Category Archives: Health Effects

Infectious diseases like COVID-19 present an imminent acute-health risk to people with weakened-immune systems; alarmism “climate change” does not

Sensitive subpopulations (e.g. people with weakened immune systems) are always at greater risk of death from opportunistic pathogens (This is not a new finding.)

Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — United States, February 12–March 16, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 18 March 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6912e2external icon

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

Early data from China suggest that a majority of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths have occurred among adults aged ≥60 years and among persons with serious underlying health conditions.

What is added by this report?

This first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged ≥85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged ≤19 years.

What are the implications for public health practice?

COVID-19 can result in severe disease, including hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit, and death, especially among older adults. Everyone can take actions, such as social distancing, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect older adults from severe illness.

COVID-19 false-positive rate for “asymptomatic infected individuals” during screening estimated at up to 80%???

G H Zhuang, M W Shen, L X Zeng, B B Mi, F Y Chen, W J Liu, L L Pei, X Qi, C Li. [Potential False-Positive Rate Among the ‘Asymptomatic Infected Individuals’ in Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients] Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi, 41 (4), 485-488

Objective: As the prevention and control of COVID-19 continues to advance, the active nucleic acid test screening in the close contacts of the patients has been carrying out in many parts of China. However, the false-positive rate of positive results in the screening has not been reported up to now. But to clearify the false-positive rate during screening is important in COVID-19 control and prevention.

Methods: Point values and reasonable ranges of the indicators which impact the false-positive rate of positive results were estimated based on the information available to us at present. The false-positive rate of positive results in the active screening was deduced, and univariate and multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to understand the robustness of the findings.

Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%.

Conclusions: In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.

Fluoride as a risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease

Benoit Follin-Arbelet, Bjørn Moum. Fluoride: A Risk Factor for Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Scand J Gastroenterol, 51 (9), 1019-24, Sep 2016

Although the association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and oral hygiene has been noticed before, there has been little research on prolonged fluoride exposure as a possible risk factor. In the presented cases, exposure to fluoride seems indirectly associated with higher incidence of IBD. Fluoride toxicology and epidemiology documents frequent unspecific chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and intestinal inflammation. Efflux genes that confer resistance to environmental fluoride may select for IBD associated gut microbiota and therefore be involved in the pathogenesis. Together these multidisciplinary results argue for further investigation on the hypothesis of fluoride as a risk factor for IBD.

Wuhan, China Coronavirus cases under-reported

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click here 

2019-nCoV originated from a laboratory?

Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21799.29601

The 2019-nCoV has caused an epidemic of 28,060 laboratory-confirmed infections in human including 564 deaths in China by February 6, 2020. Two descriptions of the virus published on Nature this week indicated that the genome sequences from patients were almost identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus. It was critical to study where the pathogen came from and how it passed onto human. An article published on The Lancet reported that 27 of 41 infected patients were found to have contact with the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 meters from the seafood market. We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory. Our proposal provided an alternative origin of the coronavirus in addition to natural recombination and intermediate host.

An example of why best available science is needed when setting air quality regulations

The overall relative risks reported in this study are so low they do not even support the conclusions stated by the authors. Based on these relative risk findings following accepted practice there is no difference in risk and no meaningful opportunity for risk reduction by setting strict air quality limits, contrary to what the authors claim. If I am reading the article correctly, the reported associations are much weaker than weak (essentially, none).

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Ana M Vicedo-Cabrera, et al. Short term association between ozone and mortality: global two stage time series study in 406 locations in 20 countries, BMJ, 2020; 368, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m108

Objective: To assess short term mortality risks and excess mortality associated with exposure to ozone in several cities worldwide.

Design: Two stage time series analysis.

Setting: 406 cities in 20 countries, with overlapping periods between 1985 and 2015, collected from the database of Multi-City Multi-Country Collaborative Research Network.

Population: Deaths for all causes or for external causes only registered in each city within the study period.

Main outcome measures: Daily total mortality (all or non-external causes only).

Results: A total of 45 165 171 deaths were analysed in the 406 cities. On average, a 10 µg/m3 increase in ozone during the current and previous day was associated with an overall relative risk of mortality of 1.0018 (95% confidence interval 1.0012 to 1.0024). Some heterogeneity was found across countries, with estimates ranging from greater than 1.0020 in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Estonia, and Canada to less than 1.0008 in Mexico and Spain. Short term excess mortality in association with exposure to ozone higher than maximum background levels (70 µg/m3) was 0.26% (95% confidence interval 0.24% to 0.28%), corresponding to 8203 annual excess deaths (95% confidence interval 3525 to 12 840) across the 406 cities studied. The excess remained at 0.20% (0.18% to 0.22%) when restricting to days above the WHO guideline (100 µg/m3), corresponding to 6262 annual excess deaths (1413 to 11 065). Above more lenient thresholds for air quality standards in Europe, America, and China, excess mortality was 0.14%, 0.09%, and 0.05%, respectively.

Conclusions: Results suggest that ozone related mortality could be potentially reduced under stricter air quality standards. These findings have relevance for the implementation of efficient clean air interventions and mitigation strategies designed within national and international climate policies.