highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
More than one person on news TV have suggested that wearing a mask in the winter might be a good idea for prevention of diseases other than COVID.
Well, people are usually staying indoors, close to others during that time and that's normally when colds and flu are most commonly spread- why would that seem like a stretch?
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
Wired has an interesting article about the debate over aerosol spread of the coronavirus. The gist of it is that earlier studies on TB showed that only particles smaller than 5 microns got far enough into the lungs to infect people. This was confused with what size particles would stay suspended in the air (somewhat larger particles (e.g. 100 microns) will stay suspended in the air). The problem is that some other diseases (e.g. the virus that causes COVID) will spread if particles are larger than 5 microns, and particles larger than 5 microns can spread much further than a few feet (i.e. the 5 microns "rule" really has no application outside of TB).

>>>For Yuguo Li, whose work had so inspired Marr, these moves [WHO and CDC changing their guidance] have given him a sliver of hope. “Tragedy always teaches us something,” he says. The lesson he thinks people are finally starting to learn is that airborne transmission is both more complicated and less scary than once believed. SARS-CoV-2, like many respiratory diseases, is airborne, but not wildly so. It isn’t like measles, which is so contagious it infects 90 percent of susceptible people exposed to someone with the virus. And the evidence hasn’t shown that the coronavirus often infects people over long distances. Or in well-ventilated spaces. The virus spreads most effectively in the immediate vicinity of a contagious person, which is to say that most of the time it looks an awful lot like a textbook droplet-based pathogen.<<<




The Lancet also has a comment dated 4/15/21 discussing evidence supporting aerosol spread of the coronavirus

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
Here's a really interesting opinion piece ("Why Did It Take So Long to Accept the Facts About Covid?) about aerosol transmission issues (I posted a link to the archive because I don't have a subscription to nyt.com).

>>>[T]hese latest shifts challenge key infection control assumptions that go back a century, putting a lot of what went wrong last year in context. They may also signal one of the most important advancements in public health during this pandemic. <<<

 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks for pointing out those articles. They are of minor interest only to a few public health people concerned over particle sizes and disease transmission. I also see how biomedical and public health people easily get in over their heads when it comes to physics. Bad biophysics quickly becomes bad biology, and bad advice.

More importantly, any debate over modes of infectious disease transmission is ultimately not related to how to effectively prevent the disease. Widespread public vaccinations are the only effective way to do that.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Boris Johnson: Global Covid response as disunited as Achilles and Agamemnon in the Iliad
Rather bucking the norm in speeches at the European Commission's Global Health Summit today, Boris Johnson kicked off with a comparison between the coronavirus crisis and a plague almost 3000 years ago. It's quite the comparison, so we'll include the full extract here:
I want to remind everybody, certainly my fellow Europeans, that Western literature begins with a bitter political fight about how to handle a zoonotic plague. Because, as you will recall, the Iliad, the fountainhead of Western literature opens with a row between Achilles and Agamemnon, after a fatal new zoonotic disease arrives - hitting first the mules, and then the dogs, and then the humanbeings. And if you recall Achilles is very much in favor of pulling out, and he'd have been very much in the pro lockdown party, and he says they need to get out of that. Whereas Agamemnon vehemently disagrees and the bust up is the basic whole conflict of the Iliad, between the armies of the Greeks. And my point is that almost 2800 years later, the world has been just as disunited, I'm afraid, as Achilles and Agamemnon. And I think now is the time to come together and to defeat the pandemic and to prevent another.
Well, Boris is right about that!
The secretary of state for health, Matt Hancock in his news conference this week, also bemoaned the lack of a united world response. He claimed that the UK, has been responsible for supply and organization of about 40% of the global response so far. It was pretty obvious that he thought other nations should be doing more.
Meanwhile in the UK cases are dropping where the Indian variant has not yet penetrated. They are on the rise in areas where the Indian variant is spreading. The is principally the Northwest Bolton/Derwent/Blackburn area and Bedford. The strain does seem to be more transmissible as it is outpacing the UK variant. The degree to which this strain is more transmissible remains to be determined.
The GOOD NEWS is that the vaccines appear to be highly effective against this variant.
This morning the UK have announced the discovery of a triple variant with some interesting mutations, in Yorkshire in the area of the River Humber known as Humberside. It is currently known as: - named VUI-21MAY-01 or AV.1 Preliminary evidence suggests this variant is also highly susceptible to the vaccine.
As Swerd mentions above, the only was out of this crisis is vaccination.
I encourage all members talk to friends and family and encourage any not vaccinated to hurry up and get vaccinated. There is absolutely no logical reason to pass on vaccination against this plague, and every logical reason to get yourself, your family, friends associates and co-workers vaccinated as soon as possible. I can not emphasize this more strongly. It is everyone's responsibility to be a cheerleader for vaccination.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Fauci says he's not convinced COVID-19 developed naturally and we should continue to investigate.

He also said, (quoted from the link below), in a wide-ranging interview with National Geographic published Monday, Fauci said: "If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats, and what's out there now is very, very strongly leaning toward this [virus] could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated-the way the mutations have naturally evolved. A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species."

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
He also said, (quoted from the link below), in a wide-ranging interview with National Geographic published Monday, Fauci said: "If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats, and what's out there now is very, very strongly leaning toward this [virus] could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated-the way the mutations have naturally evolved. A number of very qualified evolutionary biologists have said that everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that it evolved in nature and then jumped species."

Interesting. That was on May 5. It's not clear to me if his views have changed, or if he's just saying things in a way that make a different impression (he could still "very very strongly" lean towards natural origin without being "convinced" it evolved naturally).

His comment to the effect that thse discussing a possible lab escape of a virus that evolved naturally is circular doesn't make much sense to me. To my mind, there's a significant difference between lab escape of a natural virus vs a jump of a natural virus that occurred outside a lab.

I wish we had stronger evidence either way.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Interesting. That was on May 5. It's not clear to me if his views have changed, or if he's just saying things in a way that make a different impression (he could still "very very strongly" lean towards natural origin without being "convinced" it evolved naturally).

His comment to the effect that thse discussing a possible lab escape of a virus that evolved naturally is circular doesn't make much sense to me. To my mind, there's a significant difference between lab escape of a natural virus vs a jump of a natural virus that occurred outside a lab.

I wish we had stronger evidence either way.
It could be that he is talking to the UK. The theory that this is a created virus is gaining ground in the UK. I have long felt that MI5 know more about this than revealed.
I think it is very likely that Proton Down had this virus back in the UK a lot earlier then they have let on.

This is an article that I read earlier this morning, that I think summarizes the issues quite well.

On another note it seems the vaccines have slightly reduced effectiveness against the Indian variant. However there have been very few hospitalizations and only one death so far in full vaccinated individuals. The UK data shows that you can vaccinate your way out of this, if the population cooperate, and in the Bolton area they are. I think it is fair to say that this situation has given the populations in the affected areas a good fright and there are long lines again in those areas of people who initially refused the vaccine.

Once again it looks as if the UK will be able to get rid of all restrictions except foreign travel June 21 as planned.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
It could be that he is talking to the UK. The theory that this is a created virus is gaining ground in the UK. I have long felt that MI5 know more about this than revealed.
I think it is very likely that Proton Down had this virus back in the UK a lot earlier then they have let on.

This is an article that I read earlier this morning, that I think summarizes the issues quite well.

On another note it seems the vaccines have slightly reduced effectiveness against the Indian variant. However there have been very few hospitalizations and only one death so far in full vaccinated individuals. The UK data shows that you can vaccinate your way out of this, if the population cooperate, and in the Bolton area they are. I think it is fair to say that this situation has given the populations in the affected areas a good fright and there are long lines again in those areas of people who initially refused the vaccine.

Once again it looks as if the UK will be able to get rid of all restrictions except foreign travel June 21 as planned.
The fact check does provide a good overview.

From the link:

>>>Baric [a professor in epidemiology, microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina] has said he thought the virus came from bats in southern China, perhaps directly or possibly via an intermediate host, and that he suspected the disease evolved in humans over time without being noticed. Eventually a person carried it to Wuhan “and the pandemic took off,” Baric told New York magazine in January.<<<

That's the scenario I keep wondering about. Perhaps the virus was circulating in humans for some time in a region with lower population density and some local acquired immunity, and researchers from the Wuhan Institute were infected when they traveled to the region(s) where the bat viruses are common, bringing it back to Wuhan where it took off.

I had started wondering about this a while back when I ran across this article from 2018:

>>>Our study provides the first serological evidence of likely human infection by bat SARSr-CoVs or, potentially, related viruses. The lack of prior exposure to SARS patients by the people surveyed, their lack of prior travel to areas heavily affected by SARS during the outbreak, and the rapid decline of detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV in recovered patients within 2–3 years after infection strongly suggests that positive serology obtained in this study is not due to prior infection with SARS-CoV (Wu et al. 2007). The 2.7% seropositivity for the high risk group of residents living in close proximity to bat colonies suggests that spillover is a relatively rare event, however this depends on how long antibodies persist in people, since other individuals may have been exposed and antibodies waned. During questioning, none of the 6 seropositive subjects could recall any clinical symptoms in the past 12 months, suggesting that their bat SARSr-CoV infection either occurred before the time of sampling, or that infections were subclinical or caused only mild symptoms. Our previous work based on cellular and humanized mouse infection studies suggest that these viruses are less virulent than SARS-CoV (Ge et al. 2013; Menachery et al. 2016; Yang et al. 2016). Masked palm civets appeared to play a role as intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV in the 2002–2003 outbreak (Guan et al. 2003). However, considering that these individuals have a high chance of direct exposure to bat secretion in their villages, this study further supports the notion that some bat SARSr-CoVs are able to directly infect humans without intermediate hosts, as suggested by receptor entry and animal infection studies (Menachery et al. 2016).<<<


I noticed that Baric and Daszak (paper above) appear to be two of the U.S. researchers most closely involved in coronavirus research in China. For example, Baric is an author for this paper:


However, it appears to me that Daszak has consistently asserted that the lab leak theory is implausible, whereas Baric signed the letter published in Science to the effect that the lab origin theory cannot be ruled out.

At the risk of derailing this thread with politics, it is somewhat ironic that the NIH (under Trump) lifted the ban on funding for gain-of-function research in 2017:

>>>The National Institutes of Health recently announced it would renew funding research enabling scientists to alter pathogens to make them more dangerous, raising questions about whether the Trump administration had opened the door to a potential pandemic.<<<

 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
I guess comparing COVID to the flu might actually make sense when it comes to children. The question in my mind is whether or not there may be long term consequences in children that we don't know about yet.

>>>Even a vaccinated parent can occasionally get infected with the coronavirus. There's also a small risk that the virus can pass to an unvaccinated child. But the risk that a child gets seriously ill is extremely small — comparable to the risk that children face of having serious illness as a result of the flu. To date, out of more than 74 million children in the United States, there have been about 300 COVID-19 deaths and a few thousand serious illnesses. By comparison, the CDC registered 188 flu-related deaths in children during the 2019-2020 flu season. (This past year, there was essentially no flu season at all.) . . . For children in particular, the risk of serious consequences from COVID-19 is the same magnitude as the risk they face from the flu, she [Dr. Mathew] says. <<<

 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Interesting. That was on May 5. It's not clear to me if his views have changed, or if he's just saying things in a way that make a different impression (he could still "very very strongly" lean towards natural origin without being "convinced" it evolved naturally).

His comment to the effect that thse discussing a possible lab escape of a virus that evolved naturally is circular doesn't make much sense to me. To my mind, there's a significant difference between lab escape of a natural virus vs a jump of a natural virus that occurred outside a lab.

I wish we had stronger evidence either way.
The quotes against it coming from a lab were from early last year and now, they changed their minds. This video says workers in Wuhan sought medical care before the pandemic.

So, if China covered this up, what happens to them?
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
The fact check does provide a good overview.

From the link:

>>>Baric [a professor in epidemiology, microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina] has said he thought the virus came from bats in southern China, perhaps directly or possibly via an intermediate host, and that he suspected the disease evolved in humans over time without being noticed. Eventually a person carried it to Wuhan “and the pandemic took off,” Baric told New York magazine in January.<<<

That's the scenario I keep wondering about. Perhaps the virus was circulating in humans for some time in a region with lower population density and some local acquired immunity, and researchers from the Wuhan Institute were infected when they traveled to the region(s) where the bat viruses are common, bringing it back to Wuhan where it took off.

I had started wondering about this a while back when I ran across this article from 2018:

>>>Our study provides the first serological evidence of likely human infection by bat SARSr-CoVs or, potentially, related viruses. The lack of prior exposure to SARS patients by the people surveyed, their lack of prior travel to areas heavily affected by SARS during the outbreak, and the rapid decline of detectable antibodies to SARS-CoV in recovered patients within 2–3 years after infection strongly suggests that positive serology obtained in this study is not due to prior infection with SARS-CoV (Wu et al. 2007). The 2.7% seropositivity for the high risk group of residents living in close proximity to bat colonies suggests that spillover is a relatively rare event, however this depends on how long antibodies persist in people, since other individuals may have been exposed and antibodies waned. During questioning, none of the 6 seropositive subjects could recall any clinical symptoms in the past 12 months, suggesting that their bat SARSr-CoV infection either occurred before the time of sampling, or that infections were subclinical or caused only mild symptoms. Our previous work based on cellular and humanized mouse infection studies suggest that these viruses are less virulent than SARS-CoV (Ge et al. 2013; Menachery et al. 2016; Yang et al. 2016). Masked palm civets appeared to play a role as intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV in the 2002–2003 outbreak (Guan et al. 2003). However, considering that these individuals have a high chance of direct exposure to bat secretion in their villages, this study further supports the notion that some bat SARSr-CoVs are able to directly infect humans without intermediate hosts, as suggested by receptor entry and animal infection studies (Menachery et al. 2016).<<<


I noticed that Baric and Daszak (paper above) appear to be two of the U.S. researchers most closely involved in coronavirus research in China. For example, Baric is an author for this paper:


However, it appears to me that Daszak has consistently asserted that the lab leak theory is implausible, whereas Baric signed the letter published in Science to the effect that the lab origin theory cannot be ruled out.

At the risk of derailing this thread with politics, it is somewhat ironic that the NIH (under Trump) lifted the ban on funding for gain-of-function research in 2017:

>>>The National Institutes of Health recently announced it would renew funding research enabling scientists to alter pathogens to make them more dangerous, raising questions about whether the Trump administration had opened the door to a potential pandemic.<<<

What possible benefit could be derived from altering pathogens to make them more dangerous? I realise that such activities for the purpose of biological warfare happened in the past. One would think we might have learned better. It just seems that we're playing with fire when we do that.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Audioholic Chief
What possible benefit could be derived from altering pathogens to make them more dangerous? I realise that such activities for the purpose of biological warfare happened in the past. One would think we might have learned better. It just seems that we're playing with fire when we do that.
That was my initial reaction, but I think it may have a legitimate purpose. Someone else with more knowledge of this subject matter could provide a better answer, but I think the basic idea is to see what would happen if a particular virus were to mutate in a particular way in the wild (e.g. would it actually bind to ACE2 receptors, would existing vaccines be effective, etc.) in order to determine which viruses are most likely to jump to humans and develop strategies to deal with it if it does happen.

I'm not arguing that this outweighs the downside risks, just that there might be a legitimate reason to do this type of research.
 
R

rdkusher

Audioholic Intern
i just got my 2nd shot of the moderna vaccine this morning.here in alabama the mask mandate has been lifted and the governor signed a law today preventing people from having to show proof that they have been vaccinated.even though we have a surplus of vaccine due to people not getting vaccinated no one in the store shopping today had a mask on.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
What possible benefit could be derived from altering pathogens to make them more dangerous? I realise that such activities for the purpose of biological warfare happened in the past. One would think we might have learned better. It just seems that we're playing with fire when we do that.
China is a rogue nation and could indulge in all sorts of devious plans. Their attempts to cover up this pandemic were immense. Remember brave Chinese physicians had to send out data to the Lancet clandestinely. That gave us at least a heads up on what we would be confronting. When I saw the case histories, lab work and CT scans, I knew right away we were in for big trouble.

China need to pay a heavy price for what they have done already. There certainly could be a motive for creating a dangerous pathogen. You quietly produce a dangerous pathogen and create a vaccine and inoculate your own population before releasing it. I certainly believe the Chinese could be capable of such a heinous act.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
China is a rogue nation and could indulge in all sorts of devious plans. Their attempts to cover up this pandemic were immense. Remember brave Chinese physicians had to send out data to the Lancet clandestinely. That gave us at least a heads up on what we would be confronting. When I saw the case histories, lab work and CT scans, I knew right away we were in for big trouble.

China need to pay a heavy price for what they have done already. There certainly could be a motive for creating a dangerous pathogen. You quietly produce a dangerous pathogen and create a vaccine and inoculate your own population before releasing it. I certainly believe the Chinese could be capable of such a heinous act.
While I think I've been quite unequivocal about my thoughts on the odious regime in China, I have difficulty processing the sociopathic nihilistic depravity that would be embodied in such a scheme. Besides, should such a plan be devised and unleashed, I can't see how a conspiracy on such a scale could be kept quiet. And, when the truth was revealed - that an attack with biological weapon of mass destruction had occurred - it would trigger WWIII.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
While I think I've been quite unequivocal about my thoughts on the odious regime in China, I have difficulty processing the sociopathic nihilistic depravity that would be embodied in such a scheme. Besides, should such a plan be devised and unleashed, I can't see how a conspiracy on such a scale could be kept quiet. And, when the truth was revealed - that an attack with biological weapon of mass destruction had occurred - it would trigger WWIII.
Sure it would. But I can see them toying with the idea, to put in their range of options. So far there has been no credible animal link found, that I would have thought after this time would have revealed itself. As time goes by, I'm coming increasingly to the view that this virus was created in a lab, but its release not intentional.
There are two viral labs in Wuhan, and one highly suspect, in that the French who helped with it and inspected it, withdrew their certification.
We need to demand a lot more in person review of those labs, especially the suspect one.
 

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