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A Head Full of Coronavirus Research, Part 85

By January 1, 2021January 3rd, 2021Commentary

Last one for 2020/first one for 2021, a spillover version.  A few leftover studies sitting around.

An interesting comparison of influenza cases and CV-19.  (Lancet Article)   Hospitalized flu cases from December 1, 2018, to February 28, 2019, were compared to hospitalized CV-19 cases from March 1 to April 30, 2020, in France.   There were about twice as many CV patients, about 90,000, as flu patients, around 46,000, included, which likely reflects coding intensity in regard to CV-19.   The flu patients were slightly older.  CV patients were more likely to be obese, have diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol.  Flu patients more likely had heart failure and COPD.  The CV-19 patients were almost three times as likely to die in the hospital.  But here is the most interesting part, only 1.4% of the hospitalized patients for CV-19 were under age 18 versus 19.5% of  those for flu.  So which disease is more dangerous to children?  Ten times more dangerous.  And for those children with poor outcomes from CV-19, including death, obesity was frequently present.

This paper compared mortality rates across a number of European countries for the past few years.  (Medrxiv Paper)   25  nations were included, with mortality rates from 2015 to the present examined.  There was significant variability in mortality during influenza season across these countries.  The researchers found that this variability was correlated with levels of CV-19 mortality.  If a country had high influenza in prior years, it tended to have high CV-19 mortality.  No correlation was found with a number of other factors including age structure, population density, latitude, GDP or government health spending.   In one sense contrary to the dry tinder thesis, but that may be a partial explanation.

How does our immune system view CV-19?  That is explored in this paper.  (Bio Article)   It presents a detailed perspective of how various components of the immune system react to infection by the virus.  Technical but a good overview and gives a sense of how complex the response is.  Also demonstrates how dysfunction of the immune system causes more severe disease.

Dr. Ioannidis is at it again.  He and his collaborators wrote a paper showing again how suspect the Imperial College modeling efforts have been.  (Medrxiv Paper)  The Imperial Model purported to show great benefit of lockdowns, but the paper shows how that result was manipulated and that a more appropriate set of specifications finds no effect.  I believe I may have said before that models only tell you what you tell them to tell you.

More on the increase in suicidal behavior among children during the epidemic.  (AAP Article)   Suicidal thoughts and attempts were 1.5 to 2 times greater in Texas during the epidemic period than in the prior year.

The CDC gives updated estimates of the actual incidence of CV-19 in the United States.  (CDC Estimates)   The projection is that there have been 91 million cases, and only 1 in 7 has been reported.


Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Quentin Schmierer says:

    I believe your last link to CDC data is broken.

  • Christopher B says:

    The CDC gives updated estimates of the actual incidence of CV-19 in the United States. (CDC Estimates) The projection is that there have been 91 million cases, and only 1 in 7 has been reported.

    I’ve been suspecting for some time based on the early cruise ship experience that when we get to about 1/3 of population having had this bug, 110 million or so cases, that it will start to peter out. I fully expect that Biden will issue a mask mandate for Federal property and anything interstate that the Feds can touch. So contrary to Kevin’s earlier prediction, near the end of his first hundred days in office I’m also expecting that the pandemic will be declared over, even if CV-19 cases continue indefinitely. We’ll have vaccinated a significant number of people and we should be in a downswing of cases based on 2020 experience which will be enough to drive the new narrative. Of course it will be claimed that if we had just done this in the beginning that we could have eliminated CV-19 deaths, the same underlying unrealistic expectation that’s driven a lot of the response. I expect that there will be pockets of hysteria remaining, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit of a flip in the politics where conservatives start trying to warn people that the next virus to come along may not be controlled by wearing a cloth over your nose and taking a three week stay-cation.

  • Quentin Schmierer says:

    Just a note: The link to CDC Estimates is broken and does not work. It is the wrong URL.

  • Mike Timmer says:

    Am I missing something….91 million cases, 1 in seven have been reported, would lead me to believe the US population to be 637 million. What are you or the CDC trying to say with more clarity?

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