The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 12.05.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  Pretty good links too this week.

https://www.jwatch.org/fw117293/2020/12/05/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-dec-5

Meanwhile in Oklahoma…

https://www.readfrontier.org/stories/interactivesmapsknowncasesofcovidinoklahoma/

Help.

COVID-19: Study Suggests Durable Immune Response After SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 might last for years, according to a study posted on the preprint server bioRxiv.

Some 185 adults who recovered from COVID-19 (most had mildly symptomatic disease) provided blood samples for analysis. The majority provided a single sample, but roughly 20% provided multiple samples over several months.

The researchers found that levels of spike-specific memory B cells (which make antibodies as needed) increased with time — and were higher at 4–6 months than at earlier time points in most participants who gave multiple samples. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG titers were generally stable, showing only modest declines at 6–8 months.

COVID-19: Study Suggests Durable Immune Response After SARS-CoV-2 Infection — https://www.jwatch.org/fw117245/2020/11/17/covid-19-study-suggests-durable-immune-response-after

I hope these findings are replicated in other studies.

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 11.07.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Over the past week, U.S. researchers reported a secondary infection rate of 53% among household contacts of people with COVID-19. In another study, risk factors for transmission among close contacts of infected people — like sharing a vehicle or being spoken to by the infected person within 2 meters — were detailed. Elsewhere, the FDA warned about false-positives with rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2. And in Denmark, all farmed minks were set to be killed after reports that a SARS-CoV-2 mutation had jumped from minks to humans.

https://www.jwatch.org/fw117204/2020/11/07/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-nov-7

Click on the link above for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update. 

Meanwhile in El Paso…

A fourth mobile morgue has been sent to El Paso as the Texas border town grapples with an ever-growing COVID-19 crisis.

Citation: El Paso Gets Fourth Mobile Morgue as COVID-19 Deaths Surge – Medscape – Nov 05, 2020. — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/940459?src=rss

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 10.24.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  There are no paywalls on any of the links in this article.  The links in this week’s edition are pretty good. https://www.jwatch.org/fw117158/2020/10/24/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-oct-24

Meanwhile in El Paso…

EL PASO, Texas — The massive Covid-19 surge in El Paso County went from extremely bad to critically worse on Saturday as all-time highs were shattered for a half-dozen critical markers: New cases, active infections, positivity rate, and hospitalizations – along with ICU and ventilator usage.

The health department reported a record 1,216 new cases on Saturday, as well as 75 unreported cases from earlier, increasing the total number of additional cases reported to 1,291. The number of active infections jumped to just shy of 11,000 at a record-level of 10,911.

There were a record 715 patients in El Paso hospitals due to Covid-related illness as of Saturday morning, representing nearly 2% of hospitalizations nationwide. El Paso hospitals have seen a staggering 203% increase in Covid patients over the past two weeks. In addition, record numbers of virus patients Saturday required intensive care (199) and the use of ventilators (85).

El Paso shatters records for new & active virus cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, ICUs, ventilators — https://kvia.com/coronavirus/2020/10/24/el-paso-shatters-all-time-highs-for-new-active-virus-cases-positivity-rate-hospitalizations-icus-ventilators/

The city just told everyone to stay home.

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 09.05.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  (paywalls bother me). There are some really good links in this week’s edition. https://www.jwatch.org/fw117010/2020/09/05/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-sept-5

Meanwhile in South Carolina…

Shortly after opening its doors to students, the University of South Carolina has recorded 1,026 positive coronavirus tests and in the past week saw a test positivity rate among students and faculty of 26.3 percent, according to its COVID information dashboard.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/university-south-carolina-records-1-026-covid-cases-n1239174

Clusterfuck!

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 08.22.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  (paywalls bother me)

https://www.jwatch.org/fw116961/2020/08/22/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-aug-22

Meanwhile in Harrah, Oklahoma…

The corned beef became an unexpected, additional source of sadness: The flavors I love have become associated with the bitterness of closing down. I can only taste the sourness of worry. I can only smell the rottenness of having to furlough six people who depended on the pub for a paycheck. Years of enjoyment have boiled down to a few long months of anxiety, endless discussions about to close or stay open—and if we can reopen safely, how we will survive.

We own an Irish Pub in Harrah, Oklahoma. When Covid-19 hit, we had to eat our own corned beef and potatoes for weeks. https://thecounter.org/covid-19-essay-irish-pub-harrah-oklahoma-corned-beef-potatoes/

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 07.25.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  (paywalls bother me)

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending July 25

Meanwhile in Imperial County California…

For many decades, a relative few white farmers who tilled vast acreages of winter vegetables, cotton and alfalfa held that power. Ultimately, however, demography shifted power to Latinos, the sons and daughters of field workers from Mexico who are today 80% of Imperial County’s population.

Changing demography didn’t change Imperial County’s basic nature. It exists primarily to grow food and fiber with little economic diversity and always ranks high on California’s lists of unemployment and poverty.

Imperial has another distinction these days — the epicenter of California’s COVID-19 pandemic. Its infection rate is six times as high as California’s as a whole and victims are overwhelming its two hospitals.

Imperial County, the COVID-19 epicenter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEJM Journal Watch – 06.05.20

Prevalence of asymptomatic disease: An estimated 40–45% of people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 do not have symptoms at the time of testing, according to a narrative review of 16 cohorts in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In four cohorts with longitudinal data, few of the asymptomatic patients (0–10%) went on to develop symptoms. But in one skilled nursing facility, 89% of initially asymptomatic patients became sick. The researchers say, “It is imperative that testing programs include those without symptoms.” They add, “The early data that we have assembled on the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection suggest that this is a significant factor in the rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

COVID-19: Asymptomatic Disease Prevalence / N95 Mask Reuse / Oxygen Management Strategies / Anti-Racism Demonstrations / Studies Retracted

Smoking cigarettes — even one or less per day — is associated with increased mortality risk, a JAMA Network Open study shows.  Researchers combined data from several federal smoking surveys performed between 1992 and 2011. In those surveys, some 500,000 adults reported their smoking histories. National mortality data showed that, compared with never-smokers, daily smokers (averaging 600 cigarettes per month) bore a 2.3-fold higher all-cause mortality risk, with non-daily smokers (averaging 40 per month) sustaining a 1.8-fold higher risk.  Heightened mortality risks became apparent even at levels of 6 to 10 cigarettes per month.  The researchers conclude: “Thus, all smokers should quit, regardless of how infrequently they smoke.”

Infrequent Smoking Carries Heightened Mortality Risk