Coronavirus

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heyzeus
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by heyzeus »

My 75+ year old aunt and uncle both got it through my uncle's job. Both are cancer survivors. It's almost 2 weeks in, and thankfully they've both experienced mostly cold/flu symptoms. I know it's anecdotal and 3000 people are dying per day which is horrific, but I'm really relieved - both for my family's wellbeing, and in reading that my fellow GRB friends are doing ok too.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Found this interesting given all the talk about the vaccines and antibodies and previous infections...etc.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... li=BBnb7Kz
Amid questions about when President Trump will receive the coronavirus vaccine following the rollout of Pfizer's version last week, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said the president has a "medical reason" for not getting vaccinated yet, citing an experimental antibody treatment he was given while recovering from COVID-19 in October.

"From a scientific point of view, I will remind people that the president has had COVID within the last 90 days," Adams told "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "He received monoclonal antibodies and that is actually one scenario where we tell people, 'Maybe you should hold off on getting the vaccine, talk to your health provider to find out the right time.' Politics aside, there is a medical reason."
Antibodies are the condoms that go over the viral spike preventing them from infecting cells rendering it unable to reproduce.

Trump didn't produce antibodies, per se, but was given the experimental treatment where the antibodies (condoms) were injected into his blood.

The vaccines work by creating the spike portion of the virus so the body can study it, attack it, create antibodies, and in general have an immune response. It makes a ton of sense that existing antibodies would immediately cover the spike and thereby mute the immune response after a vaccination.

Here's what I don't quite understand...existing antibodies are existing antibodies rather they were produced by the body or injected into it. If a person that has them doesn't quite get the benefit of the vaccine, why differentiate between people that have received the antibodies treatment vs those that naturally created the antibodies?

The only plausible explanation I can conceive is there is an assumed immune response already having occurred in those with existing antibodies from the natural infection whereas those with the antibody treatment did not produce an immune response but were instead given the antibodies. As such, they want to ensure that those that were given antibodies have a chance to have the immune response and need the injected antibodies to fade prior to vaccination to cause the full immune response.

It also, by extension, means they don't really think the vaccine is necessary for those that have been naturally infected as the vaccine won't do much if anything more than the natural infection. And, logistically, it's so much easier to just say, "Eh, [expletive] it. Go get it." Instead of having to figure out if people have had a natural infection. It would also, along these lines, make the response to the vaccine much 'softer' in those that haven't been naturally infected vs those that have not as the antibodies will 'soften' the response.

That's not a criticism. Actually, I think it makes a lot of sense. But it is rather telling if my ability to read between the lines is accurate.

ETA: Probably should have said this at the beginning. It helps to not think of this as a story about Trump which leads incredulity to the topic, rather as a statement made by the Surgeon General Adams about the antibody treatment and its effect on the vaccines.

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mikechamp
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Re: Coronavirus

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In case you haven't been following the latest news out of the UK, they're seeing a new variant of COVID. It's causing the government to go into a "Christmas lockdown", and it's also preventing UK-originated flights from going to European countries. Here's a good summary of the new strain and what it means:
New Covid strain: How worried should we be?

A mutated virus sounds instinctively scary, but to mutate and change is what viruses do. Most of the time it is either a meaningless tweak or the virus alters itself in such a way that it gets worse at infecting us and the new variant just dies out. Occasionally it hits on a new winning formula.

There is no clear-cut evidence the new variant of coronavirus - which has been detected in south-east England - is able to transmit more easily, cause more serious symptoms or render the vaccine useless. However, there are two reasons scientists are keeping a close eye on it.

The first is that levels of the variant are higher in places where cases are higher. It is a warning sign, although it can be interpreted in two ways. The virus could have mutated to spread more easily and is causing more infections. But variants can also get a lucky break by infecting the right people at the right time. It will take experiments in the laboratory to figure out if this variant really is a better spreader than all the others.

The other issue that is raising scientific eyebrows is how the virus has mutated. "It has a surprisingly large number of mutations, more than we would expect, and a few look interesting," Prof Nick Loman from the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium told me.

There are two notable sets of mutation. Both are found in the crucial spike protein, which is the key the virus uses to unlock the doorway into our body's cells in order to hijack them.

The mutation N501 alters the most important part of the spike, known as the "receptor-binding domain". This is where the spike makes first contact with the surface of our body's cells. Any changes that make it easier for the virus to get inside are likely to give it an edge. "It looks and smells like an important adaptation," said Prof Loman.

The other mutation - a H69/V70 deletion - has emerged several times before, including famously in infected mink. The concern was that antibodies from the blood of survivors was less effective at attacking that variant of virus. Again, it is going to take more laboratory studies to really understand what is going on.

Prof Alan McNally, from the University of Birmingham, said: "We know there's a variant, we know nothing about what that means biologically. It is far too early to make any inference on how important this may or may not be."

Mutations to the spike protein lead to questions about the vaccine because the three leading jabs - Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford - all train the immune system to attack the spike. However, the body learns to attack multiple parts of the spike. That is why health officials remain convinced the vaccine will work against this variant.

We have seen this happen before: The emergence and global dominance of another variant (G614) is seen by many as the virus getting better at spreading.

But soon mass vaccination will put a different kind of pressure on the virus because it will have to change in order to infect people who have been immunized. If this does drive the evolution of the virus, we may have to regularly update the vaccines, as we do for flu, to keep up.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55312505

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Joe Shlabotnik
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by Joe Shlabotnik »

My last uncle died yesterday of covid in his nursing home. My dad is now the only remaining blood relative I have from older generations. Weird.

Gypsy Lou
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by Gypsy Lou »

I got the 1st dose of vaccine (Pfizer) Sat. the 19th, barely felt it. Absolutely no adverse reaction except mild fatigue the next day. 2nd dose scheduled for 1/9/21. I really hope everyone gets this vaccine so we can put this madness behind us.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

The guy in our office that got it about a month ago, maybe 2 months ago and was asymptomatic went to mexico, then California, then back home, had surgery and now has a pretty severe case. He went to the hospital thinking he was having complications from surgery, they tested him for covid and bam he was positive.

At the time, I thought he had said he had tested positive for antibodies as well. But, apparently that was not the case so *nervous laughter* hopefully he had a false positive the first go around. One thing is for certain, he has covid now.

So, uh, lesson learned, don't rely on a positive test to think you're invincible.

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

Gypsy Lou wrote:
December 21 20, 10:14 am
I got the 1st dose of vaccine (Pfizer) Sat. the 19th, barely felt it. Absolutely no adverse reaction except mild fatigue the next day. 2nd dose scheduled for 1/9/21. I really hope everyone gets this vaccine so we can put this madness behind us.
Awesome. Glad you were able to be vaccinated.

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mikechamp
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by mikechamp »

More info on the new variant being seen in the UK. Since it seems that the virus moves faster than we do, I wouldn't be surprised if he's right.
Former FDA chief thinks new mutation of COVID-19 found in the U.K. is 'already in the U.S.'

Former FDA head Dr. Scott Gottlieb believes that the new variant of the coronavirus found in the United Kingdom is "already in the U.S." and a travel ban won't do anything to keep it from spreading in the country.

The mutation is thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, and because of it, more than 40 countries have banned travel to and from the U.K. for at least 48 hours. Gottlieb told CNBC's Shepard Smith on Monday that at this point, he does not believe a travel ban "is going to prevent this mutated strain from coming into the United States. We're going to have an epidemic that continues to build over the course of the next three or four weeks, we'll reach a peak, and then we'll start to see infection rates decline as we see vaccinations get rolled out."

So far, there is no sign that this is a deadlier strain, and Gottlieb told Smith "the question is, is this virus going to change the surface proteins in a way that can obviate either the vaccines or prior immunity, and there's no indication that it's doing that right now." However, Gottlieb cautioned that "over time, it will evolve in ways where it can probably obviate prior infection or vaccines to some degree, so we'll probably need to adapt our vaccines over time."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-fda-c ... 00033.html

AWvsCBsteeeerike3
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 »

The new variant seems like more a way to get clicks than something to worry about.

It even says it in the quote. "There's no indications that it's doing that (change the proteins in a way that can obviate either the vaccines or prior immunity)."

Is it more transmissible? Perhaps, maybe. Do viruses mutate? Absolutely.

To sum it up, headlines should read. In a shock to no one, the virus mutated. And, it very likely doesn't matter.

ETA: Didn't mean that to be dismissive of the article you quoted mike. Just, a general complaint about the media coverage.

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mikechamp
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Re: Coronavirus

Post by mikechamp »

No offense taken, though I've seen two different sources citing the "70% more transmissible" number. It's way too early to tell if it's any deadlier.

There's also a new variant that's been found in South Africa. They've determined it is not related to the UK variant.

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