Coronavirus Tidbits #290, April 14, 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.

New post:

Important Test-to-Treat Program For Covid Patients Closes, Leaving Many Stranded


Mike Hoerger: Transmission is low (for the past year) and high (absolute terms).

500,000 infections/day; Expect 400,000-600,000 daily infections the next 4 months; 

1% of the U.S. actively infectious, 40% chance someone in a room of 50 would be infectious

>25,000 resulting daily cases, equivalent to a small town daily

Full Report

The Good News Transmission is low relative to the past year. Now is the time to get required medical care that imposes risks. Use high-level precautions.

~ ~ ~

JPWeiland: “Now at low transmission levels, slight decline from last week. Still some time until JN.1 with FLiRT take hold. 245,000 new infections/day;

~2.76 avg total infections per capita across the US; 1 in every 135 people currently infected.”

~ ~ ~

Vaccination reduces risk of Long Covid:

Vaccination reduced the risk of #LongCovid by ~40% in the entire population (5.4 million) of Norway and reduced cardiovascular and thrombotic events

~ ~ ~

Multiple large studies converge to at least 40% protection vs #LongCovid with vaccination

~ ~ ~

Viral Persistence

A new Lancet Infectious Disease paper “found #SARS-CoV-2 proteins indicative of viral persistence in 25% of people up to 14 months after #COVID. They controlled for vaccination + reinfection. There were very few false positives in the pre-pandemic samples, confirming accuracy of the methods.” [PolyBio,]

~ ~ ~

$10 billion long Covid ‘moonshot’ is being floated by Bernie Sanders 

STAT  By Isabella Cueto April 11, 2024

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is pushing for a long Covid “moonshot.” He released a draft legislative proposal this week, a follow up to a milestone hearing in January that sounded the alarm on long Covid as a pressing public health crisis.

The pitch calls for $10 billion in mandatory funding over the next decade to establish a new long Covid research program at the National Institutes of Health. This money — $1 billion per year — would be in addition to, and more secure than, the funding recently set aside to continue the RECOVER trial. While the proposal is still in its early stages in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions which the Vermont senator chairs, it could give long Covid researchers more runway to find much-needed therapies. Part of the plan would help fast-track treatment trials.

~ ~ ~

Repeat COVID testing may be better strategy than quarantine, daycare study finds

Serial COVID-19 testing of 50,000 children in 714 German daycare facilities over 1 year didn't result in increased infections and averted 7 to 20 days of post-exposure quarantine per child, according to a study published today in Pediatrics.

University Hospital Cologne researchers led the study, which linked polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test results with data on reported infections to evaluate the change in infection frequency with serial testing ("test-to-stay" approach) versus quarantine among children aged 2 to 6 years from March 2021 to April 2022.

~ ~ ~

Blood donor study finds 21% incidence of long-term symptoms attributed to COVID-19

~  ~ ~

Inflammation with Long Covid and Subtypes of Disease

A new study finds that people with LongCOVID have distinct patterns of inflammation detectable in the blood, which could potentially be targeted with immune therapies. The findings confirm that LongCOVID leads to ongoing inflammation which can be detected in the blood. 1/
The exact pattern of this activation varied depending on the sort of symptoms they predominantly had...relative to patients who had fully recovered, those with LongCOVID showed a pattern of immune system activation. This indicated inflammation of myeloid cells and activation of a family of immune system proteins called the complement system.
Notably, overactivation of the complement system is known to be associated with many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
Their findings indicate that complement activation and myeloid inflammation could be a common feature of longCOVID after hospitalisation, regardless of symptom type.
Overall, there were five overlapping subtypes of Long COVID with different immune signatures, despite some commonalities, namely: •fatigue •cognitive impairment •anxiety and depression •cardiorespiratory •gastrointestinal.
These findings show the need to consider subphenotypes in managing patients w/ LongCovid & support the use of antiviral or immunomodulatory agents in controlled therapeutic trials. 16/16
Thread by Vipin M. Vashishtha (@vipintukur)  is here:
~ ~ ~

Screening Commercial Tea for Rapid Inactivation of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 in Saliva

Can a cup of tea keep COVID away?

A recent study demonstrates that certain teas inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in saliva. Researchers demonstrate how certain teas inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in saliva—in some cases by up to 99.9%.

This is important because the virus infects & replicates inside the oral cavity, passing through oropharynx before reaching lungs. Inactivating SARS-2 in the mouth & throat matters because that potentially reduces the introduction of the virus to the lower respiratory tract 2

The researchers studied 24 different types of teas. Of those, they found 5 that significantly reduced the virus in saliva: raspberry zinger, eucalyptus mint, mint medley, green tea & black tea, w/ black tea showing the greatest reduction.

The team tested the efficacy of tea both as a drink and as a gargle to provide an option for those do not want to drink tea but want a highly concentrated rinse that would provide the same benefits as drinking a cup of tea.

They prepared a drinkable infusion concentration using one tea bag per cup steeped for 10 minutes, w/ no additions such as milk or sugar. All five teas reduced the virus by at least 96% within 10 seconds in the mouth. Black tea was the most effective, reducing virus by 99.9%

When tested as a gargle, they brewed the tea at four times the concentration of the drinkable infusion, finding that all five varieties of tea reduced the virus by 99.9% within 10 seconds when gargled.

At this stage, they are not suggesting tea as a stand-alone intervention against SARS-CoV-2, because the virus also replicates in the nose and may have already reached the lung by the time a person tests positive.

But tea can be an additional layer of intervention that the patients and their families can easily adopt on a routine basis. by Vipin M. Vashishtha

~ ~ ~

Blood donor study finds 21% incidence of long-term symptoms attributed to COVID-19 Among blood donors with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, 23.6% reported long-term neurologic symptoms

~ ~ ~

Long Covid Rates Flatten

Long Covid rates have begun to flatten, a new KFF analysis says, leveling off at about 1 in 10 people infected with Covid-19. That’s lower than the about 3 in 10 people surveyed who said they’d ever had the brain fog, fatigue, and other lingering symptoms after their initial illness. Some people are recovering, the researchers say, but the need for diagnosis and treatment remains urgent. For context, the estimated 17 million adults now living with long Covid is roughly equivalent to the number of people who have cancer or coronary artery disease, the report says.

~ ~ ~

Three Years After COVID-19 Infection, Residual Lung Abnormalities Persist

The number of patients with respiratory symptoms decreased from 27% at 6 months to 22% at 3 years, with dyspnea and cough as the most common persisting symptoms.

About 36% of patients who had residual lung abnormalities upon discharge after COVID-19 hospitalization continued to have respiratory symptoms and lung abnormalities at 3 years post-discharge, researchers reported in the European Respiratory Journal.

~ ~ ~

Research published in Lancet Infectious Disease and supported by PolyBio Research Foundation provides the strongest evidence yet that the COVID virus can persist for months or years after infection. The findings, published by a UC San Francisco/Harvard Medical School team, found that proteins created by the virus were still present for up to 14 months in a quarter of people tested. This demonstrates SARS-CoV-2 viral persistence as an urgent area of research underlying a breadth of chronic disease after COVID.

~ ~ ~

WHO is finally coming around to Covid being airborne:

~ ~ ~


Excellent story on Bird Flu:

~ ~ ~

BIRD HUNTING AVIAN FLU DEATH—WHO reports that a 21 year old young man with no underlying conditions suddenly died of #avianflu in Vietnam. He started with a cough/fever, but died 12 days later with severe pneumonia and ARDS.  He had only gone bird hunting recently.

3) It is interesting that WHO had to point out he had no contact with any sick or dead birds. Only hunting. And he had gone bird hunting the prior month in Feb 2024. And no other contact with people since. The latency period seems rather long.

~ ~ ~

CAT FOOD OUTBREAK—38 cats died eating #AvianFlu-tainted cat food in an outbreak last year. Specifically—38 out of the 40 infected shelter cats died within a month—all were kept indoors. Investigators with South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) detected influenza A(#H5N1) virus in cat food. MAFRA officials then ordered the recall of all cat food batches considered at risk of harboring the virus. The bird flu virus entered the cat food stream during an outbreak of the virus on poultry farms. The cat foods were Balanced Duck and Balanced Chicken manufactured by Nature's Raw at its facility in Gimpo, west of Seoul. The Ministry stated that the company had failed to follow necessary sterilization steps

~ ~ ~

American Association of Bovine Practitioners, a nonprofit lobbyist group, wants to rename H5N1 as Bovine Influenza A Virus (BIAV) "Because this infection in cattle is not the same as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and because, quote, "We believe it is important for the public to understand the difference to maintain confidence in the safety and accessibility of beef and dairy products for consumers".

~ ~ ~

"TX officials: the number of dairy farms w/ sick cows is far higher" "Tens of thousands of cows, at minimum, exposed... Currently it's up to the individual farmer whether to test for H5N1. USDA hasn't put testing requirements in place"


(Does pasteurization consistently kill bird flu in milk? We don't know yet. (Dr. Rick Bright is one of the nation's leading virologists. He says that we don't yet have data on #H5N1 inactivation in milk, and we need that data ASAP.)…)


FDA approves at-home rapid test for influenza, COVID-19

CorDx TyFast Flu A/B & COVID-19 At Home Multiplex Rapid Test

Drugs and Vaccines:

COVID Vaccination during Pregnancy Protects Newborn Babies

Studies show that vaccination against COVID during pregnancy provides a powerful safeguard for vulnerable infants too young to receive the vaccine on their own.


['bout time...]

@ARPA_H  announced the BREATHE program to revolutionize how we monitor and improve indoor air quality. The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized improving indoor air quality as an effective tool for keeping people healthy.
~ ~ ~
Virginia Tech researchers developing portable COVID AIR tests | Imagine being able to walk into a crowded store, restaurant or movie theater & be able to detect if there’s COVID-19 in Virginia Tech is developing a portable rapid test for the air.

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Tips, general reading for public:




~ ~ ~

scientists in China sought a cheap easy way to remove microplastics from tap water. When boiled, mineral-rich water yields calcium carbonate. It forms a chalky crust, ensnaring microplastics.These can be removed by pouring the water through a coffee filter



UK: “Ongoing concerns about viral persistence has led the National Health Service in the United Kingdom to ban people with #LongCovid from giving blood until they are symptom-free for at least six months.”

~ ~ ~

Abortion/ Contraception:

Remember: Sen. Joni Ernst: "Senate Republicans, the GOP, and President Trump really worked hard to overturn Roe v Wade"

~ ~ ~

A state representative in Maine said the Lewiston mass shooting was a consequence from God after lawmakers there expanded access to abortion last year. (The Hill)

~ ~ ~


Just amazing: One reason the Gerald Ford foundation declined to honor Liz Cheney was express fear of Trump retaliating against their tax status if he wins, per letter dlippman obtained. That's the Trump/elite accommodation dynamic we discussed on the pod
~ ~ ~
Wisconsin State Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego), speaking against access to contraception, says it leads to infidelity, men devaluing women, women thinking they're better than nature and the "proliferation of STDs."
~ ~ ~


A young man in Wisconsin was essentially murdered by America's for-profit healthcare system because he couldn't afford an asthma prescription. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal. Price of Advair went from $5 to $539
 ~~ ~


*2* state justices who just voted to make all abortion illegal in Arizona are on the ballot this year. They're each up for retention

~ ~ ~

Simone: If you had to travel to another state to get an abortion, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Hopefully this is very rare occurrence in your life… Buying a bus ticket to go somewhere to get it is not the worst thing in the world.

~ ~ ~

Here's William Jones who authored the 1864 Arizona abortion bill. Some fun facts: He abandoned his first wife and their children in Missouri. His second wife was a 12 year old Mexican girl. He abducted her and after a complaint submitted his resignation to President Buchanan before he was fired. In 1864 (age 49) he married his 3rd wife, a 15 year old girl he abandoned in 1865 when he moved to Hawaii. This is the guy who wrote the law that millions of Arizona women will be forced to obey. His life is a series of grifts, and he was known for being a "pursuer of nubile females".

Oh there's more: His 4th wife, a 15 year old Hawaiian native, died in Hawaii from smallpox. He then married his 5th wife, who divorced him less than 2 years later on grounds of multiple instances of adultery by her husband.

~ ~ ~


This new Florida law makes it a crime for an officer to have a panic attack if he thinks there's fentanyl near you. Its threshold is literally that an officer receives medical care for symptoms related panicking about fentanyl; no proof of exposure needed.

You read this right: in Florida you will be charged with felony assault if someone else has an anxiety reaction near you. The law doesn’t require them to prove you did anything to them, just that they didn’t feel good around you.

~ ~ ~

With the stroke of the governor’s pen, local governments in Florida are now blocked from requiring heat protections for outdoor workers, driving a stake through the heart of Miami-Dade County’s efforts to keep farmworkers and construction workers safe from extreme heat.

~ ~ ~


Louisiana House passes a measure that permits people to drive into protests, even kill people, without legal repercussions. Imagine the Charlottesville United the Right Rally with more deaths like Heather Heyer's & the drivers just smiling & going on their way.

House votes 69-29 for Rep. Jay Galle bill saying driver can't be sued for causing injury, death, damage by driving into a crowd illegally blocking roadway if the driver feels "in immediate danger of imminent death, bodily injury or serious bodily harm." HB383 to Senate.

~ ~ ~

The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that priests have an absolute "property right" that shields them from lawsuits related to allegations of child sexual abuse.

~ ~ ~


Republican voter fraud. Michigan Republican US Senate candidate Mike Rogers is registered to vote in Florida.

~ ~ ~


House bill criminalizing common STIs, could turn thousands of Oklahomans into felons

~ ~ ~


Brian Maguire, running as a Democrat, is a big Republican donor:

~ ~ ~

Tennessee Gun Control:


Canada cancels free HIV self-test program despite ‘alarming’ rise in infections. New cases of #HIV, which can lead to life-threatening AIDS, went up nearly 25% in 2022 compared to a year earlier. ...Testing is a cornerstone of disease management! via @vera_tenacious

Feel good du jour:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

“A New York teacher that told his students to "save the date for the 2024 eclipse" way back in 1978, was surprised to see 100 of his former students show up at his home to watch the eclipse! Back in 1978 Patrick Moriarty was a science teacher in Rochester, New York. During a lesson he told his students about an eclipse that was still almost 50 years in the future. Patrick told the students to circle April 8th, 2024, on their calendars so they could all meet up and watch it together. Moriarty says they looked at him like he was crazy back then, so he was completely blind sided by what happened on Monday! On the day of the eclipse, Patrick was overjoyed when some of his former Spry Junior High School students showed up at his home. It had been 46 years since he was their science teacher! The crowd began to trickle in carrying lawn chairs and refreshments. By the time of the eclipse, 100 former students had shown up to enjoy the eclipse with their teacher. Patrick says the moment was about more than what happened in the sky and stated it highlights the impact teachers can have in the lives of their students.”

Comic relief:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~


Bits of beauty:


Share this post: