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    • CDC predicting 180,000 US deaths from coronavirus by August 22

    An internal document by the federal government reportedly predicts the novel coronavirus death toll in the U.S. could hit 182,000 by the end of August.

    The number — found in an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report obtained by Yahoo News — marks a huge surge from an estimate by the University of Washington at the end of last month, which didn't place the U.S. at more than 180,000 deaths until October.

    The new estimate follows the U.S. surpassing 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 this week, and was prepared by the CDC for senior government officials in a brief distributed on Thursday. It has not been released publicly.

    It would contradict optimistic messages from the Trump administration. President Trump has acknowledged the worsening outbreaks of the virus across the U.S. in recent days and made headlines last week for publicly wearing a face mask. But he also suggested as recently as July 21 that the virus will eventually "disappear."

    The COVID-19 disease is on track to be the third-leading cause of death in the United States this year, behind only heart disease and cancer, and it has already killed more Americans than the number of Union soldiers who died in the Civil War.

    The virus has continued to see outbreaks across the U.S. following businesses reopening, prompting renewed restaurant closures in some states, new mask mandates and other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. The number of new cases confirmed on a daily basis has topped 50,000 on all but two days of the month, and more than 60,000 new cases have been confirmed on seven of the last 10 days.

    A national mask mandate has been the subject of debate in response to the daily record-breaking case counts in states, and Congress is negotiating on another major coronavirus relief bill which aims to send Americans more stimulus checks.: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcar...gust-22-report
    • Underreported US death count: 157,245

    US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

    American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
    World War I - 53,402 deaths
    Korean War - 33,686 deaths
    Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
    Gulf War – 149 deaths
    War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
    Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
    9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

    Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 151,288

    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
    it's been blown way out of proportion.

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

    Comment


    • Thailand - State schools barred from full reopening

      State-run schools looking to resume normal hours were warned by the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) to wait for approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) before going ahead.

      Amnart Wichayanuwat, secretary-general of Obec, said public schools are still obliged to follow the limited attendance regulations set by the CCSA and the Ministry of Education though there has been no locally transmitted Covid-19 case for over two months.

      Since the reopening on July 1, schools with large classrooms have been required to split their classes into two groups to reduce the risk of a coronavirus outbreak. Under the current arrangement, one group of students studies in a classroom for five days in a row, while others learn at home via the internet. After one week, the two groups switch.

      "We understand the situation has improved to the point that many schools want to return to normal," Mr Amnart said. "We want that, too, as face-to-face learning is better for students than [studying] online.

      "However, we also have to listen to the CCSA and wait for its green light."

      Mr Amnart said the Obec, CCSA and Ministry of Public Health are now discussing the possibility of restoring normal school hours and operations, with strict health safety measures.

      "We will decide soon, but right now, I urge all schools to be patient," he said.

      An Obec letter sent to school executives across the kingdom said the warning comes after the commission found some state-run schools have begun to resume normal hours and operations without authorisation.


      According to Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA, schools and other education providers have so far been free of Covid-19 infections, but there are still concerns to address.

      Dr Taweesilp said the CCSA realised school attendance regulations during the outbreak are flawed because poor students have limited access to adequate computer hardware and software needed for online learning.

      He also said hard-up students could not take advantage of the state-run school lunch programme while studying at home.

      The regulations, he said, hurt the cognitive development and social interaction skills of those studying from home.

      Meanwhile, Thira Woratanarat, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University, said the country faces a high risk of a second wave of Covid-19 infections after the government decided to open the border to foreigners.

      "We are now facing a higher risk of catching the deadly virus infection at a time when restrictions are being [eased]," Dr Thira wrote on Facebook.

      "Lessons from abroad show [a new local] outbreak is usually found two to six weeks after [the reopening of the border].": https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...erbox#cxrecs_s

      Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
      Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

      Comment


        • Debate begins for who’s first in line for COVID-19 vaccine

        Who gets to be first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine? U.S. health authorities hope by late next month to have some draft guidance on how to ration initial doses, but it’s a vexing decision.

        “Not everybody’s going to like the answer,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, recently told one of the advisory groups the government asked to help decide. “There will be many people who feel that they should have been at the top of the list.”

        Traditionally, first in line for a scarce vaccine are health workers and the people most vulnerable to the targeted infection.

        But Collins tossed new ideas into the mix: Consider geography and give priority to people where an outbreak is hitting hardest.

        And don’t forget volunteers in the final stage of vaccine testing who get dummy shots, the comparison group needed to tell if the real shots truly work.

        “We owe them ... some special priority,” Collins said.

        Huge studies this summer aim to prove which of several experimental COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. began tests last week that eventually will include 30,000 volunteers each; in the next few months, equally large calls for volunteers will go out to test shots made by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax. And some vaccines made in China are in smaller late-stage studies in other countries.

        For all the promises of the U.S. stockpiling millions of doses, the hard truth: Even if a vaccine is declared safe and effective by year’s end, there won’t be enough for everyone who wants it right away -- especially as most potential vaccines require two doses.

        It’s a global dilemma. The World Health Organization is grappling with the same who-goes-first question as it tries to ensure vaccines are fairly distributed to poor countries -- decisions made even harder as wealthy nations corner the market for the first doses.

        In the U.S., the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is supposed to recommend who to vaccinate and when -- advice that the government almost always follows.

        But a COVID-19 vaccine decision is so tricky that this time around, ethicists and vaccine experts from the National Academy of Medicine, chartered by Congress to advise the government, are being asked to weigh in, too.

        Setting priorities will require “creative, moral common sense,” said Bill Foege, who devised the vaccination strategy that led to global eradication of smallpox. Foege is co-leading the academy’s deliberations, calling it “both this opportunity and this burden.”

        With vaccine misinformation abounding and fears that politics might intrude, CDC Director Robert Redfield said the public must see vaccine allocation as “equitable, fair and transparent.”

        How to decide? The CDC’s opening suggestion: First vaccinate 12 million of the most critical health, national security and other essential workers. Next would be 110 million people at high risk from the coronavirus -- those over 65 who live in long-term care facilities, or those of any age who are in poor health -- or who also are deemed essential workers. The general population would come later.

        CDC’s vaccine advisers wanted to know who’s really essential. “I wouldn’t consider myself a critical health care worker,” admitted Dr. Peter Szilagyi, a pediatrician at the University of California, Los Angeles.

        Indeed, the risks for health workers today are far different than in the pandemic’s early days. Now, health workers in COVID-19 treatment units often are the best protected; others may be more at risk, committee members noted.

        Beyond the health and security fields, does “essential” mean poultry plant workers or schoolteachers? And what if the vaccine doesn’t work as well among vulnerable populations as among younger, healthier people? It’s a real worry, given that older people’s immune systems don’t rev up as well to flu vaccine.

        With Black, Latino and Native American populations disproportionately hit by the coronavirus, failing to address that diversity means “whatever comes out of our group will be looked at very suspiciously,” said ACIP chairman Dr. Jose Romero, Arkansas’ interim health secretary.

        Consider the urban poor who live in crowded conditions, have less access to health care and can’t work from home like more privileged Americans, added Dr. Sharon Frey of St. Louis University.

        And it may be worth vaccinating entire families rather than trying to single out just one high-risk person in a household, said Dr. Henry Bernstein of Northwell Health.

        Whoever gets to go first, a mass vaccination campaign while people are supposed to be keeping their distance is a tall order. During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, families waited in long lines in parking lots and at health departments when their turn came up, crowding that authorities know they must avoid this time around.

        Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s effort to speed vaccine manufacturing and distribution, is working out how to rapidly transport the right number of doses to wherever vaccinations are set to occur.

        Drive-through vaccinations, pop-up clinics and other innovative ideas are all on the table, said CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier.

        As soon as a vaccine is declared effective, “we want to be able the next day, frankly, to start these programs,” Messonnier said. “It’s a long road.”: https://apnews.com/6515204e97bea1799db223b2c694d48d
        • Underreported US death count: 158,365

        US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

        American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
        World War I - 53,402 deaths
        Korean War - 33,686 deaths
        Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
        Gulf War – 149 deaths
        War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
        Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
        War of 1812 – 2,260
        Mexican American War – 1,733
        9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

        Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

        Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
        it's been blown way out of proportion.
        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

        Comment


        • Morning update.

          Coronavirus Cases: 18,272,018

          Deaths: 693,587

          Underreported US death count: 158,375

          US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

          American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
          World War I - 53,402 deaths
          Korean War - 33,686 deaths
          Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
          Gulf War – 149 deaths
          War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
          Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
          War of 1812 – 2,260
          Mexican American War – 1,733
          9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

          Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

          Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
          it's been blown way out of proportion.

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

          Comment


            • There may never be a 'silver bullet' for COVID-19, WHO warns/The road back to normality will be long, the WHO said.

            The World Health Organization warned on Monday that, despite strong hopes for a vaccine, there might never be a “silver bullet” for COVID-19, and the road to normality would be long.

            More than 18.14 million people around the world are reported to have been infected with the disease and 688,080​ have died, according to a Reuters tally, with some nations that thought they were over the worst experiencing a resurgence.

            WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO emergencies head Mike Ryan exhorted all nations to rigorously enforce health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and testing.

            “The message to people and governments is clear: ‘Do it all’,” Tedros told a virtual news briefing from the U.N. body’s headquarters in Geneva. He said face masks should become a symbol of solidarity round the world.

            “A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection. However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment — and there might never be.”

            Ryan said countries with high transmission rates, including Brazil and India, needed to brace for a big battle: “The way out is long and requires a sustained commitment.”

            The WHO officials said an advance investigation team was not yet back from China, where the virus originated.

            A larger, WHO-led team of Chinese and international experts is planned next, to study the origins of the virus in the city of Wuhan, although the timing and composition of that is not yet clear.

            Tedros urged mothers to continue breastfeeding even if they had COVID-19, as the benefits “substantially” outweighed the risks of infection.

            The WHO head said that, while the coronavirus was the biggest global health emergency since the early 20th century, the international hunt for a vaccine was also historic.

            “There are many vaccines under trial, a couple in the final stage of clinical trials — and there is hope. It does not mean that we will have the vaccine, but at least the speed with which we reached the level we reached now is unprecedented,” he said.

            “There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may work, or its protection could be for just a few months, not more. But until we finish the clinical trials, we will not know.”: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/healt...warns-n1235618
            • Underreported US death count: 158,929

            US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

            American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
            World War I - 53,402 deaths
            Korean War - 33,686 deaths
            Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
            Gulf War – 149 deaths
            War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
            Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
            War of 1812 – 2,260
            Mexican American War – 1,733
            9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

            Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

            Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
            it's been blown way out of proportion.
            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

            Comment




            • Underreported US death count: 158,931

              US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

              American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
              World War I - 53,402 deaths
              Korean War - 33,686 deaths
              Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
              Gulf War – 149 deaths
              War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
              Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
              War of 1812 – 2,260
              Mexican American War – 1,733
              9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

              Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

              Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
              it's been blown way out of proportion.
              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

              Comment


                • Health workers, especially minorities, at high risk for COVID, even with PPE

                At the peak of the pandemic in the United States and the United Kingdom, frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) who had adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) were still at more than three times the risk of COVID-19 infection than the general public—even after accounting for differences in testing frequency, according to a study published late last week in The Lancet Public Health.

                Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and King's College London used data entered into the COVID Symptom Study smartphone app by 99,795 frontline HCWs and 2,035,395 community members. From Mar 24 to Apr 23, positive coronavirus tests were identified in 5,545 app users.

                In a post-hoc analysis, compared with white members of the general public, the risk for a positive coronavirus test was higher in community members from black, Asian, and other minority backgrounds (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.18 to 2.89).

                Black, Asian, and other minority HCWs were also at elevated risk of infection (aHR, 21.88; 95% CI, 17.78 to 26.94) compared with their white peers (aHR, 12.58; 95% CI, 11.42 to 13.86).

                A post-hoc analysis of the link between race and HCW status with risk of coronavirus infection showed that non-white HCWs were at higher risk (aHR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.45 to 2.24) than their white counterparts.

                Broken PPE supply chains, uneven distribution

                Supply chain disruptions amid surging demand have led to scarce PPE, including the face masks, gloves, and gowns recommended for HCWs caring for COVID-19 patients. Frontline HCWs who said they had to reuse PPE were at higher risk of a positive COVID-19 test (aHR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.21 to 1.76) than those who had proper PPE, with inadequate PPE tied to a comparable increase in risk (aHR, 1;31; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.56).

                In a secondary analysis, frontline HCWs with inadequate PPE caring for coronavirus patients were at an even higher risk for infection (aHR, 5.91; 95% CI, 4.53 to 7.71) than those with adequate PPE not caring for infected patients.

                Frontline HCWS who cared for COVID-19 patients and reused PPE were also at elevated risk (aHR, 5.06; 95% CI, 3.90 to 6.57) compared with those with proper PPE not caring for coronavirus patients. But even frontline HCWs reporting adequate PPE but caring for patients with suspected infections were at excess risk (aHR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.90 to 3.00), as were those caring for patients with documented COVID-19 (aHR, 4.83; 3.99 to 5.85).

                In a post-hoc analysis, differences were noted in PPE adequacy according to race and ethnicity, with non-white HCWs more often reporting reuse of or inadequate access to PPE, even after adjusting for exposure to patients with COVID-19 (adjusted odds ratio, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.36 to 1.63).

                International coordination, data transparency

                The study authors said that while previous reports suggested that about 10% to 20% of COVID-19 infections occur among HCWs, the results of their study give a more precise indication of the increased risk that faces HCWs in the pandemic.

                In a Massachusetts General Hospital news release, coauthor Andrew Chan, MD, PhD, said that frontline HCWs in many countries still face "vexing" PPE shortages. "Our results underscore the importance of providing adequate access to PPE and also suggest that systemic racism associated with inequalities to access to PPE likely contribute to the disproportionate risk of infection among minority frontline healthcare workers," he said.

                In a commentary in the same journal, Linda McCauley, RN, PhD, and Rose Hayes, RN, MA, of Emory University called for universal face masking, data transparency, and cooperation among international governments to ensure equitable distribution of PPE. One such approach, they wrote, would be to use the World Health Organization's international portal for PPE orders.

                "If we are ever to outpace COVID-19, there must be accountability at every level, from the community to top government officials," McCauley and Hayes said. "By combining a centralised mechanism for supply chain oversight, with universal masking and data transparency at local levels, it is possible to afford health-care workers the protection they deserve.": https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-pers...covid-even-ppe
                • Underreported US death count: 159,408

                US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                World War I - 53,402 deaths
                Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                Gulf War – 149 deaths
                War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                War of 1812 – 2,260
                Mexican American War – 1,733
                9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

                Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                it's been blown way out of proportion.
                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                Comment




                  • Underreported US death count: 160,318

                  US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                  American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                  World War I - 53,402 deaths
                  Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                  Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                  Gulf War – 149 deaths
                  War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                  Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                  War of 1812 – 2,260
                  Mexican American War – 1,733
                  9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                  Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

                  Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                  it's been blown way out of proportion.
                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                  Comment


                    • Covid-19 is more widespread than ever in the US, even hitting Americans living on islands

                    Coronavirus is more widespread in the US than ever before, prompting White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx to say over the weekend the country has entered a "new phase" of the pandemic.

                    The virus is now hitting urban, suburban and rural areas and has even spread to Americans living on distant islands. Hawaii and Puerto Rico both saw their highest seven-day averages of new daily cases on Monday, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

                    Nationally, the seven-day average of new daily cases is at about 60,000 and slowly declining, while deaths, which typically lag several weeks behind, are steadily increasing. For a week straight now, the US has had a seven-day average of over 1,000 deaths per day.

                    At the same time, the states that led the summer surge -- California, Florida, Texas and Arizona -- have seen cases plateau and slightly decrease in recent weeks from their highs. Florida is averaging about 8,448 new daily cases per day over the last seven days, a number that is actually 18% lower than the week prior.

                    Four states top 400,000 cases

                    At least 13 states have reported more than 100,000 coronavirus infections and four of them -- California, Florida, Texas and New York -- have recorded more than 400,000.

                    California, with more than 516,000 positive cases, has reported the most infections in the nation, but is beginning the week on a positive note. The state reported a seven-day average of cases of about 7,764 Monday, which is down about 21% from the previous week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

                    In Los Angeles County, officials said they're cautiously optimistic as data trends seem to be stabilizing and moving slightly downward. Los Angeles is seeing a seven-day average of about 2,600 cases per day, down from a couple weeks ago when that same average was more than 3,000 cases each day.

                    Florida has the second-highest number of cases in the country, with more than 491,000 recorded infections, and will soon surpass half a million cases.

                    Two teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 have also died in the state, according to state data, bringing the total number of minors in Florida who have died in relation to the virus to seven.

                    In Texas, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who in July proposed a two-week stay-at-home order to help drive down cases, said Monday the city will issue citations and fines to people who are not following the state's mask mandate. The state has reported more than 455,000 infections and more than 8,000 people are hospitalized statewide.

                    "When we are encountering people on patrols, out and about, and we are seeing that they do not have their mask on when they are in public and around other people, we will provide the necessary warning," Turner said. "And then a failure to heed to that warning will lead to a citation and a $250 fine.": https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/04/healt...day/index.html
                    • Underreported US death count: 160,519

                    US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                    American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                    World War I - 53,402 deaths
                    Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                    Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                    Gulf War – 149 deaths
                    War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                    Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                    War of 1812 – 2,260
                    Mexican American War – 1,733
                    9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                    Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

                    Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                    it's been blown way out of proportion.
                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                    Comment



                    • Coronavirus Cases: 18,915,533

                      Deaths: 709,117

                      Underreported US death count: 161,358

                      US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                      American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                      World War I - 53,402 deaths
                      Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                      Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                      Gulf War – 149 deaths
                      War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                      Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                      War of 1812 – 2,260
                      Mexican American War – 1,733
                      9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                      Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

                      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                      it's been blown way out of proportion.
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                      Comment


                      • late night update

                        Coronavirus Cases: 18,981,315


                        Deaths: 711,299

                        Underreported US death count: 161,607

                        US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                        American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                        World War I - 53,402 deaths
                        Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                        Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                        Gulf War – 149 deaths
                        War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                        Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                        War of 1812 – 2,260
                        Mexican American War – 1,733
                        9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                        Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

                        Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                        it's been blown way out of proportion.

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                        Comment


                          • Thailand - SSO payments cut again to ease pain

                          Monthly social security contributions by employers and employees will be cut for the second time as a Covid-19 relief measure from September until November.

                          Pissamai Nitipaiboon, deputy secretary-general of the Social Security Office (SSO), said the cabinet has approved the SSO board's request for a reduced contribution over the three-month period starting next month.

                          The monthly contribution to the SSO by both employers and employees will be reduced to help them get through hardship caused by the pandemic.

                          An employee of a private company contributes 5% of up to 15,000 baht of their monthly salary -- or 750 baht toward the SSO. If they make less than 15,000 baht a month, they contribute less than 750 baht. The employer matches the contribution.

                          The September-November contributions will be cut from 5% to 2% a month for both employers and employees, according to the SSO.

                          The first reduction was implemented from March until May at the height of the pandemic in Thailand, during which time the monthly contribution by employees decreased from 5% to 1% a month while the portion of the employers dropped from 5% to 4%.

                          However, private businesses have demanded a deeper cut in contributions, to 1% a month for both employers and employees, during the September-November round. They also demanded a longer grace period from September until the end of the year.

                          In addition, the Federation of Thai Industries earlier called on the SSO to extend the period of unemployment benefits to be extended to people made jobless as a result of the pandemic, from 90 days to 150 days.

                          Meanwhile, the Thai embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, announced on its Facebook page that some of its staff had contracted Covid-19 and were undergoing treatment.

                          Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said he had not received confirmation staff members had been infected. However, he said diplomats have taken good care of their health as they can be exposed to a high risk of infection.

                          Embassy staff have been visiting Thai expats and delivered food and supplies to them.

                          On Wednesday, the government reported seven new cases of coronavirus -- six quarantined returnees from the Middle East and one from the US, raising the total to 3,328.

                          Panprapa Yongtrakul, assistant spokeswoman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said one was a Thai masseuse aged 34 who arrived from the United Arab Emirates on July 29 and was quarantined in Chon Buri province. Her infection was detected on Sunday.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...erbox#cxrecs_s

                          Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                          Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.
                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                          Comment


                          • A note to you porkers here at TC.
                            • US obesity epidemic could undermine effectiveness of a Covid-19 vaccine

                            Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News

                            For a world crippled by the coronavirus, salvation hinges on a vaccine.

                            But in the United States, where at least 4.6 million people have been infected and nearly 155,000 have died, the promise of that vaccine is hampered by a vexing epidemic that long preceded Covid-19: obesity.

                            Scientists know that vaccines engineered to protect the public from influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus and rabies can be less effective in obese adults than in the general population, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and illness. There is little reason to believe, obesity researchers say, that Covid-19 vaccines will be any different.

                            "Will we have a Covid vaccine next year tailored to the obese? No way," said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

                            "Will it still work in the obese? Our prediction is no."

                            More than 107 million American adults are obese, and their ability to return safely to work, care for their families and resume daily life could be curtailed if the coronavirus vaccine delivers weak immunity for them.

                            In March, still early in the global pandemic, a little-noticed study from China found that heavier Chinese patients afflicted with Covid-19 were more likely to die than leaner ones, suggesting a perilous future awaited the US, whose population is among the heaviest in the world.

                            As intensive care units in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere filled with patients, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that obese people with a body mass index of 40 or more — known as morbid obesity or about 100 pounds overweight — were among the groups at highest risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19. About 9% of American adults are in that category.

                            As weeks passed and a clearer picture of who was being hospitalized came into focus, federal health officials expanded their warning to include people with a body mass index of 30 or more. That vastly expanded the ranks of those considered vulnerable to the most severe cases of infection, to 42.4% of American adults.

                            Obesity intereferes with immune response

                            Obesity has long been known to be a significant risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. But scientists in the emerging field of immunometabolism are finding obesity also interferes with the body's immune response, putting obese people at greater risk of infection from pathogens such as influenza and the novel coronavirus.

                            In the case of influenza, obesity has emerged as a factor making it more difficult to vaccinate adults against infection. The question is whether that will hold true for Covid-19.

                            A healthy immune system turns inflammation on and off as needed, calling on white blood cells and sending out proteins to fight infection. Vaccines harness that inflammatory response. But blood tests show that obese people and people with related metabolic risk factors such as high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels experience a state of chronic mild inflammation; the inflammation turns on and stays on.

                            Adipose tissue — or fat — in the belly, the liver and other organs is not inert; it contains specialized cells that send out molecules, like the hormone leptin, that scientists suspect induces this chronic state of inflammation. While the exact biological mechanisms are still being investigated, chronic inflammation seems to interfere with the immune response to vaccines, possibly subjecting obese people to preventable illnesses even after vaccination.

                            An effective vaccine fuels a controlled burn inside the body, searing into cellular memory a mock invasion that never truly happened.

                            Evidence that obese people have a blunted response to common vaccines was first observed in 1985 when obese hospital employees who received the hepatitis B vaccine showed a significant decline in protection 11 months later that was not observed in non-obese employees. The finding was replicated in a follow-up study that used longer needles to ensure the vaccine was injected into muscle and not fat.

                            Researchers found similar problems with the hepatitis A vaccine, and other studies have found significant declines in the antibody protection induced by tetanus and rabies vaccines in obese people.

                            "Obesity is a serious global problem, and the suboptimal vaccine-induced immune responses observed in the obese population cannot be ignored," pleaded researchers from the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group in a 2015 study published in the journal Vaccine.

                            Vaccines also are known to be less effective in older adults, which is why those 65 and older receive a supercharged annual influenza vaccine that contains far more flu virus antigens to help juice up their immune response.

                            By contrast, the diminished protection of the obese population — both adults and children — has been largely ignored.

                            "I'm not entirely sure why vaccine efficacy in this population hasn't been more well reported," said Catherine Andersen, an assistant professor of biology at Fairfield University who studies obesity and metabolic diseases. "It's a missed opportunity for greater public health intervention."

                            In 2017, scientists at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill provided a critical clue about the limitations of the influenza vaccine. In a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers showed for the first time that vaccinated obese adults were twice as likely to develop influenza or flu-like illness compared with adults of a healthy weight.

                            Curiously, the study found that adults with obesity did produce a protective level of antibodies to the influenza vaccine, but these adults still responded poorly.

                            "That was the mystery," said Chad Petit, an influenza virologist at the University of Alabama.

                            One hypothesis, Petit said, is that obesity may trigger a metabolic dysregulation of T cells, white blood cells critical to the immune response. "It's not insurmountable," said Petit, who is researching Covid-19 in obese patients. "We can design better vaccines that might overcome this discrepancy."

                            Historically, people with high BMIs often have been excluded from drug trials because they frequently have related chronic conditions that might mask the results. The clinical trials underway to test the safety and efficacy of a coronavirus vaccine do not have a BMI exclusion and will include people with obesity, said Dr. Larry Corey, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who is overseeing the phase III trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

                            Although trial coordinators are not specifically focused on obesity as a potential complication, Corey said, participants' BMI will be documented and results evaluated.

                            Dr. Timothy Garvey, an endocrinologist and director of diabetes research at the University of Alabama, was among those who stressed that, despite the lingering questions, it's still safer for obese people to get vaccinated than not.

                            "The influenza vaccine still works in patients with obesity, but just not as well," Garvey said. "We still want them to get vaccinated.": https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/05/healt...ess/index.html
                            • Underreported US death count: 162,541

                            US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                            American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                            World War I - 53,402 deaths
                            Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                            Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                            Gulf War – 149 deaths
                            War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                            Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                            War of 1812 – 2,260
                            Mexican American War – 1,733
                            9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                            Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049

                            Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                            it's been blown way out of proportion.
                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                            Comment




                            • Underreported US death count: 162,805

                              US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                              American Revolutionary War - 8,000 deaths
                              World War I - 53,402 deaths
                              Korean War - 33,686 deaths
                              Vietnam War - 47,424 deaths
                              Gulf War – 149 deaths
                              War in Afghanistan - 1,833 deaths
                              Iraq War - 3,836 deaths
                              War of 1812 – 2,260
                              Mexican American War – 1,733
                              9/11 Casualties - 2,726 people

                              Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 155,049



                              Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                              it's been blown way out of proportion.
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                              Comment


                                • Asymptomatic Coronavirus Carriers May Be As Contagious As Those With Symptoms, Study Finds

                                As debates over when and how to safely reopen schools and businesses rage, a South Korean study published Thursday by JAMA Internal Medicine confirms what many health experts had assumed and feared, that coronavirus carriers who don't exhibit any symptoms are capable of spreading the virus.

                                KEY FACTS

                                South Korean scientists analyzed samples taken from 303 people isolated at a community treatment center who had tested positive for the coronavirus between March 6 and 26.

                                Of the 303, 193 were symptomatic when they were isolated and 110 were asymptomatic, and researchers found that the viral loads (the amount of virus in an infected person) were very similar in both types of patients.

                                According to the New York Times, this result "offers more definitive proof that people without symptoms carry just as much virus in their nose, throat and lungs as those with symptoms, and for almost as long."

                                Individuals who feel perfectly fine but are still capable of spreading Covid-19 have been a primary concern among those advocating against fully reopening schools for in-person learning and rushing to reopen businesses.

                                "It's important data, that's for sure," Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong who was not involved in the work, told the New York Times. "And it does confirm what we've suspected for a long time — that asymptomatic cases can transmit infection."

                                Of the initially asymptomatic patients, 89 did not exhibit any outward symptoms throughout the quarantine (representing 29.3% of the total), while less than 7% eventually developed symptoms.

                                KEY BACKGROUND:

                                South Korean scientists acknowledge the study contains significant limitations. First and foremost, the participants were mostly young, with a median age of just 25. The study also mentions that only testing people who have symptoms could result in "substantial underreporting of infected patients." Despite the presence of similar viral loads, Cowling told the New York Times that because asymptomatic people do not frequently cough or sneeze, they may be "less efficient at expelling the virus than those who are clearly unwell." Conversely, Marta Gaglia, a virologist at Tufts University in Massachusetts, said individuals who feel ill often remain inside, resting in bed, "whereas the infected but unaware may carry on with their business, sickening others along the way."

                                TANGENT:

                                Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decreased the recommended quarantine time from 14 days down to 10. "For most persons with Covid-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset," the CDC said. However, the JAMA study found that symptomatic patients did not become virus-free until around Day 19 or 20. (Asymptomatics were virus-free a little earlier, around Day 17.)

                                NUMBER:

                                302: South Korea and the U.S. confirmed their first case of Covid-19 on the same day (January 20). The coronavirus was first detected in Florida on March 1. As of Thursday morning, there have been approximately 502,000 cases and 7,600 deaths in Florida (population 21 million). As of Thursday morning, there have been about 14,400 and 300 deaths in South Korea (population 52 million).: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tommybe.../#71c43c8f568b
                                • Coronavirus Cases: 19,634,015

                                Deaths: 725,788

                                Underreported US death count: 164,379

                                US conflicts and 9/11 Casualties ………

                                Civil War (US Army) - 140,414
                                American Revolutionary War - 8,000
                                War of 1812 - 2,260
                                Mexican–American War - 1,733
                                Gulf War – 149
                                War in Afghanistan - 1,833
                                Iraq War - 3,836
                                9/11 Casualties - 2,726

                                Total US deaths in the conflicts above and 9/11 Casualties: 160,951

                                Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                                it's been blown way out of proportion.
                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                                Comment

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