Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Corona Virus...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Cheers, that looks more positive, particularly for those on ventilators (who of course are already the ones more profoundly affected).

    Unfortunately, this other piece of news isn't so positive, although it is not yet peer-reviewed, plus there is still optimism that it shouldn't impact on the effectiveness of any potential vaccine or on the immunity of those who have already had the virus.

    Mutation of Coronavirus Is Significantly Increasing Its Ability To Infect

    A tiny genetic mutation in the SARS coronavirus 2 variant circulating throughout Europe and the United States significantly increases the virus’ ability to infect cells, lab experiments performed at Scripps Research show.

    “Viruses with this mutation were much more infectious than those without the mutation in the cell culture system we used,” says Scripps Research virologist Hyeryun Choe, PhD, senior author of the study.

    The mutation had the effect of markedly increasing the number of functional spikes on the viral surface, she adds. Those spikes are what allow the virus to bind to and infect cells.

    “The number—or density—of functional spikes on the virus is 4 or 5 times greater due to this mutation,” Choe says.

    The spikes give the coronavirus its crown-like appearance and enable it to latch onto target cell receptors called ACE2. The mutation, called D614G, provides greater flexibility to the spike’s “backbone,” explains co-author Michael Farzan, PhD, co-chairman of the Scripps Research Department of Immunology and Microbiology.

    More flexible spikes allow newly made viral particles to navigate the journey from producer cell to target cell fully intact, with less tendency to fall apart prematurely, he explains.

    “Our data are very clear, the virus becomes much more stable with the mutation,” Choe says.

    There has been much debate about why COVID-19 outbreaks in Italy and New York have so quickly overwhelmed health systems, while early outbreaks in places like San Francisco and Washington state proved more readily managed, at least initially. Was it something about those communities and their response, or had the virus somehow changed?

    All viruses acquire minute genetic changes as they reproduce and spread. Those changes rarely impact fitness or ability to compete. The SARS-CoV-2 variant that circulated in the earliest regional outbreaks lacked the D614G mutation now dominating in much of the world.

    But was that because of the so-called “founder effect,” seen when a small number of variants fan out into a wide population, by chance? Choe and Farzan believe their biochemical experiments settle the question.

    “There have been at least a dozen scientific papers talking about the predominance of this mutation,” Farzan says. “Are we just seeing a ‘founder effect?’ Our data nails it. It is not the founder effect.”

    Choe and Farzan’s paper is titled “The D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein reduces S1 shedding and increases infectivity.” Now undergoing peer review, it is being posted prior to publication to the pre-print site bioRxiv, and released early, amid news reports of its findings.

    Choe and Farzan note that their research was performed using harmless viruses engineered to produce key coronavirus proteins. Whether the changes they observed also translate to increased transmissibility in the real world requires additional epidemiological studies, they note.

    Encouragingly, the duo found that immune factors from the serum of infected people work equally well against engineered viruses both with and without the D614G mutation. That’s a hopeful sign that vaccine candidates in development will work against variants with or without that mutation, Choe says.

    Choe and Farzan have studied coronaviruses for nearly 20 years, since the first outbreak of SARS, a similar virus. They were the first to discover in 2003 that SARS bound to the ACE2 receptor on cells. Others’ experiments have shown the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds the same ACE2 receptor.

    But Farzan and Choe note a key structural difference between spike proteins on the first SARS virus and this new pandemic strain. With both, under an electron microscope, the spike has tripod shape, with its three segments bound together at a backbone-like scaffold. But SARS-CoV-2 is different. Its tripod is divided in two discreet segments, S1 and S2.

    Initially, this unusual feature produced unstable spikes, Farzan says. Only about a quarter of the hundreds of spikes on each SARS-CoV-2 virus maintain the structure they need to successfully infect a target cell. With the mutation, the tripod breaks much less frequently, meaning more of its spikes are fully functional, he says.

    The addition of the D614G mutation means that the amino acid at that location is switched from aspartic acid to glycine. That renders it more bendable, Farzan says. Evidence of its success can be seen in the sequenced strains that scientists globally are contributing to databases including GenBank, the duo reports. In February, no sequences deposited to the GenBank database showed the D614G mutation. But by March, it appeared in 1 out of 4 samples. In May, it appeared in 70 percent of samples, Farzan says.

    “Over time, it has figured out how to hold on better and not fall apart until it needs to,” Farzan says. “The virus has, under selection pressure, made itself more stable.”

    It is still unknown whether this small mutation affects the severity of symptoms of infected people, or increases mortality, the scientists say. While ICU data from New York and elsewhere reports a preponderance of the new D614G variant, much more data, ideally under controlled studies, are needed, Choe says.

    Reference
    The D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein reduces S1 shedding and increases infectivity. Lizhou Zhang, Cody B Jackson, Huihui Mou, Amrita Ojha, Erumbi S Rangarajan, Tina Izard, Michael Farzan, Hyeryun Choe. bioRxiv, doi:https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.12.148726.

    This article is based on research findings that are yet to be peer-reviewed. Results are therefore regarded as preliminary and should be interpreted as such. Find out about the role of the peer review process in research here. For further information, please contact the cited source.

    This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
    Tis but a scratch.

    Comment



      Numbers don’t add up for opening Aviva if two-metre rule applies

      If social distancing protocol was changed to one metre, limited crowds would make it viable
      Gerry Thornley

      As long as the Government maintain the two-metre ruling on social distancing it will not make any financial sense for the IRFU, the provinces or the ground controllers to open the Aviva stadium to spectators on match days.

      As two-metre distancing would restrict the capacity to 8,200, the ensuing gate receipts would scarcely, if even, cover the costs of opening the stadium.

      However, were social distancing reduced from two metres to the World Health Organisation guideline of one metre, the stadium could accommodate about 18,500 spectators, thereby making it financially viable.

      “It’s quite a complex mathematical operation,” Stadium Director Martin Murphy told The Irish Times. “But we’ve done very detailed plans on how you would distribute the crowd and the seating to create that distancing and the other measures that you’d have to put in place in adhering to the guidelines.”

      With regard to the restricted crowd which applies with the two-metre distancing, Murphy said: “It’s frankly not viable economically. It can be done, but it just wouldn’t make any sense to do it. So we would be hoping that at some stage we will be moving to one-metre social distancing and then it becomes viable.”

      The costs of hosting a game at the Aviva range from roughly €100,000 to €160,000. This would likely decrease if there were no spectators but could be higher in order to maintain social distancing and hygiene.

      “The big thing is deep cleaning, both pre- and post-match,” said Murphy. “That’s going to be a big cost, which we haven’t calculated yet and we obviously want to have enough stewards to make sure that the event is safely run while also keeping costs down as much as possible.

      “The key is going to be the way the crowd behaves and buys into all measures that will have to be put in place for these matches. But I think if you look at how compliant people have been since the start of this crisis we’d be fairly confident that if we explain to people what they are required to do people will buy into it and that will make the event easier to run.

      ‘Full stadia’

      “So it’s going to be a challenge but I think it’s very important that we all get back to having crowds in the stadia. Ultimately we want to have full stadia but a halfway house would be a reduced capacity,” added Murphy, who said that playing matches behind closed doors would be “relatively easy for us to handle” if entirely new.

      The Aviva is provisionally set to reopen on August 22nd with a Guinness Pro14 derby between Leinster and Munster behind closed doors. This is a fixture that would normally generate gross receipts of €1.5 million and earn Leinster over €1 million net.

      The gross receipts with one-metre social distancing might still only generate a comparatively modest €500,000 or so, but that would at least make it worthwhile to open the stadium.

      Three more interpros are scheduled to take place at the Aviva behind closed doors on August 23rd and the following weekend. Therefore, were outdoor gatherings in excess of 5,000 while observing one-metre social distancing approved by the Government before then, those four derbies could possibly generate in the region of €1.4 to €1.6 million.

      Thereafter, Leinster and the IRFU would also hope to open the Aviva for Pro14 playoffs, the Leinster-Saracens Heineken Cup quarter-final (pencilled in for September 18th) and potentially a semi-final a week later.

      Given 60 per cent of ticket revenue normally comes from hospitality and the higher cost of tickets for internationals, Ireland’s game against Italy might ordinarily have yielded €3 million-plus in gate receipts for the IRFU. If it is rescheduled for October 24th, and one-metre social distancing applies, the IRFU would not generate as much from hospitality.

      Yet whereas a capacity crowd restricted to 8,200 might generate €400,000 to €575,000 in gate receipts, an 18,500 attendance with social distancing of two metres would probably generate €900,000 to €1.3million.

      Financial model

      Hence, if the IRFU host Italy and three November Tests, the difference in gate receipts based on social distancing of one metre rather two over four games could equate to nearly €3 million.

      The likelihood is that the IRFU will lobby the Government to reduce physical distancing as the GAA have done, and the English RFU have done in the UK.

      The RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has claimed that if social distancing were reduced from two metres to one, Twickenham could accommodate about 40,000 spectators for each of their four November Tests compared to 9,000. The difference would equate to over €3.3million per game.

      Rugby’s financial model is much more dependent upon gate receipts than soccer, especially at club or provincial level. Leinster generate virtually 50 per cent, or €8 million-plus, of their annual income of €18 million through ticket sales. Cancelling their 13,000 season ticket sales for the 2020-21 campaign, worth roughly €4 million, left an estimated €8 million hole in Leinster’s coffers.

      A third of Ulster’s €11.2 million annual revenue comes through ticket sales and they have also cancelled their season tickets. Roughly €6 million of Munster’s €17 million annual turnover comes from ticket sales and Connacht’s ticket revenue is around €2 million.

      The 2020 edition of the Deloitte Football Money League showed that match-day gate receipts for Europe’s top 20 clubs accounted for 13 per cent of their annual income, compared to 22 per cent in commercial revenue and 65 per cent in broadcast monies.

      Barcelona (annual revenue €840.8m) generated 19 per cent of its annual income from matchday revenue, the same percentage as Real Madrid and Manchester United, whereas it was just 10 per cent for Man City.

      In other words rugby needs matchday spectators more than soccer does.

      Comment


        I presume that in a stadium that is adhering to social distancing, be it 1m or 2m, that people who consider themselves a family unit can sit together?

        For instance, I normally bring Mrs D to the Aviva, using my 10 year seats to watch Ireland. It wouldn't be much craic for her if she had to sit 2m away imho, as she wouldn't be as into rugby as I am.

        Also for the IRFU & the GAA especially, people often go to games with family members, surely it would make sense to allow those 'family units' to sit together?? (& hence maybe get a higher effective crowd density & capacity in the stadium)

        Anyone got any idea?
        ____________________________________________
        Munster were great when they were Munster.

        alas they are just north munster now.......
        ____________________________________________

        Comment


          It presupposes people will be willing to attend. I certainly won’t be going to any large public gatherings for at least the remainder of the year, irrespective of one meter or two meter distancing.

          Comment


            Originally posted by Viigand View Post
            It presupposes people will be willing to attend. I certainly won’t be going to any large public gatherings for at least the remainder of the year, irrespective of one meter or two meter distancing.
            As soon as spectators are allowed back into TP I'll be there. And my three other family members who usually have a ST are of the same opinion. There'll be more than enough people willing to take the available tickets. Make masks mandatory for attendance and keep whatever social distance that's applicable at the time and you'll be fine.

            Comment


              Not going to take that chance. My health is more important than rugby.

              Comment


                Originally posted by Viigand View Post
                Not going to take that chance. My health is more important than rugby.
                People will weigh up the risks - many will decide that they will stop all holidays, rugby matches, pubs, restaurants, Christmas shopping etc until there is a vaccine and those who are very vulnerable may have no choice. But on the basis of evaluating and managing risks, some may decide that life is one thing and living is another.
                Last edited by The Last Stand; 17-June-2020, 14:59.

                Comment


                  It also depends on whether you take a short term or a long term outlook on life and living. If there was no prospect whatsoever of a vaccine or reasonably effective treatment for several years, then I suspect most people would choose to just grin & get on, taking all whatever precautions they can and hoping that they aren't going to one of the unlucky ones. At the moment though, it seems that an effective vaccine or other treatment regime could become widely available within the next 12-18 months - rapid as that may be compared to the usual timescale for these things. That being the case, I think many will choose to hunker down and sacrifice some quality of life over the relatively short term in order to maximise their chances of enjoying a better quality of life over a much longer period.

                  For me, the prospect of doing without rugby, the pub, the gym, restaurants, travel, live music etc until the end of the year and perhaps for many months beyond is very unwelcome. More importantly, I miss my family, none of whom I've seen since early February. But I'll cope - I'll see people at home and/or socialise outdoors while I can, even if my social circle has to shrink for a while. I'll see a couple of family members over the summer once travel restrictions are lifted entirely. I'll watch rugby on the telly, order food in occasionally and so on. With my own health circumstances, I know it could be a lot worse and ultimately, several more months of living with some restrictions is still a price worth paying in order to be able to properly return to all those things over a much longer time, and do so with the same degree of physical capacity as I enjoy now.
                  Tis but a scratch.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Daithi View Post
                    BBC News - Dexamethasone is a life-saving coronavirus drug
                    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53061281
                    not saying its the case here.....but there has been a lot of rushing out of "top line findings" with detailed peer reviewed study findings coming much later. And often those findings dampen down the initial optimism. Several drug manufacturers have figured its a way to boost their stock prices short term

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Daithi View Post
                      I presume that in a stadium that is adhering to social distancing, be it 1m or 2m, that people who consider themselves a family unit can sit together?

                      For instance, I normally bring Mrs D to the Aviva, using my 10 year seats to watch Ireland. It wouldn't be much craic for her if she had to sit 2m away imho, as she wouldn't be as into rugby as I am.

                      Also for the IRFU & the GAA especially, people often go to games with family members, surely it would make sense to allow those 'family units' to sit together?? (& hence maybe get a higher effective crowd density & capacity in the stadium)

                      Anyone got any idea?
                      Good question. Here in the UAE they've reopened restaurants 4-6 to a table, 2m between tables. So if you used the same principle of people buying in clusters, and you only looked to socially distance each cluster, then you'd have a far more significant capacity.
                      "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                      "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                      "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by mr chips View Post
                        It also depends on whether you take a short term or a long term outlook on life and living. If there was no prospect whatsoever of a vaccine or reasonably effective treatment for several years, then I suspect most people would choose to just grin & get on, taking all whatever precautions they can and hoping that they aren't going to one of the unlucky ones. At the moment though, it seems that an effective vaccine or other treatment regime could become widely available within the next 12-18 months - rapid as that may be compared to the usual timescale for these things. That being the case, I think many will choose to hunker down and sacrifice some quality of life over the relatively short term in order to maximise their chances of enjoying a better quality of life over a much longer period.

                        For me, the prospect of doing without rugby, the pub, the gym, restaurants, travel, live music etc until the end of the year and perhaps for many months beyond is very unwelcome. More importantly, I miss my family, none of whom I've seen since early February. But I'll cope - I'll see people at home and/or socialise outdoors while I can, even if my social circle has to shrink for a while. I'll see a couple of family members over the summer once travel restrictions are lifted entirely. I'll watch rugby on the telly, order food in occasionally and so on. With my own health circumstances, I know it could be a lot worse and ultimately, several more months of living with some restrictions is still a price worth paying in order to be able to properly return to all those things over a much longer time, and do so with the same degree of physical capacity as I enjoy now.
                        I don't get the idea that there will be a vaccine. We do not have one for Aids after how many years same for SARS in fact we do not have a vaccine for flu. Just a shot for last seasons flu. I suspect (hope) that just like HIV we or the people working in this area will develop efficient treatments for those inflected by this virus.

                        Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Yatenga View Post

                          not saying its the case here.....but there has been a lot of rushing out of "top line findings" with detailed peer reviewed study findings coming much later. And often those findings dampen down the initial optimism. Several drug manufacturers have figured its a way to boost their stock prices short term
                          No money to be made from this. It's a generic drug that's been around for about 60 years. It's not unusual to halt a drug trial if there are clear benefits to the drug, as seems to be the case here. Delaying its' use for peer review will cost lives, especially with an existing drug where it's side effects are already well known. The effectiveness of this drug seems to be far greater than anything else they've come up with so far
                          Last edited by pwcork; 17-June-2020, 20:52.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by pwcork View Post

                            No money to be made from this. It's a generic drug that's been around for about 60 years. It's not unusual to halt a drug trial if there are clear benefits to the drug, as seems to be the case here. Delaying its' use for peer review will cost lives, especially with an existing drug where it's side effects are already well known. The effectiveness of this drug seems to be far greater than anything else they've come up with so far
                            you can halt a drug trial, then write up your results, do some peer review then share. I am just saying in general its not good to be sending out "good news" by press release. I'd prefer more substantive reporting. Investigators can get over excited too. Hydroxychloroquine was a cluster **** and I am sure investigators there were convinced it was a winner, in all good faith. There have been plenty of recent cases where drug companies have goosed their stock through press release of good trial data before full reporting. Maybe they were acting in good faith, maybe not
                            Again, not saying thats the case here just that its a reason for caution

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by Wallyman View Post

                              As to the non covid deaths, how can you honestly say that 6 months with out screening ('some' screening is to return in the late summer) and little if any treatment in the last three months for those already diagnosed won't lead to extra unnecessary deaths? You say nobody can put a number to cancer deaths while at the same time saying that nobody being able to put a number on Covid deaths is the reason to continue along the same path. I've previously posted a leading oncologist saying that up to 1800 cancer patients could die unnecessarily in Ireland. How about the MacMillan Trust in the UK saying that up to 2000 cases are going undiagnosed every week and that there could be at leat 5000 excess deaths in England due to the last three months? https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-uk-every-week And that's just cancer services. Cardiac services, renal services, diabetic services etc are all in the same boat. There also the multiple warnings from mental health experts about the numbers of extra suicides.
                              Deaths from non-Covid causes are largely attributable to people's fears about going to hospital or to doctor's surgeries, rather than lockdown. Government relaxation of restrictions has limited effect. It is only when Covid is less prevalent that people will feel comfortable going to hospital again.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by HenryFitz View Post

                                Deaths from non-Covid causes are largely attributable to people's fears about going to hospital or to doctor's surgeries, rather than lockdown. Government relaxation of restrictions has limited effect. It is only when Covid is less prevalent that people will feel comfortable going to hospital again.
                                There are no cancer screening services. There has been little to no inpatient services for the last three months. Private consultants couldn't see their patients because of the way the government took over the private hospitals, which remained empty for the whole course of the contract.

                                It most certainly isn't only down to people not willing to go to the hospital. And a lot of that fear is down to the terrible government messaging that was basically scaremongering rather than just telling people the facts.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X