Saturday, October 1, 2022

At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests-Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of False Negative: FDA Safety Communication | FDA

Most at-home COVID-19 tests are antigen tests and do not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as molecular tests, most of which are laboratory-based such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Molecular COVID-19 tests are generally expected to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at least 95% of the time when someone is infected. However, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests are generally expected to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at least 80% of the time when someone is infected.

When you perform an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, and you get a positive result, the results are typically accurate. However, if you perform an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, you could get a false negative result. 


The FDA recommends repeat testing following a negative result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms.

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/home-covid-19-antigen-tests-take-steps-reduce-your-risk-false-negative-fda-safety-communication

Friday, August 26, 2022

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Effect of mRNA Vaccine Boosters against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Infection in Qatar | NEJM

Compared to the primary series, booster effectiveness against symptomatic omicron infection was 49.4%, with the primary series 76.5%.

Study shows probability of getting COVID for mask wearers vs. non-mask wearers

In the healthcare setting, 9% of the mask wearers and 33% of the non-mask wearers tested COVID-19 positive. 

 Additionally, in community settings, the team noted that 6% of mask wearers and 83% of non-maks wearers tested SARS-CoV-2 positive.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

COVID.gov/tests - Free at-home COVID-19 tests

The government is allowing people to get a third round of free COVID tests.  If you should get seriously ill, you might want extra test kits.  It may take several tests to verify that you are recovered, and you may have family members who also need to be tested.

https://www.covid.gov/tests

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Fwd: Possible COVID exposure

FYI

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John Coffey 


Thank you for supporting the Greenwood Chess Club.

On Monday someone attended the Greenwood Chess Club who was symptomatic and later tested positive for COVID-19.  If you attended the chess club on Monday, I suggest taking an in-home test.  I tested myself and the test came out negative.  However, I quarantined this week just in case.

You can get free tests from the government.  They take several weeks to get delivered.  https://www.covid.gov/tests  

Drug stores also sell COVID-19 tests.

I feel like I should not have to say this again, but please do not come to the Greenwood Chess Club if you are feeling sick or if you have symptoms.


There is much misinformation being spread about COVID, so I will address some of these issues here:

1.  The pandemic is over.

It has been my observation that most people are acting as if there is no pandemic.




One out of every 310 Americans has died from the disease.  I lost a cousin to COVID.  David Prowse (Darth Vader), Chloris Leachman, and Herman Cain died from the disease.


It used to be that measles was the most infectious disease on record, but the Omicron variant has surpassed measles.  In early November of last year, we had barely heard of the Omicron variant, but by late January of this year, it had caused a major surge in the United States.

https://fortune.com/2022/07/09/is-covid-omicron-more-transmissible-infectious-than-measles-ba4-ba5/


2. Cloth masks don't work.

People who attack mask usage always say that cloth masks don't work, which is true.  However, they ignore that other types of masks are at least partially effective at preventing the spread of COVID.

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2021/09/surgical-masks-covid-19.html

"Wearing an N95/KN95 respirator (aOR = 0.17; 95% CI = 0.05–0.64) or wearing a surgical mask (aOR = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.13­–0.90) was associated with lower adjusted odds of a positive test result compared with not wearing a mask (Table 3). Wearing a cloth mask (aOR = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.17–1.17) was associated with lower adjusted odds of a positive test compared with never wearing a face covering but was not statistically significant."

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7106e1.htm


3.  Vaccines don't prevent the spread of COVID.

As the virus has evolved, it reportedly has been more likely to have a vaccine breakthrough infection.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/why-measure-effectiveness/breakthrough-cases.html

"Raw data shows the risk of breakthrough cases is very small for vaccinated people, potentially 1 in 5,000.

Additionally, the risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19 after vaccination is extremely small, at about 5 in 100,000.

A new study found people who were not vaccinated were five times as likely to get COVID-19 compared to people who were fully vaccinated."

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-is-your-actual-risk-of-getting-covid-19-if-youre-vaccinated

"COVID 19 vaccines are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying."

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html

"Booster Shots of COVID-19 Vaccines Effective Against Omicron Subvariant"

https://covid19.nih.gov/news-and-stories/booster-shots-covid-19-vaccines-effective-against-omicron-subvariant#:~:text=A%20small%20study%20has%20found,and%20its%20most%20common%20subvariant.

I personally have stayed up to date with the booster shots and I have not yet caught the disease.


4.  The vaccines are experimental.




5. The vaccines rewrite your DNA.

The only known case of this was outside the human body in a petri dish with just liver cells. 


However, the actual vaccines work primarily at the injection site.

"Research shows that spike proteins (here) remain stuck to the cell surface around the injection site and do not travel to other parts of the body via the bloodstream, they added. The 1% of the vaccine that does reach the bloodstream is destroyed by liver enzymes."


The vast majority of viruses rewrite your DNA in some of your cells.  Your immune system finds these cells and destroys them.  This is a much bigger issue with the disease than it is with the vaccines.


6. The spike protein is toxic.

First of all, you are going to get much more spike proteins with the disease than you are going to get with the vaccines.




Second, the vaccine spike protein was deliberately made different to prevent insertion into cells.




COVID-19 can have serious long-term consequences.  COVID can damage your organs.  COVID can cause 2% brain shrinkage, which is normally 0.1 to 0.2% per year in adults.



--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Spinal cord repair

Eventually, this may be very useful.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Larry 

A drug under investigation as a cancer treatment has shown exciting promise in a rather different branch of medical research, with scientists demonstrating how it can promote nerve repair following spinal injury. The breakthrough shows how the drug acts on a DNA damage response mechanism at play in both these unrelated conditions, and triggers a "remarkable" recovery in mice with injured spinal cords.


Thursday, July 7, 2022

What the BA.5 Subvariant Could Mean for the United States - The New York Times

The most transmissible variant yet of the coronavirus is threatening a fresh wave of infections in the United States, even among those who have recovered from the virus fairly recently.

The subvariant of Omicron known as BA.5 is now dominant, according to federal estimates released Tuesday, and together with BA.4, another subvariant, it is fueling an outbreak of cases and hospitalizations.

"I think there's an underappreciation of what it's going to do to the country, and it already is exerting its effect," said Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, who has written about the subvariant.

BA.5 and BA.4, both subvariants of the Omicron variant that swept the world during the winter, are the most capable versions of the virus yet at evading immunity from previous infections and vaccines. Both variants have mutations in their spike proteins that are different enough from earlier versions of the virus that they are able to dodge some antibodies.

Waves of infection — and the subsequent immunity that comes with them — vary across countries and make for imperfect comparisons. Vaccination rates also vary. But in places where BA.4 and BA.5 have been dominant for weeks or months, the subvariants have caused increases in cases and hospitalizations, despite some population immunity from previous waves

BA.5 causes more severe disease

Jim Belushi, cannabis farmer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uWmQU2BbA0

I am personally against using intoxicating substances.  I am for freedom. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Mad bicycle dash to cross a busy street.

In my opinion, bicycle riding has been great for my health.  My tiny neighborhood is too small to make for an effective bike ride, so I do a very large loop involving the neighborhood to the west of me.  Google thinks that the entire bike ride should take 13 minutes, but it initially took me 25 minutes and I have cut that down to 22 minutes.  For parts of the trip, I ride on the sidewalk, but mostly I ride on the streets.  Except on Middle Road, I rarely have to deal with cars.  I try hard to avoid them.



There is a portion of my bicycle ride that is a little more dangerous because I am riding a short distance on Middle Road which is a pretty busy street.



Normally this jaunt over to the other street is a mad dash to avoid cars.  I don't venture out until there are no cars coming, but they come so quickly on Middle road, especially from the south where I can't see as far, that I have had 4 of 5 cars unexpectantly come up behind me, which makes this portion of the bike ride more dangerous.  Sometimes if there were cars coming from the south, and none coming from the north, I would switch over to the left side and ride along the left edge of the road.  The most dangerous situation would be if cars would be coming from both directions, which rarely happens because I have a much better view of the traffic from the north.

I discovered that the sidewalk on my side of the road turns north just for a short distance followed by a metal utility plate on the ground, which allows me to enter Middle Road from the grass. The cuts down the distance on the road.   I then proceed at about a 70-degree angle to the other street.  I am entering Middle Road at the left turn region, which gives me the flexibility to change lanes.

In theory, I could ride the grass all the way up.  Or I could cross Middle Road from Cedar Crest Drive to the sidewalk across the street.  The curb is so high that I can't do this on the bicycle and would have to walk it across.

There is an intersection further south on Middle road that is much easier to cross.  Sometimes I have ridden the sidewalk down there so that I could cross more safely.

--

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The actual science of the "industrial seed oil" panic

I get frustrated with all the contradictory health information we hear regularly.  This video does a good job of talking about the science and the arguments on both sides.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efTBLsv4yYs

Boosters and Covid

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Larry 

Dunn said hospitals in Utah have been "stable" until this week. The state dashboard reports a 27.3% increase in the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and a 35.3% jump in seven-day average cases in the ICU.

"The silver lining in this increase is that it's definitely not as steep," she said. "It's happening at a slower pace."

Dunn said the increase in cases could be from new Omicron subvariants and vaccination/booster shot immunity wearing off.

"We're starting to see that increase and with that, an increase in positivity," said Dunn. "So we're now seeing 25% to 30% positivity."

She said current positivity rates mirror similar peaks seen in early 2021 and beyond.

"The people-over-people method is up 625% since April 2," she explained. "The testing-over-testing method is up 850%."




Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Fwd: Studies on Mask usage

Correlation is not causality.  You could have more mask usage in higher-risk areas.

Previous studies showed some benefits from mask usage.  If there is no benefit, then we need to know that.  However, I think that there is a pretty good reason why everybody at the hospital is wearing masks.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Larry 


If studies showed masks did not limit covid spread, that would be extremely frustrating. If they showed mask use increased covid spread, it would be horrendous.