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A Head Full of Coronavirus Research, Part 37

By October 17, 2020Commentary

Now on to the research summaries for the day.  First up, more good news on the terrorification program run by our government officials and the media and its effect on the health of our citizens.  The Wall Street Journal carries a story on the number of cancer diagnoses being delayed or missed and the ultimate impact of that.  As I recall, cancer may be a more serious disease than CV-19.  Timely diagnosis and treatment is critical to enhancement of survival or a cure.  (WSJ Article)

Another study looking at the effect of temperature and humidity on the virus.  (Medrxiv Paper)   As has other research, this piece finds that the virus survives longer at lower temperatures and lower relative humidity.  The virus half-life was 24 hours at 10 degrees Centigrade and 40% relative humidity, but only an hour and a half at 25 degrees centigrade and 65% relative humidity.  This would support spreading in environments like food plants and air-conditioned rooms.

Thanks to a reader for passing on this interesting essay on the nature of the virus and the infection process and whether masks make any difference.  A good read.  (AEIR Essay)

Kind of an interesting article on testing and cases.  (Medrxiv Paper)   The authors were trying to figure out if testing levels and cases can tell you anything about the actual prevalence of cases in the population.  They believe that if you know the reason for testing, you might be able to infer more about the true level of cases.  In particular they say that if people were only tested because they had a symptom, then the number of cases should be the same regardless of the number of tests.

This paper deals again with the immune response to CV-19 disease.  (Medrxiv Paper)   They followed the disease course in 12 patients and found that early development of  a T cell response was correlated with milder disease, highlighting again the important role of T cells in fighting off infection or limiting the effect of disease.

And this paper discussed the role of the innate immune system, in particular the activation of interferons, in the course of CV-19 infection and disease.  (Cell Article)    The innate immune system has generalized receptors which recognize likely infectious agents and work to destroy infected cells while also activating the adaptive immune response.  It is an important first line of defense.  The article goes into detail regarding how the innate immune system reacts to a CV-19 infection.  There is a balance, however, as too strong a response can worsen disease.  And the authors discuss mechanisms used by the virus to evade the innate immune response.  While somewhat technical, it is a useful summary of how the innate immune system works.

People keep looking to see if prior vaccinations seem to have a protective effect against CV-19.  This paper examines  flu vaccinations.  (Medrxiv Paper)    The study focuses on what is referred to as innate immunity, which is a more generalized defense than adaptive immunity, and concludes that use of the flu vaccine among health care workers in the Netherlands was associated with a lower likelihood of infection.  I think there is sufficient evidence to suggest that at least some kinds of vaccinations may strengthen the immune system in a manner that reduces CV-19 infections and/or seriousness of disease.

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