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.
Reminder, Resilience: One Family's Story... is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education.
US extends COVID health emergency
Health officials in the United States extended the COVID-19 public health emergency again, as the world closely watches developments there with XBB.1.5 and looks for clarity on China's evolving surge.
Cases and deaths are still rising. The 7-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases is 67,514, up 17% compared to a week ago, according to Washington Post tracking. By the same measure, deaths are up 8%, while hospitalizations are down 9%.
As schools resume after the holidays, some are ordering temporary mask mandates due to elevated levels of COVID and other respiratory viruses, ABC News reported.
More than 82% of XBB.1.5 sequences are from US
Along with BQ.1 subvariants, XBB.1.5 is one of the most immune evasive variants to date, the WHO said. So far, there is no evidence that illnesses involving the subvariant are more severe, and XBB.1.5 doesn't carry mutations that are known to increase severity.
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How Are Bivalent COVID Vaccines Stacking Up Against Omicron?
...Other US studies have shown the risk of hospitalisation was reduced by at least 38% in people who received a bivalent booster compared to those who had received two or more doses of the original vaccines. In adults over 65 the additional protection was as high as 73%.
Meanwhile, recent research suggests the bivalent boosters will offer protection against emerging omicron subvariants. Serum samples from people who received the BA.5-containing bivalent boosters had better neutralising activity against all omicron subvariants (especially BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1, and XBB) than those who received either one or two regular boosters.
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Covid and Sperm count
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New study out showing COVID-19 patients at one year had a much higher all cause mortality compared to those without COVID-19, 17.8% vs 4%.
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(Reuters) -The peak of China's COVID-19 wave is expected to last two to three months. Infections are expected to surge in rural areas as hundreds of millions travel to their home towns for the Lunar New Year holidays, which officially start from Jan. 21,
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Drop in routine vaccine coverage among US kindergarten students
In a report published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers from the CDC said national coverage with state-required vaccines fell to 93% among kindergarten students during the 2021-22 school year, down from 94% in 2020-21 and 95% in 2019-20. Coverage with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis), polio, and varicella vaccines fell in most states.
Another report showed that the pandemic had less of an effect on vaccine coverage in younger children... "persistent and widening disparities" were observed for children living beneath the federal poverty level, uninsured children, Black and Hispanic children, and kids in rural areas.
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FDA no longer needs to require animal tests before human drug trials
Science BYMEREDITH WADMAN 10 JAN 2023
according to legislation signed by President Joe Biden in late December 2022. The change—long sought by animal welfare organizations—could signal a major shift away from animal use after more than 80 years of drug safety regulation.
In place of the 1938 stipulation that potential drugs be tested for safety and efficacy in animals, the law allows FDA to promote a drug or biologic—a larger molecule such as an antibody—to human trials after either animal or nonanimal tests. Drake’s group and the nonprofit Animal Wellness Action, among others that pushed for changes, argue that in clearing drugs for human trials the agency should rely more heavily on computer modeling, “organ chips,” and other nonanimal methods that have been developed over the past 10 to 15 years.
But pro-research groups are downplaying the law, saying it signals a slow turning of the tide—not a tsunami that will remake the drug approval process overnight.
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WOAH report highlights continued use of antibiotics for animal growth
...The first of a planned annual report from the Observatory of WOAH looks at whether, and how, member states are implementing international standards for disease prevention and control, animal welfare, and veterinary public health.
With regard to antimicrobial use in animals, it shows that, of the 155 member states that submitted data for 2020 and 2021, 40 indicated using antimicrobials as growth promoters, which is deemed not to be responsible use. In addition, 21 reported using antimicrobials that have been defined by the World Health Organization as highest priority critically important antimicrobials for human medicine.
Wastewater Infectious Disease Surveillance Pilot Study Established at Toronto Airport
Officials at Fusion Genomics say the company has set up a fully automated, first-of-its-kind infectious-disease surveillance facility at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The facility, which uses Fusion’s DNA sequencing-based ONETest platform, will allow detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens in wastewater effluent from airplanes and terminal facilities at Canada’s busiest airport...
Drugs and Vaccines:
Other US studies have shown the risk of hospitalization was reduced by at least 38% in people who received a bivalent booster compared to those who had received two or more doses of the original vaccines. In adults over 65 the additional protection was as high as 73%.
Meanwhile, recent research suggests the bivalent boosters will offer protection against emerging omicron subvariants. Serum samples from people who received the BA.5-containing bivalent boosters had better neutralizing activity against all omicron subvariants (especially BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1, and XBB) than those who received either one or two regular boosters.
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Guanfacine for Long Covid?
https://t.co/VXLeKRb4dn Being studied at Yale
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European Commission has approved Xofluza® (baloxavir marboxil)
in children aged one year and above for uncomplicated influenza and post-exposure prophylaxis of influenza.
The agency’s regulatory approval, based on the results of two Phase III studies, marks the first single-dose, oral influenza medicine approved in Europe for children.
Extensive, searchable MASK testing database:
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Also, since most masks are made in China, we are going to be in trouble: See thread:
To be clear, I know of 6 mask factories in the US that are still producing.
(Mis)perception and Use of Unsterile Water in Home Medical Devices, PN View 360+ Survey, United States, August 20211
Tap water is not sterile, and its use in home medical devices can result in infections from waterborne pathogens. However, many participants in a recent survey in the US said tap water could safely be used for home medical devices. These results can inform communication materials to reduce the high consequence of infections.
Tap water in the United States is treated to meet safe drinking standards; however, low levels of microorganisms remain in drinking water distribution systems, wells, and premise plumbing (1,2). Although most of these microorganisms are harmless and the water is safe for drinking and cooking, it might not always be safe for other uses, such as aerosolized inhalation and ocular or nasal irrigation (2–4).
Microorganisms that can be found in water systems include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), Legionella spp., Acanthamoeba spp., and Naegleria fowleri (1,2). In the United States, biofilm-associated pathogens such as Pseudomonas spp., NTM, and Legionella spp. are responsible for a large portion of the 120,000 hospitalizations, 7,000 deaths, and billions in direct healthcare costs annually related to waterborne diseases (5).
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More Mammals Confirmed with Bird Flu
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed today additional highly pathogenic avian influenza (HAPI) H5N1 detections in mammals.
The updated USDA listing as of January 9, 2023, includes skunks, bears, raccoons, and another red fox.
The CDC says although bird flu (HAPI) viruses mainly infect and spread among wild migratory water birds and domestic poultry, some bird flu viruses can infect other animals as well. While it’s unlikely people would become infected with bird flu viruses, it is possible, says the CDC.
Globally, six human influenza A H5N1 188.8.131.52b infections were reported last year, including a man working with birds in Colorado
Since April 2022, about 110 H5N1 detections in mammals were confirmed during 2022.
The USDA reported HAPI detections had affected 47 states and led to the loss of over 57.8 million birds as of January 4, 2023.
Additional HAPI (bird-flu) news is posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/Avain.
Tips, general reading for public:
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Indoor Air Quality Advisory Group which recommends 6 hours. I think it's a little conservative and you can go down to 4. Here's the math. 2/12 ospe.on.ca/indoor-air-qua
Worried about traffic stops by police? Two apps aim to help.
Free ACLU Mobile Justice app
livestream interactions with law enforcement to close contacts and their local ACLU chapter. Does NOT provide immediate legal advice but ensures videos are saved even if a phone is seized or destroyed.
turnsignl.com , which is $60/year, but a lawyer appears promptly to help inform you of your rights and help to mediate. Services are free for the unemployed and those making less than $40,000 a year. They are adding states
CDC fails again:
"Grassroot" organizations that aren't:
A Lecturer Showed a Painting of the Prophet Muhammad. She Lost Her Job.
Hamline U fires teacher, claiming Islamophobia. Political correctness run amok.
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Abby Zwerner, a first grade teacher in Virginia, is in critical condition after being deliberately shot by one of her 6-year-old students. A student brought bullets to school the previous week. This is the America the NRA has brought.
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This is Collier Gwin, the owner of San Francisco art gallery Foster Gwin.— 📿🏳️🌈Henry Amador-Batten (@AmadorBatten) January 10, 2023
Hosing down a homeless women in the cold. pic.twitter.com/RNgk2lP5UC
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350,000 Tennesseans losing Medicaid coverage may come as good news to
Feel good du jour:
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A stranger gave a boy with autism a $15,000 piano after hearing him play - Jude Kofie
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Samoyed, in its natural habitat pic.twitter.com/Wal3TLVP8V— Heckin Good Dogs (@HeckinGoodDogs) January 4, 2023
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Bits of beauty: