Coronavirus and Avian Flu Tidbits #297, June 2, 2024


First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I'm getting.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don't be shy about that.

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A call to action--to defeat the GOP and protect democracy.

While Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts yesterday, we will have to work harder than ever to defeat him in November.

Given what is going on with the Supremes and in the world, it's clearly more important than ever that we work to do this. There are so many ways you can help, from GOTV, to supporting various grassroot efforts, to phone banking, etc.
There are 3 groups I work with and recommend:
Strongly suggest checking out NOPE Neighbors
VoPro Pros:

Field Team 6: MISSION:  Register Democrats.   Save the World.

Please share: Great explanation of - How to build the blue wave in 2024!  

also, Maryland is now important to get involved in. If Hogan wins the Senate race, he will work w the Right wing Republicans. He is not the "moderate" many believe him to be.

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I recently gave a talk at Allegany College, sharing a story from Resilience which highlights some of the issues at stake in the election. "Mari's Story" is about my 5 year old cousin, who was an American citizen. She, her mom, and grandmother were in Strasshof concentration camp and then others. Because of "papers please" problems, she was then separated from her parents until she was 19.

I would love to give similar short talks to book groups, libraries, churches, etc. Please share with friends. Thank you!



Covid cases continue to rise each week in US. "So far this year, nearly 3.3 million COVID cases have been reported in the U.S., causing 283,605 hospitalizations and 29,370 deaths."

Surges in Covid also in Egypt, Singapore, and Australia. The latter is telling people to mask up.

But we're flying blind in the US with the CDC no longer tracking/reporting data.

Hawaii still keeps data, and can see/predict from their current surge.

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Long Covid: 3 yr followup from @Zalaly, Miao Cai, @Biostayan, @EricTopol

Among people who had mild COVID-19 , risk of death became insignificant 1 year after infection Risk of new post acute sequelae declined over time, but residual risk remained even at 3 years in the pulmonary, GI and nervous systems.

This residual risk in the third year translates into 41 new sequelae/Long Covid components per 1000 persons in the third year (4 sequelae per 100 people).

In hospitalized patients, Risk of death declined over time, but remained elevated even 3 years after infection. Risk of new post acute sequelae declined over time, but significant risk remained even at 3 years in nearly all organ systems - cardiovascular, neurologic, GI, coagulation and pulmonary organ systems

This risk in the third year translates into 252 new sequelae/Long Covid components per 1000 persons in the third year (~ 25 sequelae per 100 people)

New conditions in the third year after infection led to 10 DALYs per 1000 persons in non-hospitalized , and 90 DALYs per 1000 persons in those who were hospitalized during acute COVID One DALY equals one lost year of healthy life.

The big revelation here is that the risk persists for 3 years in several organ systems (e.g. GI and nervous system) even 3 years after a mild infection.

Why is this be happening? Possibly viral persistence (perhaps far more common than most people think), chronic inflammation or chronic immune dysfunction or all the above.

The story in hospitalized people is more stark – they have greater risk and longer risk horizon with resultant burden of disease that is astronomically much higher than non-infected people and higher than non-hospitalized individuals. Hospitalization can have huge and wide-ranging effects on people's lives for years if not more. Preventing hospitalization is very important.

In fact, 90% of people with Long Covid had mild COVID-19.

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Long Covid and autoimmunity:

Preprint on how antibodies could drive #LongCOVID symptoms. By transferring IgG #antibodies from Long COVID patients to mice, we induced disease-associated symptoms. This model can help in understanding and treating Long COVID.

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What happens when you transfer IgG antibodies from people with #LongCovid to mice? The mice develop pronounced and persistent sensory hypersensitivity, reduced locomotor activity, related to human plasma proteomic signature
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Autoimmunity has long been one of the main suspects of Long-COVID: COVID-19 increases the risk of autoimmunity (, it affects more females than males, and in Long-COVID patients auto-antibodies have been found against all kinds of self-antigens
Despite this strong association, the big question remained: is autoimmunity a CAUSE or CONSEQUENCE in Long-COVID? So we decided to put this to the test: we purified antibodies from patient blood, transferred these to mice, and tested whether mice would develop symptoms.
Strikingly, transfer of IgG antibodies of Long-COVID patients strongly induced symptoms in mice! Most pronounced was the induction of pain,
Since Long-COVID is a very heterogeneous disease (different symptoms, severity, etc.) we also tried to divide the patients into separate groups. With a little help from proteomics (proteins in blood) we identified three groups (color coded red/grey/yellow).
Interestingly, antibodies from different patient-groups induced different symptoms in mice! Group-yellow IgG immediately induced pain symptoms, group-red induced delayed symptoms. Remarkable: group-grey IgG induced no pain, but was the only group to induce immobility.
So in short: 1. IgG antibodies from Long-COVID patients induce symptoms in mice, indicating autoimmunity plays a causal role in this disease. 2. Antibodies from different subgroups induce distinct symptoms, indicating the presence of multiple (groups of) auto-antibodies.

For a 10 minute presentation of this work, check out this presentation from December 2023 from one of the first authors of our preprint,

Another cool thing: our findings seem to have been independently validated by the @PutrinoLab, who recently showed similar preliminary data on this scientific conference (May 2024):

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Avian influenza H5N1:

Third dairy farm worker infected with H5 avian flu 

unlike the earlier cases, the patient is experiencing respiratory symptoms as well as conjunctivitis. Michigan has been hit hardest by the dairy farm outbreaks and has reported 22 outbreaks across 10 of the state's counties. Neither worker exposed to sick cows was wearing PPE. They were treated with Tamiflu.

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Vaccines are being readied...

CSL Seqirus will deliver 4.8 million vaccine doses that are matched to the current H5N1 strain of the virus. They would likely be targeted initially to protect at-risk poultry and dairy workers, veterinarians and lab technicians,

The U.S. government is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with Moderna to fund its bird flu mRNA vaccine trial as concerns remain surrounding the outbreak in poultry and cattle.

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Mice administered raw milk samples from dairy cows infected with #H5N1 bird flu experienced high virus levels in their respiratory organs (and lower virus levels in other vital organs) find U.S. researchers, as per an NIH release:
Also, the virus in raw milk may remain infectious when maintained at refrigerated temperatures.
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Dengue is surging:

in 2024 so far, more than 7.6 million cases have been reported, which includes 16,000 severe infections and more than 3,000 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

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The resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases in US is truly alarming. This will cause kids to miss school, drain public health resources (and tax dollars), and eventually cost lives.  Kentucky county declares pertussis outbreak

--  @JeromeAdamsMD

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Oregon health officials are concerned about a sharp increase in cases of pertussis – known as whooping cough – across nine counties and are encouraging people to get vaccinated against the disease.


the darker the test line is in comparison to the control line, the more virus the source patient is shedding at that time.

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list of highly reliable, easy-to-use molecular covid tests on the market today! Accuracy stats, cost per test, and citations throughout

Drugs and Vaccines:

(S Korea and Japan study) The risk of acute respiratory complications declined with increasing number of COVID-19 vaccine doses. The lowest risk of post-acute respiratory complications was seen among recipients of mixed types of vaccines.” [CIDRAP]

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May 24 (Reuters) - Novavax (NVAX.O), opens new tab will only be able to offer a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States this autumn if regulators accept the shot it has started manufacturing that targets a variant that was dominant earlier this year, the company said.
Novavax's updated vaccine targets a variant called JN.1, which is in line with European recommendations. The European Union's regulator told vaccine makers last month to update their vaccines for that variant because they would likely be effective against its descendant lineages.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet made a decision on the makeup of the next round of COVID vaccines and a JN.1 subvariant known as KP.2 has become dominant in the United States over the past month.
Novavax's traditional, protein-based vaccine is developed in moth cells and takes months to manufacture. In 2023, for instance, Novavax said it needed six months to bring an adequate supply of vaccine to the market.
mRNA vax (Pfizer and Moderna) can be developed more quickly.
"If a strain other than JN.1 is selected this late in the development process, a protein-based option will not be available for the U.S. population," Novavax said.
it has data showing good cross-reactivity between its vaccine and the currently dominant KP.2 variant.

Devices and Masks:

“The study found that long-haul flights with enforced masking had almost no reports of SARS-CoV-2 transmission within the aircraft despite meals being served…  The researchers also found that each additional hour of flight was associated with a 1.53-fold higher probability of viral transmission in flights without enforced masking.”

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PFAs in many masks, incl 3M

Also, There was a study on the #corsirosenthalbox that showed reduction of PFAs through using the box. Went back and reread it. The box in question used Jim's TexAir filters. Here is a link to his filters:  - per Lazarus Long

also, his spreadsheet of PFAS in 3M products:

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Even WITHOUT FIT TESTING respirators provide more protection than surgical masks?


Epidemiology/Infection control:

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.



Lady Gaga has revealed that she performed five shows of her Chromatica Ball tour while testing positive for Covid… She explained: “I shared it with everyone on my team… And the way that I saw it also is like the fans were all putting themselves in harm’s way every day coming to the show.” [Independent]

Her make-up artist, Sarah Tanno, suffers from severe Long Covid, saying it is 'debilitating for me every single day.'”

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“Four major nonprofits that [capitalize] on the spread of medical misinformation collectively gained more than $118 million between 2020 and 2022, enabling the organizations to deepen their influence in statehouses, courtrooms and communities across the [US].”

Children’s Health Defense, an anti-vaccine group founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., received $23.5 million in contributions, grants and other revenue in 2022 alone — eight times what it collected the year before the pandemic began — allowing it to expand its state-based lobbying operations to cover half the country.

Informed Consent Action Network, nearly quadrupled its revenue during that time to about $13.4 million in 2022, giving it the resources to finance lawsuits seeking to roll back vaccine requirements as Americans’ faith in vaccines drops.

Two other groups, Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance and America’s Frontline Doctors, went from receiving $1 million combined when they formed in 2020 to collecting more than $21 million combined in 2022,

Free Gift link:

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Study shows that if your genuine concern is being able to identify criminals, a state ban on sunglasses is better policy than a face mask ban.

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Trump posted a video of one of his supporters attacking "blowjob liberals" and raging that if Trump is elected, he will "get rid" of liberals, who will be "gone." Trump is plainly endorsing those sentiments.

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icymi, worth watching Ken Burns on TFG:

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Here’s Trump’s Memorial Day gift to all of us: his blueprint for replacing democracy with a fascist cult of personality complete with an “abortion police.” Project 2025, in word-searchable form:
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This isn’t a feel good story—it’s dystopian. CNN failed to report that last summer Missouri rejected millions in Federal aid for free school lunches, and that’s why Missouri kids suffer with nearly a quarter million in lunch debt, of which this thoughtful child raised $7300.

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Texas schools illegally suspended thousands of homeless students.

also causing them to miss food and showers.

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Another awful story about Texas refusing D&C despite fetal death:

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the Texas Supreme Court has REFUSED to provide clarity on its extreme abortion ban, and REJECTED claims by our 20+ clients that their rights were violated when they were denied critical abortion care during obstetric emergencies or traumatic pregnancy complications.

The court stated definitively that people cannot have abortions in situations where the fetus has a lethal condition and will not survive, unless the pregnant person also has a life-threatening condition.

Texas has dismissed the claims that patients like Kate Cox, Samantha Casiano, and others have constitutional rights to their lives, their health, and their future fertility.

The Court clarified that exceptions can be made for life-threatening conditions like preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) but ignored other plaintiffs' conditions, refusing to say when in the course of a patient’s deteriorating health crisis the exception would apply.

Center for Reproductive Rights   @ReproRights

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Proposed Texas GOP platform calls for the Bible in schools, electoral changes that would lock Democrats out of statewide office.

Feel good du jour:

Self-made millionaire Harris Rosen adopted a Florida neighborhood called Tangelo Park, cut the crime rate in half, and increased the high school graudation rate from 25% to nearly 100% by giving everyone free daycare and all high school graduates scholarships.

Comic relief:

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Bits of beauty:



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