Another large set of studies to review today. First up, though, are the responses to Scott Johnson’s questions to DOH. As usual, the state was totally evasive, but drops some probably unintended nuggets. One answer just reaffirmed that the IB has no intention of ever relinquishing his emergency powers. But the most revealing one was in regard to hospitalizations and how many that were attributed to CV-19 were the actually for another reason and the person had an irrelevant CV-19 diagnosis or got the virus in the hospital. The answer reveals exactly how non-transparent the state is and how much it is determined to only provide information that supports its extreme suppression approach to the epidemic. Here is the answer to the question: “We are aware of patients who come to the hospital for another reason and happen to test positive and that is why the statement you reference is on the website. However we have not done an analysis and do not have a public report related to our COVID-NET hospitalization data, which does include a field for “reason for admission” that splits it up into COVID-related illness and other illness options.” Let me interpret. We have the data and know what it says, but we aren’t going to make it public because it would undermine our campaign of terror which is critical to defending the irrational actions taken by the IB during the epidemic.
Children are not big contributors even to household transmission of CV-19, according to yet another study. (SSRN Paper) 150 households in Germany were included in the study. Adults were more than twice as likely to cause secondary transmission as children under 18. There were no cases of a child transmitting to another child in the household, but several of adults transmitting to children and many to other adults. Elderly household members had far higher viral loads than did children. There was a lower rate of transmission by asymptomatic than symptomatic persons.
Another piece of research from the village of Vo in Italy, which was hit hard early on. The researchers looked at antibody prevalence over time and used it to track household transmission. (SSRN Paper) As an initial finding, they noted that antibodies persisted in almost every person for at least 9 months. They only identified transmission in 28% of households with an index case. 21% of cases accounted for over 80% of transmission, indicating the extensive variability in infectiousness. The researchers further noted that contact tracing was pretty worthless in finding cases.
This study from San Francisco attempted to identify if West Coast variants of the virus were associated with more transmission. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers found that variants were at best only slightly more infectious. But the most interesting nugget is that households with children have much lower case rates and transmission rates than households without children.
Kind of an interesting study from Japan, attempting to ascertain if there is a balance point between CV-19 restrictions and CV-19 mortality or suicide mortality. (Medrxiv Paper) Japan has experienced a rise in suicides during the epidemic. Basically they found that an overly restrictive suppression effort which limited mobility with more than a 34% reduction led to excess mortality, by causing more suicide deaths than it saved in CV-19 deaths.
The government responses to the epidemic have caused a substantial drop in cancer diagnoses, which will cause a much greater burden of disease and mortality. (SSRN Paper) The study, from the UK, found that as many as 40% of people experiencing a cancer symptom failed to visit a physician to have it checked out.
Another paper on seasonality. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers suggest that ultraviolet radiation and a measure called the air drying capacity are the best meteorological factors explaining seasonality across all geographies. Less UV and more air drying capacity were correlated with greater spread. The seasonality of temperature and humidity were associated with cases in temperate climate zones, but not tropical ones. The likely mechanism is the impact of these variables on droplet dynamics and on the virus itself.
Our bodies have a variety of immune system components arrayed in all kinds of tissue and fluids. For respiratory viruses, those defenses obviously start in our nasal passages and mouths. This paper examines and compares mucus tissues immune responses to CV-19 with those found in blood or other tissue types. (Medrxiv Paper) As you might expect, a robust mucosal immune response is associated with less severe illness. We all also have an extensive and ongoing colonization of our bodies by various bacteria and other microscopic creatures. These organisms create a “microbiome” that is itself part of what keeps us healthy and helps prevent infection by more threatening organisms. The researchers also examine how the state of that microbiome relates to seriousness of CV-19 disease.
Another study indicating how many “cases” occur in people who have no clue they were “infected”. (Cell Paper) This was another blood donor study. It was conducted from samples last May in the Netherlands. Half the people with CV-19 antibodies did not believe they had any symptoms of disease, although many of those did have a symptom that could have been due to infection.