Coronavirus Updates

Grandma Bates

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A group of researchers went back to retest a sample of the COVID-19 tests that were conducted on university students in Scotland. They estimate that a large percentage of the positive results were false. The original estimate of the percentage of people who were tested that had the virus was 0.03%. From this set of retests they estimate it may actually have been 0.89% which is a huge difference. The 3% estimate on the sensitivity of the test is shocking, and it will likely be the subject of much debate to make such an stunning claim.

 
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Sid

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That was clear from the beginning. Developing a revolutionary new vaccine is one, but creating enough capacity to produce enough vaccines for a worldwide demand is something totally different.
I don't think that the world will accept an America First in this.
A vaccination every day earlier than end of June I will see as an unexpected present. And that while I am in the group that will be vaccinated before the masses.
It is what it is. About 15 billion of vaccines are needed worldwide.
And fingers crossed the newly developed vaccines cover the mutated strains showing up in the UK and South Africa.
 
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Beebo Brink

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There is significant evidence that this variant is more transmissible. But that evidence isn’t conclusive. The people who know what they’re talking about are pretty clear that we just don’t have enough evidence to know either way. What does seem a little more clear to me than it did yesterday is that we should be pretty confident that this is not going to be a game changing development either in terms of infection acquired immunity or the vaccines that are now rolling out around the United States and the world.
 
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Sid

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It simply doesn't stop.
Why do so many people insist on traveling around the globe during this pandemic?
 
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Beebo Brink

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Kamilah Hauptmann

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The role of climate in the population dynamics of COVID-19 remains poorly understood, and a true seasonal signature has remained elusive. Data from both hemispheres and the second wave provide opportunities to further examine climatic drivers. With a statistical method designed to detect transitory associations, we show consistent negative effects of temperature and absolute humidity at large spatial scales. At finer spatial resolutions we substantiate these connections during the seasonal rise and fall of COVID-19. Strong disease responses are identified between 12-18°C for Temperature and 4-12 g/m3 for Absolute Humidity. These results classify COVID-19 as a seasonal low-temperature infection, and point to the airborne pathway as an important contribution to transmission for SARS-CoV-2, with implications for control measures we discuss.
 
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Another medical study (this one from China) shows long term health issues for COVID patients.

Three-quarters of Covid-19 patients still have at least one symptom six months after first falling ill, researchers who followed hospital patients in China reported Friday. The new findings suggest symptoms linger longer and in a higher proportion of patients than previously thought.

The largest and longest analysis to date of post-Covid recovery also warns that some patients’ antibody levels fell sharply, raising concern that while waiting for a return to full health, they could be reinfected with the coronavirus.

Almost two-thirds of the patients said they were still suffering from fatigue and muscle weakness, the researchers wrote in The Lancet. A little over a quarter had difficulty sleeping, and a little under a quarter experienced anxiety and depression. Overall, more women than men reported lingering symptoms, and people whose disease was more severe had poorer lung health. Their median age was 57.
 
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Sovereignty

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Watching TWiV 707: COVID-19 clinical update #45 with Dr. Daniel Griffin where Griffin answers the question: If I have recovered from a SARS-CoViD-2 infection, do I still need to be vaccinated?

He answers: Yes.

a) Reinfection is a real possibility, not some rare occurrence.
b) They expect vaccines to provide better immunity.

He has been mentioning reinfection occasionally in the last few months. In his opinion it is more common than has been generally publicized.

(He mispeaks at 34:35 with "over time your chance of being reinfected diminishes". From the rest of his comments it is clear that he meant to say it increases.)
 

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Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, it emerged that many people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus were losing their sense of smell — even without displaying other symptoms. Researchers also discovered that infected people could lose their sense of taste and their ability to detect chemically triggered sensations such as spiciness, called chemesthesis.

Almost a year later, some still haven’t recovered these senses, and for a proportion of people who have, odours are now warped: unpleasant scents have taken the place of normally delightful ones. Nature surveys the science behind this potentially long-lasting and debilitating phenomenon.