AuthorTopic: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!  (Read 29173 times)

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Brazil is Feijoada



Notice NEITHER Trumpovetsky or Bolsovitch is wearing a mask.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/24/trump-suspends-travel-from-brazil-as-coronavirus-pandemic-worsens-in-south-america.html

Trump suspends travel from Brazil as coronavirus pandemic worsens in South America
Published Sun, May 24 20205:21 PM EDTUpdated 2 hours ago
Spencer Kimball   @spencekimball


Key Points

    The president’s order, published Sunday, denies entry to “all aliens” who were in Brazil two weeks prior to their attempted entry into the United States.
    The order takes effect May 28 at 11:59 pm ET.
    Brazil has rapidly become one of the hardest hit countries in the world as the World Health Organization warns that the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from Europe and the U.S. to South America.

US President Donald Trump arrives to take part in a joint press conference with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro in the Rose Garden at the White House on March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump arrives to take part in a joint press conference with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro in the Rose Garden at the White House on March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump is suspending travel from Brazil to the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic worsens in Latin America’s largest nation and economy.

The president’s order, published Sunday, denies entry to “all aliens” who were in Brazil two weeks prior to their attempted entry into the United States. The order takes effect May 28 at 11:59 pm ET.

Brazil has rapidly become one of the hardest hit countries in the world as the World Health Organization warns that the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from Europe and the U.S. to South America.

“We’ve seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases and clearly there’s a concern across many of those countries, but certainly the most affected is Brazil at this point,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said Friday during a news briefing at the organization’s Geneva headquarters.

Brazil has more than 347,000 confirmed cases of the virus and at least 22,013 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At this point only the United States is harder hit in terms of total positive cases.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the virus, dismissing it as a “little flu” and attacking stay-at-home orders imposed by governors as a “crime.” He is a close ideological ally of Trump.

Bolsonaro’s own press secretary tested positive for the virus in March after attending a gathering with the Brazilian president and Trump at Mar-a-Lago. The incident raised concern about the health of Bolsonaro and Trump at the time, though both leaders have tested negative for the virus. 
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Let's blame Cuomo now.  ::)

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🦠 Americans Pack Beaches, Boardwalks, Parties on Memorial Day Weekend
« Reply #452 on: May 25, 2020, 02:03:49 AM »
Tailgating and Tanning are IMPORTANT!

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https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/05/americans-pack-beaches-boardwalks-memorial-day-weekend.html

Americans Pack Beaches, Boardwalks, Parties on Memorial Day Weekend

By Daniel Politi
May 24, 20208:05 PM

People walk at the boardwalk in Venice Beach during the first day of the Memorial Day holiday weekend amid the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic in California on May 23, 2020.
APU GOMES/Getty Images

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Americans were eager to get their Summer started this weekend and they flocked to outdoor spaces over Memorial Day Weekend. After spending lots of time indoors, many were clearly eager to get outside and socialize again. And some did not seem to care much about social-distancing guidelines, leading to warnings about a possible resurgence of the coronavirus that has already killed almost 100,000 people across the country.

One set of images that spread like wildfire on social media involved partiers crowding together in a pool at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Locals said it was a notably big crowd. “It seems like everyone is having the same idea, to come to the lake to enjoy summer, because you can social distance at the same time,” said a local who shot a time-lapse drone video of the boat traffic on the Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday.

Visitors also crowded the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. A photo shot by a Reuters photographer showed many people were not wearing face masks.

Lots of people also crowded beaches in Florida, with officials in the Gulf Coast closing beaches when they got full. Many who tried to go to the beach in the mid-afternoon ended up being turned away as beaches reached an “unprecedented level of closures.” Although some praised the way many beachgoers appeared to be trying to maintain a safe distance, others weren’t so optimistic. “I have never seen this many umbrellas,” one beachgoer said. “This is not social-distancing at all. There’s way too many people.” There were also huge crowds in Daytona Beach, where a shooting erupted after some 200 people gathered in the streets.
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As people tried to enjoy the unofficial start of the Summer and President Donald Trump celebrated that “cases, numbers and deaths are going down,” other White House officials emphasized that people still needed to be careful. Stephen M. Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, warned on Twitter that the coronavirus “is not yet contained.” Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said she was “very concerned” about scenes of people crowding together over the holiday weekend. “We really want to be clear all the time that social distancing is absolutely critical. And if you can’t social distance and you’re outside, you must wear a mask,” she said on ABC’s This Week.
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Can't wait to see ther Spike in a couple of weeks!

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🦠 U.S. coronavirus deaths top 100,000
« Reply #454 on: May 28, 2020, 04:00:19 AM »
I see Dead People.

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Meanwhile, here on the Last Great Frontier, we have our first DEAD PERSON in the MatSu Valley.

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https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2020/05/28/state-reports-13-new-cases-of-covid-19-across-alaska-the-biggest-jump-in-weeks/

Alaska reports 13 new cases of COVID-19, the biggest daily number in weeks


    pencil Author: Morgan Krakow
    clock Updated: 6 hours ago calendar Published 14 hours ago



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Alaska saw a big jump in new daily COVID-19 cases Thursday, according to data released by the state’s health department, after a month in which state officials had gradually loosened pandemic-related restrictions on businesses in an effort to boost Alaska’s economy.

The 13 new cases reported Thursday reflect the largest single-day increase since 15 were reported April 12.

The cases emerged among residents in regions across the state, including four in the Anchorage municipality; one in Juneau; two in Homer; one in Kenai; one in Nikiski; three in other smaller Kenai Peninsula Borough communities; and one in the North Slope Borough. The North Slope resident had traveled from Anchorage through Utqiagvik to their home community, the Arctic Slope Native Association said Wednesday.

“I know this increase in cases today may come as a surprise to some, but this is why we continue to closely monitor cases and investigate each one,” the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, said in a statement.

Zink said since the many of the results were reported late Wednesday, they’re still being investigated.

"It’s too soon to have details about the source of transmission, but other factors such as increases in testing may also play a role,” Zink said. The Kenai Peninsula cases “do not appear to be connected,” she said in a virtual town hall meeting Thursday evening.

The new cases reflect all of the positive results, out of 1,607 total tests run, that were sent to the state on Wednesday. Of those who tested positive, seven are male and six are female. The cases involve two people between the ages of 10 and 19, one person in their 20s, three people in their 30s, two people in their 40s, four people in their 50s and one person in their 60s.

At present, there are 10 people hospitalized who have either contracted the virus or are suspected of having it. Through Wednesday, 425 Alaskans have tested positive, as well as 17 nonresidents in the state. The deaths of 10 Alaskans have been tied to COVID-19.

As Alaska continued to see new case counts below five cases daily in May, the state steadily relaxed its pandemic-related restrictions. At the same time, state officials encouraged Alaskans to take measures to curb the spread of the virus, and continued efforts to ramp up testing and build up Alaska’s supply of protective equipment.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has previously said that he expects more cases as the state continues its reopening efforts.

On April 24, the state initiated its first phase of reopening, enabling restaurants to open to dine-in service and retail businesses to open at 25% percent capacity, as well as allowing small social gatherings. Two weeks later, on May 8, capacity at many businesses increased to 50%, and theaters, gyms and bars were allowed to reopen for the first time under state guidelines with limited capacity.

More recently, on May 22, Alaska allowed businesses to operate at full capacity while encouraging them to follow federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

In Anchorage, some hygiene and physical distancing rules for businesses are still required, while at the state level some guidance remains in place as advisories instead of requirements.

Traveling between places on Alaska’s road system has been allowed since May 12. The state still restricts non-essential travel to communities off the road system and requires a 14-day quarantine for travelers from outside Alaska.

Dunleavy said during Thursday’s town hall that the state will provide an update on the mandatory quarantine for travelers on Friday.

“We’re working on some protocols to be able to try to have some Outside folks come to Alaska to help with the very businesses that we’re talking about today, that are seasonal, that are tourist related, fishing related, etc.," Dunleavy said. "Again, we’re going to do our best to thread this needle where we keep Alaskans safe but also try and get our economy back up off its knees.”

Health officials continue to recommend rigorous hand-washing, staying at least 6 feet from non-household members and wearing a cloth face covering in public as some of the best ways to keep the virus from spreading to others.

In recent days, as more people were tested across the state, several asymptomatic individuals tested positive for the virus. Symptoms can take as many as 14 days to show up, and range from trouble breathing to gastrointestinal issues.
Cases are organized by date reported or date of symptom onset, whichever is earlier.
Cases are organized by date reported or date of symptom onset, whichever is earlier.

In a Monday virtual town hall, state epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin said many patients have shown only mild symptoms — a loss of taste and smell, mild aching, mild fatigue with a headache. McLaughlin encouraged Alaskans to have a low threshold for getting a test and to consider doing so if “anything seems off.”

Last week, the state updated its guidelines for getting a COVID-19 test. Anyone with symptoms of the illness can be tested, as can certain asymptomatic people including those going through an emergency medical procedure or being admitted to a health care facility. Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients might also get tested, as can health care workers and people in places with an outbreak.

“I think what’s just really striking to me about this disease is how much virus you can carry and how much you can transmit it before you even realize that you’re symptomatic,” Zink said during Monday’s town hall.

Zink also encouraged people to keep track of everyone they’d been in contact with.
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🦠 Protests over George Floyd death escalate in Los Angeles
« Reply #456 on: May 31, 2020, 12:04:36 AM »
What did I tell you?  Watts in '65 on Steroids.   ::)

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🦠 Why a vaccine may not be enough to end the pandemic
« Reply #457 on: June 04, 2020, 12:21:02 PM »
Vaccine not coming anytime too soon.

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https://www.vox.com/2020/6/3/21258841/coronavirus-vaccine-covid-19-testing-usa-china-moderna

Why a vaccine may not be enough to end the pandemic

We need to plan for many different Covid-19 vaccine scenarios. These four factors will influence the outcome.


By Umair Irfan Jun 3, 2020, 8:20am EDT


A laboratory technician holding a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi
There are dozens of Covid-19 coronavirus vaccines being tested right now, but no guarantee any of them will succeed. Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

Without a vaccine or treatment, the world has been forced to adopt severe tactics to slow the spread of Covid-19: social distancing, shutdowns, closures, and cancellations. As states in the US begin to reopen, it’s clear there is still much hardship to come — for those laid off, for businesses forced to implement costly new health measures, for those still at risk of infection.

But the global race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine to shield people from the infection is now well underway, and gaining ground by the week. There are now more than 90 vaccines under development from governments, nonprofits, and private companies. Several are in stages of human clinical trials. Some of the developers, including a research group in China and the US biotech firm Moderna, have already posted preliminary but promising results from their vaccine trials.

“This is an extraordinary time we’re living in right now,” said Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher and a professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “The pandemic is motivating a lot of [vaccine] efforts around the world.”

Yet as tempting as it is to predict how the vaccine will fit into the great epic of Covid-19, it’s impossible to know exactly how it will play out.

The kinds of vaccines we get and how well they’re distributed could determine whether this virus will fade away or will linger forever. And many of the decisions that could affect those outcomes are being made now.

There are four key elements that will determine how a vaccine will play out — how effective it will be, when it will be ready, how much of it would be available, and what the world does in the meantime to limit Covid-19. Here are some of the possibilities, and how they could change the course of the pandemic.
Efficacy: Will the vaccine grant lifelong immunity, or will immunity weaken in a few years?

A vaccine is a drug that primes the immune system to fight off an infection from a specific pathogen, protecting the recipient from a future infection.

Given the number of trials underway, some researchers are optimistic that not just one, but multiple Covid-19 vaccines will likely come to fruition. But the amount of protection they provide could vary. On the high end of possibilities, the vaccine could provide what’s called “sterilizing immunity,” meaning the recipient would be safe from infection potentially forever. This would be along the long lines of the smallpox vaccine.

Then there are lesser degrees of protection that could allow the virus could take root but the vaccine would coach the host’s immune system to fight it off before it can do too much damage. The inoculated could experience mild symptoms and transmit the disease, but the vaccine would prevent the more dangerous outcomes. This is how some influenza vaccines work.

One variable shaping efficacy is how quickly the virus mutates. A faster rate of mutation would increase the likelihood that the vaccine would not generate an effective immune response to the virus. SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19, is a single-stranded RNA virus. Such viruses are notorious for high mutation rates, but those mutations don’t necessarily occur in a way that would weaken protection from a vaccine.

“Measles is also a single-stranded RNA virus. It mutates a little but it doesn’t mutate away from the vaccine,” said Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “I think that you’re not going to need to do what you do with influenza where you have to get a yearly vaccine. Influenza is a moving target. That’s not going to be this virus.”

In fact, evidence seems to show that SARS-CoV-2 may have a relatively slow mutation rate for an RNA virus, increasing the chances that a vaccine would offer long-term protection.

“On the other hand, the vaccines will likely induce immunity that is short-lived and incomplete,” Offit said.

That is, the vaccine will likely offer protection that lasts a few years rather than decades or the near-lifetime immunity granted by some vaccines for other viruses.

And by “incomplete,” Offit explained that the vaccine would likely prevent the most severe manifestations of Covid-19, but it would likely do little to stop asymptomatic infections or milder forms of the illness.

This theory is based on what scientists have learned from how people have responded to other coronaviruses and how long people have retained immunity after an infection or a vaccination. For instance, people can get reinfected by the coronaviruses that cause the common cold within a couple of years of their first infection.

It’s not clear yet that surviving Covid-19 creates immunity to future infection. Even if it does, there’s isn’t a good way to tell how long that immunity will last besides waiting and seeing if survivors are susceptible again. That means it’s hard to gauge how long immunity will last from a vaccine at this point either.

The effectiveness of the vaccine can also vary for different groups. The shingles vaccine, for instance, is recommended for people over 50 years of age because they face higher risks of severe illness from the virus. The influenza vaccine has a different formula for people over the age of 65.

It may be the case that one type of Covid-19 vaccine is recommended for some age groups or people with preexisting conditions, while another type of vaccine is deployed to the general public. If immunity fades over time, people will need periodic boosters or revaccinations. And some people’s immune systems may not respond to the vaccine at all. “There may be people out there who are fundamentally unvaccinatable,” said Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at Texas A&M University Texarkana.
Timing: How soon until scientists find a vaccine that works?

A lot can change between now and whenever a vaccine for Covid-19 will become available. It may be months, it may be years — it’s not clear how long it will take, and that has huge implications for public health decisions we make in the meantime.

There is a global effort underway to speed up vaccine development. Governments are making efforts to fast-track funding and regulatory approvals, like combining phases of clinical trials. Companies are also putting their own researchers on the task. Nonprofit groups and philanthropists are also chipping in. That’s why some researchers are optimistic that a Covid-19 vaccine could arrive in record time. “This is as accelerated as it gets,” Offit said.

But the history of vaccine development shows that it can be a long, frustrating process. For instance, the mumps vaccine holds the record for fastest development time, which was four years. Most vaccines have taken much longer, often more than a decade.
A laboratory monkey interacts with an employee in the breeding centre for cynomolgus macaques (longtail macaques) at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi.
Vaccine trials often begin with testing in animals like monkeys before testing in humans. This macaque is part of a Covid-19 vaccine trial in Thailand. Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

The timing of when a vaccine comes out is critical because it determines the landscape where a vaccine would be released. Within the next two years, odds are Covid-19 will have spread, but the vast majority of the world’s population would still be unexposed and vulnerable to infection.

“A lot of optimism is swirling around a 12- to 18-month time frame, if everything goes perfectly,” Rick Bright, the former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, told lawmakers in May. “We’ve never seen everything go perfectly. I think it’s going to take longer than that.”

As time goes on and the virus spreads, more people in a population will have been exposed to the virus, so fewer doses of the vaccine would be needed. The massive trade-off is that allowing the virus to spread further would come with more deaths and strain on the health care system.

A longer wait for a vaccine could mean increasing fatigue from pandemic control measures. Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have already proven to be immensely costly and controversial. But a sudden relaxation of these measures without a vaccine or viable treatment for Covid-19 would allow the pandemic to continue spreading.

At the same time, the unprecedented resources flowing toward a vaccine doesn’t mean it will arrive any sooner. Even in the best of times, developing a vaccine is an enormous technical challenge that pushes the frontiers of science, demands the focus of swarms of researchers, and requires grueling trial and error. Despite the dozens of candidates under review, there is no guarantee any of them will pan out.

And those candidates that do show promise then need to undergo extensive testing for safety. A Covid-19 vaccine would have to be administered to millions, if not billions, of people. That means the rate of complications from the drug has to be so low that giving it to so many people is still a net positive.

For instance, one concern with vaccines is the risk of a problem known as vaccine enhancement or immune enhancement. That’s where the recipient’s immune system overreacts to the vaccine and may worsen the disease. It’s rare, but the likelihood of it has to be reduced as much as possible and balanced against the efficacy of a vaccine.

Still, a vaccine that offers imperfect protection could still be distributed; a vaccine that hasn’t met minimum safety thresholds could not.

In contrast, a treatment is only administered to people who are already ill, or as a preventive measure to people who face a high likelihood of getting infected. The risks and side effects for a treatment are more tolerable because they are weighed relative to the damage from the virus.

Reaching the point where a vaccine is ready to deploy requires extensive, slow, tedious, and expensive testing in humans. Until a vaccine reaches the necessary safety benchmarks, its use will be delayed. That’s a big reason pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to invest in vaccine development on their own. But this testing is also why vaccines are some of the safest medical tools ever developed.

Some vaccines could be used before testing is completed under compassionate use guidelines, or for people in high-risk roles. A research team at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute said they may have a vaccine ready for emergency use as soon as September. However, a widespread rollout will take much longer.
Distribution: Will countries compete or collaborate on a global vaccination campaign?

The next obstacle to ending the Covid-19 pandemic with a vaccine is getting to enough people inoculated to achieve herd immunity. That’s where enough members of a population are immune to the virus, making it so that the virus can’t spread easily. The herd immunity threshold in a population can range from 60 percent to more than 90 percent, depending on how readily the pathogen can spread. At those levels, even people who aren’t immune receive protection since the virus is less likely to jump from person to person.

Depending on the prevalence of the virus at the time, that could mean vaccinating the majority of people on Earth. It’s not clear that the world will muster the resources, knowledge, and political will to do this.

“People don’t realize the full extent, that we as a country, we as a global community, have never vaccinated adult populations in the numbers that we need” to end the Covid-19 pandemic, said Saad Omer, a vaccine researcher and director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. “The numbers you would need for normalization — numbers you would need for NFL games to resume with crowds, the numbers you would need for a sense of normalcy, where grandma-can-attend-your-wedding kind of normalcy — would require vaccine-level herd immunity, and that would mean pretty high numbers.”

Billions of doses will be needed, which demands a robust supply chain and manufacturing capacity. Very little of this infrastructure exists now, and building it up would require extensive government and private sector investment.

A related issue is that different types of vaccines — mRNA, viral fragments, inactivated viruses — require entirely different manufacturing techniques, so one assembly line can’t be easily repurposed for another. Each approach requires its own infrastructure.
An employee wearing protective equipment works at the production line of Russia’s biotech company BIOCAD, which is developing its own vaccine against the new coronavirus.
An employee of the Russian biotech firm BIOCAD, which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine, works on a vaccine production line. Manufacturing a coronavirus vaccine will be its own tedious, expensive process. Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

Vaccinating everyone would also demand legions of workers trained to administer it all over the world. It’s a process that will take years of sustained effort, and planning needs to begin right away. “Just the logistics for it are pretty substantial,” Omer said. “My concern is that we’re not preparing for it now.”

And at the outset, there won’t be enough vaccines for everyone, which means making difficult decisions about whom to prioritize for immunization.

Whether there will be enough vaccines to go around will depend on decisions and investments being made now. Philanthropists like Bill Gates, economists, and some nonprofits are calling to start building vaccine factories for different candidates immediately, even before testing is complete, with the expectation that many of these vaccine candidates will not be selected.

But a pandemic requires also international coordination. While researchers are sharing data about Covid-19 across borders, it’s not clear that countries agree on how to collaborate on making and distributing the vaccine. The US, for instance, has tried to lure vaccine developers to the country to make vaccines for exclusive US use. But the World Health Organization has called for sharing vaccine intellectual property free among companies and countries. Other world leaders have called for a people’s vaccine to Covid-19 to be made available to all countries free of charge.

The extent of global collaboration can therefore shape how quickly the pandemic phases out. If only a handful of countries have a Covid-19 vaccine and aren’t willing to help distribute it, the virus can continue to spread in other areas of the world. And until there’s herd immunity, the virus could be reimported into countries, even with a vaccine.
Public health responses: Can we keep up pandemic control measures until, and after, a vaccine arrives?

Since a Covid-19 vaccination campaign will likely take a long time, many of the current tactics to slow the pandemic will still be needed to an extent after a vaccine is available.

“Without a vaccine, it’s not as though we can do nothing,” said Meagan Fitzpatrick, an assistant professor at the center for vaccine development and global health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “With or without a vaccine, what we really need to be doing in the short term is contact tracing and testing. We need to test, trace, isolate.”

And limiting the spread of the virus can boost the effectiveness of a vaccine across a population, even if the vaccine itself doesn’t grant robust, long-term immunity to an individual. For instance, a vaccine that protects older people, coupled with social distancing and mask-wearing, would do more to slow the pandemic than any of these methods on their own. So a vaccine is ultimately one tactic in a suite of methods to control Covid-19.
Customers wait to pick up there order using social distancing from Fish Kitchen 1854, a traditional fish and chip shop which has reopened for online orders only on May 29, 2020 in Maesycwmmer, Wales, United Kingdom.
Some businesses like this fish and chip shop in the United Kingdom have limited their offerings and imposed distance requirements to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

“If the [moderately efficacious] vaccine is used outside of these comprehensive public health responses — contact tracing, social distancing — it would only protect the individual person for one to two years,” said Neuman.

Another element that could influence a Covid-19 vaccination campaign is the availability and effectiveness of treatments for the virus. Right now, there is no specific treatment recommended for general use — some experimental drugs like remdesivir have been allowed for emergency and compassionate use. However, if a widely available medicine were developed, it would relieve some of the urgency for developing a vaccine.

Related
Remdesivir receives emergency approval as a Covid-19 treatment

Treatments could also help optimize the distribution of vaccines. If a treatment is more effective in some groups but not others, say, the elderly, the more vulnerable group could become the priority for vaccination, putting limited vaccines to more effective use.

However, one of the biggest problems for Covid-19 vaccination may be the small but potent movement opposing vaccines. Already, some groups are whipping up conspiracy theories about purported harms of a vaccine that hasn’t even been developed yet. But if such resistance builds, it could undermine the effort to roll out a vaccine, allowing the virus to infect more people.
In thinking about how a Covid-19 vaccine would play out, it helps to look at lessons from other vaccines

The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented in many ways, so whatever scenario emerges will be unlike anything we’ve seen before. That said, there are some historical cases that can illustrate what could happen with a Covid-19 vaccine.

The most ideal outcome would be a vaccine akin to that for smallpox, rendering robust and near-lifelong immunity to the virus. With the smallpox vaccine, smallpox has become only one of two viruses to have been eradicated in the wild. “It’s obvious that we’re all aiming for a vaccine that is more like the smallpox vaccine,” Fitzpatrick said.

However, the world was very lucky with smallpox. The vaccine was unusually effective. The virus also had no known animal hosts and only spread from human to human.

Polio, another virus with an effective vaccine, lingers in some parts of the world despite an aggressive vaccination campaign, which has been thwarted by conflict and distrust of the vaccine. Now the Covid-19 pandemic is undermining some of the fragile progress against the disease.

That said, researchers do expect that a usable Covid-19 vaccine will emerge from the race. “I do have a lot of optimism about our ability to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus,” said Fitzpatrick. “The reason they are being tested now is because they have shown promising results in animal models.”

Even if a vaccine doesn’t prevent the disease entirely, it can still be useful if it reduces the severity of the illness. “You could imagine a scenario where something that is less than efficacious is rolled out because some benefit in the pandemic is better than no benefit,” said Omer. That would make it particularly helpful for people in high-risk groups like the elderly or people with preexisting health conditions.

But the lower levels of protection could also mean that an inoculated patient could still spread the virus, which means other control measures would be needed to protect high-risk groups.

On the other end of the spectrum, the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine could be as fruitless as the effort to develop a vaccine for HIV, which has gone on for nearly 40 years.

Such an outcome would require weighing the trade-offs that may be necessary to live in a world where SARS-CoV-2 may be lurking for years. “We have to start thinking about prevention where we don’t have the magic bullet or the technological fix,” said Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

For HIV, the lack of a vaccine to date has led public health officials to focus on treatments like antiviral drugs and to encourage less risky behavior, like using condoms. These tactics have improved the survival rate for people with the virus and reduced its spread. Similar attention to treatment and behavior could mitigate the harms of Covid-19, but it may require lasting cultural changes like wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

Researchers do expect that some versions of vaccines will start being deployed in the next few months in limited cases, but getting a widespread vaccine at a record pace would require a lot of the aforementioned factors to precisely fall into place. A vaccine could still arrive in time to be used to protect the majority of people. But the world will still have to endure the pandemic until then.

Even with assembly lines in place ready to ramp up production, there will likely be a scarcity of vaccines at the outset. That will require officials to ration the vaccine and make difficult decisions about whom to prioritize in their distribution.

“It’s not an easy decision to make, and I don’t envy the people who have to make it,” Durbin said.

The central focus of the vaccination campaign would be the people facing the most exposure to the virus, like health workers, followed by people in essential roles like those in grocery supply chains and first responders. Then older people and those at the highest risk of complications could be vaccinated.
An employee works at the Stabilitech laboratory in Burgess Hill south east England, on May 15, 2020 where scientists are trying to develop an oral vaccine for the COVID-19 illness.
An employee works at the biotech firm Stabilitech in England. Scientists there are trying to develop an oral vaccine for Covid-19. Quashing the pandemic may require billions of doses. Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

One method to economize vaccines is a ring vaccination strategy. For Covid-19, it would involve vaccinating just people who were exposed to the virus rather than everyone in a population, forming a “ring” around a known carrier. Ring vaccination was used effectively in the Democratic Republic of Congo to contain the Ebola virus outbreak there in 2019. But it requires extensive contact tracing to figure out who might have been exposed. With a virus that spreads as far and as quickly as Covid-19, this tracing effort would be far more laborious than it was for Ebola, especially given that many people infected with SARS-CoV-2 can spread it without showing symptoms.

“We would definitely aiming for a [vaccine] supply where we didn’t have to consider ring vaccination as a strategy,” Fitzpatrick said.

Another scenario is that the distribution of the vaccine may take longer than the duration of immunity it provides. If a Covid-19 vaccine provides two years of protection but takes five years to reach most people, then the first round of immunity could fade before herd immunity is reached. That’s why it’s important to get the vaccine delivered quickly to as many people as possible. Otherwise, pockets of infection could remain and cause sporadic outbreaks until people are revaccinated.

Supply chains are critical too. If countries are willing to pool resources to ramp up vaccine production, the demand for a vaccine could be met far more rapidly than with countries working on their own. It would also prevent some of the bottlenecks that have hampered other materials needed for the Covid-19 pandemic, like personal protective equipment and reagents for tests.
People wear face masks, amid the Coronavirus outbreak in Cairo, Egypt.
Masks may be here to stay. Omar Zoheiry/DPA/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Communication is also going to be a critical factor for the deployment of a vaccine to explain why vaccines are safe and why getting vaccinated is so important.

It’s a hard-learned lesson from other disease control efforts. Measles, for instance, surged in recent years as vaccination rates stagnated or declined in some areas, leading to 140,000 deaths worldwide in 2018. Part of this was due to a lack of investment in vaccination campaigns, but the outbreak also arose in insular communities with low vaccination rates, as well as among people deliberately avoiding the vaccine and denying its safety.

Related
Vaccines: everything you need to know, from the 2019 measles outbreak to how denial spreads

Even amid a deadly pandemic, it’s unlikely that people who fear vaccines will suddenly change their minds with Covid-19. “That’s not how it works. People have huge motivated reasoning,” Omer said. “There will be vaccine acceptance issues.”

Resolving this will require campaigns to convince people to get vaccinated aimed not necessarily at the people who are most opposed to vaccines, but at people who are ambivalent. Without this kind of outreach, even the existence of a highly effective vaccine won’t contain the virus.

Taken together, these scenarios highlight just how difficult it is to anticipate the pandemic’s future. But they also show why it’s important to game out what’s possible, to build for the best, and to prepare for the worst. Billions of lives and livelihoods worldwide hang in the balance.
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🦠 Tracking the spread of the novel coronavirus
« Reply #458 on: June 07, 2020, 12:28:42 PM »
You will note that all the countries with low totals are the poor ones who simply don't have the ability to track the numbers or test the population.

https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-MAP/0100B59S39E/index.html

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Trust me, this is a MASSIVE undercount.

RE

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-casualties/global-coronavirus-deaths-top-400000-as-outbreak-grows-in-brazil-india-reuters-tally-idUSKBN23E0PK

June 7, 2020 / 9:09 AM / Updated 2 hours ago
Global coronavirus deaths top 400,000 as outbreak grows in Brazil, India
: Reuters tally
Lisa Shumaker


A woman wearing a protective mask walks past a healthcare camp set up for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums, Mumbai, India, June 7, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

(Reuters) - Global deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 400,000 on Sunday, as case numbers surge in Brazil and India, according to a Reuters tally.

The United States is responsible for about one-quarter of all fatalities but deaths in South America are rapidly rising.

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The number of deaths linked to COVID-19 in just five months is now equal to the number of people who die annually from malaria, one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.

Global cases are approaching 7 million, with about 2 million, or 30%, of those cases in the United States. Latin America has the second-largest outbreak with over 15% of cases, according to Reuters tally.

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The first COVID-19 death was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China but it was early April before the death toll passed 100,000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments. It took 24 days to go from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths.

The United States has the highest death toll in the world at almost 110,000. Fatalities in Brazil are rising rapidly and the country may overtake the United Kingdom to have the second-largest number of deaths in the world.

The total number of deaths is believed to be higher than the officially reported 400,000 as many countries lack supplies to test all victims and some countries do not count deaths outside of a hospital. (Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.)
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So, how much would YOU pay for a Coronavirus Vaccine to Big Pharma?

RE

https://nypost.com/2020/06/09/anthony-fauci-warns-that-covid-19-pandemic-isnt-close-to-over/

Anthony Fauci warns that ‘nightmare’ pandemic isn’t close to over

By Vincent Barone
June 9, 2020 | 6:00pm

Dr. Anthony Fauci   AFP via Getty Images

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President Trump’s infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday called the coronavirus his “worst nightmare” and warned that the fight against its spread is far from over.

The bleak outlook from Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, comes as the US continues to slowly reopen from lockdown while grappling with massive protests in cities over the police killing of George Floyd.

“In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world,” Fauci said during a virtual appearance at a conference held by Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “And it isn’t over yet.”

Fauci added that there is still a world of uncertainty around the virus and how it spreads and impacts the body. He said COVID-19 is much more complex that HIV, a virus he spent his career studying, because of the varying levels of seriousness in infections — from asymptomatic carriers to patients who develop fatal conditions.

“Oh my goodness,” Fauci added. “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of really understanding.”

Fauci said vaccines will be the only way to stop the spread of the coronavirus though he did express confidence that an antidote is in the works.

He expects “more than one winner in the vaccine field because we will need vaccines for the entire world — billions and billions of doses,” he said.

“I’m very heartened by the fact that the industry has stepped to the plate — very much differently than what we saw with SARS,” Fauci said. “The industry is not stupid — they figured it out. SARS had a degree of transmissibility that it burned itself out with pure public health measures. No way is that going to happen with this virus.”

COVID-19 shines a “bright light” on the health disparities in the US, Fauci added. And as the US climbs out of its public health crisis, Fauci said resources must be focused on the most vulnerable communities, namely African Americans, who because of a variety of factors — including socioeconomic and employment — have been hit “getting hit with a double whammy” from the virus.
see also
Texas sees record number of coronavirus hospitalizations after state reopens

“[African Americans] have a greater proportion of jobs that don’t allow them to sit in front of a computer and do telework. They’re out there. they’re doing a lot of things physically where you to have interact,” Fauci said.

The nation’s top coronavirus expert also warned against trying to implement price controls on manufacturers of vaccines.

“As much as you’d like to see fair pricing,” you can’t force a price,” he said, reasoning that companies would simply walk away if faced with a price-control on vaccines.

“It’s a profit-driven industry,” Fauci went on, adding that companies “will in good faith make it available to those groups, countries, nations that really can’t afford it very well.”
Filed under Anthony Fauci ,  Coronavirus ,  vaccines ,  6/9/20   
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🦠 Arizona calls for emergency plan as COVID-19 spikes after reopening
« Reply #461 on: June 10, 2020, 05:47:06 AM »
Wonder how AZ is doing?

RE

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-arizona/arizona-calls-for-emergency-plan-as-covid-19-spikes-after-reopening-idUSKBN23H03K

June 9, 2020 / 5:06 PM / Updated 10 hours ago
Arizona calls for emergency plan as COVID-19 spikes after reopening
Andrew Hay

(Reuters) - Arizona again told hospitals to activate the coronavirus emergency plans after cases spiked following reopening, turning it into a U.S. virus hotspot along with neighboring Southwest states.

FILE PHOTO: Donna Ferraro cuts and styles Jan Campbell?s hair at Passions Salon during the phased reopening from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Cave Creek, Arizona, U.S. May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Nicole Neri/File Photo

The state’s stay-at-home order ended on May 15, and its cases have increased 115 percent since then, leading a former state health chief to warn Arizona may need new social distancing measures or field hospitals.

State health director Cara Christ on Saturday told hospitals to “fully activate” emergency plans - a message she last sent on March 25 - after Arizona’s largest medical network Banner Health warned it was reaching its capacity in intensive care unit beds.

“Since May 15, ventilated COVID-19 patients have quadrupled,” Banner Health tweeted on Monday, adding it had hit capacity for some patients needing cardiac and respiratory care.

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The alert came after Arizona, New Mexico and Utah each posted rises of 40% or higher in new cases for the week ended June 7 compared with the prior seven days, joining hotpots in the South like Florida and Arkansas, according to a Reuters analysis.

University of Washington researchers estimated on Monday 145,728 people could die of COVID-19 in the United States by August, raising their forecast by over 5,000 fatalities in a matter of days.

In Arizona, a “cavalier” exit from the state’s successful stay-at-home program caused the sudden case surge, said former state health chief Will Humble.

Humble said Governor Doug Ducey let Arizonans voluntarily follow Centers for Disease Control guidance but must now impose measures like mandatory face mask use inside public spaces. A failure to do so will leave Ducey with two drastic choices, he added.

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“He’s going to have to either A) implement a field hospital plan, B) do another stay-at-home order, or C) both,” said Humble, head of health professionals organization the Arizona Public Health Association.

Ducey last week told a press briefing that the increase in cases was to be expected due to a rise in testing.

Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Aurora Ellis
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Offline JRM

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Wonder how AZ is doing?

RE

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-arizona/arizona-calls-for-emergency-plan-as-covid-19-spikes-after-reopening-idUSKBN23H03K

June 9, 2020 / 5:06 PM / Updated 10 hours ago
Arizona calls for emergency plan as COVID-19 spikes after reopening
Andrew Hay

(Reuters) - Arizona again told hospitals to activate the coronavirus emergency plans after cases spiked following reopening, turning it into a U.S. virus hotspot along with neighboring Southwest states.

FILE PHOTO: Donna Ferraro cuts and styles Jan Campbell?s hair at Passions Salon during the phased reopening from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions, in Cave Creek, Arizona, U.S. May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Nicole Neri/File Photo

The state’s stay-at-home order ended on May 15, and its cases have increased 115 percent since then, leading a former state health chief to warn Arizona may need new social distancing measures or field hospitals.

State health director Cara Christ on Saturday told hospitals to “fully activate” emergency plans - a message she last sent on March 25 - after Arizona’s largest medical network Banner Health warned it was reaching its capacity in intensive care unit beds.

“Since May 15, ventilated COVID-19 patients have quadrupled,” Banner Health tweeted on Monday, adding it had hit capacity for some patients needing cardiac and respiratory care.

Advertisement

The alert came after Arizona, New Mexico and Utah each posted rises of 40% or higher in new cases for the week ended June 7 compared with the prior seven days, joining hotpots in the South like Florida and Arkansas, according to a Reuters analysis.

University of Washington researchers estimated on Monday 145,728 people could die of COVID-19 in the United States by August, raising their forecast by over 5,000 fatalities in a matter of days.

In Arizona, a “cavalier” exit from the state’s successful stay-at-home program caused the sudden case surge, said former state health chief Will Humble.

Humble said Governor Doug Ducey let Arizonans voluntarily follow Centers for Disease Control guidance but must now impose measures like mandatory face mask use inside public spaces. A failure to do so will leave Ducey with two drastic choices, he added.

Advertisement

“He’s going to have to either A) implement a field hospital plan, B) do another stay-at-home order, or C) both,” said Humble, head of health professionals organization the Arizona Public Health Association.

Ducey last week told a press briefing that the increase in cases was to be expected due to a rise in testing.

Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Aurora Ellis

Just as I predicted.   These spikes will appear in many more, or most states, I believe.  We're jumping the gun on "going back to normal".
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline RE

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Just as I predicted.   These spikes will appear in many more, or most states, I believe.  We're jumping the gun on "going back to normal".

Bet on an even bigger spike come Oct-Nov or so.

RE
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🦠 Several states seeing rise in coronavirus cases
« Reply #464 on: June 11, 2020, 12:05:58 AM »
That "Back to Bizness" idea isn't working out so well...

RE

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/y7mzs3WCuc8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/y7mzs3WCuc8</a>
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