Coronavirus Insights – Jan. 26, 2021
Dear Nutmeg Aspirin Community,
We could all use some good news, and this newsletter has it 👏 Two huge pieces of news have emerged that should come as rays of light: 1. The drug Ivermectin is working and becoming more widely used and 2. The WHO has revised guidelines on PCR testing to require a second test if the results from the patient’s first test fail to correspond with their clinical symptoms.
We have been sharing articles that question the PCR test as a diagnostic tool for months. One article in particular was from the New York Times: Your Coronavirus Test is Positive. Maybe it Shouldn’t Be, published back in August.
It explained that the tests were running at too high a cycle and picking up viral fragments, leading to the results being misinterpreted. In fact, they were not being interpreted at all— there was no quantitative assessment of viral load. Well, the WHO finally listened, and on Jan. 20th, the day Biden was sworn in, they changed their guidelines. Although this didn’t make headline news, we most likely will now see the case count drop dramatically...
Some have criticized our newsletters as ‘cherry picking’ information. Perhaps they are right, but our intentions are pure. It seems almost everything on the news about Covid these days creates fear. But if you look at fear—it exists only in the absence of understanding or knowledge. What we aim to provide in our newsletters is the understanding or knowledge to help balance the fear and provide much-needed context that hopefully empowers us all to live with more ease. For some, that empowerment may come through a vaccine. For others, it may come from supporting the immune system through diet, exercise, supplements and meditation. And for others, it may be from knowing that there are therapeutics that work, just in case.
The choice is totally individual and we stay true to our original founding mission: to help everyone feel, get, and be better through the means of whatever works — because there are always options.
New Guidelines for PCR Testing and COVID Diagnosis
Via WHO Information Notices
Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2
On January 20th, the WHO announced new instructions for testing that require a second test if the results from the patient’s first test fail to correspond with their clinical symptoms. A report of the cycle threshold value is now also required and “careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed.”
“The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology. The probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity. Most PCR assays are indicated as an aid for diagnosis, therefore, health care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information."
Via The Buffalo News
After judge orders hospital to use experimental Covid-19 treatment, woman recovers
"The drug Ivermectin – a pill sometimes used to treat children with head lice or to rid dogs and cats of worms – is not yet approved by the federal government for use against Covid-19. But Smentkiewicz's son and daughter call it 'a miracle drug' in their court papers. 'This lady was on a ventilator, literally on her deathbed, before she was given this drug,' Lorigo told The Buffalo News about Smentkiewicz, a Cheektowaga resident. 'As far as we’re concerned, the judge’s order saved this woman’s life.' Lorigo said one doctor at the hospital allowed the patient to be given the drug, but after she had been given one dose, another doctor at the hospital refused to allow further doses. He said family members went to court to force the hospital to resume treatment with Ivermectin. State Supreme Court Judge Henry J. Nowak sided with them."
Via Yahoo! News
Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest
"Ivermectin, a cheap and "generic" antiparasitic drug "used all over the world," may significantly reduce the risk of death in patients suffering from moderate to severe cases of COVID-19, researchers have found. The research team has also theorized the drug could also make it harder for infected people to transmit the virus."
Via Life Site News
India develops COVID treatment kit for less than $3 per person with 'miraculous' Ivermectin
"Utilizing early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, the densely populated India, which has four times the population of the U.S., has less than half of the coronavirus related deaths."
Via Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy
URGENT Covid-19 information for health professionals and policymakers
"Ivermectin reduces the risk of death from COVID-19 - A rapid review and meta-analysis in support of the recommendation of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance."
Via Research Gate
Anti-Viral Activity of Ivermectin Against SARS-CoV-2: An Old-Fashioned Dog with a New Trick - A Literature Review
"Recent studies have suggested that ivermectin inhibits the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), thus suggesting its potential for use against COVID-19. This review has summarized the evidence derived from docking and modeling analysis, in vitro and in vivo studies, and results from new investigational drug protocols, as well as clinical trials, if available, which will be effective in supporting the prospective use of ivermectin as an alternative treatment for COVID-19."
Via Ivermectin Meta
Covid analysis (Preprint) (meta-analysis) Ivermectin is effective for COVID-19; real-time meta-analysis of 33 studies
"100% of the 33 studies to date report positive effects. Early treatment is more successful, with an estimated reduction of 84% in the effect measured using a random-effects meta-analysis, RR 0.16 [0.08-0.32]. Prophylactic use also shows high effectiveness.
• 100% of the 15 Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) report positive effects, with an estimated reduction of 74%, RR 0.26 [0.15-0.47].
• The probability that an ineffective treatment generated results as positive as the 33 studies to date is estimated to be 1 in 9 billion (p = 0.00000000012)."
Via High Plains Journal
Could Ivermectin be an answer to both parasites and pandemics?
"The National Institute of Health states that Ivermectin impedes the host importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins, which are a central part of the intracellular transport process that viruses seize to increase infection by pacifying the host’s antiviral response. The NIH refers to the drug as a host-directed agent, which is why it has been so successful with broad-spectrum activity in vitro against the viruses. However, the NIH states that studies have shown reaching the plasma concentrations required for achieving antiviral effectiveness would involve quantities up to 100 times the FDA-approved dosage for humans, which has not been studied enough to know the possible ramifications for patients. At this time, the NIH COVID-19 treatment guidelines do not recommend the use of Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19, except in a clinical trial. Marik, one of the most published critical care doctors in the world, is adamant that the NIH’s recommendation is incorrect. 'Currently to date, there are 18 randomized control trials that have been published, which show Ivermectin decreases time of virus shedding, length of hospital stays and mortality,' he said. 'The mortality of the Ivermectin groups in these studies was 2.3% and in the control group is was 10%. There is absolutely no doubt, this drug decreases viral replication, improves symptom resolution and mortality.' Further supporting his claims, Marik said one of his colleagues in Houston, Texas, has been prescribing Ivermectin since March 2020 when the initial studies came out and his hospital has the lowest mortality of any hospital in the entire world."
Via Frontiers in Pharmacology
Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin
To our knowledge, the current review is the earliest to compile sufficient clinical data to demonstrate the strong signal of therapeutic efficacy as it is based on numerous clinical trials in multiple disease phases.
Via National Institute of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine
A link to all Ivermectin trials pending and completed
See all studies re: Ivermectin here.
Via The Guardian
Does vitamin D combat Covid?
"To Davis, all of this emerging research pointed towards vitamin D’s efficacy, which made the apparent reluctance across the world of governments, philanthropic organisations and the private sector to fund high- quality studies seem curious. 'All the observational studies show strong vitamin D effects on infectiousness, morbidity and mortality,' Davis says. 'This disease exists seriously above 40 degrees latitude, because that’s where the UV light disappears in the winter.' All of this evidence together, he says, makes it 'very, very plain that vitamin D has a material effect”."
Via Royal Society Publishing
Vitamin D and COVID: evidence and recommendations for supplementation
"We urge UK and other governments to recommend vitamin D supplementation at 800–1000 IU/day for all, making it clear that this is to help optimize immune health and not solely for bone and muscle health. This should be mandated for prescription in care homes, prisons and other institutions where people are likely to have been indoors for much of the summer. Adults likely to be deficient should consider taking a higher dose, e.g. 4000 IU/day for the first four weeks before reducing to 800 IU–1000 IU/day. People admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 should have their vitamin D status checked and/or supplemented and consideration should be given to testing high-dose calcifediol in the RECOVERY trial. We feel this should be pursued with great urgency."
Eli Lilly's antibody therapy helps prevent Covid-19 in nursing homes, drugmaker says
"Nursing home residents who received the drug -- known as LY-CoV555, also called bamlanivimab -- had up to an 80% lower risk of contracting symptomatic Covid-19 versus residents in the same facility who received a placebo, according to drugmaker Eli Lilly."
Via Yahoo! News
UK to 'look carefully' at claims vaccine efficacy in Israel has dropped to 33 per cent with one dose
“Britain will 'look carefully' at claims that the Pfizer vaccine fails to protect as well as expected following research into the first 200,000 people given the jab in Israel, Sir Patrick Vallance has said. The first real-world data showed the first dose led to a 33 per cent reduction in cases of coronavirus among people who were vaccinated between 14 and 21 days afterwards. But that figure is far lower than that predicted by the joint committee on vaccines and immunisation (JCVI), which suggested a single dose would prevent 89 per cent of recipients from getting Covid-19 symptoms."
Via Global Times
Chinese health experts call to suspend Pfizer's mRNA vaccine for elderly after Norwegian deaths
"Chinese health experts called on Norway and other countries to suspend the use of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines produced by companies such as Pfizer, especially among elderly people, due to the vaccines' safety uncertainties following the deaths of 23 elderly Norwegian people who received the vaccine. The new mRNA vaccine was developed in haste and had never been used on a large scale for the prevention of infectious disease, and its safety had not been confirmed for large-scale use in humans, a Chinese immunologist said. The death incidents in Norway also proved that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines' efficacy was not as good as expected, experts said."
Norway investigates 23 deaths in frail elderly patients after vaccination
"'It may be a coincidence, but we aren’t sure,' Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told The BMJ. 'There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.' The agency has investigated 13 of the deaths so far and concluded that common adverse reactions of mRNA vaccines, such as fever, nausea, and diarrhoea, may have contributed to fatal outcomes in some of the frail patients. 'There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly,' Madsen said. 'We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease,' he emphasised. 'We are now asking for doctors to continue with the vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it.' This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course."
Health professionals Hope Hank Aaron's Death Won't Deter People from Getting Vaccinated
Why is any death within weeks of covid, incontrovertibly considered death by covid, but any death within hours, days or weeks of a vaccine dismissed as completely coincidental and unrelated?
California resumes Moderna COVID-19 vaccine usage after pause
"California’s health department said on Wednesday it was safe to continue to use a batch of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc for inoculation after a pause on Sunday due to possible allergic reactions. Moderna said on Tuesday it had received a report from the California Department of Public Health that several people at a center in San Diego were treated for possible allergic reactions after vaccination from one lot of its COVID-19 vaccine."
Via HPV Vaccine Side Effects
An Overview of Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects and Allergic Reactions Worldwide
This link will keep you up to date on vaccine reactions. They post links from regular news outlets and a few public posts from Facebook.
CDC quietly changes Covid vaccine guidance to OK mixing Pfizer and Moderna shots in 'exceptional situations'
"In rare circumstances, it’s OK for people to receive one shot of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and one shot of Moderna’s vaccine at least 28 days apart, the CDC said in updated guidance. The agency says the two products are not interchangeable. The CDC acknowledged that it hadn’t yet studied whether its new recommendations would change the safety or effectiveness of either vaccine."
Thousands of Israelis Tested Positive for Coronavirus after First Vaccine Shot
"Over 12,400 Israeli residents have tested positive for COVID-19 after being vaccinated, among them 69 people who had already gotten the second dose, which began to be administered early last week, the Health Ministry reported. This amounts to 6.6 percent of the 189,000 vaccinated people who took coronavirus tests after being vaccinated."
Via Israel National News
Teen hospitalized 2 days after receiving COVID vaccine
"A 17-year-old boy with no background illnesses or preexisting conditions has been hospitalized at the intensive care unit of Safra Children's Hospital in Sheba Medical Center, the hospital reported Sunday."
Via Apple News
California resident dies several hours after receiving COVID-19 vaccine
"'An individual in California who tested positive for COVID-19 in late December and was vaccinated Thursday died several hours after receiving the shot, the Placer County Sheriff's office announced Saturday."
Via VAERS Database
"Cardiac arrest within 1 hour Patient had the second vaccine approximately 2 pm on Tuesday Jan 12th He works at the extended care community and was in good health that morning with no complaints. He waited 10-15 minutes at the vaccine admin site and then told them he felt fine and was ready to get back to work. He then was found unresponsive at 3 pm within an hour of the 2nd vaccine. EMS called immediately worked on him 30 minutes in field then 30 minutes at ER was able to put him on life support yet deemed Brain dead 1-14-21 and pronounced dead an hour or so later."
Via VAERS Database
VAERS COVID Deaths
181 cases where Vaccine is COVID19 and Patient Died
Via Hindustan Times
Two women die in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana days after taking Covid-19 vaccines
"A 42-year-old woman, working as an accredited social health activist (Asha) worker in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district, died of brain stem stroke on Sunday four days after she received Covid-19 vaccination, officials said. Also on Sunday, a 45-year-old Anganwadi worker in Telangana’s Warangal (urban) district, five days after she got the vaccination shot for Covid-19."
Merck Stops Developing Both of its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates
"Merck is halting development of its two COVID-19 vaccine candidates, saying that while the drugs seemed to be safe, they didn't generate enough of an immune response to effectively protect people against the coronavirus."
Ancillary Effects of COVID
Via Research Square
Corona children studies "Co-Ki": First results of a Germany-wide registry on mouth and nose covering (mask) in children
"The majority of respondents (>65%) indicated that children complained of impairments and that they directly observed impairments in children that they attributed to wearing masks. Symptoms reported by respondents included physical (rashes, headaches, etc.), mental (fears, irritability, etc.) and intellectual (concentration and learning) impairments. Most respondents (73.3%) indicated some level of disagreement with existing mask guidelines. Conclusions and Limitations: As measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 continue to be implemented, more research is needed to assess the risks and benefits of mask wearing in children. The limitations of this study include potential sampling bias, reporting bias, and confounding bias as well as lack of a control group."
Via National Bureau of Economic Research
The Long-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Unemployment Shock on Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates
890k excess deaths expected due to unemployment caused by covid over the next 15 years.