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New mutation indicates that coronavirus MIGHT be weakening, study says

Panina

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That's actually not surprising. It is not getting "weaker" but more successful.

It is not a good when you kill the host. Natural selection will favor the strains that can maximize propagation and that gives the advantage to ones adapt to the host.
 

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Many coronavirus mutations are circling the globe, but we don't know if any are more dangerous

The coronavirus is mutating as it spreads across the planet, with a strain that may first have appeared in Europe becoming dominant in many areas even as new ones appear. The still unanswered question is how the strains differ and whether they cause additional, and more severe, illnesses.

 

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I read a couple of weeks ago that it is normal as a virus spreads that it mutates into weaker versions. Not something one can count on, but it would be nice.

As far as different strains appearing, I found it interesting that in my state, Wisconsin, they have been able to show that for two of the biggest outbreaks, Madison and Milwaukee, that they are two different strains. So far, neither of the strains has appeared in the opposite city.
 

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Much more science out there about these coronavirus that will some take time to get out. Especially if it doesn't track the hysteria model.
 

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I am looking forward to those antibody tests. A prominent scientist in our area of Northern California believes that there was a less powerful strain of Covid-19 that swept through our local area in January. This is when I was sick with strange symptoms - all the symptoms of Covid except no fever. Apparently there was a surge of sick patients in our area in January. Our county is adjacent to Santa Clara county where this all began and we have a high percentage of people in tech and Asian immigrants who travel frequently to China.
 

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Much more science out there about these coronavirus that will some take time to get out. Especially if it doesn't track the hysteria model.

Hysteria sells. A person outstanding in his field, told me so.
 

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The virus will attenuate as the weather warms up. That is why we rarely have Flu, colds, etc., in the summer. I get a lot of negative feedback from this, but here goes. This is just another "flu" virus, we just don't have a vaccine for it yet. In reality it is a little more dangerous than the regular flus, but we have been warned about a more virulent viruses. The statistics are guestimates, as were the "Model" predictions. If you look at the cases/deaths from last years' flu they speak for themselves, AND last year, less than ONE IN THREE people got the flu shot, (so for every 10 people you passed during flu season, 7 may have been infective) so simple math would make you think that Covid should be responsible for at least 33% more problems, but that's not really the case. We are not really healthy as a nation, and we should be doing better than we are, but health is like exercise...I can tell you to do it, but the only person that can do anything about it is YOU ! There needs to be take-aways from this, you know, the 6ft. rule, use of masks when appropriate, and everyone should own at least TWO thermometers (in case you don't trust the first one). I could have made millions selling thermometers this year...REALLY ! I deal with everything with a little levity as sometimes things are not as bad as we think, or as we are told, but we can surely make it worse than it is. Covid is nothing to laugh at, BUT we didn't shut the country down before when the other Covids called. Let's be smart going forward, especially when we get out and about. Get healthy habits and BE healthy, eat right, lose a little weight if needed, exercise, stay home if you are REALLY sick - that's what the thermometer is for. I now pass the soap box on.
By the way, I am a Pharmacist. Pharmacists are virtually on THE front line (no disrespect to the life savers in our medical professions). We didn't close down even though early on we had no masks, or special equipment. 99% of us had our Flu shots. I have seen many things go viral in my 50 years of experience (which means I am of the age of greatest risk to Covid) but nothing so dangerous as this Covid experience, and I don't necessarily mean the virus alone, but what viral effects we have endured. We are the greatest country in the world, and if you disagree with me, move somewhere else in the world for a few years. Let's get out there and live our lives, DO the right thing ALL the time, get back to work and work hard to get back, to where this country was before we had to wrestle with the whole situation. It's time to travel. God bless you all.
 

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I am looking forward to those antibody tests. A prominent scientist in our area of Northern California believes that there was a less powerful strain of Covid-19 that swept through our local area in January. This is when I was sick with strange symptoms - all the symptoms of Covid except no fever. Apparently there was a surge of sick patients in our area in January. Our county is adjacent to Santa Clara county where this all began and we have a high percentage of people in tech and Asian immigrants who travel frequently to China.
I've signed up for a test by Quest next week. $119. I too had an odd illness in January, several weeks after returning from the Big Island of Hawaii. Fever and chills for several hours that got better with some Tylenol. But enough that I was in bed, under the covers, fully dressed, shaking. Went away, but returned about 5-6 days later, with the same fever and chills/shakes again. Some tiredness, but not wiped out sick. But the biphasic fever/chills episode nearly a week apart was odd, something I've never experienced before.

Of course, now I wonder, okay, let's say it comes back positive. What does that mean? For now, I think it means I had a COVID test that came back positive. Not much more. I have no idea if that offers any immunity. I don't know what strain I had. I really know nothing more than that I tested positive for antibodies. But it will put me in a position that I know THAT, and as the science catches up maybe I'll know more.
 

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I get a lot of negative feedback from this, but here goes.
With all due respect, as a doctor, I think the negative feedback you get is warranted.

First, AT THE TIME of the shut down, we had no idea what the mortality rate was or would be because we were unaware of the high incidence of asymptomatic cases. We responded with DATA that indicated we had a highly contagious virus that would potentially kill as much as 6%, and cause tremendous morbidity in as many as 20-25% (intubated ventilation is very hard on the body!). We were facing the prospect of tens of millions on ventilators, or dying. So we HAD to respond as we did. It is not helpful to use hindsight to say it's just a bad flu. When presented, it was far worse. Then, of course, there are the obvious responses. Flu kills 40k give or take, with zero mitigation efforts at all. And its lasting morbidity is very little. People die from it, or recover from it, most the latter. And, while contagious, most people get sick about the time they become contagious, so there is a natural built-in mitigation ("I'm not feeling great, I'm not going to kiss you hello, or shake your hand."). Not so with this virus. Highly contagious well before any symptoms, and sometimes no symptoms. So, without unnatural mitigation, instead of 1M infected in the US we'd likely have 100M infected. Instead of 70k dead, we'd be in the millions, and if you count the people that will never full recover because of the extreme morbidity (permanent loss of lung function, kidney function, etc.) it would be possibly 10's of millions impacted. And the effect of THAT on our health care system, health care costs, and productivity would itself be economically devastating. Oh, and lets toss in how many doctors and nurses we'd lose and how THAT would affect our health care system over the long term.

So, no. We did what we needed to based on what we knew. It is unfortunate we didn't engage effective testing a month to six weeks earlier, because exponential growth is what it is, and if you cut it off sooner you have a huge impact on outcome. The decision NOT to engage the WHO's recommended testing and to wait instead for the CDC to develop its own, which they screwed up the first try, was devastating and plays a big role in the outcome and the economic impact. We should have begin the WHO-recommended testing immediately WHILE CDC developed its own. Those decisions have a lot to do with where we are today.
 

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With all due respect, as a doctor, I think the negative feedback you get is warranted.

First, AT THE TIME of the shut down, we had no idea what the mortality rate was or would be because we were unaware of the high incidence of asymptomatic cases. We responded with DATA that indicated we had a highly contagious virus that would potentially kill as much as 6%, and cause tremendous morbidity in as many as 20-25% (intubated ventilation is very hard on the body!). We were facing the prospect of tens of millions on ventilators, or dying. So we HAD to respond as we did. It is not helpful to use hindsight to say it's just a bad flu. When presented, it was far worse. Then, of course, there are the obvious responses. Flu kills 40k give or take, with zero mitigation efforts at all. And its lasting morbidity is very little. People die from it, or recover from it, most the latter. And, while contagious, most people get sick about the time they become contagious, so there is a natural built-in mitigation ("I'm not feeling great, I'm not going to kiss you hello, or shake your hand."). Not so with this virus. Highly contagious well before any symptoms, and sometimes no symptoms. So, without unnatural mitigation, instead of 1M infected in the US we'd likely have 100M infected. Instead of 70k dead, we'd be in the millions, and if you count the people that will never full recover because of the extreme morbidity (permanent loss of lung function, kidney function, etc.) it would be possibly 10's of millions impacted. And the effect of THAT on our health care system, health care costs, and productivity would itself be economically devastating. Oh, and lets toss in how many doctors and nurses we'd lose and how THAT would affect our health care system over the long term.

So, no. We did what we needed to based on what we knew. It is unfortunate we didn't engage effective testing a month to six weeks earlier, because exponential growth is what it is, and if you cut it off sooner you have a huge impact on outcome. The decision NOT to engage the WHO's recommended testing and to wait instead for the CDC to develop its own, which they screwed up the first try, was devastating and plays a big role in the outcome and the economic impact. We should have begin the WHO-recommended testing immediately WHILE CDC developed its own. Those decisions have a lot to do with where we are today.

I highlighted the part I would like you to give more details about, as a doctor. I find the official data concerning the flu very confusing. First of all, it is not 40k give or take, it is 12k to 61k (I saw other CDC numbers with years going to 80k). What they do, they say if there are X number of people who are hospitalized with flu, then the number of deaths must be Y and the total number of illnesses is Z, based on a fixed fraction. This estimates do not take into consideration how aggressive the virus in different years, they just guesstimate based on the number of hospitalizations. Secondly, the number of patients that are tested for flu is a very small fraction of the ones tested for Covid. It is not impossible that a lot of people who die with flu (or from flu) are never tested, to a degree that is much, much higher that at Covid were we have millions of tests. If you read the methodology that CDC uses to establish the number of flu deaths, hospitalization and illnesses, you will see that is much less of a precise science and much more of a best hope to get it right. As a matter of fact, they just changed the methodology a couple of years ago and the number of deaths changed by 60%!! It is also important to say that a lot of death are people who die with Covid, not from Covid. If you get hit buy a bus and you test positive, you will be a Covid victim.

I am quite surprised how many doctors I know do not know this, everybody goes with the "average" for flu but they do not understand how unreliable this comparison is in reality



"The previous range used to describe influenza-related deaths, from 3,000 to 49,000, was based on data from 30 influenza seasons from 1976 through 2007 used in a statistical model (1). The range described in the tables above, 12,000 to 79,000, is based on data from the 2010-2011 through 2017-2018 influenza seasons using a different mathematical model. "


1588796498026.png


1588796244992.png
 
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csodjd

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range used to describe influenza-related deaths
CDC typically counts both tested for flu, flu-like symptoms, and pneumonia together. It is that last category that's a bit of a wild card, because obviously one can encounter non-flu sources of pneumonia.
 

Panina

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I've signed up for a test by Quest next week. $119. I too had an odd illness in January, several weeks after returning from the Big Island of Hawaii. Fever and chills for several hours that got better with some Tylenol. But enough that I was in bed, under the covers, fully dressed, shaking. Went away, but returned about 5-6 days later, with the same fever and chills/shakes again. Some tiredness, but not wiped out sick. But the biphasic fever/chills episode nearly a week apart was odd, something I've never experienced before.

Of course, now I wonder, okay, let's say it comes back positive. What does that mean? For now, I think it means I had a COVID test that came back positive. Not much more. I have no idea if that offers any immunity. I don't know what strain I had. I really know nothing more than that I tested positive for antibodies. But it will put me in a position that I know THAT, and as the science catches up maybe I'll know more.
Will be waiting for your results. I had something similar in February when I got back from Florida, chills like you off and on two weeks and a sore throat that came and went too.
 

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Will be waiting for your results. I had something similar in February when I got back from Florida, chills like you off and on two weeks and a sore throat that came and went too.
Reminds me of psych back in school -- you walk away from every lecture saying, damn, I do that, maybe I'm fill-in-the-blank-mental-illness.
 

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CDC typically counts both tested for flu, flu-like symptoms, and pneumonia together. It is that last category that's a bit of a wild card, because obviously one can encounter non-flu sources of pneumonia.
if you read their methodology, there is a lot more than just one wild card.
 

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Reminds me of psych back in school -- you walk away from every lecture saying, damn, I do that, maybe I'm fill-in-the-blank-mental-illness.
"Three men in a boat":

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight. Why hadn’t I got housemaid’s knee? Why this invidious reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed. I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid’s knee. Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood. There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.

I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an acquisition I should be to a class! Students would have no need to “walk the hospitals,” if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they need do would be to walk round me, and, after that, take their diploma.

Then I wondered how long I had to live. I tried to examine myself. I felt my pulse. I could not at first feel any pulse at all. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed to start off. I pulled out my watch and timed it. I made it a hundred and forty-seven to the minute. I tried to feel my heart. I could not feel my heart. It had stopped beating. I have since been induced to come to the opinion that it must have been there all the time, and must have been beating, but I cannot account for it. I patted myself all over my front, from what I call my waist up to my head, and I went a bit round each side, and a little way up the back. But I could not feel or hear anything. I tried to look at my tongue. I stuck it out as far as ever it would go, and I shut one eye, and tried to examine it with the other. I could only see the tip, and the only thing that I could gain from that was to feel more certain than before that I had scarlet fever.

I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck.

I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said:

“Well, what’s the matter with you?”

I said:

“I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.”

And I told him how I came to discover it all.

Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.

I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back.

He said he didn’t keep it.

I said:

“You are a chemist?”

He said:

“I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.”

I read the prescription. It ran:



“1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer
every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.”


I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
 

csodjd

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if you read their methodology, there is a lot more than just one wild card.
No doubt. And, with flu, we have confounding factors such as a vaccine, which is sometimes very effective, sometimes not, always something well below a 100% vaccination rate, but also variable, and the additional curve ball that meds like Tamiflu which if given quickly enough will significantly reduce the symptoms and keep someone out of the hospital. My own daughter a year and a half ago was classic for serious quick onset flu symptoms, we took her to the ER when her fever spiked very high, she tested negative, but was still diagnosed as flu and given Tamiflu. She was mostly better in a few days. Not sure where that fits in the CDC scheme. Symptoms. Negative test. Not admitted. Given Tamiflu. Is that a flu statistic or not?
 

Panina

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No doubt. And, with flu, we have confounding factors such as a vaccine, which is sometimes very effective, sometimes not, always something well below a 100% vaccination rate, but also variable, and the additional curve ball that meds like Tamiflu which if given quickly enough will significantly reduce the symptoms and keep someone out of the hospital. My own daughter a year and a half ago was classic for serious quick onset flu symptoms, we took her to the ER when her fever spiked very high, she tested negative, but was still diagnosed as flu and given Tamiflu. She was mostly better in a few days. Not sure where that fits in the CDC scheme. Symptoms. Negative test. Not admitted. Given Tamiflu. Is that a flu statistic or not?
I question the flu tests for accuracy but must admit I have not read about them and need to. All I know is in January I went to urgent care for a sinus infection and tested positive for the flu. Really had no flu symptoms except a fever. Due to testing positive they would not give me an antibiotic nor Tamiflu as I had my symptoms more then 5 days. When I finally saw my doctor and she gave me antibiotics I was fine within 2 days.
 

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I question the flu tests for accuracy but must admit I have not read about them and need to. All I know is in January I went to urgent care for a sinus infection and tested positive for the flu. Really had no flu symptoms except a fever. Due to testing positive they would not give me an antibiotic nor Tamiflu as I had my symptoms more then 5 days. When I finally saw my doctor and she gave me antibiotics I was fine within 2 days.
Doctors sometimes, maybe often, forget that you can have more than one thing. You can easily have flu with a secondary bacterial sinus infection. As an eye doctor I treat a lot of viral infections. No antibiotic is going to help that. But if the viral infection has compromised the integrity of the cornea and there is a viral keratitis, we commonly Rx an antibiotic to prevent a secondary bacterial infection or ulcer while you recover from the virus.
 

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I highlighted the part I would like you to give more details about, as a doctor. I find the official data concerning the flu very confusing. First of all, it is not 40k give or take, it is 12k to 61k (I saw other CDC numbers with years going to 80k). What they do, they say if there are X number of people who are hospitalized with flu, then the number of deaths must be Y and the total number of illnesses is Z, based on a fixed fraction. This estimates do not take into consideration how aggressive the virus in different years, they just guesstimate based on the number of hospitalizations. Secondly, the number of patients that are tested for flu is a very small fraction of the ones tested for Covid. It is not impossible that a lot of people who die with flu (or from flu) are never tested, to a degree that is much, much higher that at Covid were we have millions of tests. If you read the methodology that CDC uses to establish the number of flu deaths, hospitalization and illnesses, you will see that is much less of a precise science and much more of a best hope to get it right. As a matter of fact, they just changed the methodology a couple of years ago and the number of deaths changed by 60%!! It is also important to say that a lot of death are people who die with Covid, not from Covid. If you get hit buy a bus and you test positive, you will be a Covid victim.

I am quite surprised how many doctors I know do not know this, everybody goes with the "average" for flu but they do not understand how unreliable this comparison is in reality



"The previous range used to describe influenza-related deaths, from 3,000 to 49,000, was based on data from 30 influenza seasons from 1976 through 2007 used in a statistical model (1). The range described in the tables above, 12,000 to 79,000, is based on data from the 2010-2011 through 2017-2018 influenza seasons using a different mathematical model. "


View attachment 20291

View attachment 20290
And the thing most conveniently ignored is that the flu deaths (be them 20K, 60K, 80K per year in the U.S. alone) happen every winter (even with vaccine). Over 10 years these numbers are 200,000-800,000. Whereas past coronaviruses have petered out in months to a year, never to be seen again. No reason to think this is any different, and SARS2 is already mutating to less lethal strains (though maybe more contagious actually leading to its success over the more lethal strain.)

So in a 10 year span, and certainly 20 year span, flu death numbers will outstrip COVID19 deaths, but we never have done any type of lockdown or other measures other than encourage vaccinations.

[And put down your magic keyboard. I am not saying COVID19 and influenza are the same, or even similar; just comparing our drastically different response to them (and prior coronaviruses.)]
 
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