Category: Coronavirus

Coronavirus COVID-19 has mutated into 33 different strains, per new study by Professor Li Lanjuan and colleagues from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China

A new study paper on Cornavirus (COVID-19) has been published on the medrXiv preprint journal, titled: “Patient-derived mutations impact pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2”. The research was done at the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. The researchers involved in the study were: Hangping Yao, Xiangyun Lu, Qiong Chen, Kaijin Xu, Yu Chen, Linfang Cheng, Fumin Liu, Zhigang Wu, Haibo Wu, Changzhong Jin, Min Zheng, Nanping Wu, Chao Jiang, Lanjuan Li

Click on this link to visit the medrXiv preprint journal’s website post about this article titled: “Patient-derived mutations impact pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2”.

From the study: “In total, 33 mutations were identified (including 10 mutations observed in
120 mixed-populations), and 19 of these mutations were novel, according to the comparison
121 with 1111 genomic sequences available at GISAID on 3/24/2020.”

Since there are many mutations, creating a COVID-19 Vaccine will be that much more difficult. I suspect that there are many more mutations, say in Europe.  As such, I am of the opinion that a viable Vaccine will not be developed.

One can Download a PDF of the research study paper on the website via the above mentioned link to the medrXiv website.

Click on this link to The Jerusalem Post website to read their article titled: “Coronavirus has mutated into at least 30 different strains new study finds”.

 

Posted by Vincent Banial

“Hot In Cleaveland” sitom can provide a break from the stress during this Coronavirus Crisis. We all need to be reminded how to laugh.

We all find ourselves in distressing times during this Coronavirus Crisis. Watching a comedy can give our bodies a break from the stress of it all. Laugh at the foolish antics on the TV or Computer screen, found in a great comedy can be helpful.

I started to binge out on Seinfeld episodes on Youtube.com. Watching Cramer’s antics put a smile back on my face, for at a short time. One day after watching a Seinfeld episode, another comedy starting playing. Youtube sometimes will show you things it thinks you would like. The show was called Hot in Cleveland. Yes a strange name for a comedy but then so was calling a show Seinfeld.

Hot In Cleveland reminded me of Seinfeld, so I started to watch more episodes. One episode featured a Seinfeld actor. The guy who played Neuman is a neighbour on Hot In Cleveland. I’m not a Neuman fan, but found that his character fit will in this show. So far he has appeared in one episode.

Hot In Cleveland stars Valerie BertinelliJane LeevesWendie Malick, and Betty White. All the actresses are awesome. Betty White delivers some amazing one liners. The show will grow on you, as it has one me. If a good laugh will help improve you day of Social Distancing via Self Isolation, then I would highly suggest to visit Youtube.com and do a search on “Hot in Cleveland”. Watch a few episodes and it will grow on you, much like Seinfeld did..

Posted by Vincent Banial

 

 

 

New Research Study done at the University of Ottawa suggests that Coronavirus was spread to Humans by Dogs and not by Bats.

A newly published research study by Xuhua Xai, a full Professor and researcher at the University of Ottawa (in Canada), points to Dogs and not Bats as causing the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 to Humans.

The following is the Abstract from the study published in the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution:

Abstract

Wild mammalian species, including bats, constitute the natural reservoir of Betacoronavirus (including SARS, MERS, and the deadly SARS-CoV-2). Different hosts or host tissues provide different cellular environments, especially different antiviral and RNA modification activities that can alter RNA modification signatures observed in the viral RNA genome. The zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP) binds specifically to CpG dinucleotides and recruits other proteins to degrade a variety of viral RNA genomes. Many mammalian RNA viruses have evolved CpG deficiency. Increasing CpG dinucleotides in these low-CpG viral genomes in the presence of ZAP consistently leads to decreased viral replication and virulence. Because ZAP exhibits tissue-specific expression, viruses infecting different tissues are expected to have different CpG signatures, suggesting a means to identify viral tissue-switching events. I show that SARS-CoV-2 has the most extreme CpG deficiency in all known Betacoronavirus genomes. This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may have evolved in a new host (or new host tissue) with high ZAP expression. A survey of CpG deficiency in viral genomes identified a virulent canine coronavirus (Alphacoronavirus) as possessing the most extreme CpG deficiency, comparable to that observed in SARS-CoV-2. This suggests that the canine tissue infected by the canine coronavirus may provide a cellular environment strongly selecting against CpG. Thus, viral surveys focused on decreasing CpG in viral RNA genomes may provide important clues about the selective environments and viral defenses in the original hosts.

 

Click on this link to visit the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution website to download a PDF of the Research Study titled:”Extreme genomic CpG deficiency in SARS-CoV-2 and evasion of host antiviral defense”.

Click on this link to visit the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution website.

Click on this link to visit the University of Ottawa page for Xuhua Xai.

Posted by Vincent Banial with permission from the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution and the author Xuhua Xai.

Vitamin D may help build resistance to respiratory infections, including COVID-19

Researchers from Trinity College Dublin (Trinity) and Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) have found that taking Vitamin D supplements may enhance resistance to respiratory infections such as Covid-19, or limit the severity of the illness for those that do become infected.

Dr Declan Byrne (St. James’s Hospital and School of Medicine, Trinity) and Dr Daniel McCartney (TU Dublin), co-authors of the article published in the Irish Medical Journal on Friday, recommend that adults living in Ireland take 20-50 micrograms of vitamin D per day.”

Click on this link to visit the Irish Medical Journal website to read the article titled “Optimisation of Vitamin D status for Enhanced Immuno Protection against COVID-19.”

Since there is no official treatment for Coronavirus COVID-19 infection, then preventative measures to build resistance to Respiratory Infection should be a consideration. It has been stated by researchers that humans in northern climate changed their skin colour so as to facilitate creating Vitamin D from sunlight. Our skin creates Vitamin D from exposure to UV Rays in sunlight. During winter months there may be a deficiency of Vitamin D in Humans living away from the equator where there is far less sunlight during Winter months.

During the Coronvirus Crisis with Social Distancing and Stay at Home orders, humans are exposed to precious little sunlight and hence may develop a Vitamin D deficiency making our bodies more prone to a Respiratory Infection. Since Vitamin D helps our bodies to build a resistance to Respiratory Infection, it may a consideration to take Vitamin D supplements daily.

Download a PDF of a Healthcare Professional summary of – Optimisation of Vitamin D Status for Enhanced Immuno-protection against Covid-19 – is available here.

Always discuss with your Doctor, if you wish to take Vitamin D Supplements. Your Doctor could test your blood to check the level of Vitamin D deficiency and could suggest and monitor the level of supplementation.

Posted by Vincent Banial

 

 

Dr. Knut Wittkowski views on social distancing and lockdown on COVID-19

Professor Knut Wittkowski, for twenty years was the head of The Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design, discusses his professional views on social distancing and lockdown. He firmly believes that Schools should be opened to allow kids to become infected with COVID-19. This will allow Herd Immunity to develop, as Kids usually get mild if any symptoms.

One issue that Dr. Wittkowski does not touch on is the immense burden Coronavirus has placed on Hospitals. If you don’t have beds or ventilators for all patients then “SOCIAL DISTANCING” could reduce the burden on Hospitals. If the Healthcare system could handle the case load then this Doctor’s premise about leaving the situation alone, so as to reach “Herd Immunity” could apply. But the Healthcare system cannot even provide N95 facemasks to Frontline Doctors and Nurses. The other important factor is the lack of a SpecificTreatment for COVID-19.  Infected people go to the Hospitals as their infections get worse. Without a specific treatment those infections grow worse and people end up dying.

Dr. Wittkowski discussed data which indicated that in China and South Korea, Herd Immunity may have already been reached before Social Distancing was started.

Video is courtesy of the Journeyman Pictures YouTube channel

Interview highlights:

00:36-Dr. Wittkowski explains his recommendations for how to best deal with COVID-19

01:36-Is self-isolation prolonging the duration of COVID-19?

02:33-Are policies of self-isolation or shelter-in-place a good idea?

03:46-The pandemic is over

04:27-Did China lie about its COVID-19 statistics?

05:03-The truth behind the statistics given by the government of the United States

07:52-Are we even reporting flu deaths anymore?

08:16-Why are hospitals being overwhelmed?

09:16-Shortage of medial supplies

10:19-Has social distancing prevented deaths from COVID-19?

11:55-Staying indoors can make the virus worse

16:02-Why social distancing won’t work for an airborne contagion

17:41-Do we need a vaccine for COVID-19?

18:31-Humans can grow immune to this virus

18:55-The data doesn’t say that COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu

22:43-Changes in reporting COVID-19 cases

25:33-What makes COVID-19 different than the Swine Flu

27:05-What are the possible health risks of sheltering in place?

27:43-The “Second Wave” of COVID-19

30:10-The truth about #FlattentheCurve

31:10-What should we do about sheltering in place?

32:24-Why we need to achieve natural herd immunity

34:17-Should we be testing everyone for COVID-19?

35:35-The real effects of COVID-19

38:53-The percentage of people who won’t have any symptoms

39:34-What should we do about COVID-19 at this point?

40:40-Is this really a pandemic?

40:50-What you should know

 

Click on this link to visit the medRXIV site to read a Research paper published by Dr. Wittkowski titled “The first three months of the COVID-19 epidemic: Epidemiological evidence for two separate strains of SARS-CoV-2 viruses spreading and implications for prevention strategies”

 

 

Watching a comedy may give us a break from dealing with the Coronavirus crisis 24/7. Might I suggest Watching a few episodes of Seinfeld

We are all going thru some stressful times. I have found that watching a comedy can relieve some of the stress. When life is no longer anything to laugh at, maybe the antics or Cramer and George from the Seinfeld series can make us laugh for at least a brief moment.

Long ago I learned that Google.com is our friend. Google also runs Youtube.com. I have found many full episodes of Seinfeld to be found on Youtube.com

You can find episodes by visiting www.youtube.com and doing a search for Seinfeld.

While doing a Google search on Seinfeld I came across the Canadian TV Channel “CTV” which is making available a couple of Seinfeld episodes and lots of other stuff.

Click on this link to visit the CTV webpage: https://www.ctv.ca/Seinfeld

Well I hope that watching a few episodes of Seinfeld will help take your mind off the worry during this time of Coronavirus crisis. Laughing at a great comedy can help relieve some stress…

The Beer Store now allows empty bottle returns at 71 outlets.

Starting on April 06 some Beer Store locations in Ontario will now receive your empty Beer and Liquor bottles. I was surprised when I dropped by a local Beer Store and there was a sign saying that they no longer allow bottle returns at that location. This policy was due to the Coronavirus situation, as the Beer Store wanted to properly protect their Ontario employees.

At present only 71 Beer Store locations in Ontario will accept returns of empty bottles. They are listed below:

Click on this link to visit the official Beer Store website to read their official posting regarding Empty Bottle Returns.

Dark skinned Americans face alarming rates of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and Death, in some US States

Authorities like the CDC are not tracking Coronavirus Infections and Death rates based on whether the patient was Dark Skinned or White. In certain US States where such data is available, there seems to show alarming rates of Coronavirus Infection among Dark Skinned citizens.

Click on this link to view the New York Times article titled: “Black Americans face alarming rates of Coronavirus Infections in some states.”.

Click on this link to view the Chicago Tribune article titled: “Chicago’s coronavirus disparity: Black Chicagoans are dying at nearly six times the rate of white residents, data show“.

I suspect that part of the problem is the ability of US Citizens to get tested. Secretary Alex Azar, who leads the Department of Health and Human Services,had stated that a Doctor or Public-Health Official would need to approve and prescribe a Coronavirus Test. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration initially had stringent rules that allowed only Americans who had traveled abroad to get tested. I suspect that many could not be tested until it was too late. There are unfortunately many US Citizens who cannot afford to see a Doctor to get a note asking that the patient be tested for Coronavirus.

I had read about a young male who was rejected at a testing center because allegedly he did not qualify. He later died. After his death, they tested him and he in fact was infected by Coronavirus. Sadly his Death, somehow qualified him to be tested.

Click on this link to visit the Independant News site to read their article titled: “Coronavirus: Teenage boy whose death was linked to COVID-19 turned away from urgent care for not having insurance“.

Click on this link to the Poynter.org article titled: “We have it totally under control.’ A timeline of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic“.

Sadly the Coronavirus COVID-19 is not under control and citizens are dying.

Queen Elizabeth tried to comfort her Nation

Queen Elizabeth tried to comfort the United Kingdom, during this time of  Coronavirus sweeping across Britain.

Click on the following link to view the Queens address and comments about it from Piers Morgan:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8191867/PIERS-MORGAN-Queen-inspired-people-overcome-coronavirus-crisis.html#v-430511319956078954

Symptoms that you may be infected with Coronavirus / COVID-19

The symptoms shown by those infected with Coronavirus can vary widely. When searching the Internet, for symptom lists, you will find that often (but not always the Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection are similar to those found with respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. They include:

  • Cough – usually a Dry Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia in severe cases

Video is courtesy of the Science Insider YouTube channel.

Two unique symptoms which have recently been discovered, is the loss of Taste and Smell. One person described it to be like eating some Chocolate Ice cream and not being about to discern the Chocolate taste. The loss of one’s sense of smell can also point to a Coronavirus infection.

Stomach issues have also been mentioned by people who have suffered thru thru COVID-19 infection. One person mentioned pain in her stomach and wanting badly to burp but unable to do so.

Diarrhea has also been mentioned. Along with that is the idea of Fecal transmission of COVID-19. It is recommended to close the lid on a toilet before flushing. That would limit the spread of particles into the air in the washroom.

I might suggest that if at all possible, to limit the use of Public Washrooms. It is not just the idea of Fecal Transfer but an infected person would touch the Toilet’s Flush handle potentially leaving COVID-19 particles on the handle. If using a Public Washroom, please make sure to wash your hands using plenty of soap and hot water before leaving the Washroom. If possible dry your hands using paper towels. Why? It has been said the the hot air hand dryers may spread the  COVID-19 virus particles into the air, which you then breathe.

For more info about Coronavirus Symptoms you can visit the Mayo Clinic’s website by clicking on this link.

Click on this link to visit a website setup by the Government of Canada to provide info about Coronavirus / COVID-19.

Can early and high intravenous dose of vitamin C prevent and treat Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)?

Vitamin C is not a patented drug and so is low cost. The use of Vitamin C as a treatment protocol for Coronavirus infections is rarely mentioned in the main news media. When one gets sick, Vitamin C  in your body is depleted.

There were initial reports out of China that Coronavirus patients were being given intravenous Vitamin C. Vitamin C is also know to help patients who get Sepsis, which can also be the result of acquiring Coronavirus.

Some New York Hospitals have also treated Coronavirus patients with intravenous Vitamin C.

A new report has been published by Medicine in Drug Discovery, a peer reviewed journal by Elsevier, which details treating Coronavirus Patients using intravenous Vitamin C.

Click on the report title link below to visit the Elsevier’s Medicine in Drug Discovery site to read the report:

Can early and high intravenous dose of vitamin C prevent and treat Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

The report is as follows courtesy of Elsevier and Medicine in Drug Discovery:

Author links open overlay panel Richard Z.Cheng

Under a Creative Commons license
open access

The COVID-19 (SARS-2-Cov) pandemic, first reported in Wuhan, China, is now spreading to many continents and countries, causing a severe public health burden. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific antiviral drug for this deadly disease. A quick, deployable and accessible, effective and safe treatment is urgently needed to save lives and curtail the spreading. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a key factor of fatality. Significantly increased oxidative stress due to rapid release of free radicals and cytokines is the hallmark of ARDS which leads to cellular injury, organ failure and death. Early use of large dose antioxidants, such as vitamin C (VC) may become an effective treatment for these patients. Clinical studies also show that high-dose oral VC provides certain protection against viral infection. Neither intravenous nor oral administration of high-dose VC is associated with significant side effects. Therefore, this regimen should be included in the treatment of COVID-19 and used as a preventative measure for susceptible populations such as healthcare workers with higher exposure risks.

Coronaviruses and influenza are among the pandemic viruses that can cause lethal lung injuries and death from ARDS [[1][2][3]]. Viral infections could evoke “cytokine storm” that leads to lung capillary endothelial cell activation, neutrophil infiltration and increased oxidative stress (reactive oxygen and nitrogen species). ARDS, characteristic of severe hypoxemia, is usually accompanied by uncontrolled inflammation, oxidative injury and damage to the alveolar-capillary barrier [4]. Increased oxidative stress is a major insult in pulmonary injury including acute lung injury (ALI) and ARDS, two clinical manifestations of acute respiratory failure with substantially high morbidity and mortality [5,6].

In a report of 29 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, 27 (93%) showed increased hsCRP, a marker of inflammation and oxidative stress [7]. Transcription factor, nuclear factor erythroid 2 (nfe2)-related factor 2 (nrf2), is a major regulator of antioxidant response element (ARE)-driven cytoprotective protein expression. Activation of Nrf2 signaling plays an essential role in preventing cells and tissues from injury induced by oxidative stress. VC, an important component of the cellular antioxidant system [8], is beneficial to critical care management [9]. Cytokine storm is observed in both viral and bacterial infections [3] and results in increased oxidative stress via a common and non-specific pathway. Since the prevention and management of oxidative stress could be realized by large dose of antioxidants, this approach may be applicable to COVID-19 with intravenous high-dose VC based on the outcome of three previous clinical studies involving a total of 146 patients with sepsis [10].

Hemila and colleagues reported that various high-dose intravenous VC infusions (e.g., 200 mg/kg body weight/day, divided into 4 doses) shortened the intensive care unit (ICU) stay by 97.8% [11], accompanied by a significant reduction in the mortality rate [12]. Such an experience was reproduced among patients ill with severe influenza [13,14]. Indeed, dietary antioxidants (VC and sulforaphane) were shown to decrease oxidative stress induced acute inflammatory lung injury in patients receiving mechanical ventilation [15]. In addition, oral VC (e.g., 6 g daily) was able to reduce viral infection risk [16] or to improve symptoms [17].

High-dose intravenous VC has also been successfully used in the treatment of 50 moderate to severe COVID-19 patients in China. The doses used varied between 2 g and 10 g per day, given over a period of 8–10 h. Additional VC bolus may be required among patients in critical conditions. The oxygenation index was improving in real time and all the patients eventually cured and were discharged [18]. In fact, high-dose VC has been clinically used for several decades and a recent NIH expert panel document states clearly that this regimen (1.5 g/kg body weight) is safe and without major adverse events [19].

Because the development of efficacious vaccines and antiviral drugs takes time, VC and other antioxidants are among currently available agents to mitigate COVID-19 associated ARDS. Given the fact that high-dose VC is safe, healthcare professionals should take a close look at this opportunity. Obviously, well-designed clinical studies are absolutely needed to develop standard protocols for bedside use.

References

Posted at Uniquely Toronto by Vincent Banial

Vitamin D could be an adjunctive treatment protocol to help patients with Coronavirus.

Severe Coronavirus infections could result in the patient getting an acute respiratory Tract Infection requiring the use of a Ventilator to sustain life. Vitamin D could be an adjunctive treatment protocol to help patients with Coronavirus.

Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

https://scholar.harvard.edu/kennethbchristopher/publications/vitamin-d-deficiency-contributes-directly-acute-respiratory

Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data

https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583

Low Vitamin D Status Occurs in 90% of Patients with ARDS and Is Associated with Longer Duration of Mechanical Ventilation

https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2016.193.1_MeetingAbstracts.A1846

Please discuss the above with your Medical Doctor to see if the information may be of help. Self Medicating without the advice of your Medical Doctor(s) is not recommended.

Posted by Vincent Banial