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.
Apparently Tidbits is not loading properly for some. While my web techie helpers try to figure this out, I've drastically reduced images. If this doesn't work, I will be sending posts in 2 parts, 1 the Covid/medical and the other, the Politics.
I will also be embedding far fewer Tweets and images to try to reduce load time.
Please let me know if that helps it work better, though it's not as eye-catching.
Or would you prefer more images (like those that go with Tweets) and the newsletter split into two? You can reach me at drjudystone at gmail dot com. Please put "Tidbits" in the subject line. Thx.
Study ties Paxlovid to lower COVID-19 hospitalization rate
Adult US COVID-19 patients who received the antiviral drug Paxlovid within 5 days after diagnosis had a 51% lower hospitalization rate than nonrecipients, according to an observational study yesterday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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Omicron variant BQ.1.1 found to be resistant to all monoclonal antibody treatments
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New research shows that COVID-19 negatively impacts memory function
The factors which significantly affected memory scores were found to be COVID-19 status, age, time post COVID-19 and whether individuals were experiencing ongoing symptoms.
Memory scores for all COVID groups combined were significantly reduced compared to the non-COVID group in every age category 25 years and over, but not for the youngest age category, 18-24 years old.
The study also found that memory scores gradually increased over a period of 17 months post-COVID-19. However, those with ongoing COVID-19 symptoms continued to show a reduction in memory scores.
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NFL games with many in-person fans may have spiked COVID cases
A study of National Football League (NFL) home games attended by 1.3 million fans suggests that those with high attendance were tied to subsequent county-level COVID-19 surges during the 2020-2021 season.
Games with fewer than 5,000 fans weren't tied to spikes, but counties with teams hosting at least 20,000 fans saw COVID-19 spike rates that were 2.23 times higher than those with lower attendance.
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Small UK study shows 78% protection from 1 dose of monkeypox vaccine
New UK Health Security Agency (HSA) data that are not yet peer-reviewed indicate that a single Jynneos vaccine dose provides 78% protection against monkeypox 14 days or more after vaccination, but the number of vaccinated men in the study was small.
But "People who seek out vaccines may be behaving differently from people who don't," Osterholm explained. "Did they also take a pause on sexual behavior?"
Or are vaccinated individuals were less likely to abstain from high-risk sexual activity as a result of having received the vaccine?
Measles now an imminent global threat due to pandemic
Nov 23 (Reuters) - There is now an imminent threat of measles spreading in various regions globally, as COVID-19 led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. public health agency said on Wednesday.
Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and is almost entirely preventable through vaccination. However, it requires 95% vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks among populations.
A record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021 due to hurdles created by the COVID pandemic,
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Toxoplasma Parasite gives wolves what it takes to be pack leaders
Study is one of the few to show the behavioural effects of Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals.
Nature Emma Marris 24 November 2022
Wolves infected with a common parasite are more likely than uninfected animals to lead a pack, according to an analysis of more than 200 North American wolves1. Infected animals are also more likely to leave their home packs and strike out on their own.
The parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, makes its hosts bold — a mechanism that increases its survival.
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Florida state health officials reported an additional seven autochthonous, or locally acquired dengue fever cases in Miami-Dade County in the past week, bringing the state total for 2022 to 48 cases.
Locally acquired Dengue also reported in Maricopa County, AZ
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Artificial sweeteners found to kill off antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Sugar substitutes found in many supermarket foods have been shown to kill off antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause pneumonia and sepsis. Three artificial sweeteners used in products such as diet drinks, yogurts and desserts dramatically halt the growth of multidrug-resistant priority pathogens.
Drugs and Vaccines:
Scientists develop 20-subtype mRNA flu vaccine to protect against future flu pandemics
An experimental mRNA-based vaccine against all 20 known subtypes of influenza virus has provided broad protection from otherwise lethal flu strains in initial tests, and thus might serve one day as a general preventative measure against future flu pandemics, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The "multivalent" vaccine, which the researchers describe in a paper published today in Science, uses the same messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology employed in the Pfizer and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
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RSV Antibody Approved in Europe and the U.K.
Following the European Commission's approval, the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency recently approved Beyfortus® (nirsevimab) to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease in newborns and infants during their first RSV season.
As of November 24, 2022, Nirsevimab is the first and only single-dose RSV protective option for the broad infant population, including those born healthy, at term or preterm, or with specific health conditions.
Nirsevimab is being developed jointly by Sanofi and AstraZeneca.
China's daily COVID cases highest since pandemic began
China's daily COVID cases have climbed to the highest since the pandemic began, official data showed Thursday, despite the government persisting with a zero-tolerance approach involving grueling lockdowns and travel restrictions.
The country recorded 31,454 domestic cases—27,517 without symptoms—on Wednesday...The unrelenting zero-COVID push has caused fatigue and resentment among swathes of the population as the pandemic's third anniversary approaches, sparking sporadic protests and hitting productivity in the world's second-largest economy.
On Wednesday, violent protests erupted at Foxconn's vast iPhone factory in central China, with video showing dozens of hazmat-clad personnel wielding batons and chasing employees.
China has yet to approve more effective mRNA vaccines for public use and only 85 percent of adults over 60 had received two doses of domestic vaccines by mid-August,
Study finds that risk of severe asthma attacks doubled in UK after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted
Adults with asthma had, at one point, an approximately doubled risk of a severe asthma attack after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed in the UK, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.
Tips, general reading for public:
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Fire safety - Space Heaters
With cold weather, it brings space heaters. They CANNOT be plugged into power strips or extension cords. Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet. Power bars are not designed to handle the high current flow required by a space heater and can overheat causing a fire.
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Excellent summary and links to major reports on Covid:
You May Be Early, but You're Not Wrong: A Covid Reading List
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Jan 6th Committee:
Can you believe it? These NY state farm workers were harvesting cabbages last week for 8 hours on a day that temps ranged between 28°-40°. They earn $10 a one ton bin. They say the rate hasn't gone up for more than 5 years. #WeFeedYou pic.twitter.com/NeJncwjhOf— United Farm Workers (@UFWupdates) November 25, 2022
full quote is "Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, vox populi, vox dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit.”— shauna (@goldengateblond) November 20, 2022
it translates to:
"Do not listen to those who say the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the tumult of the crowd is always close to madness." pic.twitter.com/K77VU6eUrB
Fun fact. If you’re on an h1b visa and lose your job (or a supervillain takes over your company) - you have 60 days to find a new job to sponsor you (an outrageous Byzantine process) or else you & your family gets kicked out of the country. Twitter basically has hostages pic.twitter.com/2gDRstEv11— Xu 徐 (tired) (@Hellotherexu) November 19, 2022
Feel good du jour:
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Baby elephant caught tickling reporter with trunk
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Bits of beauty: