A Head Full of Drowning Coronaviri, Part 25

By June 19, 2020 Commentary

For some reason (actually, I know the reason, it is a desire to constantly sow panic), people are using this study to say coronavirus antibodies aren’t long-lasting.  Regular readers know that there are a lot of studies showing that in fact immune defenses after a coronavirus infection are quite sturdy, including T cell defenses.   (Nature Med. Study)  The study is from China and the researchers were looking at 37 asymptomatic cases with confirmed infection who were isolated (as were many) in a “hospital”, which was common practice in China, no quarantining at home.  This group had no symptoms in the 14 days before quarantine or during their “hospital” stay.  They were compared with 37 controls who were symptomatic.  The asymptomatic group supposedly had a longer duration of viral shedding than did the symptomatic patients, but please note, as the authors did, that viral shedding is not the same as being infectious.  There was a similar proportion of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients who developed antibodies, but the asymptomatic group had slightly lower levels of certain antibodies during their infectious period and shortly thereafter.  Both groups had some decline in certain antibodies, but others that weren’t tested for may have developed.   Actually the results seem consistent with other studies, including a possible difference in antibodies between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.  First, this would be expected, since the asymptomatics didn’t have a serious infection at all, and their bodies apparently had pre-existing immune defenses which worked just fine.  Second, this study only covered the period during and shortly after infection, it says nothing about longer term immune defenses.

So here is another study on antibody development.  (Medrxiv Paper)   This one came from the Netherlands and compared hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.  They used an assay which they believed was more sensitive to multiple protein components of the virus.  41 hospitalized patients, 182 blood donors who tested positive, 47 hospital staff and 14 suspected coronavirus cases but not confirmed by infection test were included.  11 of the 14 suspected cases had antibodies by day 12, indicating, as others have noted, that the infection tests do have false negatives.  The hospitalized patients, who obviously had more severe illnesses, had stronger responses, but the other groups had equivalent rates of antibody development.  And the antibodies existed at least 60 days after the start of infection.

And yet another paper on this topic, from Wuhan.  (Medrxiv Paper)   The researchers examined antibody test results for people going back to work.  They found about a 3.3% positive rate among around 18,400 tested persons.  The total number of infections on this result was 3 to 4 times more than officially reported by infection testing.

Another study looking at whether prior immunizations might affect likelihood of infection.  (MMR Paper)  The authors noted that people in the ages who likely got the measles or MMR vaccine had low death rates and those who didn’t had higher ones.  This vaccine began in 1971 and was given to younger children primarily.  The researchers are not professionals and the paper isn’t particularly rigorous, but in light of the recent discussion of potential effect of the polio vaccine, seems worth a mention.

And here is a more scientific paper along the same lines.  (MMR Paper)   The authors actually suggested that any live attenuated vaccine could provide immune protection, citing some of the same research in the Science article.  They note among other things that sailors on the aircraft carrier Roosevelt were required to be immunized with MMR and that may explain the lack of serious illness among that group.

A large group of pediatricians have endorsed a letter from England’s Royal College of Pediatrics saying that kids should go back to school.  (RCP Letter)  The letter mostly expressed concerns about missing educational and social opportunities, particularly for lower income children.

Here is some information from a leading public health expert in Japan.  (Japan Story)  The most interesting thing he said was that most people are not infectious, so they focussed on those cases which did seem to infect others, to avoid superspreading events.

This study eviscerates all the studies supposedly showing how effective the shutdowns and lockdowns were.  (Medrxiv Paper)   The researchers in particular went after the Imperial College paper published a couple of weeks ago and claiming that the shutdowns saved millions of life.  They pointed out some deceptive statements in the paper that were not consistent with the actual results of the model and they pointed out that the Imperial College researchers in their report did not include Sweden by name and neglected to say that if they added Sweden, the supposed effect of lockdowns falls dramatically.

Yesterday’s Minnesota daily coronavirus briefing had a lot of crap about schools and opening in the fall.  This is BS because every other country is opening schools and not seeing a case increase.  There is no justification for continuing the immense harm that is being done to children.  Again we get the nonsense about balancing health and educational needs, but there isn’t anything to balance.  There is no risk to children and they are not significant transmitters.  The harm to them from being out of school is immense.  Another topic brought up was racial or ethnic disparities in disease outcomes.  Every piece of good research shows it is all due to disease prevalence.

Explosive post coming tomorrow on what Dictator Walz did, or more properly didn’t, consider before issuing the extreme shutdown orders.

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