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Wed, 27 May 2020
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Syringe

SCANDAL: UK scientists want to give coronavirus to healthy volunteers in vaccine hunt citing too few real cases

vaccine, flu shot,
Some UK scientists have warned there could be "major delays" in producing a Covid-19 vaccine if current UK infection rates remain low and lengthy waiting times are needed to show if candidate products are working. As a result, some researchers insist that ministers must now consider implementing radical alternative measures to speed up vaccine development.

In particular, they argue that Britain should consider deliberately infecting volunteers involved in vaccine-testing projects - in line with World Health Organization proposals to set up such human challenge trials. Earlier this month, the WHO issued a 19-page set of guidelines on how these trials might operate.

Comment: It's evident that despite all evidence showing no need for a vaccine that researchers and institutions are determined to make one and push it on the population. Potentially by force but mostly by coercion. Which raises the question, if there's already effective treatments in existence and no real need as the numbers of dead or dying are on the decline, then why are governments and researchers still pushing for a vaccine? Is it because so long as there's no medically sanctioned 'cure' - aka, vaccine - governments can use the threat of the virus to justify the totalitarian and inhumane measures being forced on society?


Alarm Clock

Should you try intermittent fasting?

intermittent fasting clock plate
© iStock

Always consult your doctor before undertaking a new diet or fasting routine. This is not medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your physician or nutritionist.


Fasting has become extremely popular as a tool for weight loss, anti-aging, and longevity, and for its benefits to mental and physical health.

All this can take its toll on your energy levels, affect your mood, and, of course, make it more likely you'll gain weight.

Comment: See also:


Chart Bar

Coronavirus fact-check #5: Infection-fatality ratio update

coronavirus covid-19
We covered in our third of these brief articles that, actually, the Coronavirus is NOT "20x deadlier" than the flu. That was evident once the early large-scale studies had been done in Germany, Iceland and South Korea. It has only become more so in the weeks since.

Far from the 3.4% predicted by the WHO back February, or the 1% used by the Imperial Model, all the serological studies done to this point average out at about 0.2%.

Here are some recent examples:

Comment: CDC: Coronavirus fatality rate could be as low as 0.26%
New estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that COVID-19 may have an infection fatality rate as low as 0.26%, a number that is double the seasonal flu but significantly lower than earlier estimates.

Determining the infection fatality rate of the illness has been a critical goal of scientists around the world since the discovery of the disease in late November. Infectious disease experts were shocked at the end of last year and into 2020 at both how quickly the disease spread and how many of those who became ill ultimately died.

In early February, modelers at Imperial College London estimated that around 1% of infections of COVID-19 would ultimately result in death. That number, which is about 10 times higher than the seasonal flu, shocked much of the world, including the U.K. government and most of the 50 U.S. state governments, into shutting down major swaths of their economies and placing many of their citizens under strict stay-at-home orders.

Those high estimates have persisted in recent months. In early March, White House adviser Anthony Fauci said the disease was "10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu." The Trump administration would eventually go on to urge temporary severe mitigation measures across the United States, including pulling children from school, limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people, and refraining from eating at restaurants and bars.

Numbers have dropped over time

Over the past several weeks, however, the estimates of the fatality rate have brightened considerably. Driven in part by large-scale serology tests, which have consistently indicated that the disease is far more widespread and consequently less deadly than it initially seemed, scientists have lately been revising their fatality rate assumptions down significantly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week continued that trend, releasing a list of what it called "COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios." That document laid out five different scenarios for public health experts and government officials to consider, one of which the agency called its "current best estimate" of the parameters of the viral pandemic.

That scenario states that the overall fatality rate of infections that show symptoms is around 0.4%. Yet the CDC says it estimates that around 35% of all infectious are asymptomatic, meaning that the total infection fatality rate under the agency's "best estimate" scenario is around 0.26%, or a little more than twice that of the seasonal flu.



Bad Guys

CDC in 2018: '80,000 people died of flu last winter in U.S., highest death toll in 40 years'

influenza virus microscopy
© CDC
Electron microscopy of influenza virus.
An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, revealed the total in an interview Tuesday night with The Associated Press.

Flu experts knew it was a very bad season, but at least one found size of the estimate surprising.

"That's huge," said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. The tally was nearly twice as much as what health officials previously considered a bad year, he said.

Comment: 80,000 dead for the 2018 winter flu and no one hardly batted an eye. This should make it more than obvious how the masses are told how to think and react to given situations. For those who have even a minute ability to think for themselves, it is more than apparent that things do not add up for COVID-1984.


Biohazard

US flu season arrives earliest in 15 years, driven by unexpected virus


Comment: Note the date this article was published. Could these have been Covid-19 cases? They apparently weren't testing, so we may never know, but the US joins the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Iran and Israel in reporting 'early', 'many' and/or 'strange' 'flu cases' back in December last year... concurrent with the Wuhan outbreak. I.e, it's already been and gone, so all of this lockdown malarkey is thoroughly useless.


influenza virus microscopy
© CDC
Electron microscopy of influenza virus.
The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years.

An early barrage of illness in the South has begun to spread more broadly, and there's a decent chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say.

The last flu season to rev up this early was in 2003-2004 — a bad one. Some experts think the early start may mean a lot of suffering is in store, but others say it's too early to tell.

"It really depends on what viruses are circulating. There's not a predictable trend as far as if it's early it's going to be more severe, or later, less severe," said Scott Epperson, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Comment: This, just after 2018 was dubbed as one of the worst flu seasons in the US in nine years, and the UK fared just as badly: NHS cuts and flu crisis push UK hospitals to the brink

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Microscope 1

South Korean study shows no evidence recovered COVID-19 patients can infect others

south korea fever check
© SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
South Korean soldiers wearing protective masks sit at a temperature screening point at Incheon International Airport, South Korea, on March 9.
South Korea's Center for Disease Control has reassuring news about people with COVID-19 who test positive for the coronavirus weeks after their symptoms have resolved.

Health officials there studied 285 patients who tested negative for the virus after recovering, but weeks later tested positive again. The question — in this and similar situations — is whether a positive test in this circumstance means that these people can still spread the virus.

To find out, the scientists followed up with nearly 800 of those people's personal contacts, such as family members. They found no evidence that they had contracted the virus from the people who had a fresh positive result. The scientists also tried to grow the virus in secretions from these patients. They could not.

Microscope 2

Inflammatory syndrome affecting children: Kawasaki disease, COVID-19... or something else?

kawasaki
There are many medical uncertainties swirling around the COVID-19 story, but one widely accepted observation has been that children are among the least affected, both in number and symptom severity. At least until recently. In the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Europe and in a handful of locations in the U.S. (including New York, New Haven, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area), reports are surfacing of a pediatric inflammatory syndrome that many are rushing to blame on COVID-19. New York State has attributed the deaths of up to five children to the mystery ailment that, in some cases, has resulted in multisystem organ failure.

The potpourri of symptoms "striking newborns and teenagers alike" has prompted clinicians to draw comparisons to the rare childhood inflammatory condition called Kawasaki disease (KD) as well as to toxic shock syndrome (a condition resulting from poisoning by bacterial toxins). Years before COVID-19 came on the scene, the CDC estimated that about 5,450 children, primarily under age five, are hospitalized for KD each year in the U.S. — the equivalent of about 15 every day. While rare compared to other childhood diseases, KD attracts concern as the leading cause of pediatric acquired coronary artery disease, with life-threatening aneurysms being a possible outcome.

Info

CDC now says coronavirus 'does not spread easily' via contaminated surfaces

hand sanitizer
© Getty Images
Maintaining a “good social distance," (keeping 6 feet away from others while in public), as well as washing hands often and “routinely” cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces are still listed as key precautions.
For those of you still wiping down groceries and other packages amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, breathe a sigh of relief: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says the novel virus "does not spread easily" from "touching surfaces or objects" — but experts warn that doesn't mean it's no longer necessary to take "practical and realistic" precautions in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Though it's not exactly clear when, the federal health agency appears to have recently changed its guidelines from early March that simply said it "may be possible" to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces. The CDC now includes "surfaces or objects" under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit.

Other ways in which the virus does not easily spread is from animals to people, or from people to animals, the federal agency said on its updated page.

Comment: It seems they're dialing back the hysteria, but only a little. There is significant evidence, from actual reputable scientists, that the best course of action would be for the virus to spread amongst the population leading to herd immunity. Protect the vulnerable, of course (as you would for the flu, or any other easily transmissible disease), but for the rest, let it spread throughout the population normally. Most won't even notice they've got it, while their bodies build up natural immunity.

See also:


Beaker

China: New drug in development stops Covid-19 without vaccine

testtube/coronavirus
© Born2Invest
A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the coronavirus pandemic to a halt. The outbreak was first reported in China late last year before spreading across the world, prompting an international race to produce treatments and vaccines.

A drug being tested by scientists at China's Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected but even offer short-term immunity from the virus, researchers say. Sunney Xie, director of the university's Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Genomics, told AFP that the drug has been successful at the animal testing stage.
"When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500. That means this potential drug has (a) therapeutic effect."
The drug uses neutralizing antibodies, produced by the human immune system to prevent the virus infecting cells, which Mr. Xie's team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients.

Comment: Another source claims potential to bypass vaccines and reduce symptoms of coronavirus:
A clinical trial for a drug with the potential to treat one of the symptoms of the illness caused by the new coronavirus (Covid-19) will begin in Belgium on Wednesday. French biotechnology company Biophytis got the green light from the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products in Belgium to test their medicine Sarconeos.

Administered orally, Sarconeos is a molecule the company is developing to treat neuromuscular disease and which they said has the potential to treat breathing difficulties in Covid-19 patients. The trial will focus on the drug's potential to treat acute respiratory failure associated with the disease and will be carried out on a reduced pool of about 50 patients suffering from Covid-19.

"Our product has an effect on all muscles, including respiratory muscles, because it acts on an endocrinal system that controls cardio-respiratory function," Biophytis CEO Stanislas Veillet told Le Soir.

Veillet said that the spread of the epidemic in Italy had confirmed to medical experts that the virus attacked this system's cell receptors, which he said was exactly where the drug acts. "It could, therefore, have the potential to counterbalance this viral attack that results in respiratory distress."

By protecting respiratory function, the drug could result in patients either no longer needing oxygen therapy or in helping them make the most out of it, and it would also help avoid lesions resulting from patients' intubation.

In Belgium, the study will last 28 days and will be coordinated by Dr Muriel Lins, a pulmonologist at the AZ Sint-Maarten hospital in Mechelen.

The drug's use on the pool of 50 patients will randomised and include the use of placebos, and the results of the patients treated with Sarconeos will later be compared with a larger pool of 180 Covid-19 patients.

The results of the study will be reviewed by an independent committee tasked with deciding whether to give the go-ahead to larger clinical trials for the drug.



Microscope 2

Ioannidis releases new medical analysis of 12 global coronavirus studies finding 9 of 12 show COVID-19 fatality rates similar to seasonal flu

Dr. John Ioannidis

Dr. John Ioannidis
In April Stanford University researcher Dr. John Ioannidis presented a summary report from his recent coronavirus study in Santa Clara, California.

The research project looked at 3,300 people in Santa Clara County in California. The Stanford study revealed that 2.5% to 4.2% of people tested for COVID-19 were positive for antibodies.

The doctor's data indicated that there are between 50 to 80-fold more infections in the general population than the confirmed cases.

This was a huge development.

Comment: See also: