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  • Originally posted by MissTCShore View Post

    The Novavax Vaccine is reporting around 85% efficacy, but it is believed that the reason the numbers are lower on this one is because it has been tested during the outbreak of the new "British" strain of the virus. It appears that the new strain is not only more virulent, but that the vaccine(s) are less effective against it. In other words, the Novavax version is probably going to have similar efficacy numbers against the more common strain in the US as the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will probably see less efficacy against the "British" COVID strain. (I'm calling it the British strain so that we all know what we are talking about. That's not what it's actually called.).

    I don't know about the J&J vaccine's testing, except that I know that much of the testing was done outside of the US. I don't know what strains it has run into and whether or not that has had an affect on the efficacy percentage. It is possible that it will be more than 85% effective against the more common strain in the US.
    Yeah, it's actually called the "China Virus with the English Accent," but that's a lot of words so "British Strain" will do. Kinda like they shortened "British Colony Filled with Chinamen with an English Accent" to just "Hong Kong."

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      • Originally posted by WolfShirtSophomore View Post
        Got the 'Rona in the Wolf den.

        Had symptoms last week, got over it pretty quick, wife has them this week and got a positive test this morning. Though strangely I didn't lose my sense of smell till last night AFTER all the other symptoms had left. Had that happened earlier I would have gotten a test last week.

        Kids just shrugged it off. Of course.
        Man I totally missed this post from earlier today. I guess I'm just too self-absorbed to care about others.

        Glad to hear you're doing well...except for that sense of smell thingy. Hope your wife gets over it with mild symptoms. My son had it for about two days with a slight fever and tiredness. Damn young people shrug off the China Virus like a hangnail. The fatigue has returned to my wife though...weird. Our neighborhood now calls our home...."The House of COVID".

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          • Trigger warning . . . that's a horror flick.

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            • Originally posted by GardArmighty View Post

              Clearly we just need to ban cells. Problem solved.



              iu.jpeg

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              • I always try to look at the Worldometers numbers on Thursdays because the "weekend dips" are usually still present on Mondays and Tuesdays, and looking at Wednesday and Thursday numbers gives us a better idea of what's really happening. Daily new cases are now CLEARLY significantly declining and have been since they peaked on January 8. We appear to have "flattened the curve" on the total number of cases and it does appear that active cases may again be on a downward trend, although at this point, the downward movement is very slight. I'm not sure I've actually looked at how long it takes to "recover" from COVID once you get the initial diagnosis, but assuming it's around 4 to 6 weeks, we should see active cases start to drop noticeably very soon.

                The daily mortality (death) rate is another key metric I look at, and as I've mentioned numerous times, it seems to lag exposure/infections by about 4 to 6 weeks. The 10 day moving average on mortality does look like it may be starting to trend downward, but it's much less obvious. The peaks have certainly moved in a downward direction, but the "valleys" in the chart are moving upwards a bit. That's mostly just a reporting/timing issue, I suspect, and I really think that by the end of this month or certainly by the middle of next month we are going to see some real progress on the mortality rate, as well.

                I think two things are in effect, here. One is that there was obviously a big post-Thanksgiving jump in the spread of the disease, which continued somewhat through Christmas. That certainly contributed to the already-climbing numbers. Back to school and cooler weather, along with relaxed restrictions and people simply getting tired of being at home and social distancing have probably all played a role in the rapid spread of the disease in the fall and through the end of the year. I think the vaccines are probably playing a small role in getting numbers headed back down, although I'm not sure enough people have been vaccinated by this point to make a noticeable difference in the overall numbers. Probably, the majority of the improvement is increased restrictions, the end of the holidays and people realizing that the pandemic hasn't ended yet. Whatever the reason, if we can get more and more people vaccinated, and if we can even come close to Biden's goal of having every American have a vaccine available by the end of summer, then certainly there is light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

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                • BRITISH BAT VIRUS FOUND IN KANSAS

                  A variant of COVID-19 found in the United Kingdom, or UK, was identified in Kansas Wednesday afternoon. It has been found in 33 other U.S. States and is known as B.1.1.17 An investigation is underway to figure out how the Ellis County resident became infected with that particular strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They’re trying to determine if others may have been exposed.

                  The variant was found using the whole genome sequencing (WGS) conducted through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) laboratories.

                  “This finding does not change our public health recommendations. We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions: follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, wearing masks, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to, once the supply is sufficient,” Dr. Norman, KDHE Secretary, said.

                  This variant was first reported in the U.S. at the end of December 2020. Evidence from the UK indicates that this particular strain has been found to spread much more quickly--which means the number of hospitalizations and deaths could rapidly increase. However, a news release from KDHE notes that more studies are needed to confirm this finding.

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                  • Originally posted by MissTCShore View Post
                    BRITISH BAT VIRUS FOUND IN KANSAS

                    A variant of COVID-19 found in the United Kingdom, or UK, was identified in Kansas Wednesday afternoon. It has been found in 33 other U.S. States and is known as B.1.1.17 An investigation is underway to figure out how the Ellis County resident became infected with that particular strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They’re trying to determine if others may have been exposed.

                    The variant was found using the whole genome sequencing (WGS) conducted through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) laboratories.

                    “This finding does not change our public health recommendations. We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions: follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, wearing masks, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to, once the supply is sufficient,” Dr. Norman, KDHE Secretary, said.

                    This variant was first reported in the U.S. at the end of December 2020. Evidence from the UK indicates that this particular strain has been found to spread much more quickly--which means the number of hospitalizations and deaths could rapidly increase. However, a news release from KDHE notes that more studies are needed to confirm this finding.
                    That’s so racist.

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                    • Hays sucks so much.

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                      • WHO REPORT FROM WUHAN

                        Beijing — With just days left in their month-long visit to Wuhan, the World Health Organization's team of COVID-19 experts co-hosted their first press conference on Tuesday to share some key findings from the hunt for the coronavirus' origin. The biggest takeaway from the nearly three-hour event was that the scientists believe it's "extremely unlikely" a lab-related accident was the source of the pandemic, and all current evidence "continues to point to a natural reservoir."

                        The next step, said WHO lead investigator and food safety expert Peter Ben Embarek, would be to "look at the possible pathways of introduction of the virus into the human population," and for any evidence that it might have made that jump into humans earlier than currently known.

                        After weeks in Wuhan, the team was still unable to answer the overarching question of where COVID-19 came from.

                        "From the early days of December 2019, did we change dramatically the picture we had beforehand?" Ben Embarek, a Dutch food safety expert, asked rhetorically. "I don't think so. Did we improve our understanding? Did we add details to that story? Absolutely."

                        Virologist Marion Koopmans, also of the Netherlands, and Liang Wannian of China's National Health Commission spoke on stage to discuss methodology and results at the briefing, which was broadcast on television and social media around the world.

                        Speaking for the WHO's international team, Ben Embarek laid out four hypotheses about COVID-19's origin and said the "most likely pathway" in the scientists' view was that the virus spread to humans through an intermediary species that lives close to human populations. He said that theory, like the others, "will require more targeted research."

                        Less likely but "still possible" is the notion that the coronavirus jumped directly from a primary source animal into humans. Many scientists believe COVID-19 originally came from certain species of bats, but they aren't easily found in Wuhan.

                        A third hypothesis is "food chain" transmission, with the virus originating elsewhere and then riding into central China on the surfaces of cold-chain frozen food packaging.

                        The least likely theory, according to the WHO team, is a lab-related incident, but the scientists said that was "not a hypothesis that would imply future study into the origin of the virus."

                        "Accidents do happen," admitted Ben Embarek when challenged on why a laboratory — such as the often-mentioned Wuhan Virology Institute — had been ruled out as the source of the virus. He said there had been "no reports" of this coronavirus or one closely linked to it being worked on in any lab in the world.

                        He stressed that "it was very unlikely anything could escape" from the maximum biosecurity facility in Wuhan, and lab accidents in general, he said, "are extremely rare events."

                        During the course of the WHO's month-long stay in China the team has pushed for access to new evidence, and they did visit now well-known sites including the Huanan seafood market, once believed to be ground zero, along with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and hospitals that treated the first coronavirus patients.

                        Whenever new information becomes available, said WHO expert Koopmans, "we can take this again and say, 'okay, with this new information does our assessment of these different entry pathways change?"

                        "That could be anytime, because there are ongoing studies in different parts of the world," Koopmans noted.

                        As the WHO's allotted time window in China — they got one-month visas — winds down, the scientists stressed that there could still be years of investigation left to do before the COVID-19 origin is determined, if it ever is.

                        The WHO team's visit was delayed for months by Chinese officials, who never offered any real explanation.

                        Only journalists physically in Wuhan at the event on Tuesday were allowed to ask questions of the WHO team. The press conference was only announced early on Tuesday morning. Face-to-face interviews — even socially distanced — with members of the international team were not permitted.

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                        • While I normally look at the data for COVID cases later in the week, it's become very apparent now that the daily mortality rate from COVID is on the decline along with the daily infection rate. I suspected this to be the case last week, but the numbers early this week are confirming that. The reported deaths over the weekend and for Monday are the lowest we've had in months. The number of new cases are now at rates that we haven't seen since the beginning of November, well before the post-Thanksgiving surge. We still aren't where I wish we were. I'd be much happier if the daily mortality rate was less than half of what it is right now and if the infection rate were to drop significantly, as well. But we are clearly making progress.

                          Fortunately, even in the states that have struggled to get things under control, states like North and South Dakota, Iowa and even Kansas, our daily infection rate has dropped. Yesterday, North Dakota reported the fewest number of new cases of any state (other than Nebraska, which failed to submit a report, yesterday). Also, no deaths from COVID were reported in either North or South Dakota, yesterday.

                          Kansas still has a ways to go. We are the 11th worst state in the country with total number of cases per 1 million people, and while our infection rate has declined, we are still the 16th worst in number of new cases over the weekend. That's not per capita, that's just 16th in raw number of new cases. So, Kansas: not good (relative to other states).

                          It does appear that getting vaccines out to people is going more smoothly, although I haven't really kept up on that as much as I should. I have mine, so the rest of you can go to hell, I guess. (Just kidding, but once I got mine, I have paid less attention to vaccine availability news). I do know that COVID vaccines are supposed to be available at pharmacies like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc, throughout Kansas, this week. The vaccines will be free to the public, and are supposed to be available based on risk factors. However, I haven't checked with any local pharmacies to see how that is going. I should pop in to Walgreens sometime and see if they have signage and rules in place.

                          One of the reasons I posted today is that I saw that nobody had posted on this thread in 4 days. I think that, in itself, is good news. It means that there is less COVID-related news going on and that suggests that things are starting to progress as expected.

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                          • To tag onto the above post, in a move that defies logic, the Iowa governor has lifted the mask mandate statewide without any input from health officials.


                            DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s Republican governor lifted mask and social distancing mandates without conferring first with public health officials in her own administration, according to lawmakers who spoke Monday with public health officials.

                            Gov. Kim Reynolds released a new public health proclamation on Friday that lifted mask requirements and limits on the number of people who could gather in bars and restaurants as of Sunday. The ending of mitigation measures caught many by surprise given that Iowa still has a high positivity rate compared to other states and has fallen to last place in the nation in delivering the first dose of coronavirus vaccine.

                            Lawmakers who participated in a Monday conference call with Iowa Department of Public Health officials said they were told Reynolds didn't confer with those experts before deciding to lift the mask mandate.

                            “We asked the Iowa Department of Public Health if they had input into the governor’s decision to lift the mask mandate on Friday and they said they had not,” said Sen. Liz Mathis, a Democrat who participated in the meeting. "I just can’t understand why the governor would lift that when we still have such a low percentage of vaccinations completed.”

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                            • Iowa is just Southeast South Dakota.

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                              • Yeah, the number of new infections is absolutely cratering. Down almost 60% in four weeks. But like you alluded to, still at a higher level than any time pre-November.

                                I’ve been wrong by being a little too optimistic since early December or so, but I continue to be really optimistic about the numbers over the next couple of months. If we can squash the curve one last time I’m not sure the conditions will be there for it to go back up again nationally, between the vaccinations and the warmer weather.

                                Also feeling optimistic about hitting 70% vaccinated by, say, end of July. I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that healthy Americans will be vaccinated ahead of medical workers, long term care residents, and other ultra high risk patients in less wealthy countries. That’s going to cause hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths.

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