Monday, November 8, 2021

Pfizer says COVID-19 pill cut hospital, death risk by 90%

Pfizer says COVID-19 pill cut hospital, death risk by 90%:

On Friday, Pfizer released preliminary results of its study of 775 adults. Patients who received the company’s drug along with another antiviral shortly after showing COVID-19 symptoms had an 89% reduction in their combined rate of hospitalization or death after a month, compared to patients taking a dummy pill. Fewer than 1% of patients taking the drug needed to be hospitalized and no one died. In the comparison group, 7% were hospitalized and there were seven deaths.

“We were hoping that we had something extraordinary, but it’s rare that you see great drugs come through with almost 90% efficacy and 100% protection for death,” said Dr. Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, in an interview.

Does "high risk" include the elderly?  And what are the 20 percent side effects they're seeing?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Scientists Find Gene That Doubles Risk of Dying From Covid-19 - Bloomberg

Scientists Find Gene That Doubles Risk of Dying From Covid-19 - Bloomberg: Researchers from the University of Oxford found that a higher-risk version of the gene most likely prevents the cells lining airways and the lungs from responding to the virus properly. About 60% of people with South Asian ancestry carry this version of the gene, compared with 15% of people with European heritage, according to the study published Thursday. The findings help explain why higher rates of hospitalization and death may have been seen in certain communities and on the Indian subcontinent. The authors cautioned that the gene cannot be used as a sole explanation as many other factors, such as socioeconomic conditions, play a role. Despite a significant impact from the virus to people with Afro-Caribbean ancestry, only 2% carry the higher-risk genotype.

I'm sure this will fuel speculation about the origins of the virus.

Identification of LZTFL1 as a candidate effector gene at a COVID-19 risk locus | Nature Genetics

Identification of LZTFL1 as a candidate effector gene at a COVID-19 risk locus | Nature Genetics: Genome-wide association studies identified the 3p21.31 region as conferring a twofold increased risk of respiratory failure. Here, using a combined multiomics and machine learning approach, we identify the gain-of-function risk A allele of an SNP, rs17713054G>A, as a probable causative variant.

I would love to see more research about our genetic susceptibility to Covid and its variants.  Perhaps in the future an algorithm will look at age, health, and genetics and select a specific vaccine.  Designer vaccines

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

A potentially faster-spreading COVID Delta-plus variant, AY.4.2, has been spotted in 8 states - CBS News

A potentially faster-spreading COVID Delta-plus variant, AY.4.2, has been spotted in 8 states - CBS News: While it may spread somewhat faster, health authorities have not found evidence of more severe illness caused by the variant, and they say current vaccines remain effective against it.

"somewhat faster"

So perhaps a pale shadow of Delta.  Wait, is "pale shadow" even a phrase?  

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Scientists reveal how often fully vaccinated people spread COVID-19 at home

Scientists reveal how often fully vaccinated people spread COVID-19 at home: The chances of anyone spreading the coronavirus to unvaccinated people or others in the home is about 38%, per BBC News. That number drops to 25% if the housemates are fully vaccinated.

This is absolutely crazy--the vaccine only gives us a 13 percent advantage.

Monday, October 25, 2021

New variant? No masks? Here's what's driving the U.K.'s Covid surge

New variant? No masks? Here's what's driving the U.K.'s Covid surge

Mandatory-mask rules do exist on public transport systems, with face coverings required across the Transport for London network, which includes the capital’s underground train system, but those rules are not always complied with, nor regularly enforced.

Ravi Gupta of the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease agreed with Gurdasani that maintaining restrictions might have helped avoid the U.K.'s current predicament.

"The relaxation [of rules] that happened over summer was a fairly drastic month going from, you know, quite, quite tight measures to very few restrictions," Gupta said. "And I think that, in retrospect, a more graded approach may have prevented the surge that we’re seeing."

Look, I am pro restrictions if we have hard science showing they help.  With waning levels of antibodies among the vaccinated and winter approaching, as we approach almost two years of pandemonium, I'm filled with a sense of dread and fear, not just for the illness and deaths caused by the virus, but am wondering what social chaos will ensue as this drags on forever.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Delta plus variant raises concerns. Here's what the science shows : Goats and Soda : NPR

Delta plus variant raises concerns. Here's what the science shows : Goats and Soda : NPR: Question 2: So what about this new "delta plus" that's spreading in the U.K.? Scientists have named it "AY.4.2." And it now accounts for more than 6% of the cases there. Does that mean it's more transmissible than the current version of Delta dominating in the U.S.? "No one knows yet," says virologist Jeremy Luban at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "It's too early to really know." That's because there isn't enough data yet to measure its transmissibility. "That said," Luban adds, "if it is more transmissible, it's likely to be a small increment." Hanage estimates that it's likely about 10% more transmissible than the original version of delta.

So here they're saying 10 percent more infectious, perhaps.  Nobody knows at this point.  Of course, I thought Delta was being hyped and it was not.

Opinion | Omicron Is Not the Final Variant - The New York Times

Opinion | Omicron Is Not the Final Variant - The New York Times : The world got lucky with Omicron. It’s unimaginable what would have happen...