Medical Stuff

81% of COVID-positive passengers on Antarctic cruise ship had no symptoms: new study
Sarah Maguire on lighthouse.mq.edu.au/ June 4, 2020. “For 28 days, following its departure from Ushuaia, Argentina, on March 15, the ship had no outside human contact, apart from Uruguayan medical staff who boarded the ship to test and assess all passengers and crew, while equipped with full PPE. Of the 217 passengers and crew, 128 (59 per cent) tested positive, although fever and mild symptoms were present in only 16 of the COVID-19- positive patients (12.5 per cent), with another eight medically evacuated (6.2 per cent) and four requiring intubation and ventilation (3.1 per cent). “There were therefore a total of 24 COVID-19-positive patients who were symptomatic (19 per cent), with the majority being asymptomatic (104 patients or 81 per cent),” the study, published in the journal Thorax, states. Says Ing: “The findings may partially apply to the general population in that the number of asymptomatic positive cases are likely to be underestimated, the reason being that we don’t test asymptomatic patients.”

U of T tests show Canadian-made mask deactivates 99% of SARS-CoV-2 virus
On www.utoronto.ca/news/, accessed July 15, 2020. “An antimicrobial coating developed by Quebec company I3 BioMedical Inc. can deactivate more than 99 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – on the outer surface of medical masks, tests carried out by University of Toronto scientists have shown.” Also view TrioMed doc with specs

Iceland now feels like the coronavirus never happened
Max Foster and Mick Krever,, CNN, June 18, 2020 “In its early stages, the infection wreaked havoc among the island’s relatively small population. But thanks to a rigorous regime of tracking and tracing, it has more or less been eliminated, giving the country confidence to reopen borders on June 15…Before entering Iceland, travelers must wear a mask on flights and within the arrival halls of Keflavik Airport. On landing, they join a new queue for nose and throat swabs to filter out anyone who might be carrying Covid-19…Results come by text message several hours later. If positive, visitors must enter quarantine for 14 days regardless of any plans they might have for their visit…Ultimately, Iceland’s screening and contact tracing system has been so efficient that it can boast one of the lowest virus death rates in the world: three per 100,000 people compared to 440 per 100,000 in the UK.What makes that even more notable is that they started off with one of the highest infection rates in Europe — 513 cases per 100,000 compared to 450 per 100,000 in the UK.
Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE, the private lab in Reykjavik that handles all of Iceland’s testing, tells CNN that part of this success is down to efforts to identify regional accents displayed by mutations of the virus arriving from different parts of the world.
“When a virus moves into a new region, it continues to mutate somewhat randomly,” Stefánsson says. “Since we have sequenced the virus from everyone in Iceland, we can first determine where the mutation came from and then we can follow it as it’s spreading in society.”
That data is passed on to the health authorities who use it to trace anyone who might have come into contact with the virus.

Even a Vaccine Won’t Erase this Pandemic
Andrew Nikiforuk 3 Jun 2020 on TheTyee.ca “And other tough, contrarian messages from virologist William Haseltine. We ignore them at our peril, he says.” His 8 cautions
1. Beware of those who purvey premature hope
2. Even a vaccine that works likely won’t solve the pandemic.
3. A flattened curve is not a road to victory.
4. ‘Herd immunity’ is a dubious prospect.
5. We remain woefully unprepared.
6. Nature is not nearly as controllable as we wish.
7. Much bigger threats loom.
8. Changes in behaviour can save us now. And far more certainly than any vaccine.

Coronavirus: ‘Baffling’ observations from the front line
By Chris Morris BBC Reality Check, May 23, 2020 “…what arrived in the UK as winter turned into spring took even the most experienced ICU specialists by surprise.Most people infected with the coronavirus have only mild symptoms, or sometimes none at all. But in many thousands of patients who fall critically ill, Covid-19 is a disease of alarming complexity.”

‘Happy hypoxia’: unusual coronavirus effect baffles doctors
Hannah Devlin Science correspondent for The Guardian May 3, 2020 “Some patients who appear not in distress are found to have dangerously low oxygen levels”
Tip of the hat to KNIB for this one