Coronavirus Tidbits #282, February 18, 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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New post;

Hospitals Deny Immunocompromised Patients’ ADA Requests For Masks

was a labor of love, emailing and speaking with many people who feel abandoned by the "healthcare" system


Action item: CDC's latest idiocy

The CDC is proposing/floating a plan to eliminate Covid isolation, allowing people to go to work/school while infectious. This will result in employers demanding people work while ill as well. It will also risk so many others becoming infected. But since we've stopped testing (since it is now out of pocket for many) and counting, who will know, except from disability counts and disproportionate deaths.

If the CDC is just trying to "meet people where they are at," will they stop masking for TB? Quarantine for measles? Allow smoking in hospitals again? Do away with seatbelts?

Call the White House:  202 456-1414

Please email/call your representative or senator and ask them to stop this nonsense. The CDC is supposed to make decisions based on science, not be a shill for corporate interests and election year dreams.

Congress: 202 224-3121

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Weekly U.S. COVID update: -

New cases: 234,815 est. -

Average: 265,701 (-35K) -

States reporting: 50/50 -

In hospital: 19,974 (-1K) -

In ICU: 2,107 (-197) -

New deaths: 2,303 - Average: 2,457 (+52)

@BNOFeed  2/11

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@michael_hoerger  PMC COVID-19 Forecast, Week of Feb 12, 2024
The U.S. continues to see extremely high COVID transmission.
58 million infections in the U.S. in 2024 (so far) 2.5% (1 in 39) are actively infectious today
1.2 million COVID cases/day 60,000+ resulting #LongCOVID cases/day
Current Levels Relative to the full pandemic, transmission remains higher today than during about 85% of the pandemic. There is lower transmission than during only 15% of the pandemic.
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Q&A: What to know about long COVID in children

An estimated 5.8 million children in the United States have had long COVID, which may occur in up to 20% of children infected with SARS-CoV-2, according to the authors of a new state-of-the-art narrative review published in Pediatrics.

Subject matter experts from nearly a dozen specialties — including pediatrics, infectious diseases, neurology, pulmonology, rheumatology and cardiology — reviewed close to 100 studies to provide a summary of long COVID in children.

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New Evidence Suggests Long COVID Could Be a Brain Injury

Brain fog is one of the most common, persistent complaints in patients with long COVID. It affects as many as 46% of patients who also deal with other cognitive concerns like memory loss and difficulty concentrating.

Now, researchers believe they know why. A new study has found that these symptoms may be the result of a viral-borne brain injury that may cause cognitive and mental health issues that persist for years.

Researchers found that 351 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 had evidence of a long-term brain injury a year after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The findings were based on a series of cognitive tests, self-reported symptoms, brain scans, and biomarkers.

Brain Deficits Equal to 20 Years of Brain Aging

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Whenever you see any news reports about a sudden increase in the number of people with mental health problems, think about this:
Per Reuters, after SARS in 2003, many psychiatric problems bloomed over time.
Also, w Covid, median time for mental health condition is 33 days in kids
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“Men infected with COVID have decreased sperm counts for more than 3 months, even after mild infections, and the sperm they do produce is less able to swim. Findings suggest COVID does long-term damage to the male reproductive tract.”
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About 6.6% of Americans are immunosuppressed, according to new assessment (up from 3% prevalence in 2013)...people with immunosuppression are less likely to have an adequate response to vaccines and are more likely to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms even after vaccination.3 This population has also been advised to continue with COVID-19 precautions to avoid infection. The prevalence for women was 7.9% and for men was 5.2% @JAMA_current

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Mosquitoes may transmit West Nile virus to one another via feces

“Diagonal transmission” may maintain the virus in mosquito populations without the need for warm-blooded hosts


West Nile virus—the most common mosquito-transmitted disease in the United States—infects thousands of people every year, killing more than 2750 since it first appeared in the United States in 1999. It’s also becoming more of a concern in Europe and other parts of the world. Now, scientists say they’ve found a new way the virus can be transmitted, which may help explain why the pathogen is so persistent.

In a study published on the preprint server bioRxiv, researchers report that mosquitoes may transmit West Nile to one another via feces. Knowing more about this “diagonal transmission,” as the team calls it—a previously unknown mode of transfer for the virus—could help epidemiologists better predict West Nile’s behavior and spread.

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CDC: Maternal syphilis rates in US on the rise

Maternal syphilis rates in the United States tripled from 2016 to 2022, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data published this week.

During the 6-years analysis, maternal infections rose 222%, reaching 280.4 per 100,000 births in 2022.

The increase was seen across all ages and ethnicities, but syphilis rates were highest in mothers who were American Indian and Alaska Native, younger than age 25, and had no prenatal care. Among American Indian and Alaska Natives, rates rose 783%, from 159.7 to 1,410.5 per 100,000 births in 2016 and 2022, respectively.

The biggest risk factor for maternal infection was receiving no or late prenatal care.

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Ebola vaccine cuts fatality even in people who were infected before the jab, new study shows

STAT  By Helen Branswell  Feb. 12, 2024

Anew study has shown that people vaccinated against Ebola who still developed the disease had a substantially lower risk of dying than people who were not vaccinated, even if they received the vaccine when they were already infected with the virus.

It confirms just how major an advancement the Ebola vaccine remains; the study is the first to show that in addition to preventing infections, the vaccine can save some people who are already sick with the often fatal disease.

The research, based on data from the massive 2018-2020 Ebola Zaire outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, showed that the risk of dying of Ebola was halved among people who had been vaccinated with a single dose of Merck’s Ervebo before developing symptoms — including those who had only received the vaccine a day or two before becoming ill. While that is not enough time for the immune system to develop a robust response to a vaccine, there was clearly a benefit.

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Mpox Vaccinations Uptake Plateaued at 25%

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Dengue outbreak in Brazil

Health authorities registered more than 395,000 likely cases of the mosquito-borne disease in the first five weeks of the year, four times more than the same period last year.

[Going for Carnival? Get a vaccine]


#Brazil #dengue cases top 400K, state of #Rio reports 56% increase in one week

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Hepatitis A outbreaks have sickened tens of thousands and killed 424; all preventable by a vaccine

By Bill Marler on February 12, 2024  — OPINION —  Food Safety News

Since the outbreaks were first identified in 2016, 37 states have publicly reported the following as of January 12, 2024:

  • Cases: 44,947
  • Hospitalizations: 27,469 (61%)
  • Deaths: 424

Hardly a week goes by that there is not yet another announcement of a hepatitis A positive employee putting co-workers, customers and the restaurant brand at risk. There have been illnesses, deaths, thousands of customers have had to stand in long lines to get preventative vaccines, some restaurants have shuttered and there certainly have been lawsuits.

All preventable by a hepatitis A vaccination – the only foodborne illness that is vaccine preventable.


still an incredible, negligent last of testing.


Here’s how to get free Paxlovid as many times as you need it

GIFT article


Tips, general reading for public:





Re ADA and civil rights w Covid:

"We have also seen Black, Indigenous, Latino, and Pacific Islander communities, as well as people with disabilities, suffer disproportionately high rates of death and greater risk of infection and hospitalization. COVID-19 has magnified social, economic, and environmental inequalities that we cannot ignore.

As a Nation, we cannot adequately respond to, and recover from, COVID-19 if we do not protect all of our neighbors. That requires us to pursue justice on behalf of those targeted because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, or citizenship."

Too bad they won't respond to ADA complaints.

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In fact, in a stroke of divine irony, a @MassGenBrigham study published in 2022 outlined that "more than 70% of physicians did not know who determines 'reasonable accommodations' for people with disabilities." A year later, they still fail to take the conclusions to heart.

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Swedish study on spread of SARS-2 spread in hospital- showing 7% of HCWs *at work* were positive for SARS-CoV-2 over a 2 wk period in December (this doesn't include those isolating at home!). These were HCWs who were in hospital actively seeing patients.

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@drajmsays in this outstanding article, this is shaping up to be the Robodebt scandal of medicine.
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The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is planning to limit how public health and health services researchers can obtain access to data ordinarily used to answer questions that concern emergent health risks and service changes. This is not a new form of privacy protection (which remains a standing and crucial priority). Rather it is a new CMS policy restriction on how information can be delivered, imposing new costs. The policy is likely to curtail what new questions can be asked in response to emerging health problems, and new challenges in care delivery.
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New: Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced that the state is building an 80-acre base camp in Eagle Pass for Texas National Guard soldiers who are deployed for Operation Lone Star.
Stealing 80 acres from private owners to build a base for 1800 to 3000 troops that shouldn't be at the border to begin with for only about $10Bil. Greg Abbott is building a Hotel at 50x the cost of a normal one. Texas needs an independent audit of how the GOP is spending our $ --- Texas Tribune   @TexasTribune
Tucker Carlson, when asked about Alexei Navalny, opposition leaders and journalists in Russia: “Every leader kills people. Some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people.”
As Trump's lawyer said, political assassinations would not be grounds for removing immunity.

Feel good du jour:

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researchers built a smartwatch heart beat monitor that uses a slime mold for its operation. the slime mold has to be fed and cared for, so the users in the trial... developed an emotional attachment to it

via @ElytraMithra

Comic relief:


Bits of beauty:


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