Coronavirus Tidbits #116 1/28/21

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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.

Latest post at Forbes: 

Covid Killed A Tiger. Are Your House Cats At Risk?



New data: not only is U.K. variant B.1.1.7 more transmissible, it may also be 30% more deadly. Britain’s chief scientist said, and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, cautiously agreed. (APNew York Post)

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The new variant in Brazil has created “a complete massacre, a horror film,” swamping hospitals and leaving them without supplies. (The Guardian)

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Countries have already implemented various international travel restrictions attempting to reduce the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 virus variants.

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still an incredible, negligent lack of rapid, accurate testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

In a major setback, Merck to stop developing its two Covid-19 vaccines and focus on therapies

the immune responses were inferior to those seen following natural infection and those reported for other SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccines. ~ ~ ~

Covid-19 vaccine basics: Why the rollout is so slow, who can get doses, and what about side effects ~ ~ ~ With no fanfare, the CDC altered its recommendations on vaccine dosing Thursday to say second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech products can be given up to 6 weeks after the first. ~ ~ ~

Sanofi will fill and pack millions of doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

in an effort to help meet the huge demand for the U.S. drugmaker’s shots.

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Antibody testing can show who is immune to Covid-19. Asking them to wait a bit for a vaccine can save lives and return us to normalcy sooner by letting us reach that herd immunity threshold faster.

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People taking cholesterol-lowering drugs may fare better than others

A new study hints at why: the virus relies on the fatty molecule to get past the cell’s protective membrane.

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Full-Dose Clot Prophylaxis Improves Outcomes in Moderate COVID-19

— Three major platform trials also show possible mortality benefit

The full-dose strategy proved superior to prophylactic dosing in reducing the proportion of patients who progressed to needing ventilation and other vital organ support across the three adaptive platform trials — the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored ACTIV-4a trialREMAP-CAP, and ATTACC.

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Colchicine:  Gout Drug Reduces COVID-19 Related Risks

The Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) announced on January 22, 2021, that the COLCORONA clinical trial has provided clinically persuasive results of colchicine’s efficacy to treat COVID-19. In patients with a proven diagnosis of COVID-19, colchicine reduced hospitalizations by 25%, the need for mechanical ventilation by 50%, and deaths by 44%.

Colchicine is used to prevent gout attacks (sudden, severe pain in one or more joints caused by abnormally high levels of a substance called uric acid in the blood) in adults, reports MedlinePlus.

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Neutralizing Antibody Combo Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) 2800 mg and etesevimab (LY-CoV016) 2800 mg Reduced Risk of COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Death by 70%

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All alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico on a countrywide import alert to 

help stop products that appear to be in violation from entering the U.S. until the agency is able to review the products’ safety. Concern is substitution of Methanol


Masks and transmission:

“Every 10% increase in self-reported mask wearing was associated with a four-fold likelihood that the transmission was controlled when there was a 10% increase in mask wearing. Communities that had the most mask wearing were least likely to have COVID transmission in those communities, and that was regardless of whether they social distanced or not.

“Now, they also looked at whether state mandates helped. They looked at transmission 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after and they realized that it really didn’t. Great empirical — what they call ecological — evidence that mask wearing does prevent COVID transmission.”

more detailed version:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

The Proportion of SARS-CoV-2 Infections That Are Asymptomatic is at least one third

nearly three quarters of persons who receive a positive PCR test result but have no symptoms at the time of testing will remain asymptomatic.

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COVID-19 virus triggers antibodies from previous coronavirus infections: Study

we might already have some degree of pre-existing immunity to this virus.

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Doc’s License Suspended for Exposing Patients to COVID ~ ~ ~

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Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.


Ohio state senator and physician Stephen Huffman who questioned whether Black people “wash their hands as well as other groups” is now health committee chairman. (AP) “Could it just be that African Americans – or the colored population — do not wash their hands as well as other groups? Or wear masks? Or do not socially distance themselves?” he asked?

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Feel good du jour:

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The man you want is @noslohciNwerdnA, he’s a legend. He’s the infamous bubble guy riding a unicorn at Bath Carnival, and he regularly paddles along the river on a SUP dressed as a Viking.

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Comic relief:

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Bits of beauty:


Hoar frost on beech leaf – Ann Bristow
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