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Coronavirus Pandemic

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member

Delta blues​

China is confronting its broadest Covid-19 outbreak since the late 2019 outbreak, with the delta variant spreading to places declared virus-free for months, including original epicenter Wuhan. While the overall number of infections -- more than 300 so far -- is still far lower than Covid resurgences elsewhere, it’s a challenge to China’s pandemic strategy as the highly infectious strain becomes pervasive. Israel is seeing signs of waning vaccine efficacy among the inoculated elderly. India is likely to see a new, though smaller, wave of infections that may peak in October, according to the forecaster who accurately predicted the country’s Covid peak earlier this year.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Neurological Manifestations of COVID
The more we study COVID, the more apparent it is that neurological symptoms are common and can be long lasting.


Steven Novella on August 4, 2021

It’s hard to avoid COVID news, and it’s easy to become tired of it. The pandemic is definitely stressing our endurance, individually and collectively. But as the most recent wave of COVID indicates, this pandemic is not over yet. We also still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, especially its long-term effects, which we can only study once enough time has passed for there to be a long term.

A lot of focus in terms of the impact of COVID has been on the death toll, now over 614,000 in the US and 4.2 million world-wide. But medical specialists know that when evaluating the impact of an illness you don’t look just at mortality, you have to look at morbidity as well – negative health effects other than death. Now, at least, the media is talking about so-called “long COVID”, symptoms which persist long after the acute illness is over. Further, even though COVID was initially conceived of as a respiratory illness, it is now more accurately understood as a systemic and vascular illness.

Here I am going to focus on the neurological manifestations of COVID. I have been seeing patients in my neurology clinic with symptoms following COVID starting last Summer, and increasingly so this year. The most common symptom I see is “brain fog”, but headaches and fatigue are also common. There is now an emerging literature on the neurological effects of COVID, which are significant.

Even early in the pandemic it was clear that COVID had effects outside the respiratory system, including neurological. Most of this early data, however, was about acute illness. A French study published in June 2020 showed that 84% of hospitalized patients with COVID had neurological manifestations. A majority of patients admitted to ICU with COVID are found to have delirium (a type of confusion and disorientation). Loss of taste and smell was observed early to be a sign of COVID. Cases of COVID-induced Guillain-Barré syndrome (which mostly affects the nerves) were also observed.

But still it was not known early on if these effects were cause directly by infection with SARS-CoV-2, or an indirect effect of being critically ill. With further study it became clear that COVID affects the brain in a number of ways. We now know COVID is predominantly a vascular disease, affecting the blood vessels and causing blood clots throughout the body, including the brain. This can cause ischemia, or lack of oxygen, in the brain which causes damage. Patients with COVID may also have small bleeds in the brain, which also causes damage. Finally the virus can directly cause inflammation in the brain through infection, called encephalitis.

These are all conditions neurologists are very familiar with. They can make patients acutely very neurologically ill, and recovery can be slow. Full recovery is possible, and depends on the pre-morbid health and age of the patient. But it is also common for patients after a severe illness with encephalitis to never recover to their prior baseline. We are now starting to see data that shows the same is true following severe COVID as well. A study from October 2020 found that 82% of patients hospitalized with COVID had some neurological manifestation.

The most frequent neurologic manifestations were myalgias (44.8%), headaches (37.7%), encephalopathy (31.8%), dizziness (29.7%), dysgeusia (15.9%), and anosmia (11.4%).

A study in The Lancet published in July 2021 found:

People who had recovered from COVID-19, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits versus controls when controlling for age, gender, education level, income, racial-ethnic group, pre-existing medical disorders, tiredness, depression and anxiety. The deficits were of substantial effect size for people who had been hospitalised (N = 192), but also for non-hospitalised cases who had biological confirmation of COVID-19 infection (N = 326). Analysing markers of premorbid intelligence did not support these differences being present prior to infection. Finer grained analysis of performance across sub-tests supported the hypothesis that COVID-19 has a multi-domain impact on human cognition.

This is essentially one of the symptoms people are calling long-COVID. What is concerning in this data is that sustained neurological deficits were found even among those who were not sick enough to be hospitalized. Essentially, those with moderate to severe COVID infection statistically dropped a few IQ points, which is a marker of brain injury. It is possible that after 2-3 years of recovery this effect will significantly diminish and even go away, so there is more to learn from longer term data when enough time has passed. But this is a concerning sign of brain injury from COVID infection.

It is also possible, as some researchers are warning, that the damage caused to the brain from severe COVID might have long term effects that are not recognized for years. Ischemic and inflammatory damage to brain cells may accelerate degenerative processes, increasing the risk of developing degenerative brain disease (like Alzheimer’s disease) years down the road.

Yet another study found that 55% of hospitalized COVID patient had a co-infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus that causes chronic fatigue syndrome in some patients. This may be due to an opportunistic reactivation of the dormant virus. It may also be partially responsible for the chronic fatigue many patients with long COVID experience. But further it reflects how much about COVID we still don’t understand – this is a complex and serious infection, and the more rocks we turn over, the more we are finding about its effects.

As was noted in an earlier SBM article, children may be relatively less affected by COVID than adults, but they are not immune. Recent data shows that:

9.8% of children aged 2–11 years and 13% aged 12–16 years reported at least one lingering symptom five weeks after a positive diagnosis.

A study published in JAMA in March 2021 found:

In this study of 1695 patients 21 years or younger hospitalized for acute COVID-19 or multisystem inflammatory syndrome, 365 (22%) had neurologic involvement. Forty-three patients (12%) developed COVID-19–related life-threatening neurologic disorders, 11 (26%) died, and 17 (40%) survived with new neurologic sequelae.

These numbers are alarming. They should not be considered less so simply because they are even worse in adults.

As we are facing a new wave of COVID, with the prospect of new variants in the future possibly extending the pandemic even further, it is important that the public have a clear picture of how serious this illness is. The death toll should be enough to indicate how severe COVID can be, but even that is not the whole picture. This is a systemic infection that can cause chronic illness, and neurological manifestations are common, more so in adults but children are affected too. This will have a significant effect on our healthcare system for decades to come.

I also have to point out that we have a powerful solution right in front of us – safe and effective vaccines.

 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Neurological Manifestations of COVID
The more we study COVID, the more apparent it is that neurological symptoms are common and can be long lasting.


Steven Novella on August 4, 2021

It’s hard to avoid COVID news, and it’s easy to become tired of it. The pandemic is definitely stressing our endurance, individually and collectively. But as the most recent wave of COVID indicates, this pandemic is not over yet. We also still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, especially its long-term effects, which we can only study once enough time has passed for there to be a long term.

A lot of focus in terms of the impact of COVID has been on the death toll, now over 614,000 in the US and 4.2 million world-wide. But medical specialists know that when evaluating the impact of an illness you don’t look just at mortality, you have to look at morbidity as well – negative health effects other than death. Now, at least, the media is talking about so-called “long COVID”, symptoms which persist long after the acute illness is over. Further, even though COVID was initially conceived of as a respiratory illness, it is now more accurately understood as a systemic and vascular illness.

Here I am going to focus on the neurological manifestations of COVID. I have been seeing patients in my neurology clinic with symptoms following COVID starting last Summer, and increasingly so this year. The most common symptom I see is “brain fog”, but headaches and fatigue are also common. There is now an emerging literature on the neurological effects of COVID, which are significant.

Even early in the pandemic it was clear that COVID had effects outside the respiratory system, including neurological. Most of this early data, however, was about acute illness. A French study published in June 2020 showed that 84% of hospitalized patients with COVID had neurological manifestations. A majority of patients admitted to ICU with COVID are found to have delirium (a type of confusion and disorientation). Loss of taste and smell was observed early to be a sign of COVID. Cases of COVID-induced Guillain-Barré syndrome (which mostly affects the nerves) were also observed.

But still it was not known early on if these effects were cause directly by infection with SARS-CoV-2, or an indirect effect of being critically ill. With further study it became clear that COVID affects the brain in a number of ways. We now know COVID is predominantly a vascular disease, affecting the blood vessels and causing blood clots throughout the body, including the brain. This can cause ischemia, or lack of oxygen, in the brain which causes damage. Patients with COVID may also have small bleeds in the brain, which also causes damage. Finally the virus can directly cause inflammation in the brain through infection, called encephalitis.

These are all conditions neurologists are very familiar with. They can make patients acutely very neurologically ill, and recovery can be slow. Full recovery is possible, and depends on the pre-morbid health and age of the patient. But it is also common for patients after a severe illness with encephalitis to never recover to their prior baseline. We are now starting to see data that shows the same is true following severe COVID as well. A study from October 2020 found that 82% of patients hospitalized with COVID had some neurological manifestation.



A study in The Lancet published in July 2021 found:



This is essentially one of the symptoms people are calling long-COVID. What is concerning in this data is that sustained neurological deficits were found even among those who were not sick enough to be hospitalized. Essentially, those with moderate to severe COVID infection statistically dropped a few IQ points, which is a marker of brain injury. It is possible that after 2-3 years of recovery this effect will significantly diminish and even go away, so there is more to learn from longer term data when enough time has passed. But this is a concerning sign of brain injury from COVID infection.

It is also possible, as some researchers are warning, that the damage caused to the brain from severe COVID might have long term effects that are not recognized for years. Ischemic and inflammatory damage to brain cells may accelerate degenerative processes, increasing the risk of developing degenerative brain disease (like Alzheimer’s disease) years down the road.

Yet another study found that 55% of hospitalized COVID patient had a co-infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus that causes chronic fatigue syndrome in some patients. This may be due to an opportunistic reactivation of the dormant virus. It may also be partially responsible for the chronic fatigue many patients with long COVID experience. But further it reflects how much about COVID we still don’t understand – this is a complex and serious infection, and the more rocks we turn over, the more we are finding about its effects.

As was noted in an earlier SBM article, children may be relatively less affected by COVID than adults, but they are not immune. Recent data shows that:



A study published in JAMA in March 2021 found:



These numbers are alarming. They should not be considered less so simply because they are even worse in adults.

As we are facing a new wave of COVID, with the prospect of new variants in the future possibly extending the pandemic even further, it is important that the public have a clear picture of how serious this illness is. The death toll should be enough to indicate how severe COVID can be, but even that is not the whole picture. This is a systemic infection that can cause chronic illness, and neurological manifestations are common, more so in adults but children are affected too. This will have a significant effect on our healthcare system for decades to come.

I also have to point out that we have a powerful solution right in front of us – safe and effective vaccines.

I have been very vocal about being generally exhausted - I'd love to know if I'm just overrun with general fatigue from it all and being a middle age father of 2 young kids or if I got the long Rona.

(Still managed to get gym classes in every other day!)
 
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What a shocker - red states that are pretending that COVID's over are the worst infected. Bible belt and all.

Gotta Love DeSantis now saying it's illegal immigrants causing the spread. Definitely not the anti-vax and anti-mask crowd making things worse.
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member

What a shocker - red states that are pretending that COVID's over are the worst infected. Bible belt and all.

Gotta Love DeSantis now saying it's illegal immigrants causing the spread. Definitely not the anti-vax and anti-mask crowd making things worse.
Honestly, what does that say about me if I'm eating DeSantis' hot mess
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
UPDATE: korean fried chicken was DELICIOUS last night!

Anti-troll activities continue with me taking a few hours over lunch to go back over the reviews+threads and dedicately counter-program the social media attack.

This charming person started showing up more today, Vote Canada: Log In or Sign Up to View

Warned they would add my wife and I to their "cowards" page as they have already emblazoned it with a picture of the restaurant owner (Anne Sorrenti - Cowards of Canada).

They screen capped a domain registering: my full name.ca

Followed up with Bare Metal - as the seller of domains nothing they can do. Told me to check with CIRA if a harassing page is put up/contact the police. Social media channels are in lockdown mode - trying to hibernate LinkedIn (support ticket open).

Happy everything is locked down this past year with two factor on ALL key apps/sites and a complex, unique, unguessable password @ max password length everywhere I could.

Wish me luck gents.


Latest "coward":

234816437_10165498851340254_906996244597623542_n.jpg


In other news - our steady resistance and some likely new distractions have taken most of the cultists to more fertile pastures. No new fake reviews for a few days - the huge threads with hundreds of comments are not incrementing,
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
On the one hand I think vaccine passports are a good idea, certainly for international travel. On the other hand, the Delta variant spreads even among the vaccinated so questioning what a vaccine passport actually proves is also a good idea.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
On the one hand I think vaccine passports are a good idea, certainly for international travel. On the other hand, the Delta variant spreads even among the vaccinated so questioning what a vaccine passport actually proves is also a good idea.

Don't question that TOO much now! The CDC headline is that "vaxed CAN" transmit, that vaxxed and unvaxxed CAN have the same amount of "viral load" - and this is the key here, on an *individual basis*

So what happens though if we follow two individuals, one breakthrough infection for a vaxxed and one unvaxxed?

Here's an important study out of Singapore examining Delta variant breakthrough infections in vaccinated people. Their conclusion is what we've been expecting all along: "The mRNA vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptomatic and severe COVID-19 associated with B.1.617.2 infection. Vaccination is associated with faster decline in viral RNA load and a robust serological response. Vaccination remains a key strategy for control of COVID-19 pandemic." https://www.medrxiv.org/con.../10.1101/2021.07.28.21261295v1

And what happens across a population? Well it turns out the initial infection is STILL rarer for a vaxxed vs an unvaxxed person!

So when we marry ALL the context we come up with the following:
- Vaxxed is still unlikely to be infected vs unvaxxed
- On an individual level, viral load for vaxxed drops super quick

Means we will have LESS transmission among a vaxxed vs unvaxxed population EVEN IF, comparing two individuals vaxxed vs unvaxxed with COVID infections one day might tell us *on that day we looked* that the vaxed person had a similar viral load to the unvaxxed, we know that this will not be true the next day, or the days after that!

This was also a good chart:

E7Ehb4HXoAECPnS
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
^ hey now, I'm not an anti-vaxer! But there has to be a simpler way to convey the messaging in the above info-graphic to people, hopefully.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
^ hey now, I'm not an anti-vaxer! But there has to be a simpler way to convey the messaging in the above info-graphic to people, hopefully.
CDC has walked into a lot of bullshit with the way facts are presented - but there's also a Shit Matrix out there turning their best efforts around for anti-vax messaging.

That restaurant around the corner that was inundated by hordes of antivaxxers? They were taking the CDC news last week as complete validation: there's "no difference" between vaxed and unvaxed. They posted endlessly about how vaccines "don't work" based on it.

There's also another layer in the Shit Matrix - journalism - and there were lots of shit headlines that would lead the layman to say "there's no difference" if they read just the headline OR read the news through their anti-vax filters (eg, self-congratulatory articles about how the CDC "proves we were right all along")

And ya - not for a moment do I think you're an antivaxer -BUT - they are ALL around us now! :( and through osmosis we can end up carrying their water inadvertently
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
"Why are vaccinated people still testing positive for Covid but not getting as sick?

It’s All about the type of immunoglobulins produced from vaccination. For those of you who are hard core scientists, ignore this post- it’s geared toward lay people and meant to be easy to understand. I’m going to do an epic under-simplification of a very complicated subject. Look away!

IgG is a type of immunoglobulin (antibody) that is plentiful in our blood serum. These are the immune cells that our Covid vaccine is really good at producing.

IgA is a type of immunoglobulin that is plentiful in our mucous membranes, like the respiratory tract (nose and throat). Unfortunately, our injected vaccines are NOT very good at creating a lasting army of this type of antibody.

SARS-Cov-2 (virus) that causes the disease Covid-19 is a respiratory virus- meaning, that it enters the body through the respiratory mucosa. It sets up shop in the area of the back of the throat where the nasal passage meets, called the nasopharynx. While it’s there, it enters those cells and reproduces. Once it reproduces in high enough numbers, it moves it’s way down the respiratory tract and attacks lung cells. From there, it enters the whole body and attacks almost every organ system.

When you are vaccinated, your mucous membranes in the back of your throat are still relatively unprotected, because they lack the IgA antibody response at the mucous membrane level. This is why a vaccinated person is still showing high viral loads in their nasopharynx area when swabbed. However, once the virus tries to move down into the lungs, the very good vaccine induced IgGs that are circulating in a vaccinated person’s blood serum, quickly identify the virus and begin destroying it. The body then says, hold on…where’d these guys come from? The antibodies see the open door at the nasopharynx and then move the troops to destroy. This is the reason that vaccinated people are not getting as sick, even though they are getting technically infected and why vaccinated people are contagious for less time than unvaccinated people are. Our defense is delayed, at the upper respiratory tract, but we eventually have a neutralizing response.

This is why it became important for even vaccinated people to begin wearing masks. We still have several days of the virus successfully replicating in the backs of our throats, which means that when we cough, sing, laugh, talk loudly….we can pass those viruses to other people. This is new with the delta variant because it is better at unlocking those respiratory cells than other variants were. This is what changed. The previous variants were not as good, and it took them longer to unlock cells and replicate so our vaccine induced serum antibodies used to have more time to recognize and respond than they do now.

So what you’re seeing with vaccinated infected people is: sudden onset sore throat, dry cough from nasopharynx irritation, eventually a fever as the virus tries to make it down the respiratory pathway and your immune system activates, but then a marked reduction in symptoms that suggest that the virus has been unsuccessful at invading any other organ systems. This is your reduction in hospitalizations and deaths. The lungs never get so sick that the person requires oxygen. Vaccine IgGs are very effective at staying off a massive infection, but not great at stopping the virus from initially replicating in the throat.

This might suggest that we should focus efforts/funding into more research and development for nasal spray type vaccines (several are in trials) that produce better IgA response for virus neutralization at the mucous membranes which would be better at halting transmissions of the virus between people.


Human IgG and IgA responses to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines - PubMed "

 
Jason Kenney should be imprisoned for his shitty ham handed handling of the pandemic
You'd think he's running Florida.

What do you want to bet that O'Toole is going to pull with Kenney something similar to what Harper did with Rob Ford ("Drugs are bad, mmmmkay? But first, let's talk to my buddy Rob, who came in his Adidas tracksuit just for this occasion!"

hqdefault.jpg
 
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