leggi

Leigh Blyth BVM&S. Ex-veterinary surgeon. Here to promote my Base-Line Hypothesis of Human Health and Movement. Grounded in some basic anatomy, the 5 main muscles for physical alignment and a balanced body.

leggi's Comments

How About a Remote Variolation Study?

"deliberate low dose infections" is a method of VACCINATION. ( or could be referred to as inoculation)

The usage of the term "variolation" is not correct. Variolation is specific to smallpox.

Taking Initial Viral Load Seriously

Thank you for replying  and for the link. 


To quote the article by Robin Hanson:

 " Variolation is an inoculation technique whereby a scab or pus from an individual with a mild smallpox infection is introduced into the nose or mouth of healthy individuals."

Which is missing some key points about variolation. wikipedia.org/wiki/Variolation

Firstly to expand on the definition Robin used:



The Chinese practiced the oldest documented use of variolation, dating back to the fifteenth century.

 According to such documentation, mild smallpox cases were selected as donors in order to prevent serious attack. The technique used scabs that had been left to dry out for some time. Fresh scabs were more likely to lead to a full-blown infection. Three or four scabs were ground into powder or mixed with a grain of musk and bound in cotton. Infected material was then packed into a pipe and puffed up the patient's nostril.




Variolation is usually thought of in the (English-speaking) medical world as:


The procedure was most commonly carried out by inserting/rubbing powdered smallpox scabs or fluid from pustules into superficial scratches made in the skin.

Variolation is about smallpox.  A term that should not be applied to covid19 or any other virus/disease.


What Robin describes as "deliberate low dose infection"  is the process of vaccination using a live virus (as apposed to live-attenuated or dead virus vaccine).

Taking Initial Viral Load Seriously

Question - why is the term variolation being used?

Unless I am very much mistaken variolation is specific to smallpox.

Coronavirus: California case growth

Strongly up-voted because I believe the tone of a comment shouldn't be as an important consideration as the point being made.

Interesting ideas are good, feedback for the further development should also be considered good.

I still think rationality means thinking rationally.

(And I've a couple of big doses of unexplained negative karma on the posts I've created and would have much preferred some comment/feedback whatever the tone it took and Christian was one of the few that provided some.)

Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread

The top set of links aren't working but the study to URTI rates is very interesting.

Firstly for the use of 3 doses a month apart - one dose is the standard for BCG.


I had a BCG at about 7 years old due to contact with a diagnosed TB case. Age 11 I had a positive reaction to the tuberculin skin test (Mantoux) but still got given a second dose, even though I told the school nurse it wasn't recommended - cocky little sh!t even back then and I'm sure she stamped me twice as punishment... Now thinking good for me!


Also, that there was a strong immune response in elderly subjects who tend to be considered as having a weaker immune system overall.

Testing at 6 months from 1st dose:

There were significant increase of IFN-γ and IL-10 levels in the BCG group compared to the placebo group. There were insignificant increase of IFN-γ and IL-10 levels in the pre- and post-BCG group

Memory B cells are present "for decades" so for those that have received the BCG this effect should apply.


For bladder cancer:

BCG is put right into the bladder through a catheter.

A different mode of action than a standard BCG vaccination, not so much boosting the immune system but drawing attention to the cancer cells in a localised manner.


Regarding the "cytokine storm" seen in severe patients - would previous vaccination make this worse? Musings, no idea what reality will be. But countries with vaccination programs v. those without should provide some interesting data.

Did you come across any information about any specific antibodies have been associated with COVID19?

Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread
I'd recommend getting it if you haven't, or especially for your older relatives (given that the cost/side effects is well-understood and near-zero, whereas the benefits based on the below could be serious):

I would recommend doing more research before making recommendations like the above. tb-throwaway.

Start here: NHS Who should have BCG?.

To quote one line that you could investigate:

There's no evidence the BCG vaccine works for people over the age of 35.
Peter's COVID Consolidated Brief for 29 March
You need to practise these things

So true. I'm trained to surgical sterility and am very aware of everything I touch and when I'm contaminated but it is hard to be vigilant ....

  • Turn on tap.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for a long time to decontaminate hands.
  • Turn off tap and recontaminate hands.

Although my constant 'helping' of others in the household to maintain standards may get me beaten to death before coronavirus gets me. : )

March Coronavirus Open Thread

The current tests are looking for the presence of a specific virus - looking at the genome using RT-PCR technology so the answer is no. (eek at being so definite)

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a DNA amplification technique

but Coronavirus is RNA so reverse-transcriptase (RT) is used to make a DNA 'template' from the RNA.

Some info. from Cambridge and Glasgow Universities regarding Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium - A project to map how COVID-19 spreads and behaves by using whole genome sequencing will show if the virus is mutating.

Consider the demographics of the populations. Age, concurrent disease, levels of smoking, air pollution etc...

Levels of testing/recording/reporting....

(hope this makes some sense - written in a rush)

COVID-19 growth rates vs interventions

Some first thoughts:

  • It only takes one person to infect you.
  • You can reduce your contact, but what about your contacts contacts?
    • How many people is the person serving in the grocery store coming into contact with?
    • How strict are they all with their precautions?
  • What about other members of the same household and all their contacts?
  • The recommended distance between people may not be sufficient to prevent transmission.
  • It's easy to break the distance rule (might just be a second or two even if being v. careful).
  • Fomite transmission (inanimate carrier of infectious diseases)
  • Pre-(noticed) symptomatic transmissions. What if someone has a fever during the night, how many people would notice it/associate it with COVID? (It always amazes me the denial some people can have about their symptoms.)

QUESTION - has anyone come across data about duration of a COVID-fever? (although there's a massive potential for variability between individuals so not sure the data would actually be useful/representative/meaningful but it'd be good to have whatever information is out there...)

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