supposedly rendering their women infertile, leads me to the conclusion that there is a lot of misogyny behind the antivaccine movement.

    Dubious experts demand a stop to a clinical trial on the basis of nonsense
    Let’s get back to the conspiracy theory that the new COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccines will cause female infertility. I guess it’s just one small step from using a total misunderstanding of the totality of molecular biology to claim that such vaccines will “reprogram your DNA” to finding a dubious “mechanism” by which they will render women infertile, and certainly antivaxxers have taken that step, as shown by this recent article entitled “Head of Pfizer Research: Covid Vaccine is Female Sterilization“. Interestingly, the actual content of the article is not nearly as definitive as the clickbait headline, but does report how two men have spread the claim that the new COVID-19 vaccines might cause female infertility. Seeing that article and various others making the same claim as the Pfizer vaccine is being loaded into trucks from the Pfizer plant in my home state of Michigan and being transported all around the country, I thought it a good time to examine this dangerous new form of an old antivaccine trope.

    First, let’s look at a little history and comparison. Remember how the demonization of Gardasil used to cite an OB-GYN named Diane Harper, who was frequently represented as running the clinical trials of Gardasil used to obtain FDA approval when, as far as I was ever able to glean, all she did was to serve as principal investigator at one of the sites (site PI) where patients were being enrolled in the study? (She also said that she supports HPV vaccination.) Here, the conspiracy theory goes beyond that. Whereas Harper merely made comments that antivaxxers could interpret as being critical of the efficacy and safety of HPV vaccination, here the scientist is actually spearheading the conspiracy theory. I’m referring to Dr. Michael Yeadon, who is portrayed as the former head of respiratory research at Pfizer, and is working with a German doctor named Wolfgang Wodarg. Less than two weeks ago the two filed a motion for administrative and regulatory action to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU agency responsible for EU-wide drug approval, warning that the vaccine can attack placenta cells, causing female infertility. Interestingly, the link to the PDF of the letter in the original article no longer works, but someone saved an incomplete version of the letter here and I found the complete 43-page letter here.

    The letter doesn’t ask the EMA to stop the phase 3 trials of BNT162, the name for BioNTech’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine developed with Pfizer just because it might cause infertility in females. There are a whole panoply of claims in the letter, some of which we’ve dealt with before. I won’t discuss them all, but I will briefly discuss Yeadon and Wodarg’s claim that the number of cycles for diagnosis of COVID-19 by PCR from nasal swab samples was set too high and therefore too sensitive. Because of the false positives, Yeadon and Wodarg claim that Sanger sequencing must be used to verify all the sequences. Sanger sequencing, for those not familiar with it, is an old method of sequencing DNA. In brief, Sanger sequencing was developed in 1977 by two-time Nobel Laureate Frederick Sanger and his colleagues. My first reaction upon reading the blog posts describing this particular demand was “WTF?” followed by: I know Sanger sequencing. I did Sanger sequencing when I was in graduate school back in the 1990s. My wife’s job when she worked at a biotech company back in the early 1990s was Sanger sequencing. It’s laborious and time consuming and requires a lot of starting material compared to PCR. (Does anyone remember how hard it was to pour sequencing gels?)

    Then I got out of my time warp and realized that, of course, technology has marched on since the 1990s and Sanger sequencing can now be used in conjunction with various DNA sequencing machine technologies. Even so, what Yeadon and Wodarg propose is unnecessary and impractical:

    All RT-qPCR-positive test results used to categorize patient as “COVID-19 cases” in the trials and used to qualify the trial’s endpoints should be verified by Sanger sequencing to confirm that the tested samples in fact contain a unique SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA. Congruent with FDA and EMA requirements for a confirmed diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV) using PCR, the sequencing electropherogram must show a minimum of 100 contiguous bases matching the reference sequence with an Expected Value (E Value) <10-30 for the specific SARS-CoV-2 gene sequence based on a BLAST search of the GenBank database (aka NCBI Nucleotide database).

    Basically, this, like the “casedemic” claim, is a strategy to cast doubt on the accuracy and utility of reverse transcriptase real-time PCR to diagnose COVID-19 infection. The point is, once you’ve optimized the PCR conditions and demonstrated again and again that the PCR product you are getting is, in fact, the nucleotide sequence your PCR primers were intended to target, it is wasteful and unnecessary to demonstrate that for each and every sample. Indeed, in general, such validation is only performed when there is reason to doubt that the PCR reaction is working correctly, as when the PCR product is the wrong size, for instance. I thus realized that the point of this particular demand was nothing more than to cast doubt on PCR diagnosis of COVID-19 and to add a lot of unnecessary time and expense to the diagnostic testing end of the clinical trial, particularly when one of the endpoints is also symptomatic disease.

  19. #1094
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    I'm going to try to get a test tomorrow. Wish me luck!

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  20. #1095
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I'm going to try to get a test tomorrow. Wish me luck!
    Good luck-keep us posted!

  21. #1096
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    My stepmom got the vaccine, so far so good.
    I missed this comment. (which means your posting too much JL!!! Slow down!) That's good news! Did she have any side effects?

  22. #1097
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I missed this comment. (which means your posting too much JL!!! Slow down!) That's good news! Did she have any side effects?
    Nope no side effects.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  23. #1098
    Moderator raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    Nope no side effects.
    I've known several people that have received it...no side effects on any of them.

  24. #1099
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://kdvr.com/news/coronavirus/co...d-in-colorado/

    DENVER (KDVR) — A variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom has now been discovered in Colorado.

    The Colorado State Laboratory said the person is a man in his 20s who is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history.
    Fauci: US taking hard look at variant of coronavirus

    “There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely. We are working to prevent spread and contain the virus at all levels,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

    The variant, called B.1.1.7, has been widely spread in the UK, and the United States has in response required all travelers coming into the country from the UK to get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. The UK put extreme restrictions in place after its discovery to prevent spread, and European Union nations have curtailed travel from the country.

    Contact tracing is underway to determine who may have been exposed to the man in Elbert County.

    “I want to thank our scientists and dedicated medical professionals for their swift work and ask Coloradans to continue our efforts to prevent disease transmission by wearing masks, standing six feet apart when gathering with others, and only interacting with members of their immediate household,” Polis said.

    This variant is believed to be more contagious than previously identified strains. However, it is believed that the currently approved vaccines will still be effective against it.

    “The fact that Colorado has detected this virant first in the nation is a testament to the sophistication of Colorado’s response and the talent of CDPHE’s scientist and lab operations,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We are currently using all the tools available to protect public health and mitigate the spread of this variant.”

    The following information comes from CDPHE and describes the genetic differences of this variant:

    The Colorado state lab was the first in the country to quickly identify the variant through sophisticated analysis of testing samples. The lab initially performed the diagnostic PCR test on the sample and found that the sample was positive for COVID-19 with strong signals for the N gene and ORF1ab (both are detected when a person has COVID-19), but the signal for the S gene was not detected. When the S gene doesn’t register in the testing, it is called an “S Drop Out Profile,” and it is considered an essential signature for the variant. The sample was flagged for further investigation. Scientists then sequenced the viral genome from the patient sample and found eight mutations specific to the spike protein gene associated with this variant. Genome sequencing is a molecular profiling of the entire viral RNA sequence.

    Gov. Polis and state officials will provide further details at a press conference Wednesday morning.

  25. #1100
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55280671

    The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, with the first doses due to be given on Monday amid rising coronavirus cases.

    The UK has ordered 100 million doses - enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

    This would cover the entire population when combined with the full order of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

    It comes as millions more people in England are expected to be the toughest tier four restrictions.

    Vaccination centres will now start inviting patients to come and get the jab from next week.

    Priority groups for immunisation have already been identified, starting with care home residents, the over-80s, and health and care workers.

    Eventually all over 50s and younger adults with health conditions will be offered a jab in the first phase of rollout - more than 25 million people in total.

    It is hoped that about two million patients a week could soon be vaccinated with two vaccines now approved.

    On Tuesday, 53,135 new Covid cases were recorded in the UK - the highest single day rise since mass testing began - as well as 414 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

    Oxford vaccine: How did they make it so fast?
    How do the vaccines compare?
    When will you be eligible for the Covid vaccine?
    Concern at 'unprecedented' English infection level
    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised two full doses of the Oxford vaccine, with the second dose to be given four to 12 weeks after the first.

    The immunisation campaign will now shift to giving as many people as possible their first dose of vaccine with a second dose following within that period.

    When the Pfizer-BioNTech jab rollout began, the aim was to give the second dose after three weeks.

    But based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the aim now is to give as many vulnerable people some protection from Covid-19, irrespective of the jab they are given.

    The Oxford vaccine is easier to store and distribute, as it can be kept at normal fridge temperature unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech jab that has to be kept at -70C.

    There is also more confidence about supply as it is UK-made, whereas the Pfizer-BioNTech jab has to be shipped in from Belgium.
    Pregnant and breastfeeding women can now take either of the two approved coronavirus vaccines "when the potential benefits outweigh the risks", experts said at an MHRA news conference.

    The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can also now be administered to people with a wide range of food and medicine allergies, but people allergic to ingredients in the vaccine should not take it.

    Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, told the briefing that "no corners have been cut" in assessing the safety and effectiveness of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

    'Triumph'
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed the latest vaccine development as "a triumph" for British science, adding: "We will now move to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible."

    And England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty praised the "considerable collective effort that has brought us to this point".

    Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Hancock said it marked a "significant moment" in the fight against the virus, adding that "2021 can be a year of hope and recovery because we can see our way out of the pandemic".

    Meanwhile, Prof Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the vaccine approval was an "astonishing achievement" in science and clinical research.

    But he said there was still "more work to do", warning: "It's not over yet."

    "Our colleagues in hospital are facing some real horrors caused by this virus. The next steps are critical," he said.

    Graphic showing how the Oxford vaccine works
    1px transparent line
    Trials showed two full doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab were 95% effective at preventing infection, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed 62% effectiveness - although even in cases where people were infected, there were no cases of serious illness needing hospital treatment.

    Trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine also showed that when people were given a half dose then a full dose, effectiveness hit 90%.

    But there was not enough clear data to approve the half-dose, full-dose idea.

    However, unpublished data suggests that leaving a longer gap between the first and second doses increases the overall effectiveness of the jab - in the sub-group given the vaccine this way it was found to be 70% effective after the first dose.

    All the vaccines are expected to be equally effective against the new variants of the virus that have emerged.

    More than 600,000 people in the UK have been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab since Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to be given a Covid vaccine outside a clinical trial.


    media captionLaura Foster explains why the Oxford vaccine is so significant
    The new vaccine approval comes after Public Health England said the country was facing "unprecedented" levels of infections, and health officials in parts of Wales, Scotland and the south of England voiced concerns about the increasing pressure on the NHS.

    In other developments:

    The health secretary will set out in a House of Commons statement later which areas in England will be placed into tier four
    Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is expected to set out new plans for the start of the school term
    And a major incident has been declared in Essex amid fears that the number of Covid-19 cases could overwhelm the county's health services


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