The variant terrorism isn’t working too well, people’s eagerness to return to “normality”, whatever that is, is finally leading to pushback on government extremism. I predict that the next subject for use in maintaining the campaign of terror will be concern about whether vaccination prevents people from becoming infected. The answer is that some people who get vaccinated will get infected. So what, completely to be expected, especially among the very old. I will use this analogy again, adaptive immunity, whether by infection or aided by vaccine, is not an absolute barrier preventing exposure and infection, but a rapid reaction force that should quickly eliminate the virus and minimize infectiousness and disease seriousness.
But we will inevitably get some backtracking on the previous meme of “just wait til the vaccines are here and we get a lot of people vaccinated, then everything can go back to normal”. Now it will be renewed panic about the fact that there are still a few cases, and a lot of false cases at that. For the millionth time I say, we simply have to accept that CV-19 is going to be around and we have to figure out how to live with it. Period. And we can’t ruin people’s lives in a futile attempt to get to zero CV-19. There is no such thing.
And speaking of panic, another useless briefing from the state DOH today, no information revealed that would actually help people have a rational understanding of the epidemic. Variant terrorism continues. The variant in Carver County has not been shown to be significantly more infectious, and actually may be associated with lower levels of hospitalizations and deaths. This variant has spread in other countries with no apparent increase in overall cases. But that won’t stop DOH from using anything possible to get people docile and compliant.
The Annals of Internal Medicine has been conducting an ongoing “living” review of mask effectiveness. The new update just released still shows no solid evidence of any benefit to slowing community spread. (Annals Article)
One of the lead scientists behind PCR testing for CV-19 has acknowledged that the results must include the cycle number and that cycle numbers above 28 almost certainly don’t reflect infectious people. Just so you know, most labs are using 35, 40 or even higher cycle numbers as the threshold. (Twitter Link)
Why do children seem to be less susceptible to CV-19 than adults. This paper suggests it may have to do with the nature of cells in their upper respiratory tracts. (Medrxiv Paper) The innate immune response, in the form of molecules known as interferons, appeared to be stronger in pediatric cells than in adult ones, leading to lower levels of infection. Interestingly, the same result was not found in regard to influenza.
And this study examined the response of cells in the upper and lower respiratory tracts to both CV-19 and influenza. (Medrxiv Paper) It found that the upper respiratory tract response to attempted CV-19 infection was much stronger than that in the lower respiratory tract or lungs, also noting the prominent role of interferons. Interestingly, influenza showed a somewhat different pattern, with a strong innate immune response in the lower respiratory tract and less of one in the upper respiratory tract. CV-19 infection tended to peak within a day or two and viral loads to subside thereafter, whereas influenza infection continued at a high level for a longer time.
Research from Norway examines the relative role of children and adults in spreading CV-19. (Medrxiv Paper) The authors attempted to identify the index case in a family and trace and secondary cases. Note that for this study, you were a child up to and including age 20. In two-thirds of homes, a parent was the index case. Among children who were index cases, 42% were aged 17 to 20. The secondary attack rate within seven days was 24% among parents and 14% among children. Unlike the proportion of index cases, among children the secondary transmission rate was highest among the youngest children and declined with age of the child. This is very odd and inconsistent with other research. 35% of parent index cases infected another parent while only 12% of child index cases infected another child. Of index cases aged 0 to 6, of which there were very few, 27% infected a parent. 21% of parents infected a child.
This paper explored the relationship between people leaving their homes and cases in Japan. (Medrxiv Paper) Although the epidemic has not hit Japan hard, there have been two case waves. During the first wave, people substantially reduced their mobility and the number of times they left their homes. In the second wave, there was less of a reduction in mobility. The reductions in mobility in the first wave generally occurred as cases rose, which the authors appear to attribute to people’s awareness of more cases leading to restricted activity. This relationship disappeared in the second wave, when any reductions in activity appeared after the number of cases had already peaked.
Yet another study finds a sustained memory T cell response following infection, this time for at least 8 months. (Medrxiv Paper) The T cells had a diverse capability and the population remained strong during the duration of the study.