Drowning in Coronavirus Research, Part 51

By July 27, 2020 Commentary

I know I am flogging and flaying a dead horse, and I am going to keep doing it (see the post after this), but the Wall Street Journal has an article on Japan, Hong Kong and Australia, supposed success stories, seeing a resurgence of coronavirus cases.  (WSJ Story)   Japan and Hong Kong have two of the highest mask wearing rates in the world.  Makes no GD difference.  Australia didn’t have but has had a mandate now.  Makes no GD difference.  But politicians shouldn’t let obvious data get in the way of their stupid executive orders.

As children hopefully are heading back to school, another study that shows how small a role they play in the epidemic.  (Medrxiv Paper)  Coming from Germany, the researchers used the rarity of severe coronavirus illness among children to see whether frequent contact with children also was linked to milder illnesses.  Over 1186 patients responded to a survey.  6.9% reported frequent and regular job-related contact to children under 10 years of age and 23% had their own small children.  Patients who did not have regular contact with young children were very under-represented among patients who had an ICU stay.  The authors attributed this to cross-reactive immune defenses from childhood seasonal coronavirus and theorized that exposure to children with these infections could also benefit adults.

This is kind of an interesting paper from over ten years ago.  It covered an outbreak of seasonal coronavirus in a nursing home in British Columbia.  (BC Study)   This was during the original SARS coronavirus epidemic, so there was concern that this was the cause.  It turned out, however, that the outbreak in this nursing home, in which 8 residents died, was due to one of the seasonal coronaviruses, but the researchers discovered cross-reactivity with the original SARS strain.

This research also examined the potential role of cross-reactive immune defenses in explaining epidemic outcomes.  (Medrxiv Paper)   Basically a modeling study, the authors recognize that an important component of any model would include recognition of variation of susceptibility to illness from infection.  They conclude that lower infection rates among young people does reflect protection due to prior seasonal coronavirus infections.

Finally, I have frequently expressed my frustration over the poor quality of data Minnesota provides, while patting themselves on the back for doing a great job.  Here is a good dashboard, from Indiana, which actually allows you to track hospitalizations much better, including length of stay.  (Ind. Dashboard)

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