Lark

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Everything posted by Lark

  1. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    I think it depends on how scary this proves to be and how careful they decide to be in vaccine development. If it proved to be Hollywood bad I'm sure a handful of experimental vaccines would be rushed into mass production in weeks, figuring some of them would protect most patients and most would be free of significant side affects. In the old days they would try to attenuate strains, hoping to cause mild or asymptomatic disease while conferring immunity (like the cowpox virus being used to protect against smallpox example in biology textbooks). Now they usually pick surface proteins (antigens) on the virus capsule that are likely to be clinically relevant, or even surface proteins that appear on the surface of infected cells, and replicate them. That means the vaccine is incapable of actually causing disease. It doesn't contain viral genetic material, just a few key proteins. Lymphocytes attach to the proteins, teach the body how to make antibodies, and if you meet the real virus a few weeks later the virus is destroyed. The small amount of a very specific protein reduces the risk of allergic reaction compared with ground up virus chunks, like they used a couple decades ago. Adjevents (substances added to give the immune system a hot foot and convince it to pay attention to the antigen) have also dramatically improved, minimizing reaction while still doing their job. Of course you could earn a PhD on just one method of doing what I just summarized. I'm confident much of the technology involved in vaccines for other diseases could be applied, just substituting a handful of 2019-nCoV proteins for an existing vaccine antigen. Livestock vaccines against a coronavirus (TGE) already exist, given to sows so their antibodies help protect their pigs). I'm not saying they should rush an untested vaccine to market for a disease killing thousands out of billions. If the disease proved much worse, I'm sure an emergency solution could be found. In most cases vaccines are developed much faster, much more cheaply and prove much safer then a drug. A third possibility could be passive immunity. Plasma transfusions from survivors might have a therapeutic benefit for desperately ill patients. As more and more people recover from this virus, I'm sure family members and other donors will be eager to volunteer if it might help Mom get off a respirator. Much more targeted immunotherapies are emerging for a variety of conditions, but I doubt development to a useful tool for this virus would be possible in less then a decade. The part of this virus that causes me the most concern are the reports of either relapse (or IMO more likely, intermittent shedding) by survivors. Staying at home while you are sick may not be enough to stop the spread. I'm sure many in the Chinese government are anxiously monitoring this.
  2. Great logic: The president said some of the experts targeted by the cuts "hadn't been used for many years" and that additional federal money and new medical staffers could be obtained swiftly since " By the same logic, we should disband the standing army. We've been attacked once by a military in the last century. The rest have been law enforcement issues. We can just buy supertankers and put a plywood deck over the plumbing if we need carriers. That worked just fine in 1812.
  3. I remember that response to HIV. Indiana hosted the AIDS capital of the US, a town along the Kentucky boarder. Mostly they were people addicted to prescription pain medication that transitioned to fentanyl / opioids. NPR interviewed a former teacher and her junkie trailer trash friends. Many lives were ruined. Needle exchange programs had been prevented by Pence. County health officials had been distributing needles on their own time after hours, trying to reduce the number of new cases. A few years prior, when running for Congress, Pence had wanted to use AIDS money for conversion therapy.
  4. So those with the worst resumes that couldn't find other work were rehired? When you downsize a highly specialized workforce you have to expect a delay if you change your mind.. Perhaps offer scholarships and wait for their dissertations.
  5. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    Of you don't look for it you don't have to diagnose it. We need somebody that actually believes in evidence and has understanding of epidemiology to be in charge. I sincerely hope VP Pence shows up each morning, leads the task force in a (brief) moment of prayer, then gets out of the way and lets the smart people do their work without hindrance or too many stupid questions. I especially hope no scientific facts interfere with his predetermined belief system. For example, his faith will tell him this virus was created in its present form and has not evolved over time. @weightless IMO serology (testing for exposure vs clinical disease) will be the only way to identify prevalence (exposed people that did not get sick, did not seek medical attention or didn't receive a diagnosis at the time of illness). I hope they are conducting a statistically significant sampling of the cruise ship passengers, for example, 2-4 weeks after their lives get back to normal. Likewise a statistical sampling of Hubei citizens will be the only way to see how wide spread it truly was. PCR Screening a percent of all newly diagnosed infectious respiratory cases would allow surveillance and tracking of disease spread. It will miss cases, and may be slow to detect disease presence in new cities, but will show its spread around the planet and determine if any control measures have been useful. I'm armchair quarterbacking the CDC and WHO. Maybe they have a valid plan in place and are free of political interference.
  6. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    The community spread coronavirus case in California is on a ventilator. He was transferred from another hospital, but had not been tested for the first few days since "the CDC ruled out testing since the case did not match its criteria". California department of public health is not testing for coronavirus at this time. This really makes me wonder how many other cases are out there, working through the system. If they don't end up on a ventilator they aren't being identified. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/27/809944423/diagnosis-of-coronavirus-patient-in-california-was-delayed-for-days
  7. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    I saw Japan closed schools nationwide. Interesting, since children seem the least affected. Between reduced manpower and a drop in foot traffic, it would seem most businesses would expect a drop, maybe comparable to a blizzard, for a couple weeks. The logical precaution is to watch inventory levels closely or cut them back in fear of a drop in cash flow. On the other hand, it seems things are already going on backorder. Even if your part is ready to ship, the ship may be delayed since it doesn't have a full load. Port of LA is forecasting a 25% drop in February traffic with 40 sailings already cancelled between Feb 11 and April 1 2020. A lot of things not made in China have components made in China. This means production problems will be felt up and down the supply line for weeks if not months. Kia and Hyundai have suspended production due to a lack of wiring harnesses per CNN Backorders may become an increasing problem-especially for the big players that don't have to buy in bulk to achieve good terms and manage their inventory just on time. So the dilemma is to keep ordering routinely and watch the backorders increase, stock up as possible, or cut back? Are backorders becoming a problem for others too?
  8. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    Vodka also kills it. 1 minute contact time required.
  9. Lark

    Clive Cussler DTS

    I like the ones coauthored with Justin Scott, a retro series. They take place a century ago and seem more plausible. The original ones were fun when I was a kid but didn’t age well imo.
  10. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    Conventions? Big box stores? Restaurants? What other industries will take the biggest hit? Conjecture and business contingency plans anybody?
  11. An old professor had the story of his students (back when it was just men). A colleague was concerned his men didn’t practice proper bathroom hygiene, He responded that his students didn’t miss and piss on their hands. Of course that was back when they thought urine was normally sterile.
  12. Yes and no. We did ration gas when I was a kid, it didn’t work well I’m told, It did work in WW II. Rural and small town is a bit different, neighbors help neighbors. Big city crowds regress to mob rule and may fit your stereotypes better. That being said, the grocery store runs low every time there’s a good snow forecast. Leave? Read your Black Death history. That didn’t usually work very well. Even if a rich guy hides on his yacht for a couple months, eventually his generator will need gas and he will return to port. If apparently healthy people and recovered people shed virus, he merely postpones his fate by hiding. I plan on stocking up on extra dry and canned goods this weekend, but won’t buy stuff I don’t normally use or won’t use if I get a few days on the Great Lakes this summer. I bought extra masks a month ago, but there were already backorders. They are made in China, I’m sure they don’t export what they need at home.
  13. If it’s reinfection and not incomplete clearance, this is scary. I want to see a heart histopath report before I judge. Failure to shed virus doesn’t mean your body is virus free, a reason I have been quietly skeptical about screening of cruise ship passengers. Is the heart damaged by drug? side addect and already inflamed, or are immune complexes forming in healthy tissue like FIP kittens? I hope this is heroic drug use, possibly complicated by legendary Chinese quality control, and not the virus. Or better yet, let this be internet fantasy.
  14. Neither is possible. I wonder how you disinfect cardboard, just in case the Amazon driver sneezed on it. The question is how much of a difference did the Chinese medical system make? Did it reduce infection rate, or will it prove to have merely slowed the spread for a few weeks, until it became global. Will it circle back around and catch the rest on the flip side?
  15. Trump can’t fire him. He can pick another VP at the Republican convention if Republicans brave the virus and have the traditional infection party scheduled for North Carolina.
  16. I’m sure amazon and the homeopathic shops will come up with some miracle test and treatment. In terms of traditional medicine, it seems the options are limited to supportive nursing care with supplemental oxygen and respirators for the extreme 5%. So for most cases home treatment is about as good as professional. Antiviral drugs tend to be specific to the virus and I haven’t seen any controlled studies suggesting one is better then placebo for this virus. As far as spread, the data doesn’t see, to explain the reported Chinese drop in new cases, I don’t know what that means. If non clinical and sub clinical cases spread the disease and if recovered cases continue or resume shedding the virus for an unknown number of weeks, that means quarantine would have frequent failures.
  17. It can’t be done unless we let the rednecks gun groups and paramilitary organizations do the quarantines. God help the dark skinned people with a smoker’s cough or hay fever if that happens. These home school experts are the same people that don’t believe in evolution or climate change and think this is a bioterrorism weapon. If they start making epidemiology decisions the results will be ugly. We have too many roads and too few cops. Homeland security and agriculture agencies did tabletop exercises after 9-11 and found they couldn’t do much if a PETA or foreign bio terrorism attack spread beyond the first couple farms. There just weren’t enough sheriffs, even if they all worked 12 hours shifts 7 days a week and ignored all crime. They also assumed the problem was scared farmers trying to move infected but healthy looking livestock somewhere to protect them, not scared farmers cutting across country on four wheeler or horseback before they got sick or died. People.move around a lot more then calves, though calves get shipped around more then most people imagine. We like our low density suburbs and long commutes. Quarantining even one major city and its endless suburbs would be impossible without land mines. Add the long incubation period and asymptomatic carriers, it would take China to implement a successful quarantine. If amazon drivers aren’t allowed to break the quarantine people would panic,
  18. Lark

    Darwin strikes again

    An attempted UFO hoax failed. Three balloons can lift a glow stick. A snake of these, connected by fish line, ballasted with a few nuts for near neutral buoyancy, will slowly float downwind bobbing up and down like a Chinese dragon. Unfortunately nobody noticed. Nowadays the radiologists are appalled we waste helium on such frivolous things when they need it for their MRIs.
  19. Lark

    Random PicThread

    "We were rolling to such an extent that on each roll to starboard the flight deck edge would hit green water on the starboard side," continued Admiral DeBaun. "The rolls to port were almost as bad but always about five degrees less due to our built-in starboard list. On the big rolls one could reach down from the starboard wing of the bridge and touch green water as we rolled to starboard. Some may have considered the Cowpens unlucky, but I didn't. The only thing wrong with her was the built-in five to seven degree list to starboard that she and all her sister ships had when fueled to capacity. We were fueled to capacity on the day in question, hence our trouble. Well, anyway, that big blow did more damage to the Cowpens than the Japs ever succeeded in doing." https://www.oocities.org/cvl-25/typhooncobra.htm
  20. Lark

    Darwin strikes again

    If I was the deity I would have chosen this outcome. Allow him to wast years and thousands, let him prove himself wrong, then just as he becomes enlightened and accepts Eratosthenes let him prove his steam Rocket was unsafe.
  21. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    This may be an expensive way to rid society of its dead weight. If you want something to worry about, one odd ball coronavirus in cats can trick the immune system into destroying the body, a misguided farmer trying to keep groundhogs from damaging his foundation by dropping hand grenades into the holes. Google FIP. No, I have no reason to believe this virus will do that to children. FIP exploits kittens with weak immune systems in crowded locations, so maybe this virus was engineered to kill orphans?
  22. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    I saw similar data when West Nile first showed up in North America. The average age on diagnosis was 55. The average age requiring hospital care was 65. The average age of the fatalities was 78. Debilitated or infirm people do not do well when facing a novel pathogen. You posted interesting data. It looks like risk is similar or greater in the US, except we may have a little less chronic lung disease thanks to the EPA and anti tobacco efforts?? @Windward had an interesting question on smoking. I recall something on TV (Nova?) looking at that several years ago, with the Spanish Flu, I don’t recall if any conclusions were reached.
  23. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    Why the US is screwed if it comes here: If correct, this story is wrong on at least three levels. https://apple.news/AAwKqVceJRtWGS4TB2QRQzQ After returning to Miami last month from a work trip in China, Osmel Martinez Azcue found himself in a frightening position: he was developing flu-like symptoms, just as coronavirus was ravaging the country he had visited. Under normal circumstances, Azcue said he would have gone to CVS for over-the-counter medicine and fought the flu on his own, but this time was different. As health officials stressed preparedness and vigilance for the respiratory illness, Azcue felt it was his responsibility to his family and his community to get tested for novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. He went to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he said he was placed in a closed-off room. Nurses in protective white suits sprayed some kind of disinfectant smoke under the door before entering, Azcue said. Then hospital staff members told him he’d need a CT scan to screen for coronavirus, but Azcue said he asked for a flu test first. “This will be out of my pocket,” Azcue, who has a very limited insurance plan, recalled saying. “Let’s start with the blood test, and if I test positive, just discharge me.” Fortunately, that’s exactly what happened. He had the flu, not the deadly virus that has infected tens of thousands of people, mostly in China, and killed at least 2,239 as of Friday’s update by the World Health Organization. But two weeks later, Azcue got unwelcome news in the form of a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270. In 2018, President Donald Trump’s administration rolled back Affordable Care Act regulations and allowed so-called “junk plans” in the market. Consumers mistakenly assume that the plans with lower monthly costs will be better than no insurance at all in case of a medical catastrophe, but often the plans aren’t very different from going without insurance altogether.
  24. Lark

    Don't MoveTo Florida

    No salt on your motor, trailer and winches? Counterpoint to the Great Lakes. Welcome. Beware, heatstroke damages neurons faster then tequila. Did you build one?
  25. Lark

    "2019-nCoV"

    Is it owned by the feds or the state? I heard (NPR morning news) Alabama was able to keep the feds from using a FEMA center for federal emergency quarantine needs, which made me want the federal government to simply close the facility and use one from a northern state next time there’s a hurricane. The commute may be inconvenient, but if the federal government can’t use it why keep it open? If Fairview gets federal money I have the same opinion. “But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”