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Dean Pomerleau

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About Dean Pomerleau

  • Birthday 11/12/1964

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  1. Dean Pomerleau

    CR Conference Videos

    Jeff Teeters. Here are a bunch of them on YouTube, although not the full talks. https://m.youtube.com/user/jeffteeters/videos
  2. This new paper [1] in Nature found 42.5% of people who tested positive in Vo' Italy never developed symptoms. These asymptomatic folks had just as high a viral load as symptomatic people. This is exactly the same percent of asymptomatic people I discussed here based on a study from China. --Dean --- [1] Suppression of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in the Italian municipality of Vo’ Enrico Lavezzo, Elisa Franchin, […]Andrea Crisanti Nature (2020) Abstract On the 21st of February 2020 a resident of the municipality of Vo’, a small town near Padua, died of pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 infection1. This was the first COVID-19 death detected in Italy since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province2. In response, the regional authorities imposed the lockdown of the whole municipality for 14 days3. We collected information on the demography, clinical presentation, hospitalization, contact network and presence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in nasopharyngeal swabs for 85.9% and 71.5% of the population of Vo’ at two consecutive time points. On the first survey, which was conducted around the time the town lockdown started, we found a prevalence of infection of 2.6% (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1-3.3%). On the second survey, which was conducted at the end of the lockdown, we found a prevalence of 1.2% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.8-1.8%). Notably, 42.5% (95% CI 31.5-54.6%) of the confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections detected across the two surveys were asymptomatic (i.e. did not have symptoms at the time of swab testing and did not develop symptoms afterwards). The mean serial interval was 7.2 days (95% CI 5.9-9.6). We found no statistically significant difference in the viral load of symptomatic versus asymptomatic infections (p-values 0.62 and 0.74 for E and RdRp genes, respectively, Exact Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test). This study sheds new light on the frequency of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, their infectivity (as measured by the viral load) and provides new insights into its transmission dynamics and the efficacy of the implemented control measures.
  3. Matt, That Guardian article was from last week. They have a story dated yesterday with the results of the review of the vitamin D and covid link. Here is the meat of the government report (pdf): Effectiveness and safety Evidence was from 5 published studies in peer-reviewed journals. One observational cohort study (D'Avolio et al. 2020), 3 observational prognostic studies involving published data sets using correlation or regression (Hastie et al. 2020, Ilie et al. 2020 and Laird et al. 2020) and 1 case-control survey (Fasano et al. 2020) looked retrospectively at the association between vitamin D status and development of COVID 19. None of the studies were intervention trials of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Four of the studies found an association or correlation between a lower vitamin D status and subsequent development of COVID-19. However, confounders such as body mass index (BMI) or underlying health conditions, which may have independent correlations with vitamin D status or COVID-19, were not adjusted for (D'Avolio et al. 2020, Fasano et al. 2020, Ilie et al. 2020 and Laird et al. 2020). Vitamin D status was based on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in 3 studies and the proportion of participants taking a vitamin D supplement in 1 study. The largest UK study (Hastie et al. 2020) found an association between vitamin D status and COVID-19 only in a univariable analysis (with this single potential causative factor). Importantly, no causal relationship between vitamin D status and COVID-19 was found after adjustment for confounders such as comorbidity, socio-demographics, ethnicity, BMI and other baseline factors. The evidence was pretty weak since there were no interventional studies. So vitamin D can't be ruled out as effective against the virus. But the UK scientific establishment doesn't sound very optimistic. --Dean
  4. Do you? No, it's not. From the CDC website on the worst flu season in recently history (2017-2018), which I know you've seen since I've pointed you to it before, there were an estimated 51K deaths among 5.9M symptomatic infections among people older in 65, which equates to a CFR of 0.86% which is unequivocally not "much higher than 1%" as you claim. In fact, Mike's estimate of "about 7 times higher than seasonal flu" which you objected to is almost exactly right (it is actually 6.5x higher). --Dean
  5. Dean Pomerleau

    Siberian Heat Wave

    Hey Siberiak, Are you experiencing this apparent heat wave? It sounds like your part of the world is really getting hit by climate change. Is it viewed as a good or bad thing by you and your fellow Siberians? From this Vox article: A small town in Siberia reached a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, which, if verified, would mark the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle. Temperatures have jumped in recent months to levels rarely seen in the Russian region, and it’s a sign of a broader trend of human-caused climate change that’s transforming weather patterns in the Arctic Circle. The town of Verkhoyansk is one of the coldest towns on Earth — temperatures dropped to nearly 60 degrees below zero there this past November — and the average June high temperature is 68 degrees. The 100.4 reading in Verkhoyansk, which sits farther north than Fairbanks, Alaska, would be the northernmost 100-degree reading ever observed. --Dean
  6. A few days ago, Gordo wrote: Or maybe not. Looks like there is widespread calls for a retraction of the PNAS paper on which this headline and story are based. From this story in the NY Times: A group of leading scientists is calling on a journal to retract a paper on the effectiveness of masks, saying the study has “egregious errors” and contains numerous “verifiably false” statements. The scientists wrote a letter to the journal editors on Thursday, asking them to retract the study immediately “given the scope and severity of the issues we present, and the paper’s outsized and immediate public impact.” The study claimed that mask-wearing “significantly reduces the number of infections” with the coronavirus and that “other mitigation measures, such as social distancing implemented in the United States, are insufficient by themselves in protecting the public.” It also said that airborne transmission was the primary way the virus spreads. Experts said the paper’s conclusions were similar to those from others — masks do work — but they objected to the methodology as deeply flawed. The researchers assumed that behaviors changed immediately after policy changes, for example, and the study failed to take into account the seismic changes occurring across societies that may have affected the reported incidence of infection. “There is evidence from other studies that masks help reduce transmission of Covid-19, but this paper does not add to that evidence,” said Linsey Marr, an expert on airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech. (Dr. Molina was Dr. Marr’s postdoctoral adviser.) I was dubious of the paper when Gordo posted the link. It looked like a pretty naive example of curve fitting to me. In this graph from the paper: the facts that the cases start coming down before face masks were mandated in NY and that there is a delay between an intervention and a decrease in new cases on the order of several weeks, suggests it was interventions that occurred before the mask mandate that were made the difference. Masks wearing (often voluntary) was probably part of the reason for the decrease, but the paper itself and especially the Forbes article Gordo posted seem to suggest mask wearing was the primary beneficial intervention, and the social distancing and stay-at-home orders were either ineffective or minor players in slowing the spread. This doesn't seem to be at all supported by the available data, as the scientists calling for retraction seem to be arguing. --Dean
  7. There appears to be additional support for the theory that the strain of the virus that came to dominate in Europe and the east coast of the US has a mutation that makes it more virulent. At least according to this preprint from the folks at Scripps Research: 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. --Dean
  8. Dean Pomerleau

    The Return of the Blog

    April, Great to see you blogging again! I really enjoyed learning what you've been up to the last few years. Sorry about your beloved dog. 16 for a golden retriever is very impressive! Sounds like she had a good life right up to the end. Can't beat that. It looks like your diet is covering the bases, although I'd personally suggest a little more variety and quantity in the fruits and vegetables department in place of some of the yogurt and cheese. I'm not sure what you'd think of this idea, but I put it out there for your consideration. I personally don't really read blogs anymore - just too much else out there to read. But many of us from the old CR days still hang out on these forums. Would you consider starting a thread on the "CR Practice" board to cross post your blog entries, especially those that are CR-related? I think people around here would appreciate it and would be more likely to engage with you and provide feedback than on your blog. Just a thought, --Dean P.S. You might want to update your age in the title box of your blog 🙂
  9. That is very reassuring. I too would avoid the hospital unless she takes a serious turn for the worse. Did you get any specific advice along those lines from her health care professional? --Dean
  10. Gordo, That blood oxygen level looks pretty troubling. I presume you took it a couple times to double check. Did you communicate that reading to her PCP? Here is a covid-19 clinical evaluation protocol that suggests blood oxygen levels < 90% warrant a visit to the emergency department for evaluation: In-person evaluation for moderate/severe dyspnea, hypoxia, and concern for higher acuity level — All patients with moderate or severe dyspnea, an initial oxygen saturation <95 percent on room air, or symptoms consistent with higher acuity level warrant in-person evaluation, either in the ED or in an outpatient clinic, depending upon the severity of findings. Criteria for evaluation in ED — We typically refer patients with one or more of the following features to the ED for further management: ●Severe dyspnea (dyspnea at rest, and interfering with the inability to speak in complete sentences) (see 'Dyspnea assessment' above) ●Oxygen saturation on room air of ≤90 percent, regardless of severity of dyspnea (see 'Oxygenation assessment' above) ●Concerning alterations in mentation (eg, confusion, change in behavior, difficulty in rousing) or other signs and symptoms of hypoperfusion or hypoxia (eg, falls, hypotension, cyanosis, anuria, chest pain suggestive of acute coronary syndrome)(see 'Assessment of overall acuity level' above) Patients meeting the above criteria will typically be admitted to the hospital for inpatient evaluation and management. --Dean
  11. Dean Pomerleau

    Tofu, Soy Products, and Dementia

    Brian, You have a way. Post the DOI URL for the study (i.e. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2015.10.024) into Sci-Hub. --Dean
  12. Gordo, Sorry to hear about your wife. Send her my best wishes for a quick recovery. I know you have an oximeter. How is her blood oxygen? Also, how is her sense of smell? Loss of that seems to be one of the most frequent symptoms of covid-19. --Dean
  13. Dean Pomerleau


    Francesca Skelton. Sadly she passed away in 2013 at age 73. Here is an article with quotes from Francesca and several people currently on this forum from 2004: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64170-2004May3.html --Dean
  14. Here is another data point in the seemingly never-ending debate over hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for covid-19. It is a randomized trial out of the UK which was stopped short a couple days ago. From the preliminary report (pdf) on the results: ‘We have concluded that there is no beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. We have therefore decided to stop enrolling participants to the hydroxychloroquine arm of the RECOVERY trial with immediate effect. We are now releasing the preliminary results as they have important implications for patient care and public health. ‘A total of 1542 patients were randomised to hydroxychloroquine and compared with 3132 patients randomised to usual care alone. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (25.7% hydroxychloroquine vs. 23.5% usual care; hazard ratio 1.11 [95% confidence interval 0.98-1.26]; p=0.10). There was also no evidence of beneficial effects on hospital stay duration or other outcomes. ‘These data convincingly rule out any meaningful mortality benefit of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Full results will be made available as soon as possible. This would seem to put to rest the use of hydroxychloroquine for covid-19 treatment, but who knows. I've said that before... --Dean