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Panicdemic (#4)

COVID-19 analysis

  • How and when will this coronavirus pandemic end? WEF asked a virologist

    It will probably never end, in the sense that this virus is clearly here to stay unless we eradicate it.

    And the only way to eradicate such a virus would be with a very effective vaccine that is delivered to every human being. We have done that with smallpox, but that’s the only example – and that has taken many years.

    So it will most probably stay. It belongs to a family of viruses that we know – the coronaviruses – and one of the questions now is whether it will behave like those other viruses.

    It may reappear seasonally – more in the winter, spring and autumn and less in the early summer. So we will see whether that will have an impact.

    But at some point in this epidemic – and certainly in the countries that are most affected, like Italy and Spain – there will be saturation, because according to predictions, up to 40% of the Spanish and 26% of the Italian population are or have been infected already.

    And, of course, when you go over 50% or so, even without doing anything else, the virus just has fewer people to infect – and so the epidemic will come down naturally.

  • Vitamin D Supplements Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infection and Death

    To reduce risk of infection, it is recommended that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider taking 10,000 IU/day (250 micrograms/day) of vitamin D for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations, followed by at least 5000 IU/day. The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/l), taking whatever is necessary for that individual to achieve and maintain that level.

  • Blood tests show 14% of people are now immune to covid-19 in one town in Germany

    Now, after searching blood from 500 residents for antibodies to the virus, scientists at a nearby university say they have determined that one in seven have been infected and are therefore “immune.” Some of those people would have had no symptoms at all.

  • Coronavirus: Mystery of long-term patients confounds Wuhan doctors

    While most of them are asymptomatic or present mild symptoms, they are still testing positive for the virus and cannot be discharged, hospital director Zhang Dingyu said.

    The hospital tests for the virus from four samples – nasal, oral, rectal and blood – and most patients remaining have tested negative in all samples except for their oral ones.

    South Korea reports the virus may “reactivate” in cured patients:

    The KCDC’s Jeong raised the possibility that rather than patients being re-infected, the virus may have been “reactivated”.

    Kim also said patients had likely “relapsed” rather than been re-infected.

    False test results could also be at fault, other experts said, or remnants of the virus could still be in patients’ systems but not be infectious or of danger to the host or others.

    American government sources predict coronavirus immunity will emerge:

    “Generally we know with infections like this, that at least for a reasonable period of time, you’re going to have antibodies that are going to be protective,” Fauci said.

    “If we get infected in February and March and recover, next September, October, that person who’s infected — I believe — is going to be protected,” he added.

    Researchers are not sure at this time how long immunity to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 lasts since it’s a new virus.

  • Coronavirus lingers in air longer than previously thought, scientists warn

    Scientists in Finland have released a 3D model showing how coronavirus is transported through extremely small airborne aerosol particles when a person coughs, sneezes or talks.

    They said their findings “emphasise the importance of avoiding busy indoor spaces” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Coronavirus origins: genome analysis suggests two viruses may have combined

    By contrast, the virus RaTG13 isolated from bat R. affinis is highly divergent in this specific region (only 77 % of similarity). This means that the coronavirus isolated from pangolin is capable of entering human cells whereas the one isolated from bat R. affinis is not.

    In addition, these genomic comparisons suggest that the SARS-Cov-2 virus is the result of a recombination between two different viruses, one close to RaTG13 and the other closer to the pangolin virus. In other words, it is a chimera between two pre-existing viruses.

  • New coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) mapped out

    Being an RNA virus, SARS-Cov-2 enters host cells and replicates a genomic RNA and produces many smaller RNAs (called ‘subgenomic RNAs’). These subgenomic RNAs are used for the synthesis of various proteins (spikes, envelopes, etc.) that are required for the beginning of SARS-Cov-2 lineage. Thus, the smaller RNAs make good targets for interfering with the new coronavirus’s conquering of our immune system.

  • 40% of people with severe COVID-19 experience neurological complications

    Nearly 40 percent of people with the disease caused by the new coronavirus suffered brain-related complications, according to findings published Friday in JAMA Neurology.

  • WHO study: These well-known drugs can help against Covid-19

    • Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that was originally developed against Ebola but did not work well against Ebola. In animal experiments, it was effective against coronaviruses.
    • The malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are tested, which showed in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2.
    • A combination of two HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, is also to be tested.
    • A combination of the previous HIV drugs with interferon-beta, a messenger substance of the immune system that stimulates the cell’s defense reactions against a virus infection.


  • France sees first decrease in ICU patients as virus death toll passes 12,000

    Jérôme Salomon, head of the public health authority, told reporters that there were now 7,062 people in intensive care at hospitals across France, a net decrease of 82 from the day earlier.

    He said the total number of fatalities from the Covid-19 disease had risen to 12,210, with 8,044 hospital deaths and a further 4,166 recorded at care homes for the elderly and dependent.

    Urging people to keep on observing a nationwide lockdown, he said: “Thanks to these measures, we are in the process of putting the brakes on the epidemic.”

  • Coronavirus: Spain PM sees ‘fire coming under control’

    As of Thursday, the country has reported 15,238 deaths.

    According to latest data from the past 24 hours, Spain has recorded 683 deaths – a drop from the 757 reported on Wednesday.

    Total confirmed cases now stand at 152,446, and Spain has now reported the second-highest number worldwide after the US, which has more than 400,000.

  • U.S. has recorded over 16,000 coronavirus-related deaths

    The state’s death toll from the pandemic grew by 799 to 7,067 people, a significant portion of all American deaths. The U.S. has recorded over 16,200 deaths, according to the coronavirus resource centre of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, which updated its figures Thursday afternoon. The U.S. passed 1,000 deaths exactly two weeks ago.

    He pointed to 200 new hospitalizations since the last briefing as a cause for some hope. It was the lowest total “since this nightmare started,” he said, but over 18,000 remain hospitalized statewide.

  • Keith Watson, 101, recovers from Covid-19

    Keith Watson, from Worcestershire, was admitted for surgery after a fall but developed a high temperature and tested positive for Covid-19.

    Mrs Watson said her father-in-law had gone back to his care home and is “complaining about the pain in his leg”, but “not anything else”.

  • Dutch woman, 107, believed to be world’s oldest coronavirus survivor

    Ras had a fever just over 100 degrees and a cough, but she never got severely ill — leading her to doubt whether she in fact had the virus, her niece Maaike de Groot told the newspaper.

    But she was tested along with the other residents, and her result came back positive, according to the report.

    About two-and-a-half weeks later, on Monday, doctors told Ras she was virus-free.


  • Wiped out of toilet paper? Here’s why

    NCSolutions, a data and consulting firm, said online and in-store U.S. toilet paper sales rose 51% between Feb. 24 and March 10, as buyers started getting uneasy about the growing number of virus cases. But sales rocketed a whopping 845% on March 11 and 12 as states announced lockdowns.

    Toilet paper is bulky and not very profitable, so retailers don’t keep a lot of inventory on hand; they just get frequent shipments and restock their shelves.

    The big three U.S. toilet paper companies — Georgia-Pacific LLC, Proctor & Gamble Co. and Kimberly-Clark Corp. — were already running their toilet paper plants 24 hours a day before the new coronavirus hit. That’s the only way they can make a profit on such a low-margin product.

  • U.S., UK cyber officials say state-backed hackers taking advantage of outbreak

    The media was “all COVID-19, all the time,” Lefferts said. “It’s overwhelming and attackers know it. They know many are clicking without looking because stress levels are high and they’re taking advantage of that.”

  • Africans ‘evicted from Chinese hotels over Covid-19 fears’

    “We paid rent to them and after collecting rent they chased us out of the house. Since last night we have been sleeping outside,” he added.

  • Malta says it can no longer rescue, accept migrants

    It said the decision had been taken because its resources were stretched by the enforcement of measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus, as well as the risk that the migrants themselves may be carrying the virus.

    The announcement came 24 hours after Italy closed its own harbours, saying its ports could not longer be considered safe because of the pandemic.

  • Germany, Luxembourg to take in young refugees, Greece says

    At least 5,200 unaccompanied minors live in Greece, many of them under harsh conditions in camps on islands in the Aegean. About a dozen European nations have expressed a willingness to take in a number of them.

    Germany said on Wednesday that it will accept 50 children and youths after the first coronavirus cases were confirmed among migrants last week in Greece

    Robots programmed with {{{ if != then divide by total }}} cannot stop themselves from insanity.

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