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Publications

Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China – Nature

Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (detection rate 0.303/10,000, 95% CI 0.270–0.339/10,000) were identified. There were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases. 107 of 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 patients tested positive again (re-positive rate 0.31%, 95% CI 0.423–0.574%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w

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Publications

Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers – Annals of Internal Medicine

The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

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Publications

Mass testing for covid-19 in the UK – BMJ

Spending the equivalent of 77% of the NHS annual revenue budget on an unevaluated underdesigned national programme leading to a regressive, insufficiently supported intervention—in many cases for the wrong people—cannot be defended.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4436

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Opinion Publications

When good science is suppressed by the medical-political complex, people die – BMJ

The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

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Publications

The impact of cold on the respiratory tract and its consequences to respiratory health – NCBI (2018)

Published online 2018 May 30

In particular, if indoor exposure occurs quickly and without any gradual adaptation to a temperature 2°–3° lower than the external temperature and especially with a 5° difference (avoiding indoor temperature below 24°) and an humidity between 40 and 60%, there is a risk of negative consequences on the respiratory tract and the patient risks to be in a clinical condition characterized by an exacerbation of the respiratory symptoms of his chronic respiratory disease (asthma and COPD) within a few hours or days. Surprisingly, these effects of cold climate remain out of the focus of the media unless spells of unusually cold weather sweep through a local area or unstable weather conditions associated with extremely cold periods of increasing frequency and duration.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6031196/

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Publications

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission among Marine Recruits during Quarantine – New England Journal of Medicine

Among Marine Corps recruits, approximately 2% who had previously had negative results for SARS-CoV-2 at the beginning of supervised quarantine, and less than 2% of recruits with unknown previous status, tested positive by day 14. Most recruits who tested positive were asymptomatic, and no infections were detected through daily symptom monitoring. Transmission clusters occurred within platoons. 

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2029717

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Publications

Harms of public health interventions against covid-19 must not be ignored – BMJ

The harmful consequences of public health choices should be explicitly considered and transparently reported to limit their damage, say Itai Bavli and colleagues

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for governments. Questions regarding the most effective interventions to reduce the spread of the virus—for example, more testing, requirements to wear face masks, and stricter and longer lockdowns—become widely discussed in the popular and scientific press, informed largely by models that aimed to predict the health benefits of proposed interventions. Central to all these studies is recognition that inaction, or delayed action, will put millions of people unnecessarily at risk of serious illness or death.

However, interventions to limit the spread of the coronavirus also carry negative health effects, which have yet to be considered systematically. Despite increasing evidence on the unintended, adverse effects of public health interventions such as social distancing and lockdown measures, there are few signs that policy decisions are being informed by a serious assessment and weighing of their harms on health. Instead, much of the discussion has become politicised, especially in the US, where President Trump’s provocative statements sparked debates along party lines about the necessity for policies to control covid-19. This politicisation, often fuelled by misinformation, has distracted from a much needed dispassionate discussion on the harms and benefits of potential public health measures against covid-19.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4074

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Publications

Study to Describe the Safety, Tolerability, Immunogenicity, and Efficacy of RNA Vaccine Candidates Against COVID-19 in Healthy Individuals – NIH

Actual Study Start Date :April 29, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date :June 13, 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date :December 11, 2022

https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04368728?term=Pfizer&cond=SARS-cov-2&draw=2&rank=1

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Publications

MHRA urgently seeks software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction – Tenders Electronic Daily

TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) is the online version of the ‘Supplement to the Official Journal’ of the EU, dedicated to European public procurement.

The MHRA urgently seeks an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRs) and ensure that no details from the ADRs’ reaction text are missed.

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:506291-2020:TEXT:EN:HTML&tabId=1

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Publications

The engines of SARS-CoV-2 spread – Science Magazine

The engines of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic—household and residential settings, community, and long-distance transmission—have important implications for control. Moving from international to household scales, the burdens of interventions are shared by more people; there are few international travelers, but nearly everyone lives in households and communities. Measures to reduce household spread may appear particularly challenging, but because they directly affect so many, they need not be perfect. Household mask use and partitioning of home spaces, isolation or quarantine outside the home, and, in the future, household provision of preventive drugs could have large effects even if they offer only modest protection. Conversely, control measures at larger spatial scales (for example, interregional) must be widely implemented and highly effective to contain the virus. Indeed, few nations have managed to curb infection without stay-at-home orders and business closures, particularly after community transmission is prevalent.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6515/406.full

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Publications

Will covid-19 vaccines save lives? Current trials aren’t designed to tell us – BMJ

The world has bet the farm on vaccines as the solution to the pandemic, but the trials are not focused on answering the questions many might assume they are.

…But the truth is that the science remains far from clear cut, even for influenza vaccines that have been used for decades. Although randomised trials have shown an effect in reducing the risk of symptomatic influenza, such trials have never been conducted in elderly people living in the community to see whether they save lives.

Only two placebo controlled trials in this population have ever been conducted, and neither was designed to detect any difference in hospital admissions or deaths. Moreover, dramatic increases in use of influenza vaccines has not been associated with a decline in mortality 

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Publications

Infection fatality rate of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence data – Prof. Ioannidis, WHO

Results
I included 61 studies (74 estimates) and eight preliminary national estimates. Seroprevalence estimates ranged from 0.02% to 53.40%. Infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 1.63%, corrected values from 0.00% to 1.54%. Across 51 locations, the median COVID-19 infection fatality rate was 0.27% (corrected 0.23%): the rate was 0.09% in locations with COVID-19 population mortality rates less than the global average (< 118 deaths/million), 0.20% in locations with 118–500 COVID-19 deaths/million people and 0.57% in locations with > 500 COVID-19 deaths/million people. In people < 70 years, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.31% with crude and corrected medians of 0.05%.

Conclusion
The infection fatality rate of COVID-19 can vary substantially across different locations and this may reflect differences in population age structure and case-mix of infected and deceased patients and other factors. The inferred infection fatality rates tended to be much lower than estimates made earlier in the pandemic.

https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/BLT.20.265892.pdf

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Publications

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 2: Microbial challenges from masks – ResearchGate

Masks have been shown consistently over time and throughout the world to have no significant preventative impact against any known pathogenic microbes. Specifically, regarding COVID-19, we have shown in this paper that mask use is not correlated with lower death rates nor with lower positive PCR tests.

Masks have also been demonstrated historically to contribute to increased infections within the respiratory tract. We have examined the common occurrence of oral and nasal pathogens accessing deeper tissues and blood, and potential consequences of such events. We have demonstrated from the clinical and historical data cited herein, we conclude the use of face masks will contribute to far more morbidity and mortality than has occurred due to COVID-19.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344661022_Masks_false_safety_and_real_dangers_Part_2_Microbial_challenges_from_masks

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Publications

Global perspective of COVID‐19 epidemiology for a full‐cycle pandemic – Prof. John Ioannidis, Wiley Online Library

  • As of October 2020, there are >1 million documented deaths with COVID‐19.
  • Many early deaths may have been due to suboptimal management, malfunctional health systems, hydroxychloroquine, sending COVID‐19 patients to nursing homes, and nosocomial infections; such deaths are partially avoidable moving forward.
  • About 10% of the global population may be infected by October 2020.
  • Global infection fatality rate is 0.15‐0.20%
  • Global infection fatality rate in those younger than 70 years old is 0.03‐0.04%.
  • Targeted, precise management of the pandemic and avoiding past mistakes would help minimize mortality.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13423

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Publications

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 1: Friable mask particulate and lung vulnerability – ResearchGate

There is no biological history of mass masking until the current era. It is important to consider possible outcomes of this society-wide experiment. The consequences to the health of individuals is as yet unknown. Masked individuals have measurably higher inspiratory flow than non-masked individuals. This study is of new masks removed from manufacturer packaging, as well as a laundered cloth mask, examined microscopically. Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344360277_Masks_false_safety_and_real_dangers_Part_1_Friable_mask_particulate_and_lung_vulnerability

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Publications

Effectiveness of Face Masks in Preventing Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 – American Society for Microbiology

Airborne simulation experiments showed that cotton masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks provide some protection from the transmission of infective SARS-CoV-2 droplets/aerosols; however, medical masks (surgical masks and even N95 masks) could not completely block the transmission of virus droplets/aerosols even when sealed.

https://msphere.asm.org/content/5/5/e00637-20

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Publications

Effect of calcifediol treatment and best available therapy versus best available therapy on intensive care unit admission and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: A pilot randomized clinical study – Science Direct

The vitamin D endocrine system have a variety of actions on cells and tissues involved in COVID-19 progression.

Early calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) treatment to hospitalized COVID-19 patients significantly reduced intensive care unit admissions-Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the COVID-19.

Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960076020302764

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Publications

Fask Facts -The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

A curated list of mask facts and medical publications.

COVID-19 is as politically-charged as it is infectious. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO, the CDC and NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci discouraged wearing masks as not useful for non-health care workers. Now they recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are hard to do (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The recommendation was published without a single scientific paper or other information provided to support that cloth masks actually provide any respiratory protection. Let’s look at the data.

  • Surgical masks are loose fitting. They are designed to protect the patient from the doctors’ respiratory droplets.  There wearer is not protected from others’ airborne particles.
  • People do not wear masks properly. Many people have the mask under the nose. The wearer does not have glasses on and the eyes are a portal of entry.  If the virus lands on the conjunctiva, tears will wash it into the nasopharynx.
  • Most studies cannot separate out hand hygiene.
  • The designer masks and scarves offer minimal protection. They give a false sense of security to both the wearer and those around the wearer.
    **Not to mention they add a perverse lightheartedness to the situation.
  • If you are walking alone, no need for a mask. Avoid other folks; use common sense.
  • Remember: children under 2 years should not wear masks because of accidental suffocation and difficulty breathing in some.
  • Even if a universal mask mandate were imposed, several studies noted that folks do not use the mask properly and over-report their wearing.  Additionally, how would the mandate be enforced??
  • The positive studies are models that assume universality and full compliance.
  • If wearing a mask makes people go out and get Vitamin D – go for it. In the 1918 flu pandemic people who went outside did better.  Early reports are showing people with COVID-19 with low Vitamin D do worse than those with normal levels. Perhaps that is why shut-ins do so poorly.

https://aapsonline.org/mask-facts/

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Publications

Vitamin D sufficiency, a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at least 30 ng/mL reduced risk for adverse clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection – PLOS ONE

…it is recommended that improving vitamin D status in the general population and in particular hospitalized patients has a potential benefit in reducing the severity of morbidities and mortality associated with acquiring COVID-19.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239799

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Publications

COVID-19 is not a pandemic – The Lancet

COVID-19 is not a pandemic. It is a syndemic. The syndemic nature of the threat we face means that a more nuanced approach is needed if we are to protect the health of our communities.

 A syndemic is not merely a comorbidity. Syndemics are characterised by biological and social interactions between conditions and states, interactions that increase a person’s susceptibility to harm or worsen their health outcomes. In the case of COVID-19, attacking NCDs will be a prerequisite for successful containment.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32000-6/fulltext