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  1. Last 7 days
  2. Jul 2021
    1. Toor, J., Echeverria-Londono, S., Li, X., Abbas, K., Carter, E. D., Clapham, H. E., Clark, A., de Villiers, M. J., Eilertson, K., Ferrari, M., Gamkrelidze, I., Hallett, T. B., Hinsley, W. R., Hogan, D., Huber, J. H., Jackson, M. L., Jean, K., Jit, M., Karachaliou, A., … Gaythorpe, K. A. (2021). Lives saved with vaccination for 10 pathogens across 112 countries in a pre-COVID-19 world. ELife, 10, e67635. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.67635

    1. The number of lives lost around the world over the past year and a half is about equal to the population of Los Angeles or the nation of Georgia. It is three times the number of victims killed in traffic accidents around the globe per year.

      The takeaway: Global COVID-19 deaths over the past year and a half are 3X more than the annual deaths due to traffic accidents and roughly equal to the population of the city of Los Angeles or the country of Georgia.

      The claim: Covid-19 deaths are approximately equal to the population of Los Angeles or the nation of Georgia and are three times the global traffic accident death.

      The evidence:

      The global number of deaths due to COVID as reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 8, 2021 is 4,002,209 (1). The estimated population of the city of Los Angeles in 2019 was 3,979,576 (2). The estimated population of Los Angeles county in 2019 was 10,039,107 (2). The population of the nation of Georgia is 3,979,549 (3). Per WHO data from 2018, 1.35 million are killed annually by traffic accidents around the world (4).

      Global COVID deaths are approximately equal to the population of the city of Los Angeles or nation of Georgia. Globally, COVID deaths are 3X the number of global traffic accident deaths.

      Sources:

      1) https://covid19.who.int/

      2) https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/losangelescountycalifornia,losangelescitycalifornia,CA/BZA010219

      3) https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/georgia-population

      4) https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/global-road-safety/index.html

  3. Jun 2021
    1. Knock, E. S., Whittles, L. K., Lees, J. A., Perez-Guzman, P. N., Verity, R., FitzJohn, R. G., Gaythorpe, K. A. M., Imai, N., Hinsley, W., Okell, L. C., Rosello, A., Kantas, N., Walters, C. E., Bhatia, S., Watson, O. J., Whittaker, C., Cattarino, L., Boonyasiri, A., Djaafara, B. A., … Baguelin, M. (2021). Key epidemiological drivers and impact of interventions in the 2020 SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in England. Science Translational Medicine, eabg4262. https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abg4262

    1. V Shah, A. S., Gribben, C., Bishop, J., Hanlon, P., Caldwell, D., Wood, R., Reid, M., McMenamin, J., Goldberg, D., Stockton, D., Hutchinson, S., Robertson, C., McKeigue, P. M., Colhoun, H. M., & McAllister, D. A. (2021). Effect of vaccination on transmission of COVID-19: An observational study in healthcare workers and their households [Preprint]. Public and Global Health. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.11.21253275

  4. May 2021
    1. Wellenius, G. A., Vispute, S., Espinosa, V., Fabrikant, A., Tsai, T. C., Hennessy, J., Dai, A., Williams, B., Gadepalli, K., Boulanger, A., Pearce, A., Kamath, C., Schlosberg, A., Bendebury, C., Mandayam, C., Stanton, C., Bavadekar, S., Pluntke, C., Desfontaines, D., … Gabrilovich, E. (2021). Impacts of social distancing policies on mobility and COVID-19 case growth in the US. Nature Communications, 12(1), 3118. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23404-5

    1. Amidst the global pandemic, this might sound not dissimilar to public health. When I decide whether to wear a mask in public, that’s partially about how much the mask will protect me from airborne droplets. But it’s also—perhaps more significantly—about protecting everyone else from me. People who refuse to wear a mask because they’re willing to risk getting Covid are often only thinking about their bodies as a thing to defend, whose sanctity depends on the strength of their individual immune system. They’re not thinking about their bodies as a thing that can also attack, that can be the conduit that kills someone else. People who are careless about their own data because they think they’ve done nothing wrong are only thinking of the harms that they might experience, not the harms that they can cause.

      What lessons might we draw from public health and epidemiology to improve our privacy lives in an online world? How might we wear social media "masks" to protect our friends and loved ones from our own posts?

    1. Faria, N. R., Mellan, T. A., Whittaker, C., Claro, I. M., Candido, D. da S., Mishra, S., Crispim, M. A. E., Sales, F. C. S., Hawryluk, I., McCrone, J. T., Hulswit, R. J. G., Franco, L. A. M., Ramundo, M. S., Jesus, J. G. de, Andrade, P. S., Coletti, T. M., Ferreira, G. M., Silva, C. A. M., Manuli, E. R., … Sabino, E. C. (2021). Genomics and epidemiology of the P.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abh2644

    1. Alessandro Vespignani. (2021, April 14). “Genomics and epidemiology of the P.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil”—P.1 may be 1.7–2.4-fold more transmissible—Previous (non-P.1) infection provides 54–79% of the protection against infection with P.1 that it provides against non-P.1 lineages https://t.co/aUpL4YOFYo https://t.co/YniaLb9YiF [Tweet]. @alexvespi. https://twitter.com/alexvespi/status/1382370044374511621

  5. Apr 2021
  6. Mar 2021
    1. His answer was that nature had endowed humans with reason (“logos”) and that, hence, the function of humans is to think and, more specifically, to participate — by way of thinking — in the divine thought that organizes the cosmos.

      F*** you aristotle.

    1. Cintia, P., Fadda, D., Giannotti, F., Pappalardo, L., Rossetti, G., Pedreschi, D., Rinzivillo, S., Bonato, P., Fabbri, F., Penone, F., Savarese, M., Checchi, D., Chiaromonte, F., Vineis, P., Guzzetta, G., Riccardo, F., Marziano, V., Poletti, P., Trentini, F., … Merler, S. (2020). The relationship between human mobility and viral transmissibility during the COVID-19 epidemics in Italy. ArXiv:2006.03141 [Physics, Stat]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2006.03141

    1. López, J. A. M., Arregui-Garcĺa, B., Bentkowski, P., Bioglio, L., Pinotti, F., Boëlle, P.-Y., Barrat, A., Colizza, V., & Poletto, C. (2020). Anatomy of digital contact tracing: Role of age, transmission setting, adoption and case detection. MedRxiv, 2020.07.22.20158352. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.22.20158352

    1. Schoch-Spana, M., Brunson, E. K., Long, R., Ruth, A., Ravi, S. J., Trotochaud, M., Borio, L., Brewer, J., Buccina, J., Connell, N., Hall, L. L., Kass, N., Kirkland, A., Koonin, L., Larson, H., Lu, B. F., Omer, S. B., Orenstein, W. A., Poland, G. A., … White, A. (2020). The public’s role in COVID-19 vaccination: Human-centered recommendations to enhance pandemic vaccine awareness, access, and acceptance in the United States. Vaccine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.10.059

    1. Kai Kupferschmidt. (2021, March 16). “I’m not here to give you the outcome of any scientific review”, says EMA director Emer Cooke at start of press conference on AstraZeneca vaccine safety. ‘I’m here to explain the steps in the process, what we’re doing, and when you can expect us to come to a conclusion.’ [Tweet]. @kakape. https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1371811123197001729

    1. Adam Kucharski. (2020, December 13). I’ve turned down a lot of COVID-related interviews/events this year because topic was outside my main expertise and/or I thought there were others who were better placed to comment. Science communication isn’t just about what you take part in – it’s also about what you decline. [Tweet]. @AdamJKucharski. https://twitter.com/AdamJKucharski/status/1338079300097077250

  7. Feb 2021
  8. Jan 2021
  9. Dec 2020
    1. According to the best estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 99.997 percent of individuals aged 19 and younger who contract coronavirus make a full recovery, 99.98 percent of those aged 20 to 49 make a full recovery, and 99.5 percent aged 50 to 69 fully recover.

      The takeaway: >99% of people age 0-69 infected with SARS-CoV-2 survive COVID based on the CDC's current best estimate of infection fatality ratio. A subset of those infected will suffer from continued symptoms even though they did not die from COVID.

      The claim: Greater than 99% of people age 0-69 fully recover from COVID-19.

      The evidence: This numbers align with the CDC's current best estimate of the infection fatality ratio (1). Infection fatality ratio is the number of people that die from a disease divided by the number of people who get the disease. These numbers do not account for people with symptoms such as lung damage, chronic fatigue, and mental illness which may follow a COVID infection (2, 3).

      In a study of 143 hospitalized patients from Italy after an average of 60.3 days, only 12.6% were symptom free (4). Per Mayo Clinic guidelines, long term effects can occur in those with mild symptoms but most often occur in severe cases (5). Mental health problems were diagnosed 14-90 days after COVID in 18.1% of COVID patients studied (3).

      A more accurate estimate of the number of people that fully recover may be obtained if the number of people who recovered without hospitalization is used. The numbers presented are the CDC's current best estimate of the number of people that survive COVID not the number of people that fully recover.

      Sources:

      1) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

      2) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02598-6

      3) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30462-4/fulltext

      4) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2768351/

      5) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351

  10. Nov 2020
    1. Gov. Kristi Noem defended her hands-off approach to managing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic while addressing lawmakers earlier this week and called mandatory stay-at home orders "useless" in helping lower the spread.

      Take away: Lower COVID-19 spread occurred after stay-at home orders were issued. Room for debate exists on how restrictive lockdowns should be.

      The claim: Mandatory stay-at home orders are "useless" in helping lower the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

      The evidence: Two publications showed that lower COVID-19 spread occurred after stay-at home orders were issued (1, 2). Hospitalizations were lower than predicted exponential growth rates after implementation of stay-at home orders (3). Some caveats to consider include that it is impossible to tease apart the effects of the stay-at home orders from other measure implemented simultaneously with stay-at home orders such as increased hygiene measures, social distancing guidelines, and school closures. It is also impossible to conclusively state that the effect is from the stay-at home order and not the natural progression of the disease.

      The comparison between Illinois with stay-at home orders and Iowa without stay-at home orders resulted in an estimated 217 additional COVID-19 cases in Iowa over the course of a month (2). This small number raises the question, "are stay-at home orders worth it?" It is important to remember that comparison of Iowa and Illinois is the comparison of two social distancing strategies. Stay-at home orders close everything and then write the exceptions that can remain open. Iowa took the approach of leaving everything open except what the government choose to close (4). Some businesses in Iowa were still closed and many federal guidelines were still followed. A negative control showing disease progression without any mitigation measures does not exist in published literature.

      Sources:

      1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7246016/

      2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32413112/

      3 https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2020/04/07/iowa-equivalent-stay-at-home-order-coronavirus-kim-reynolds/2961810001/

      4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7254451/

    1. On every measure — new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths — the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction

      The takeaway: Though COVID-19 cases are at a record high, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has not followed the steep rise in cases. An increase in the number of deaths may be reported later as deaths lag cases by several weeks.

      The claim: On every measure - new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths - the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction.

      The evidence: New COVID infections in the US are the highest they have ever been with a 7-day moving average of 104,417 cases/day (1). The number of deaths in the US is similar to the number of deaths in August, lower than the number of deaths in the spring and higher than the number of deaths in the summer (2). A slight increase was seen in the number of deaths for the first two weeks in October followed by a slight decline which may change as more data is added (3). The number of emergency department visits for coronavirus like symptoms is on an upward trajectory nationwide (4). The CDC states "At least one indicator used to monitor COVID-19 activity is increasing in each of the ten HHS regions, and many regions are reporting increases in multiple indicators" (3).

      Though COVID-19 cases are at a record high, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has not followed the steep rise in cases. An increase in the number of deaths may be reported later as deaths lag cases by several weeks.

      Sources:

      1) https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailytrendscases

      2) https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailytrendsdeaths

      3) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

      4) https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#ed-visits

    1. How can we better protect nursing home residents? This is the most vulnerable population.

      The takeaway: Nursing home residents are the most vulnerable population though others with similar age and comorbidities may be at a similar risk.

      The claim: Nursing home residents are the most vulnerable population.

      The evidence: Older, more vulnerable people live in nursing homes (1). The setting is also communal which leads to rapid spread once the virus is in the home (1). The CDC reports 61,765 deaths (2, accessed 11/2/2020). A significant percentage of the deaths occurred in nursing homes which makes sense because older people live in the homes often with multiple comorbidities (3). Probability of death from COVID-19 increases with age and comorbidity (4-5). COVID spreads easier inside than outside (6).

      Considering all of these factors, nursing home residents are the most vulnerable population. Others with similar age and comorbidities may be at a similar risk if they interact with many people.

      Sources:

      1) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-in-nursing-homes.html

      2) https://data.cms.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-Nursing-Home-Data/bkwz-xpvg

      3) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.16784

      4) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/investigations-discovery/hospitalization-death-by-age.html

      5) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm#Comorbidities

      6) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/deciding-to-go-out.html

  11. Oct 2020