Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor, aka suPAR, is produced in the endobronchial tree in the lungs and by immune cells in the bone marrow and repeatedly has been shown to harm kidneys.
Igor_Kavinski wrote:Antibodies from llamas could help in fight against COVID-19: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04- ... ovid-.html
just brew it! wrote:Igor_Kavinski wrote:Antibodies from llamas could help in fight against COVID-19: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04- ... ovid-.html
So... the llama whips COVID-19's ass?
DiMaestro wrote:JustAnEngineer wrote:I split the politics out of this thread four different times, but then Vrock comes back.
JAE: Only one way to learn em - temp ban for 30 days.
Vrock wrote:DiMaestro wrote:JustAnEngineer wrote:I split the politics out of this thread four different times, but then Vrock comes back.
JAE: Only one way to learn em - temp ban for 30 days.
He could do that, if he wanted to reduce the site's traffic by an eighth.
Igor_Kavinski wrote:I prefer to call them tools.DiMaestro wrote:Hehe, do it my way or I'm gonna take my toys and go home. Nicely put.
Vrock has toys?
Vrock wrote:Igor_Kavinski wrote:I prefer to call them tools.DiMaestro wrote:Hehe, do it my way or I'm gonna take my toys and go home. Nicely put.
Vrock has toys?
Vrock wrote:Don't hold back on my account.
Nicholas Kristof wrote:America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000. The reported numbers leave out thousands of deaths clearly resulting from the pandemic.
Many supporters of President Trump believe that the figures for coronavirus fatalities are inflated, and Trump himself shared a tweet doubting the accuracy of some virus figures. He’s right that the death toll seems off — but not in the direction he would suggest. We’ve crunched the numbers, state by state, and it appears that somewhere around 100,000 to 110,000 Americans have already died as a result of the pandemic, rather than the 83,000 whose deaths have been attributed to the disease, Covid-19.
That’s my estimate reached with the help of a Harvard statistician, Rafael Irizarry, based on a comparison of death rates this spring with those in previous years. Some states have been largely unaffected — death rates in some even appear to have dropped, perhaps because of less driving and fewer car accidents — but others have seen huge surges in deaths.
These estimates include excess deaths calculated by comparing death rates this spring with those in previous years. The starting point is that the cause of death is often uncertain. Most people who die don’t get an autopsy, and many never had a coronavirus test. The precise number who died from Covid-19 is in some sense unknowable. Still, one standard approach to measure the impact of a pandemic like this is to look at “excess deaths,” meaning mortality greater than the average for a particular time period. For example, for the seven weeks ending April 25 in the United States, about 70,000 more Americans died than is normal for those weeks (death is seasonal and normally declines over the course of spring and summer). That 70,000 figure for excess deaths does not include Connecticut, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, which were excluded because of missing or dubious data. The official number of Covid-19 deaths in that period for the rest of the country was 49,100. That suggests an undercount of more than 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths as of April 25.
“There’s probably less underreporting as time goes on,” notes Robert N. Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the C.D.C.’s National Center for Health Statistics. In New York City, a study likewise found enormous underreporting in the first half of April, then gradually diminishing by the beginning of May.
In the period we looked at, the undercount also diminished. Initially, there were more than twice as many excess deaths as reported coronavirus deaths, but by April 25 there were only 40 percent more. If the undercount thereafter were 10 percent, that would add a few thousand to the total, possibly bringing it closer to 110,000. These numbers are uncertain, but the implication is that somewhere around 25,000 more Americans died as a result of the pandemic than are recorded in the death tallies.
This kind of analysis can’t determine if they died directly from the virus or indirectly. Some presumably perished from heart attacks or strokes because they feared going to hospitals and delayed calling 911, or because ambulance services were stretched thin. In other words, a modest number presumably died because of the virus without being infected by it. One reason to think that a great majority of the excess deaths are directly caused by the virus is that in some states that seem to have meticulous reporting, such as Massachusetts, the number of excess deaths and the number of Covid-19 deaths are not so far apart.
Professor Irizarry, who is also chairman of the department of data science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, notes that our new estimates are built on several layers of uncertainty. It typically takes two months for deaths to be reported in a reasonably complete way, so one critical issue is how to adjust for lags in reporting. The C.D.C. tries to estimate what the death total will eventually be based on incomplete reporting, and our estimates depend on its algorithms.
The mortality figures show enormous variation by state. Texas and California appear to have suffered more deaths from the 2018 flu epidemic than from the coronavirus so far. And according to the C.D.C. numbers, some states, including Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Rhode Island, actually experienced fewer deaths than normal in the seven weeks ending April 25. The reason might be a decline in driving and a drop in accidental deaths. Irizarry calculates that about 70 percent of excess deaths nationally derive from just five states: New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts and Illinois.
The idea that official figures are undercounts is widely acknowledged. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci told a Senate health committee on Tuesday that he didn’t know if the real death toll was 50 percent higher than the official figures, but that “almost certainly it’s higher.” “Most frontline doctors will tell you that the numbers are grossly underreported,” said Michael P. Jones, an emergency medicine physician who works at hospitals in the Bronx that were particularly hard hit. Especially in the early days, he said, many Covid-19 deaths were simply listed as some variant of “respiratory failure” or “multisystem organ failure.” Dr. Alicia Skarimbas, who practices in New Jersey, said, “We signed so many death certificates, we would get behind and take turns doing them.” Skarimbas said that she would list Covid-19 as the cause of death when that seemed obvious, but her partners might simply list “respiratory failure” unless there had been a positive test for the virus. Thus it was often random whether Covid-19 was listed as the cause of death.
The undercounting is a global problem, not just one in the United States. Dr. Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates that globally, excess deaths are about double the official Covid-19 death counts. Excess deaths are often used to gauge mortality from an event or an epidemic. When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, the official death toll stood for a year at 64. But Irizarry and other scholars used a variety of techniques to calculate that excess deaths in the aftermath exceeded 1,000, perhaps by a wide margin. As a result of the statistical work, the official death toll is now 2,975.
Covid-19 will inevitably continue to kill people in the weeks ahead. Those who die over the next week or two have already been infected, perhaps several weeks ago. Dr. Tom Frieden, a former director of the C.D.C., notes that even if one could end all new infections, thousands would still die from infections already contracted.
The drugmaker Moderna said Monday that the first coronavirus vaccine to be tested in people appears to be safe and able to stimulate an immune response against the virus. The findings, which helped prompt a rally on Wall Street, are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the experimental vaccine, starting in March. Those people, healthy volunteers, made antibodies that were then tested in human cells in the lab, and were able to stop the virus from replicating — the key requirement for an effective vaccine. The levels of those so-called neutralizing antibodies matched the levels found in patients who had recovered after contracting the virus in the community.
Limited data from the early phase, however leaves much uncertainty around the vaccine’s potential success. Dozens of companies in the United States, Europe and China are racing to produce vaccines, using different methods. Moderna is proceeding on an accelerated timetable, with the second phase involving 600 people to begin soon, and a third phase to begin in July involving thousands of healthy people. The Food and Drug Administration gave Moderna the go-ahead for the second phase earlier this month.
If those trials go well, a vaccine could become available for widespread use by the end of this year or early 2021, Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said in an interview. Moderna is on an accelerated timetable to begin a larger human trial soon.
A New Entry in the Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine: Hope
By Carl Zimmer, Knvul Sheikh and Noah Weiland, May 20, 2020
In a medical research project nearly unrivaled in its ambition and scope, volunteers worldwide are rolling up their sleeves to receive experimental vaccines against the coronavirus — only months after the virus was identified. Companies like Inovio and Pfizer have begun early tests of candidates in people to determine whether their vaccines are safe. Researchers at the University of Oxford in England are testing vaccines in human subjects, too, and say they could have one ready for emergency use as soon as September. Moderna on Monday announced encouraging results of a safety trial of its vaccine in eight volunteers. There were no published data, but the news alone sent hopes soaring. Animal studies have raised expectations, too. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on Wednesday published research showing that a prototype vaccine effectively protected monkeys from infection with the virus. The findings will pave the way to development of a human vaccine, said the investigators. They have already partnered with Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson.
In labs around the world, there is now cautious optimism that a coronavirus vaccine, and perhaps more than one, will be ready sometime next year.
Scientists are exploring not just one approach to creating the vaccine, but at least four. So great is the urgency that they are combining trial phases and shortening a process that usually takes years, sometimes more than a decade. The coronavirus itself has turned out to be clumsy prey, a stable pathogen unlikely to mutate significantly and dodge a vaccine. “It’s an easier target, which is terrific news,” said Michael Farzan, a virologist at Scripps Research in Jupiter, Fla.
An effective vaccine will be crucial to ending the pandemic, which has sickened at least 4.7 million worldwide and killed at least 324,000. Widespread immunity would reopen the door to lives without social distancing and face masks. “What people don’t realize is that normally vaccine development takes many years, sometimes decades,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston who led the monkey trials. “And so trying to compress the whole vaccine process into 12 to 18 months is really unheard-of.” “If that happens, it will be the fastest vaccine development program ever in history.”
More than 100 research teams around the world are taking aim at the virus from multiple angles. Moderna’s vaccine is based on a relatively new mRNA technology that delivers bits of the virus’s genes into human cells. The goal is for cells to begin making a viral protein that the immune system recognizes as foreign. The body builds defenses against that protein, priming itself to attack if the actual coronavirus invades.
Some vaccine makers, including Inovio, are developing vaccines based on DNA variations of this approach. But the technology used by both companies has never produced a vaccine approved for clinical use, let alone one that can be made in industrial quantities. Moderna was criticized for making rosy predictions, based on a handful of patients, without providing any scientific data.
Other research teams have turned to more traditional strategies. Some scientists are using harmless viruses to deliver coronavirus genes into cells, forcing them to produce proteins that may teach the immune system to watch out for the coronavirus. CanSino Biologics, a company in China, has begun human testing of a coronavirus vaccine that relies on this approach, as has the University of Oxford team. Other traditional approaches rely on fragments of a coronavirus protein to make a vaccine, while some use killed, or inactivated, versions of the whole coronavirus. In China, such vaccines have already entered human trials.
Florian Krammer, a virologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, predicted that at least 20 additional vaccine candidates will make their way into clinical trials in the weeks to come. “I’m not worried at all about it,” he said of the prospects for a new vaccine. Many of these vaccines will stumble as the trials progress. As more people are inoculated, some candidates will fail to protect against the virus, and side effects will become more apparent. But from what scientists are learning about the coronavirus, it ought to be a relatively easy target. The coronavirus sports tempting targets on its surface, unique “spike” proteins the pathogen needs to enter human cells. The immune system readily learns to recognize these proteins, it appears, and to attack them, killing the virus. Viruses can challenge vaccine makers by mutating rapidly, changing shape so that antibodies that work on one viral strain fail on another. Thankfully, the new coronavirus seems to be a slow mutator, and a vaccine that proves effective in trials should work anywhere in the world.
When work on a coronavirus vaccine started, some researchers worried that antibodies actually might worsen Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. But in early studies, no serious risks have emerged. “That doesn’t mean that there won’t be, but so far there hasn’t been any indication, so I’m cautiously optimistic on that point,” said Dr. Alyson Kelvin, a researcher at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology and Dalhousie University.
Conclusions: Hydroxychloroquine has received worldwide attention as a potential treatment for covid-19.... However, the results of this study do not support its use in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 who require oxygen.
Conclusions: Administration of hydroxychloroquine did not result in a significantly higher probability of negative conversion than standard of care alone in patients admitted to hospital with mainly persistent mild to moderate covid-19. Adverse events were higher in hydroxychloroquine recipients than in non-recipients.