Tagged: COVID-19

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.

Dr. Dyan Hes, a Pediatrician thinks that 80% of kids likely have Coronavirus. Probably 80 to 90% of them, are asymptomatic. No one knows exact numbers, because Children are not being tested for COVID-19.

Dr. Dyan Hes, a New York based Pediatrician thinks that 80% of kids likely have Coronavirus. Probably 80 to 90% of them, are asymptomatic. No one knows exact numbers, because Children are not being tested for COVID-19, due to the severe shortage of Coronavirus Test Kits. On a brighter note he thinks that the mortality rate is way, way less than 0.5% for children who have it because it is so prevalent. If he is correct then that could bode well with Dr Wittkowski’s ideas on society needing to develop Herd Immunity.

Click on this link to visit the CBS News website to read their news article titled: “Pediatrician says 80% of kids likely have coronavirus, but they’re so asymptomatic you’d never know”.

 

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”

 

 

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

on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of Essential Businesses that can Remain Open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of Coronavirus / COVID-19.

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

By 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations.

You can visit the Government of Ontario website to view the Order Update by clicking on this link.

I have included the updated text below:

“For the purposes of this order, businesses include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein.

This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. This also does not preclude the operation or delivery of services of any publicly funded agency or organization that delivers or supports government operations and services, including operations and services of the health care sector.

Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.

Supply chains

  1. Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services within Ontario, or that supply businesses or services that have been declared essential in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario, with the support, products, supplies, systems, or services, including processing, packaging, warehousing, distribution, delivery, and maintenance necessary to operate.

Food

  1. Businesses that primarily sell food, beverages and consumer products necessary to maintain households and businesses including:
    1. Supermarkets and grocery stores.
    2. Convenience stores.
    3. Discount and big box retailers selling groceries.
    4. Restaurants (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only).
    5. Beer and wine and liquor stores.

Services

  1. Pharmacies.
  2. Gas stations and other fuel suppliers.
  3. Laundromats and drycleaners.
  4. Security services for residences, businesses and other properties.
  5. Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services.
  6. Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services.
  7. Funeral and related services.
  8. Staffing services including providing temporary help.
  9. Veterinary services (urgent care only) and other businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, including farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums and research facilities.
  10. Home child care services of up to six children as permitted under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, and child care centres for essential workers authorized to operate in accordance with Ontario Regulation 51/20 (Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Closure of Establishments) made under the Act.
  11. Hotels, motels, other shared rental accommodation including student residences, except for seasonal campgrounds and any pools, fitness centres, meeting rooms and other recreational facilities that may be part of the operations of these businesses.
  12. Cheque cashing services.

Services to the public that are restricted to alternative methods of sale

  1. Stores that sell any of the following items and provide them to the customer only through an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances:
    1. Hardware products.
    2. Vehicle parts and supplies.
    3. Pet and animal supplies.
    4. Office supplies and computer products including computer repair.
    5. Safety supplies.

Financial services

  1. Businesses that provide the following financial services:
    1. Capital markets and related securities trading and advisory services.
    2. Banking/credit union activities including credit intermediation.
    3. Insurance.
    4. Land registration services.
    5. Real estate agent services.
    6. Pension and benefits payment services.
    7. Financial services including payroll and payment processing and accounting and tax services.

Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers

  1. Information Technology (IT) services, including online services, software products and the facilities necessary for their operation and delivery.
  2. Telecommunications providers and services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc.) and facilities necessary for their operation and delivery.
  3. Newspapers, radio and television broadcasting.

Maintenance

  1. Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.

Transportation services

  1. Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services, including,
    1. transportation services provided by air, water, road, and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers, and
    2. support services for transportation services, including,
      1. logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, truck stops and tow operators,
      2. services that support the operations and safety of transportation systems including maintenance and repairs, and
      3. marinas, but only to the extent that the marina is necessary to enable individuals to access their primary place of residence.
  2. Businesses that provide and support online retail, including by providing warehousing, storage and distribution of goods that are ordered online.

Manufacturing

  1. Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers, (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer), regardless of whether those other manufacturers are inside or outside of Ontario, together with businesses that support and facilitate the movement of goods within integrated North American and global supply chains.

Agriculture and food production

  1. Businesses that produce food and beverages, and agricultural products including plants, including by farming, harvesting, aquaculture, hunting and fishing.
  2. Businesses that process, manufacture or distribute food, beverages, crops, agricultural products, animal products and by-products.
  3. Businesses that support the food or agricultural products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants.

Construction

  1. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
  2. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
  3. Critical industrial construction activities required for,
    1. the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
    2. significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
    3. industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Residential construction projects where,
    1. a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
    2. an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
    3. the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.
  5. Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.

Resources and energy

  1. Businesses that provide and ensure the domestic and global continuity of supply of resources, including mining, forestry, aggregates, petroleum, petroleum by-products and chemicals.
  2. Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage and natural gas distribution, transmission and storage.

Community services

  1. Businesses that deliver or support the delivery of services including:
    1. Sewage treatment and disposal.
    2. Collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste.
    3. Potable drinking water.
    4. Critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges etc.
    5. Environmental rehabilitation, management and monitoring, and spill clean up and response.
    6. Administrative authorities that regulate and inspect businesses.
    7. Professional and social services that support the legal and justice system.
    8. Government services including but not limited to policing and law enforcement, fire and emergency services, paramedics, coroner and pathology services, corrections and court services, licences and permits.

Research

  1. Businesses and organizations that maintain research facilities and engage in research, including medical research and other research and development activities.

Health care and social services

  1. Organizations and providers that deliver home care services or personal support services to seniors and persons with disabilities.
  2. Businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies.
  3. Regulated health professionals (urgent care only) including dentists, optometrists, chiropractic services, ophthalmologists, physical and occupational therapists and podiatrists.
  4. Organizations that provide health care including retirement homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, independent health facilities and mental health and addictions counselling supports.
  5. Laboratories and specimen collection centres.
  6. Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals, medical devices and medical supplies.
  7. Manufacturers, distributors and businesses that provide logistical support of or for products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations.
  8. Not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home or residential services for individuals with physical disabilities.
  9. Not-for profit organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals.

Requirements that apply to businesses

Compliance

    1. The person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate shall ensure that the business operates in accordance with all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the regulations made under it.
    2. The person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate shall operate the business in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.

Restricting access to businesses and providing alternative methods of sale

    1. Subject to subsection (2), the person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate and that engages in retail sales to the public, except for pharmacies and businesses that primarily sell food and beverages at retail, shall, to the fullest extent possible, restrict public access to the place of business by providing alternative methods of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery.
    2. The person responsible for a place of business described in paragraph 15 of Schedule 2 shall restrict public access to the place of business and shall provide all items to the public using an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances.

Short term rentals

    1. Every person who provides short term rentals in rental accommodations shall ensure that any rentals booked after April 4, 2020 are only provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.
    2. Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of hotels, motels and student residences.

Open houses prohibited

    1. Every person who is responsible for a business that provides real estate agent services shall ensure that the business does not host, provide or support any open house events.
Updated: April 3, 2020
Published: March 23, 2020″