Sunday, October 3, 2021

Is the Coronavirus Getting Better at Airborne Transmission? - The New York Times

Is the Coronavirus Getting Better at Airborne Transmission? - The New York Times: Newer variants of the coronavirus like Alpha and Delta are highly contagious, infecting far more people than the original virus. Two new studies offer a possible explanation: The virus is evolving to spread more efficiently through air. The realization that the coronavirus is airborne indoors transformed efforts to contain the pandemic last year, igniting fiery debates about masks, social distancing and ventilation in public spaces.

This explains a lot.  Maybe I can get my vaccinated friends to mask up.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Delta Variant: What We Know About the Science | CDC

Delta Variant: What We Know About the Science | CDC: Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time: For prior variants, lower amounts of viral genetic material were found in samples taken from fully vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections than from unvaccinated people with COVID-19.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Why you shouldn't panic about coronavirus 'doomsday variant' headlines - CNET

Why you shouldn't panic about coronavirus 'doomsday variant' headlines - CNET: In short, there's no reason to panic. There's no doomsday variant (we don't name variants this way), and there's little evidence this new mutant strain is worse than delta. "There is no evidence it is particularly transmissible, and it has not been flagged as a variant under interest so far," says Francois Balloux, a computational biologist at University College London. The strain, currently dubbed C.1.2, was first detected in South Africa in May and in the last week has gathered significant attention because of a�preprint study by South African researchers published Aug. 24. Preprints are research articles that haven't yet undergone a peer review process.�

A nice alternative to clickbait headlines surrounding new variants.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

WHO warns new mu coronavirus variant could be more vaccine resistant | TheHill

WHO warns new mu coronavirus variant could be more vaccine resistant | TheHill: The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape. Preliminary data presented to the Virus Evolution Working Group show a reduction in neutralization capacity of convalescent and vaccine sera similar to that seen for the Beta variant, but this needs to be confirmed by further studies," WHO said in its weekly bulletin. Other variants of interest include eta, iota, kappa and lambda. Like mu, lambda was also first detected in South America, in Peru. Iota was first detected in the U.S. in November.

It looks like we'll all be memorizing the Greek alphabet soon.  I hope this doesn't hurt fraternity and sorority branding.

COVID-19 and the Industrial Hygienist

COVID-19 and the Industrial Hygienist:

I did not realize toilets were such a problem.  This is from a page run by the AIHA, who are Industrial Hygienists.

STEVE WELTY:
One unique example would be toilet aerosolization. Although diarrhea does not occur in the majority of COVID-19 cases, the coronavirus has been isolated in stool samples, and numerous studies have demonstrated the ability of biological particles to be aerosolized through toilet flushing. For a virus, a flushing toilet event is like being whipped up in a frothing undercurrent and launched airborne in a water droplet. That droplet quickly evaporates, becoming a “droplet nuclei,” which can stay airborne for hours and also be sucked upwards into the bathroom fan’s exhaust. Toilet-aerosolized droplet nuclei lifted into the breathing zones of unsuspecting individuals can be breathed into their lungs. Studies in the
Journal of Applied Microbiology
(JAM) and the
American Journal of Infection Control
(AJIC) indicate that for seven to twelve flushes later, airborne microbes are still being aerosolized.
For a virus, a flushing toilet event is like being whipped up in a frothing undercurrent and launched airborne in a water droplet. That droplet quickly evaporates, becoming a “droplet nuclei,” which can stay airborne for hours and also be sucked upwards into the bathroom fan’s exhaust. Toilet-aerosolized droplet nuclei lifted into the breathing zones of unsuspecting individuals can be breathed into their lungs. Studies in the
Journal of Applied Microbiology
(JAM) and the
American Journal of Infection Control
(AJIC) indicate that for seven to twelve flushes later, airborne microbes are still being aerosolized.

Monday, August 30, 2021

What Does the Delta Variant Mean for Kids and Covid? | WIRED

What Does the Delta Variant Mean for Kids and Covid? | WIRED

The much bigger problem is how fast Delta moves through an unvaccinated population, Fisman adds. Say that the variant’s arrival means doubling the hospitalization rate for kids with Covid—less than 1 percent of cases in children under 18 before Delta’s arrival, according to the CDC. That’s still a relatively small number. But with a virus now transmitting at a more aggressive clip, the growing denominator—the total number of cases—becomes meaningful. “That means those rare events happen in greater numbers,” Fisman says. “That’s the big worry.”

Study saying COVID-19 vaccines cause heart inflammation that was hyped by anti-vaxxers, withdrawn due to miscalculation

Study saying COVID-19 vaccines cause heart inflammation that was hyped by anti-vaxxers, withdrawn due to miscalculation The risk is apparent...