Categories
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

Categories
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

Categories
Opinion

Have we got it all wrong when it comes to Covid? – The Irish Examiner

There is a case to be made that we as a country have been led by a conversation about the virus which has been unbalanced and disproportionate, writes Daniel McConnell

https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/arid-40081700.html

Categories
Opinion

Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals – AIER

The study is important because of the social structure of control here. It’s one thing to observe no effects from national lockdowns. There are countless variables here that could be invoked as cautionary notes: demographics, population density, preexisting immunities, degree of compliance, and so on. But with this Marine study, you have a near homogeneous group based on age, health, and densities of living. And even here, you see confirmed what so many other studies have shown: lockdowns are pointlessly destructive. They do not manage the disease. They crush human liberty and produce astonishing costs, such as 5.53 million years of lost life from the closing of schools alone. 

https://www.aier.org/article/even-a-military-enforced-quarantine-cant-stop-the-virus-study-reveals/

Categories
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

Categories
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

Categories
Opinion

Britain must not be sacrificed on the altar of fighting Covid-19 – Prof. Dingwall, Daily Mail

  • [The fight against Covid] ignores the devastating social and economic impact of Covid restrictions, and exaggerates the threat the disease poses.
  • Despite all the hysteria, this is not a modern plague.
  • In the week ending October 2, Covid accounted for just 3.2 per cent of all fatalities in British hospitals.
  • Even with the recent rise in infections, Covid mortality levels are drastically lower now than at the peak of the pandemic in the spring.
  • That toll may increase, but it is highly unlikely to reach the levels we saw in spring.
  • Covid-19 is a cruel disease that targets the old or those whose life expectancy is compromised by ill-health.
  • While every life is precious, the average age of patients who die with Covid-19 is 82.4.
  • Since August, just one otherwise healthy person under 30 has died with the disease, while in the same period only 97 victims have been younger than 60.
  • One study in June by the Office for National Statistics found 91 per cent of people who died with Covid in England and Wales between March and June had at least one pre-existing condition.
  • Contrary to the depressing propaganda, six in every seven people who are infected over the age of 90 actually survive.
  • [T]here is little convincing scientific evidence to support the belief that these venues are significant arenas of transmission.
  • Much of the North and the Midlands has been living with Covid restrictions for months, yet it has not stemmed the rise in positive cases.
  • There is not a single documented case of any student this autumn yet dying from Covid.
  • In 40 years, scientists have never found an HIV/AIDS vaccine, nor has one been discovered for the SARS virus in 18 years.
  • A vaccine will probably be more like an annual flu jab — which will give some protection but not stop you contracting the disease — rather than a measles vaccine, which provides a lifetime’s protection.
  • Edinburgh University argued that heavy-handed use of lockdowns and social distancing could cost between 149,000 and 178,000 lives over the course of the pandemic — far more than have died from Covid.
  • The Government likely borrowing more than £350 billion this year — will have be paid by generations to come.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8836699/Britain-not-sacrificed-altar-fighting-Covid-19-writes-Professor-ROBERT-DINGWALL.html

Categories
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/

Categories
News

CDC removes guidance saying coronavirus spreads through air – Washington Examiner

The CDC has long maintained that the coronavirus is transmitted through droplets spread among people in close proximity to one another. On Friday, it updated its guidelines, adding that the virus also spreads through “respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes,” adding that this is the main vector of infection.

The guidance no longer says COVID-19 can be spread through the air, and the agency said it will update the language once its review process “has been completed.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/cdc-removes-guidance-saying-coronavirus-spreads-through-air

Categories
Publications

COVID-19 – research evidence summaries – Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Are children as likely as adults to acquire COVID-19?

Emerging evidence suggests that children may be less likely to acquire the disease. This is supported in countries that have undertaken widespread community testing, where lower case numbers in children than adults have been found.4 14 44 45 Between 16 January and 3 May 2020, 35,200 children in England were swabbed for SARS-CoV-2 and 1408 (4%) were positive. Children under 16 years old accounted for only 1.1% of positive cases.

Can children transmit the virus?

The importance of children in transmitting the virus is difficult to establish, particularly because of the number of asymptomatic cases, but there is some evidence that their role in transmitting the virus is limited…

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-research-evidence-summaries#transmission

Categories
Publications

Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities — United States, July 2020 – CDC

“In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control participants reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public.” 

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6936a5-H.pdf

Categories
News

Primary schools ‘no greater risk than home’ for pupils and staff – BBC

Attending primary school puts children and staff at no greater risk of contracting coronavirus than staying at home, a study of 131 schools suggests…

…A separate sample of 2,100 staff and children, who were tested for antibodies, found 10.6% of pupils and 12.7% of staff had previously had coronavirus.

This could suggest that children are as likely as adults to be infected, rather than being less susceptible to the disease.

But because so few positive cases in children are detected, it confirms previous research that they are likely to experience mild symptoms, or none at all.

The study found children and staff who attended school more frequently were no more likely to test positive for antibodies than those who did not attend school, or went less often.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54025708

Categories
News Opinion

The Case Against Covid Tests for the Young and Healthy – Wall Street Journal

There is little purpose in using tests to check asymptomatic children to see if it is safe for them to come to school. When children are infected, most are asymptomatic, and the mortality risk is lower than for the flu. While adult-to-adult and adult-to-child transmission is common, child-to-adult transmission isn’t. Children thus pose minimal risk to their teachers. If a child has a cough, a runny nose or other respiratory symptoms, he should stay home. You don’t need a test for that.

Sweden was the only major Western country that kept schools open for kids 15 and younger throughout the pandemic, with no masks or mass testing. How did it turn out? Zero Covid-19 deaths among 1.8 million children attending day care or school. Teachers didn’t have an excess infection risk compared with the average of other professions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-case-against-covid-tests-for-the-young-and-healthy-11599151722

Categories
News Opinion

The Failed Experiment of Covid Lockdowns – Wall Street Journal

New data shows that ockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus.

Six months into the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. has now carried out two large-scale experiments in public health—first, in March and April, the lockdown of the economy to arrest the spread of the virus, and second, since mid-April, the reopening of the economy. The results are in. Counterintuitive though it may be, statistical analysis shows that locking down the economy didn’t contain the disease’s spread and reopening it didn’t unleash a second wave of infections.

Considering that lockdowns are economically costly and create well-documented long-term public-health consequences beyond Covid, imposing them appears to have been a large policy error. At the beginning, when little was known, officials acted in ways they thought prudent. But now evidence proves that lockdowns were an expensive treatment with serious side effects and no benefit to society…

Measuring from the start of the year to each state’s point of maximum lockdown—which range from April 5 to April 18—it turns out that lockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus. States with longer, stricter lockdowns also had larger Covid outbreaks. The five places with the harshest lockdowns—the District of Columbia, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts—had the heaviest caseloads.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-failed-experiment-of-covid-lockdowns-11599000890

Categories
News Opinion

Children could spread COVID19 more if they wear masks – Professor Russell Viner, BBC Newsnight

According to professor Russell Viner, President of Royal College of Paediatrics and SAGE member:

  • There’s very little evidence for the use of masks in schools.
  • Children could potentially spread the virus more if they wear masks
Categories
Videos

Prof. Carl Heneghan On Masks

  • Masks and gloves have been shown in studies to help in the medical setting but not in the home setting.
  • Cloth masks are worse and may increase infection.
  • Masks in the UK were supposed to reduce infections by 40% but in fact, infections went up.
  • Study in Norway: 200,000 people would have to wear a mask in order to prevent one infection. Public health impact of mask wearing is negligible.
  • This advocating mask-wearing have cherry-picked low-quality observational evidence to suit the evidence.

Carl Heneghan is a clinical epidemiologist with expertise in evidence-based medicine, research methods, and evidence synthesis.
He is Director of the NIHR SPCR Evidence Synthesis Working Group a collaboration of nine primary care departments across UK universities. He set up and directs the Oxford COVID Evidence Service, has over 400 peer-reviewed publications (current H Index 67); published 95 systematic reviews. He is Editor in Chief of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, and Editor of the Catalogue of Bias.

Director of CEBM & Programs in EBHC
Editor in Chief, BMJ EBM
NHS Urgent Care GP
NIHR Senior Investigator

Categories
News

Pupils pose no risk of spreading Covid – Professor Russell Viner, The Sunday Times

One of the largest studies in the world on coronavirus in schools, carried out in 100 institutions in the UK, will confirm that “there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted” there, according to a leading scientist.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of the government advisory group Sage, said: “A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools.

“This is the some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pupils-pose-no-risk-of-spreading-covid-27q6zfd9l

Categories
News

No known case of teacher catching coronavirus from pupils, says scientist – The Times

There has been no recorded case of a teacher catching the coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world, according to one of the government’s leading scientific advisers.

Mark Woolhouse, a leading epidemiologist and member of the government’s Sage committee, told The Times that it may have been a mistake to close schools in March given the limited role children play in spreading the virus.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/no-known-case-of-teacher-catching-coronavirus-from-pupils-says-scientist-3zk5g2x6z

Categories
News

Keeping schools open had no impact on contagion, Swedish study suggests – The Telegraph

Shutting down primary schools may have been unnecessary as a Swedish study suggests that keeping them open had no impact on contagion.

There was no measurable difference in the number of coronavirus cases among children in Sweden, where schools were left open, compared with neighboring Finland, where schools were shut, the research showed.

A working paper, published by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, compares the two countries’ approach to education during the pandemic.

Categories
Visitor Contributions

Covid 19 X-Factor in Spain – Nursing Homes: UNDERSTANDING WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

In the interest of public debate, we allow visitors to share opinions, experiences and research that may be of value to others. This is a visitor contribution from our Discussions page.

The views expressed are those of the individual posters themselves. Please read our Comments and contributions disclaimer.

Author

Alfonso Longo


Covid 19 X-Factor in Spain – Nursing Homes: UNDERSTANDING WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Hypothesis

The nursing homes, their structure and management, explain the impact of the covid-19 pandemic in Spain.

DIRECTLY: because of the weight of its mortality

CAUSALLY: because of its effect on the transmission of the virus to the rest of the population

Therefore, in order to minimize the impact of covid on society, its impact on nursing homes must first be minimized.

Download the document here.

(Note that the document is hosted on Google Drive.)