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A Head Full of Coronavirus Research, Part 25

By October 3, 2020Commentary

A quiet day on the research front.  Just a brief comment on every one saying the President got infected because of lack of mask wearing.  That is nonsense.  Lots of people get infected who wear masks all the time.  And we have at least one whole country where no one wears mask and it has an extremely low case rate.  Don’t look now but Minnesota is creeping up on Sweden’s per capita death rate.  I believe I may once has said that we will all end up in the same place.  And we are getting to that place at a much higher cost than Sweden did.

Once more into the breach on testing.  Here is a Science magazine article advocating giving clinicians the cycle number associated with a positive test.  (Science Article)   The authors summarize much of the information from the the NYTimes story and note the value of the information for both treatment and contact tracing efforts.  This article quotes two studies finding that mortality was far greater for people with cycle numbers of 25 or under.

Here is a post from a Swiss physician with some interesting charts.  (Swiss Post)   Gives a good perspective on the epidemic.

A couple of aircraft carriers had extensive outbreaks, showing how quickly and easily the virus moves through an isolated population, but at the same time, not infecting many persons.  This article summarized the experience on one ship.  (JAMA Article)   Out of 4085 sailors, 736 were positive.  80% of those were symptomatic.  So somehow, 82% of those on board evaded infection, and of those who were infected, 20% were asymptomatic.  Six were hospitalized and one died.

In the past I have mentioned studies about whether various immunizations might appear protective against CV-19 infection.  This study looked at whether there was an association between a past tuberculosis epidemic or outbreak in a country and CV-19 cases.   (TB Paper)   The researchers found that an increase in past TB deaths or cases was associated with reduced CV-19 mortality in a country.  They hypothesized that such an infection boosts the trained immunity in a person.

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