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Covid 19, novel corona virus. Split from off-grid thread


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20 hours ago, JohnD said:

 The need for re-approval would depend on how big the tweak!

I assume the flu vaccine isn’t re-approved every season? Or if it is there is a streamlined system?

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Absolutely. But the asymptomatic, untested cases are how the bloody thing gets everywhere......

Well I’m still spamming because I think it’s important...... and this seems to bear it out Pity he takes half an hour when it needs 10 minutes tops but anyway..... Trial in a 

You'd think there was a conspiracy over that expression even 

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SM grumpy today because they’ve just learned that because the local surgeries are more effective at getting the job done than the bulk regional centres set up locally, they will be expected to manage up to 4000 vaccinations a week. Which is more than double what they had previously been told to expect.

This is without dropping any of their other services and without any more money being put in. Basically by volunteers, who will be paid for the normal hours (though obviously won’t be doing their normal jobs as well), but not any extra time done. As we already know, volunteers from outside the pool of current NHS employees are made to jump though multiple flaming hoops before they can do anything useful.

The huge irony is that the reason given for the regional centres not doing well is that they have had many missed appointments and much wasted vaccine. This clearly because they have been competing with the surgeries for patients and causing confusion. Patients have been getting appointments from both a choosing their local surgeries over driving 40 miles each way..... who would have guessed.

As they were happy to waste money on setting up regional centres and then competing for patients they’d already instructed the surgeries to deal with, you think they could at least find the local effort properly and not take the piss with the volunteers!

 

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Timely observation regarding non-NHS volunteers and flaming hoops Nick.

It is now exactly 3 weeks since my wife spent several hours uploading all her 20 odd certificates and miscellaneous stuff.

Today an NHS email appeared in her box and she foolishly thought, progress at last! Alas, no. It was a round robin saying if you have been successful, we will be notifying your local health authority and if you are still waiting to hear if you are successful or not, we are still processing stuff. She was pretty disheartened.

More randomness of vaccination selection here in London today. Two friends in south London just past 65 have today been called for vaccination Sunday and Monday. Another friend's 87 year old mother in Brent still waiting to hear.

Miles

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The royal society lecture was interesting and informative. I am amazed at how quickly we have learnt about Covid and developed a multiple vaccines, another 2 have shown good results today.

But is there an alternative way of delivering the vaccine? Either tablet, patch or some sort of eppy pen so that it could be self administered? Havent heard of any work on this apart from a brief  mention from the ex head of the vaccine taskforce in a radio interview. 
If there was a way of self administering it then, assuming you have the stock, could be rolled  out more quickly.
Will go and have  google later...

mike
 

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1 hour ago, mpbarrett said:

The royal society lecture was interesting and informative. I am amazed at how quickly we have learnt about Covid and developed a multiple vaccines, another 2 have shown good results today.

But is there an alternative way of delivering the vaccine? Either tablet, patch or some sort of eppy pen so that it could be self administered? Havent heard of any work on this apart from a brief  mention from the ex head of the vaccine taskforce in a radio interview. 
If there was a way of self administering it then, assuming you have the stock, could be rolled  out more quickly.
Will go and have  google later...

mike
 

Hi Mike,

they have had a great deal of experience with these flu like viruses. Back in 2000 the SARS virus was a good learning curve.  They often relate to SARS when talking about this particular virus.

There has been mention of a nasal spray on another forum thread but that could be a bad thing. Nose are a quick route to the brain..

 

Roger

 

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Roger, yes, the roof of the nose is very close to the brain, and the olfactory nerve and bulb lie immediately above the "cribriform plate" so called because it has so many tiny perforations for branches of the nerve.

Easy Notes On 【Olfactory Nerve】Learn in Just 4 Minutes! – Earth's Lab

The olfactory is a 'cranial' nerve, connected directl;y to the brain, unlike all 'skeletal' nerves, that connect indirectly via connections in the spinal cord.   But consider; the nose is also the primary filter for foreign inavaders in the air we breath.   The mucous membrane and the meninges form powerful protection for the brain, else every infective agent we encounter would go the the brain, not the nose, throat and lungs.     Evolution isn't foolish!

Mike asked about alternative routes for a vaccine.  Lancaster U is working with Texas colleagues(!) on a nasally delivered vaccine.     He may be thinking of the oral polio vaccine, but that is a very different beast.    Polio invades the body from the bowel, getting inside in food or drink that is contaminated by sewage, or by poor hand washing.      The oral vaccine is a weakened form of the polio virus that colonises the bowel and stimulates an immune response, there in the lining of the bowel and in the body generally that is highly protective.   The vaccine virus stays in the body for some time, so that only one application is required and even better, in communities with poor hygeine spreads to others, protecting them too!   Covid either invades via the nose, mouth or lungs, so a similar approach, as hoped for in the Lancaster/Texas project, could be successful.    Otherwise an inhaler, as used by asthmatics, but I don't know of anywhere trying that.

Patches?    The skin is an enormously succesful barrier to infection - everyone has had their hands in shit at one time or other, if only as a parent, and as long as you wash them after, no harm comes!      Patches that deliver drugs have been developed, but those molecules are vastly smaller than the spike protein or mRNA in the current Covid vaccines,   To get them through the skin without a needle would be impossible.   

The 'Epipen' is an selfpowed injection syringe, with needle.   VERY expensive, and it has a needle!    Too expensive for mass vaccination, and unnecessary when the injection  can be scheduled, either once/twice or annually as for flu.     But a great solution when a single injection can ward off a dangerous condition in a few people, EG those prone to anaphylaxis (allergic shock) for whom an injection of adrenaline can be life saving (Americans call it 'epinephrin', hence the name).

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Earlier, I posted a link to the Royal Society symposium where several global experts spoke about Covid  and the vaccine.  They only had an hour and the speakers could answer a few questions from their viewers, so one of them, Prof.Charles Bangham, who holds the Chair on Immunology at Imperial, has written an article to address many of the others that people have.

See: https://royalsociety.org/blog/2021/01/why-we-know-vaccines-work/?fbclid=IwAR09ZLn7ddp7MCJY4JjDq95pQAPanGcDQVS1oltJAsvQxTGQj5ZI-ymJLcg

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Interesting article about the Flu virus this year, maybe one benefit of Covid.... From behind the The Sunday times pay wall.

 

Hygiene and immunity leave flu germs with nowhere to go

The number of people suffering from flu has plunged by 95% to levels not seen in more than 130 years, according to experts and official data. Influenza has been “almost completely wiped out”, said Simon de Lusignan, professor of primary care at the University of Oxford and director of the Royal College of GPs research and surveillance centre, which focuses on flu. “I cannot think of a year this has happened.”

In the second week of January, usually the peak of the season, the number of influenza-like illnesses reported to GPs was 1.1 per 100,000 people, compared to a five-year average rate of 27.

Out of four million patients at 392 GP surgeries in England, 42 had influenza-like illness, or about 0.001%. The areas that escaped flu best were the Midlands and the East of England, each with a rate of 0.5. Flu has also disappeared in Wales, at 1.0 cases per 100,000 people, and vanished in Scotland, with 0.5.

Other measures confirm that flu has been all but eradicated this winter. In the second week of January, health analysts did a double take when they saw the flu positivity rate — a standard metric of community flu activity — was 0.0%. Not one of 1,894 samples tested positive.

There are normally thousands of people in hospital at this time of the year with flu. In the second week of January, the number of admissions in England for flu was zero.

John McCauley, director of the World Health Organisation’s collaborating centre for reference and research on influenza in London and one of the world’s leading flu experts, described the collapse in cases as “unprecedented”.

“The last time we had evidence of such low influenza rates was when we were still just counting influenza deaths, and that was in 1888, before the 1889/1890 flu pandemic. We don’t know what’s going to happen because we’ve never had flu knocked down to this level before. I think everybody’s dead who would have possibly had a season like this.”

Typically, a billion people get flu globally each year. This year, McCauley estimates, much “less than a tenth” of that figure will do so. Experts can see meaningful spread only in Cambodia, Bangladesh and the Ivory Coast.

Professor Martin Marshall, a GP in Newham, East London, and chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said the measures taken to fight the coron“Data from the RCGP’s research and surveillance centre suggests community prevalence of flu is around 95% lower than normal at this time of year in England, when compared to the five-year average. Whilst a staggering figure, it makes sense when you consider the lockdown restrictions, social distancing measures, and increased focus on maintaining good hygiene practices we are seeing at the moment — which will work to stop the spread of contagious illnesses such as colds and flu, as well as Covid-19.”

The size of the drop in flu cases is even more striking given that limited social mixing was allowed until the the third full lockdown this month.

“There has also been an excellent take up of the influenza vaccine this year, with more than 80% of over-65s coming forward for their jab,” Marshall said.

It is possible that the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, could have helped kill off the flu by raising some people’s immunity against other viruses. Ed Hill, a research fellow at the University of Warwick who specialises in modelling the spread of disease, said “reduced international travel” was another likely factor because this “disrupts the global circulation of influenza”.

There is a snag to the success, though. Scientists developing a vaccine for next year’s flu season are struggling because there are so few samples to work on. The drastically reduced flu numbers may also mean more of us are susceptible to it in future, having not acquired immunity this year. “It’s a nightmare to work out what comes next,” said McCauley. “If you have flu away for a year, then immunity will have waned. It could come back worse.”

Rowland Kao, professor of epidemiology and data science at the University of Edinburgh, said maintaining some of the changes to our lifestyles in the last year could help combat flu in years to come. “If one result of Covid-19 is that, after restrictions are eased we continue on with some patterns of activity — for example, if we continue with some lesser physical distancing activities, wash hands more thoroughly and frequently, or continue with mask wearing under some circumstances — then this could continue to keep flu numbers down.”

Dr Yasotha Browne, a GP in Southampton, said that after the pandemic it “should be less of a taboo” to rest, maintain social distancing and stay away from the workplace when you have a virus, which she suggested could help reduce transmission in future.

@AndrewGregory

 

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Here's another interesting idea, this time on the effetc of our attitudes to social convention on covid infecton rates. 

The Lancet Planetary Health may not be your bedtime reading, but an article there shows a strong correlation between nations and their societies, and the impact of Covid (Gelfand, Jackson, Fan et al, The relationship between cultural tightness–looseness and COVID-19 cases and deaths: a global analysis, https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanplh/PIIS2542-5196(20)30301-6.pdf)

They first categorised nations into this that have a casual approach to conventions, where social norms are loosely observed and called them "loose", while those opposite were "tight".   This is a subjective approach, but used previously published research based on questionnaires that those nations people completed.    Then, this was compared with the number of Covid-related deaths in each country.   There was a strong negative correlation between them:

Figure thumbnail gr2

The conclusion was that "Nations with high levels of cultural tightness were better able to limit cases and deaths than nations that were looser."     As we know with sadness, the UK is among the world leaders in deaths per million, with Italy, Spain, the USA, most of South America and Sweden, while China, Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka almost drop off the graph.     

John

 

 

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....again and again and again...

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.06.425392v3.full

The SA variant spike protein binds a few-fold tighter to the lung cell receptor and results in "70%" more transmission and perhaps more severe disease. This paper describes invitro evolution of the spike protein and discovered a variant that binds 600-fold tighter but amkkes the spike unstable.However in conjunction with  existing Brazil mutants the binding is 50-fold tighter than the original virus.If/when that evoves in the wild the impact could be extreme. The amino acid affected is #498 and the mutated version Q498R. One to watch out for.

Peter

Q glutamine is replaced bt R arginine

 

 

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1 minute ago, Nick Jones said:

Yeah, done right it’s a proper nasty experience - I’m told - not yet had the honour....  

three times now for me... and it does not get any more pleasant when you know what is about to happen 

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On 2/2/2021 at 2:15 PM, JohnD said:

Here's another interesting idea, this time on the effetc of our attitudes to social convention on covid infecton rates. 

The Lancet Planetary Health may not be your bedtime reading, but an article there shows a strong correlation between nations and their societies, and the impact of Covid (Gelfand, Jackson, Fan et al, The relationship between cultural tightness–looseness and COVID-19 cases and deaths: a global analysis, https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanplh/PIIS2542-5196(20)30301-6.pdf)

They first categorised nations into this that have a casual approach to conventions, where social norms are loosely observed and called them "loose", while those opposite were "tight".   This is a subjective approach, but used previously published research based on questionnaires that those nations people completed.    Then, this was compared with the number of Covid-related deaths in each country.   There was a strong negative correlation between them:

Figure thumbnail gr2

The conclusion was that "Nations with high levels of cultural tightness were better able to limit cases and deaths than nations that were looser."     As we know with sadness, the UK is among the world leaders in deaths per million, with Italy, Spain, the USA, most of South America and Sweden, while China, Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka almost drop off the graph.     

John

 

 

I have been looking at that graph, and would argue the correlation is not strong. Yes, there is a slight correlation, but with a rather subjective measurement of cultural tightness, it is a bit of a call.

The other thing is the y axis. It says log. Yet it seems to be a linear scale? Confusing as Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka have negative values. Which implies covid is saving lives?

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Clive zetec, you misunderstand the meaning of logarithms. A logarithm is the power to which a known base must be raised to give the  the original value.   When we use 'scientific notation' we use logarithms to base 10, so 1000 is 1 x 10^3, and its log base ten is 3, but 0.001 is 1 x 10^-3, and its log base 10 is -3.   

And a logarithmic scale is used to impose a log reference on linear data.   Logarithms themselves are linear, so a chart displaying log values has a linear scale.   The original value is never less than zero, as any value raised to any power is always positive. 

Thus the negative value for those nations' log death rates implies a low rate, not reincarnation!

JOhn

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27 minutes ago, JohnD said:

Clive zetec, you misunderstand the meaning of logarithms. A logarithm is the power to which a known base must be raised to give the  the original value.   When we use 'scientific notation' we use logarithms to base 10, so 1000 is 1 x 10^3, and its log base ten is 3, but 0.001 is 1 x 10^-3, and its log base 10 is -3.   

And a logarithmic scale is used to impose a log reference on linear data.   Logarithms themselves are linear, so a chart displaying log values has a linear scale.   The original value is never less than zero, as any value raised to any power is always positive. 

Thus the negative value for those nations' log death rates implies a low rate, not reincarnation!

JOhn

I have a vague recollection of Logs, log tables etc (i used to be able to use a slide rule when I was 14!) but a log scale usually reads (eg) 0-10-100-1000 etc, but the y axis is a linear scale, just a little unusual. My science background is obviously a different branch....

But I still think that graph is not really providing much in the way of evidence of anything. Just that death rates vary hugely.

And how about Tanzania. They don't have covid at all (officially) and that is going to be the issue with many countries. We complain about transparency in the UK, and see arguments from both sides. eg the "bloke got run over, but counted as covid" etc, and likewise the mentioned on death certs etc etc is all we can realistically do. But we are at least in the right ball park. Countries where healthcare is rather more hit and miss are unlikely to have accurate data.

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4 hours ago, JohnD said:

Clive zetec, you misunderstand the meaning of logarithms. A logarithm is the power to which a known base must be raised to give the  the original value.   When we use 'scientific notation' we use logarithms to base 10, so 1000 is 1 x 10^3, and its log base ten is 3, but 0.001 is 1 x 10^-3, and its log base 10 is -3. 

That doesn't work with the graph John.  The vertical axis is "Log deaths per million (of population)" so 5 on the graph would be 100,000 or 10% fatalities. Some of those dots look to be well in excess of 6 which would be more than 100% fatalities.   Something wrong somewhere.....?  

It might be log to base e perhaps in which case 6 is about 26,000 ?

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Regardless of whether the Y axis is Log or not, the one thing the graph doesn't seem to show, is that cultural tightness (whatever that is) has much to offer as a reason for disparate performance between countries.

I may be reading it incorrectly but at virtually any point on the X axis (same cultural tightness) there is a huge range of outcome. Vietnam to Sweden, for example.

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I said, it's an interesting idea, not a panacea on the level of VitD!

Log transformation is a routine process for data analysis, as it can ensure that a sample has a 'normal' distribution, so that the usual statistical tests may be applied.     I used Base 10 as an example to explain logs above, but any number may be the base.   In statistical analysis, Euler's number 'e' is usually the base.   

 

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To me "Log" always means base 10.  If they intended natural log base 2.7 it should be written "Logn" or "Ln"

If it really is log base 10 the data cannot be deaths normalised ot population. Maybe positive tests ?

Peter

 

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9 hours ago, JohnD said:

You read the paper, Peter!  That's how I read it.

 

I cannot make sense of the numbers, suspect it is not Log base 10 on graph.  if it were 6 corresponds to 100% death rate.

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