CellBioGuy

CellBioGuy's Comments

Taking Initial Viral Load Seriously

Study of symptoms in hospitalized patients: "Patients with COVID-19 who have digestive symptoms were shown to have a worse prognosis than those without."


https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/clinical-characteristics-of-covid-19-patients-with-digestive-symptoms-in-hubei-china/98000

What will happen to supply chains in the era of COVID-19?

You ascribe too much agency to the great hulking amoebas that human societies are.

An alarm bell for the next pandemic

There's the fact that most viral spillovers into humans don't actually transmit well, and the fact that if they do but burn out it doesn't really matter on the large scale. The latter has definitely changed.

HIV is an interesting case study. Genetically, we can tell it leaped into humans from great apes TWICE in the 1920s (HIV-1 and HIV-2) in a way that kept transmitting around the globe. This probably had to do with the urbanization of sub-Saharan Africa - the sudden sucking of huge numbers of rural people with contact with bushmeat into globally connected urban centers. Presumably it had been transmitting into people forever, just always burning out.

A few years back there was an antibody study in a village near a bat cave in China that found that 0.5% of the people that lived a few hundred meters from the cave showed antibodies against SARS-like viruses.

Taking Initial Viral Load Seriously

It's a superficially plausible idea, assuming you don't always burp or vomit the virus up into your lungs anyway or get very slight viremia getting them there anyway too which is COMPLETLEY possible given what we know. And assuming you somehow get it into your gut without getting it into your throat. Huge numbers of assumptions, dosage unknown, methods unknown, effectiveness unknown. Superficially plausible and right now a very bad idea. You absolutely CANNOT assume it's safer, but it could be something to look for in case studies of natural infections, seeing if people who first manifest with intestinal issues have lower levels of pneumonia.


If you COULD somehow reliably restrict viral replication to the gut rather than the lungs... I don't think many first-world (or, to expand the sample, American) COVID patients have died of the diarrhea.


EDIT: "Patients with COVID-19 who have digestive symptoms were shown to have a worse prognosis than those without."

https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/clinical-characteristics-of-covid-19-patients-with-digestive-symptoms-in-hubei-china/98000

An alarm bell for the next pandemic

I started having panic attacks and needing to find creative places to store my accumulated nonperishable supplies shortly after Valentine's day.

My attempts to warn people were primarily directed towards my university, my family and those I love. My boss had us ready for cessation of in person activity two weeks before others as a result and he may have helped convince a county to close schools earlier than otherwise. Family hasn't had to go to a grocery store for 5 weeks.

This place was a bit far from my mind due to drifting away, unfortunately.

There will be a lot more of these this century. What other possible outcome could there be to becoming 40% of mammalian biomass on the planet, with such a well-mixed system?

What is the maximum number of COVID-19 tests which could be performed until the end of the year?

PCR based tests consist of some standard chemicals to run a reaction, some custom chemicals to target the reaction to test what you want to test, and a big complicated machine that runs the reaction. The chemicals and some plastic tubes are irreversibly consumed by the reaction as are ancillary equipment like pipette tips and swabs.

The current bottleneck in the US appears to be the equipment that runs and reads the reaction. Iceland briefly had a bottleneck in swabs.

Once antibody tests exist, they do not require nearly as special equipment for the test itself and instead the bottleneck becomes production of the reagents that go into test strips.

How credible is the theory that COVID19 escaped from a Wuhan Lab?

In particular, the combination of the glycans right next to the polybasic cleavage site suggests that the selection for the cleavage site probably occurred in the presence of an immune system rather than in culture.

How credible is the theory that COVID19 escaped from a Wuhan Lab?

Closely related viruses have leaped into humans twice in the last 17 years via completely standard zoonosis, neither time of which was directly from bats but instead through an intermediary amplifying animal. While a laboratory keeping a culture of or animals infected with a wild virus is a possibility, as is laboratory accidents... these things DO happen naturally.


I must also reiterate that the sequence analyses reveal that all the interesting attributes of this virus were already present in a closely related virus that has been circulating in bats for at least fifty years, and there is evidence that related viruses have passed through pangolins.


What is the proposed timeline of this theory? There are known patients in China that have been confirmed as infected in the community as far back as November 17 now...

Has the effectiveness of fever screening declined?

You overestimate the rate of emergence of relevant mutations. In the explosive range-expansion phase most lineages have zero functional difference from each other and almost all expansion of particular lineages comes from chance invasions of large vulnerable populations.


There is a reason that when a species suddenly has a range-expansion event, you actually see a relaxation of selection and a buildup of deleterious mutations...

LessWrong Coronavirus Agenda

That paper is indeed a piece of crap.

This being said, there is other preliminary data from Asia that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine could hasten recovery, and there were multiple biochemical reasons to suspect it could help which are the reasons it was being used in the first place. I would call the French studies nearly useless to determine actual efficacy, but I am still fairly optimistic they will have at least some positive effect.

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