Coronavirus Tidbits #218 11/6/22

Announcements:

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.

ELECTIONS Need HELP please:

If we lose the House, Kevin McCarthy and Marjorie Taylor Green will wreak havoc.
With the Senate...oy
Please help:
1. Wisconsin: 

If you’re looking for a critical swing state where you can have a big impact right now, check out Wisconsin which is in trouble. These races are very close, and the votes we save there have the potential to save the day, just as they saved Biden in 2020. We are recommending that you BALLOT CURE in Wisconsin from NOW through NOV 8.  If we lose Wisconsin in 2022 there is almost no chance we will win it in 2024 when the future of our democracy will be even more precarious.

WISCONSIN: Cure Remotely through November 7th

Voters need your help fixing errors on their absentee ballots! Join WisDems for a brief overview of their cure program, followed by a cure phonebank.

Phonebank, Daytime, Afterhours, Weekends

When:

Saturday afternoons 1-3 pm CT (2-3pm ET/ 11am-12pm PT)

How:

Sign up here: wisdems.org/curephonebank

NEVADA is also in a heap of trouble (Catherine Cortez Masto is the most endangered Democratic incumbent in the country right now) and NV is able to ballot cure through November 14. We recommend that after Nov 8 you virtual ballot cure in NEVADA. Every single vote will count there! Here is link to sign up for NV ballot curing

https://www.mobilize.us/demvictorynv/event/532155/

If there is a US Senate runoff election in GA keep in mind that the runoff will be on Dec 6, so GEORGIA will need our help after Nov 8, all the way through Dec 6. If you would like to get some practice virtual ballot curing ahead of the runoff contact Katie Kaufman at kaufman@dscc.org and put “Ballot Curing in GA” in the subject line. They are busy ballot curing right now and would greatly appreciate assistance.

Other critical states that are also doing ballot curing are NC, PA and MI.  Here are ballot curing links and/or info for them:

●  Pennsylvania  Go to Ballot Cure Phonebank! for Pennsylvania Working Families Party

Michigan: Many dates and times

https://www.mobilize.us/midemsvopro/event/492768/

~ ~ ~

Post:

I had an unfortunate experience with Medscape this week. They has said they liked my blogs to be provocative, but removed my latest post:

I can't even access the full article via Wayback Machine. Here are screenshots of my draft, minus some of the hyperlinks, if of interest. Guess he didn't really mean it when my editor told me to blog when I was angry...

If anyone is curious, let me know and I'll enlighten you.

News 

SARS-CoV-2 aerosols likely spread through the walls and floors

at a quarantine hotel in Taiwan. (Emerging Infectious Disease)
~ ~ ~

COVID vaccine hoarding might have cost more than a million lives

Low- and middle-income nations would have had lower death rates if vaccines had been shared more equitably.

More than one million lives might have been saved if COVID-19 vaccines had been shared more equitably with lower-income countries in 2021, according to mathematical models incorporating data from 152 countries1.

The impact of vaccine sharing would have been even greater if the distribution of more vaccines to poorer countries happened alongside wealthier countries keeping other mitigation measures — such as smaller gatherings and mask wearing — in place for longer. In that case, the models suggest, as many as 3.8 million lives could have been saved.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-03529-3

~ ~ ~

COVID-19 virus increases risk for other infections by disrupting normal mix of gut bacteria

by NYU Langone Health NOVEMBER 1, 2022

Infection with the pandemic virus, SARS-CoV-2, can reduce the number of bacterial species in a patient's gut, with the lesser diversity creating space for dangerous microbes to thrive, a new study finds.

The study builds on the realization that widespread use of antibiotics to fight infections with disease-causing bacteria in recent decades, by killing off species most vulnerable to available drugs, has left in place more species that are resistant to antibiotics. In addition, disruptions in gut bacterial ratios have previously been linked to more severe COVID-19.

However, researchers say, it has remained unclear until now which came first, the coronavirus infection disrupting the gut microbiome or an already weakened gut making the body more vulnerable to the virus. The new study appears to favor the former explanation. The new investigation also revealed that antibiotic-resistant species can escape into the bloodstream, putting patients at greater risk for life-threatening secondary infections.

Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the investigation involved 96 men and women hospitalized with COVID-19 in 2020 in New York City and in New Haven, Conn. Results showed that the majority of patients had low gut microbiome diversity, with a full quarter dominated by a single type of bacteria. At the same time, populations of several microbes known to include antibiotic-resistant species increased, possible due to widespread antibiotic use early in the pandemic.

These antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in the gut were also observed to have migrated into the bloodstream in 20% of patients. The study authors note that further research is needed to uncover why this group was at higher risk for a secondary infection while others remained protected.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-covid-virus-infections-disrupting-gut.html

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Monkeypox:

Monkeypox Vaccinations Exceed One Million in US

The CDC recently confirmed 28,302 monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases during the monkeypox virus outbreak in the U.S.

https://www.precisionvaccinations.com/2022/11/01/monkeypox-vaccinations-exceed-one-milliion

~ ~ ~

Meta-analysis suggests 14% hospitalization rate for monkeypox patients

Oct 31 EClincalMedicine study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/11/news-scan-nov-02-2022

~ ~ ~

Monkeypox might spread before symptoms show

People infected with monkeypox may be able to transmit the virus to others before they notice symptoms, a new British study says, which could explain many infections in the current international outbreak. The analysis, published yesterday in BMJ, relied on data from 2,746 people infected in the U.K. from May 6 to Aug. 1. As many as 53% of transmission events could have occurred before the person transmitting the virus developed symptoms, the researchers conclude.

While some experts have pushed back on that figure, Esther Freeman of Harvard Medical School said pre-symptomatic transmission at that level or less points to a need for vaccination policies. “We know that there could be some pre-symptomatic or pre-people-noticing-their-symptoms transmission,” she told STAT’s Helen Branswell. “The way to handle this is to not wait till people know they've been exposed to be vaccinated but to have pre-exposure vaccination.” Read more.

~ ~ ~

'A silent killer': COVID-19 shown to trigger inflammation in the brain

Research led by The University of Queensland has found COVID-19 activates the same inflammatory response in the brain as Parkinson's disease.

The discovery identified a potential future risk for neurodegenerative conditions in people who've had COVID-19, but also a possible treatment.

The UQ team was led by Professor Trent Woodruff and Dr. Eduardo Albornoz Balmaceda from UQ's School of Biomedical Sciences, and virologists from the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.

"We studied the effect of the virus on the brain's immune cells, 'microglia' which are the key cells involved in the progression of brain diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's," Professor Woodruff said.

"Our team grew human microglia in the laboratory and infected the cells with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

"We found the cells effectively became 'angry,' activating the same pathway that Parkinson's and Alzheimer's proteins can activate in disease, the inflammasomes."

Dr. Albornoz Balmaceda said triggering the inflammasome pathway sparked a "fire" in the brain, which begins a chronic and sustained process of killing off neurons.

"It's kind of a silent killer, because you don't see any outward symptoms for many years," Dr. Albornoz Balmaceda said.

"It may explain why some people who've had COVID-19 are more vulnerable to developing neurological symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease."

The researchers found the spike protein of the virus was enough to start the process and was further exacerbated when there were already proteins in the brain linked to Parkinson's.

"So if someone is already pre-disposed to Parkinson's, having COVID-19 could be like pouring more fuel on that 'fire' in the brain," Professor Woodruff said.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-silent-killer-covid-shown-trigger.html

~ ~ ~

Ebola:

~ ~ ~

RSV/Other:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

Study shows more vaccine side effects following COVID-19 infection

A new large Canadian study finds that adults with previous moderate or severe COVID-19 infections were more likely to have an adverse event sufficient to limit routine activities or require medical assessment in the week following each COVID vaccine dose. The study was published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study was based on 684,998 vaccinated Canadian adults who received COVID-19 immunizations from Dec 22, 2020, to Nov 27, 2021. Participants were sent an electronic questionnaire 7 days after dose 1, dose 2, and dose 3 vaccination asking for details about previous COVID-19 infections and reactions to their immunization.

adverse effects for SARS-CoV-2 previously infected individuals prior to vaccination."
Oct 31 Clin Infect Dis 
study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/10/covid-19-scan-oct-31-2022

~ ~ ~

 

Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

COVID ‘variant soup’ is making winter surges hard to predict

Descendants of Omicron are proliferating worldwide — and the same mutations are coming up again and again.

Nature Ewen Callaway 28 October 2022

Some call it a swarm of variants — others refer to it as variant soup. Whatever it’s called, the current crop of immunity-dodging offshoots of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is unprecedented in its diversity. This complexity makes it harder to predict coming waves of infection. It might even lead to a ‘double wave’ in some places, as first one variant and then another overtakes a population.

But amid the chaos, patterns are emerging. The swarm has helped scientists to pinpoint a handful of immunity-evading mutations that power a variant’s spread. Globally, a few heavyweight variants have emerged, yielding different outcomes in different regions — at least, so far.

In Europe, North America and Africa, the prevalence of Omicron offshoots in the BQ.1 family is rising quickly, even as overall cases seem to fall. In Asian countries including Singapore, Bangladesh and India, a lineage called XBB has already set off fresh waves of infection. Scientists are closely watching several regions where both are circulating, to see which has the edge.

“In the end, probably, some variants are going to dominate, but it’s less decisive than it was in the past,” says Cornelius Roemer, a computational biologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-03445-6

~ ~ ~

State Republican majority tied to higher COVID death rates after vaccine rollout

After the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to adults, Americans living in states with Republican-controlled governments were at an 11% higher risk of COVID-19 death than those in Democrat-led states, and residents of right-leaning states had a 26% higher death rate than those in states with a left-leaning voter majority.

The observational findings were published yesterday in The Lancet Regional Health.

Harvard investigators analyzed age-standardized COVID-19 death rates and local intensive care unit (ICU) patient loads for all 435 US Congressional districts after the vaccine rollout from April 2021 to March 2022, while controlling for sociodemographic factors, population density, COVID-19 vaccination rates, rates of diabetes and obesity, and voter political lean.

Oct 31 Lancet Public Health study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/11/covid-19-scan-nov-01-2022

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Monkeypox

In Africa's monkeypox outbreak, sickness and death go undetected

YALOLIA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Oct 31 (Reuters) - At a village clinic in central Congo, separated from the world by a tangle of waterways and forests, six-year-old Angelika Lifafu grips her dress and screams as nurses in protective suits pick at one of hundreds of boils that trouble her delicate skin.

Her uncle, 12-year-old Lisungi Lifafu, sits at the foot of her bed, facing away from the sunlight that pours through the doorway and pains his swollen, weeping eyes. When nurses approach, he raises his chin, but cannot look up.

The children have monkeypox, a disease first detected in Congo 50 years ago, but cases of which have spiked in West and Central Africa since 2019. The illness received little attention until it spread worldwide this year, infecting 77,000 people.

Global health bodies have counted far fewer cases in Africa during the current outbreak than in Europe and the United States, which snapped up the limited number of vaccines this year when the illness arrived at their shores.

But the outbreak, and death toll, in Congo could be much greater than recorded in official statistics, Reuters reporting shows, in large part because testing in underequipped, rural areas is so limited and effective medicines are unavailable.

During a six-day trip to the remote region of Tshopo this month, Reuters reporters found about 20 monkeypox patients, including two who had died, whose cases were not recorded until reporters visited. None of them, including Angelika and Lisungi, had access to vaccines or anti-viral drugs.

The shortage of testing facilities and poor transport links makes tracing the virus nearly impossible, more than a dozen health workers said.

Asked about undercounting, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged that its data did not capture the full extent of the outbreak.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/africas-monkeypox-outbreak-sickness-death-go-undetected-2022-10-31/

~ ~ ~

Other:

(also true in DC/MD area)

Tips, general reading for public:

Ventilate.

Mask.

Vax.

 

LONG COVID CLINICS:

Politics:

Covid:

=> No Covid

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Election/Voter suppression:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Antisemitism:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Churches/Taxes:

GOP:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Jan 6/TFG:

Greed:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Racism:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Reproduction/Abortion:

~ ~ ~

SCOTUS:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Twitter:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

https://twitter.com/PalmerReport/status/1589031184654565378?s=20&t=PQDZLVjojOM-yLNzLW-KSw

Alabama:

~ ~ ~

Georgia:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

North Carolina:

Texas:

Off campus early voting ranges from a mile to in one case 17 miles from campus, and one case is across a busy freeway with no pedestrian bridge.

It’s illegal to politically campaign on campus so no parties or voting rights organizations can hand out leaflets informing students how to vote. /4

Some campuses allowed voter registration on campus and many did not. /5

Early voting goes through November 4, but there is no voting on the final weekend before election day. Many students are not informed about this and assume they can go home to vote on the weekend before the election.

Because of no campaigning on campus, many students are not aware that they can register to vote at their college address even if it’s temporary. /8

Some colleges have voting on campus on election day and many do not. /9

In almost all cases, the early voting centers are different locations from the election day centers. Again, organizers are prevented from passing out any leaflets informing students where they are supposed to vote and when. /10

Virginia:

Wisconsin:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

UK:

Ukraine:

 

Feel good du jour:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

 

Comic relief:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Perspective/Poem

~ ~ ~

Bits of beauty:

 

 

Share this post: