2024-04-19 General

Pathology Why do kids and old people have such different reactions to COVID-19? This paper from UK (2024-04-15) says that kid and adult epithelial cells (which line mucous membranes) are different. In particular, cells in elderly people had more of the receptors which SARS-CoV-2 uses to get into the cells, and kids’ cells generated more… Continue reading 2024-04-19 General

week ending 2022-08-18 General

Live Attenuated Virus Vaccines This paper from Massachusetts found that vaccination with the tuberculosis BCG vaccine gave a 92% efficacy against COVID-19. (Also see this mass media article, which talks about other studies too.) BCG is a live attenuated virus vaccine (LAV); I’ve talked about LAVs before and how they appear to boost the innate… Continue reading week ending 2022-08-18 General

2021-10-23/24/25 General

Transmission In this small study of Italian health-care workers who were tested regularly, all of the people who tested positive but were asymptomatic tested negative the very next day. The mean time for the symptomatic patients to test negative was 11 days. Pathology This preprint says they found SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid of… Continue reading 2021-10-23/24/25 General

2021-09-23 General

Vaccines This long and highly technical preprint also says that the MMR vaccine gives some protection against and that the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine does. The authors did two things: They took T cells from blood which had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (either from infection or vaccination) and added either MMR or Tdap vaccines, and… Continue reading 2021-09-23 General

2021-09-21 General

Mitigation Measures The land border into the USA from Canada will remain closed to non-essential non-Americans until at least 21 October. Vaccines This preprint says that the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine has a vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic COVID-19 infection of 48% and 76% effectiveness against severe disease. I think this is huge news,… Continue reading 2021-09-21 General

2021-06-12 General

Vaccines This paper says that women have a more robust response to vaccination than men do. On 18 May, I talked about how live attenuated virus vaccines seem to rev up the innate immune system. I mentioned in that post that a smallpox vaccination reduced all-cause mortality more than attributable to smallpox deaths; I had… Continue reading 2021-06-12 General

2021-05-24 General

Diagnostics Dear Readers, go get yourself a pulse oximeter. A study showed that frequently people with COVID wait until they are short of breath to go to hospital. Unfortunately, with COVID, frequently you feel like you can breathe fine, but your blood oxygen actually is quite low. If your pulse oximeter is reading low and… Continue reading 2021-05-24 General