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News

Bacteria in your GUT affects your immune response to Covid-19 and could influence how severely you suffer symptoms, study finds – Dail Mail

  • South Korean study reviewed pre-existing research on role of gut microbiome  
  • Hong Kong-based scientists examined blood and stool samples from patients 
  • Both studies indicate a gut microbe imbalance is key in severe Covid-19

The study concludes the gut microbiome may be involved in the ‘magnitude of Covid-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses’.

The authors found that patients with Covid-19 had depleted levels of several gut bacteria known to modify a person’s immune response.

https://web.archive.org/web/20210112140105/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9137823/Bacteria-GUT-affects-Covid-19-severity.html

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Publications

Assessing Mandatory Stay‐at‐Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‐19 – Wiley Online Library

Background and Aims
The most restrictive non‐pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for controlling the spread of COVID‐19 are mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures. Given the consequences of these policies, it is important to assess their effects. We evaluate the effects on epidemic case growth of more restrictive NPIs (mrNPIs), above and beyond those of less restrictive NPIs (lrNPIs).

Methods
We first estimate COVID‐19 case growth in relation to any NPI implementation in subnational regions of 10 countries: England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the US. Using first‐difference models with fixed effects, we isolate the effects of mrNPIs by subtracting the combined effects of lrNPIs and epidemic dynamics from all NPIs. We use case growth in Sweden and South Korea, two countries that did not implement mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures, as comparison countries for the other 8 countries (16 total comparisons).

Results
Implementing any NPIs was associated with significant reductions in case growth in 9 out of 10 study countries, including South Korea and Sweden that implemented only lrNPIs (Spain had a non‐significant effect). After subtracting the epidemic and lrNPI effects, we find no clear, significant beneficial effect of mrNPIs on case growth in any country. In France, e.g., the effect of mrNPIs was +7% (95CI ‐5%‐19%) when compared with Sweden, and +13% (‐12%‐38%) when compared with South Korea (positive means pro‐contagion). The 95% confidence intervals excluded 30% declines in all 16 comparisons and 15% declines in 11/16 comparisons.

Conclusions
While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13484

Categories
Opinion

Bring on Britain’s corona clowns – The Spectator

The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult and a string of countries that have implemented his protocol, early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses, despite the fact that, after treating 3,737 patients — the single largest study in the world —Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.

  • The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult in the early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses.
  • Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.
  • Landray admitted to an investigative journalist at FranceSoir ‘these are quite high doses to… have a chance of killing the virus.’ Or killing the patient.
  • Recovery is not the only trial delivering dangerously elevated doses of HCQ to Covid patients. Dosage in the international Solidarity trial was four times greater than the dose being used in India.
  • WHO has been working for years with Gilead Sciences trying to get the pharmaceutical company’s lacklustre drug Remdesivir to show efficacy at curing first Ebola, with poor results, and now Covid-19.
  • Landray revealed Gilead pays scientists 20 to 50 times more to conduct a clinical trial than Horby and Landray were paid to conduct the Recovery trial.
  • Horby is the executive director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium which received 4.5 million pounds for research into vaccines.
  • Horby established the Epidemic Research Group which is promised up to 14 million pounds from AstraZeneca and Zuckerberg/Chan of Facebook fame for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine which is being trialled by Oxford University.
  • AstraZeneca is interested in merging with Gilead Sciences, which, if it went through, would create the biggest Big Pharma ever.
  • Horby and Landray have announced that dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid which is also being tested has reduced the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients on ventilators from a scandalous 41 per cent to a still appalling 32 per cent.
  • Raoult has pointed out that in his hospital, of the 0.6 per cent who die, a mere 16 per cent were in ICU
  • In Britain, where almost 42,000 people have died of Covid, the only thing randomised, controlled trials have achieved, is to blind people to the evidence that 40,000 of those deaths could have been avoided.

https://www.spectator.com.au/2020/06/bring-on-britains-corona-clowns/p>

Categories
Opinion

Ignoring the Covid evidence – Alistair Haimes, The Critic

  • Far from following the science, the government turned its back on all available data.
  • Until mid-April, with the escalating deaths in care homes agonisingly clear across Europe, government policy was still for patients to be discharged to care homes from hospitals without requiring negative tests. And so the toll: around half of UK Covid-19 deaths are care home residents, despite them accounting for only 0.6 per cent of our population.
  • Germany, whose population is roughly 25 per cent bigger than ours, has suffered approximately a quarter of our Covid deaths.
  • Ministers have deferred to scientists who themselves deferred to the projections of models, even when data on the ground told a completely different story.
  • Statisticians on social media had a field day pointing out the chasm between modelled outcomes and reality, but it is not clear that the models on which SAGE relied (both their input parameters and mechanical dynamics) were continually refined with on-the-ground data (or simply discarded as wrong). 
  • Why weren’t Oxford’s team, who specialise in zoonotic viruses and who looked at the same data as Neil Ferguson’s modelling-led team but came to wildly different conclusions, on SAGE’s panel to provide an alternative view?
  • Why were there no economists on SAGE? Economics is not the bloodless pursuit of money but the science of decision-making under uncertainty where resources are finite; could they really have brought nothing to the party?
  • In mid-March, Stanford’s Nobel laureate Michael Levitt (biophysicist and professor of structural biology) discussed the “natural experiment” of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, a petridish disproportionately filled with the most susceptible age and health groups. Even here, despite the virus spreading uncontrolled onboard for at least two weeks, infection only reached a minority of passengers and crew. 
  • The data towards the end of March clearly showed we were already near the tipping point of the bell-curve (meaning the disease is on the wane). We were already past the point where lockdown could have made much difference.
  • Knut Wittkowski: “respiratory diseases [including Covid-19] . . . remain only about two months in any given population”. 

https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/july-august-2020/ignoring-the-covid-evidence/

Categories
Publications

To what extent do children transmit SARS‐CoV‐2 virus? – Wiley Online Library

The evidence to date suggests that children spread SARS‐CoV‐2 virus relatively rarely and that children are usually infected by symptomatic or pre‐symptomatic adults (in the first 48 h before they become symptomatic). During contact tracing, the China/World Health Organization joint commission recorded no episodes where transmission occurred from a child to an adult. A review of 31 family clusters of COVID‐19 from China, Singapore, the USA, South Korea and Vietnam, found only three (9.7%) clusters had a child as the index case and in all three clusters the child was symptomatic.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpc.14937

Categories
Videos

COVID19 Never Grows Exponentially – Professor Michael Levitt

Part 1: Exponential Growth is Terrifying

This is my first podcast and they will improve. This is Part 1 and it describes how COVID may grow exponentially and how we flatten the growth curve.

Part 2: Curve Fitting for Understanding

This is Part 2. Fitting viral growth data with simple mathematical functions can give important insights into how epidemics will grow. Here we illustrate two commonly used growth curves, the Sigmoid Function and the Gompertz Function. While superficially similar, they are really very different.

Part 3: COVID19 Never Grows Exponentially

Part 3. The total case numbers in South Korea and New Zealand have exponential growth rates that decrease linearly on a log-scale. This is not ever exponential growth.