Well, at least our botched election is distracting us from the CV-19 hysteria. Maybe keep the politicians from doing more irrational things. As one person put it, we have been using a guillotine to cure a headache.
Let’s start with an item that if doesn’t rip at your heart, you might be a ghost in the Matrix machine. It comes from the UK, and identifies a 20% rise in babies being killed or harmed during the lockdown. (BBC Story) Researchers and child welfare experts attribute this to the lockdowns.
This article documents the dramatic drop in receipt of preventive and elective care during the epidemic. (JAMA Article) Visits in March and April of 2020 in a large commercially insured population were compared to those in the same period in the prior two years. Drops of well over 100% were observed for such important services as colonoscopies, mammograms, diabetes testing, and childhood vaccines.
More on meteorological factors in the spread of CV-19. (Medrxiv Paper) The authors looked at temperature to assess relationship with cases and with deaths. They found a very strong correlation of lower temperatures with both. At 40 degrees or so the virus appears to reach its greatest viability and spread.
I cannot for the life of me understand why papers seem so all over the place on the topic of pre-existing immune responses to CV-19. This is another paper finding that such responses clearly exist. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers found that pre-existing T cell populations, especially killer T cells, showed strong cross-reactivity to certain segments of the viral genome. This suggests that many people have an ability to limit infection and disease and would be a prime explanation for heterogeneity in susceptibility and infectiousness. I wish we could get a consensus on the topic across researchers.
This paper describes the course of antibody development during infection and disease. (Medrxiv Paper) This is also a very positive paper. Instead of focusing on whether antibodies wane over time, they used 87 patients to do longitudinal study of memory B cells, which produce antibodies. They found a lasting and evolving and durable development of a population of memory B cells to CV-19, which included an ability to detect mutations in spike proteins.
Another study on household transmission dynamics, this time from Switzerland. (Medrxiv Paper) 4524 people from 2267 households were tracked. 17% of people became infected in the household, versus a 5% rate outside the home. The risk of household transmission increased substantially with age to 30% at those 65 and over. Asymptomatic household members were 75% less likely to transmit compared to symptomatic ones.
This paper confirms that knowing cycle number from PCR test can help with treatment planning for a patient because viral load is correlated likely outcomes. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers, at a health system in Bahrain, found a very, very strong relationship between lower CT number and longer hospitalization duration and longer time to viral clearance.