The COVID-19 Science and Medicine Question Thread

Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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If anyone's interested about a thread where science and medicine regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is the place to post your questions. I'll gladly answer any I can to the best of my ability and for things I can't answer, I'll hit some of my old colleagues and/or medical consultants for available answers.

This is not a thread to post the day's most recent rumors, conspiracies, stock market fluctuations, memes, funny pictures, economic closures, etc. Please keep it on the science, not other ancillary issues. I can get you factual answers to the science, not what stocks will be good investments.

This is one serious pandemic and there's far too much false information, rumors, and other trash out there. Let's keep this thread focused on facts, data and science. I hope providing factual information can help everyone better understand and navigate these tough times.
 

cany

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If someone has/had it did their 2 weeks time then got cleared to go back too work is that a good thing? Could they still have it maybe lurking around?
 

Roccus7

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If someone has/had it did their 2 weeks time then got cleared to go back too work is that a good thing? Could they still have it maybe lurking around?
Great question and one that everyone has on their mind. The "2 Week Rule" is truly a best guess based on historical viral infection data. The "good" news is that the 2 week time starts AFTER symptoms have abated and right now it seems that folks are most infectious before symptoms show up.

Regrettably there hasn't been a well-controlled prospective study where people's symptoms, virus levels and antibody development have yet to be published, although I'm confident it's being worked on.

Some of you may have seen some news recently about "reinfections" occurring South Korea. This hasn't been verified or refuted. Obviously it's a concern and being investigated. Had these patients truly cleared their viral loads and got reinfected or did levels drop below detectable levels, only to be reactivated? These are the kind of questions that need answering.
 
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JackPrintMD

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Dec 21, 2018
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Thank you R7

Here is something I and my wife have been concerned with.
We have a supply of masks ( the blue n-95) also the interchangeable filter black masks.
We have been doing two week supply runs hitting our main shopping locations ( BJ’S, kk, & meat farms) .
After this event we discard to trash , gloves masks and wash cloths worn for that event right away.

We load all groceries into back of truck and unload into garage once home to clean all package items as well as remove items from packages that can be stored without packaging

We have Two tables in garage one for items that need to be cleaned and another for items that have been cleaned, only then being place and stored inside pantry and kitchen closets / Freezer or Fridge.

?
If I do short run into town for maybe fresh bread or milk...... mask only worn for 20 min 1/2hr, could this mask be reused?


??
Are we over doing it?

Jack
 
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Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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Thank you R7

Here is something I and my wife have been concerned with.
We have a supply of masks ( the blue n-95) also the interchangeable filter black masks.
We have been doing two week supply runs hitting our main shopping locations ( BJ’S, kk, & meat farms) .
After this event we discard to trash , gloves masks and wash cloths worn for that event right away.

We load all groceries into back of truck and unload into garage once home to clean all package items as well as remove items from packages that can be stored without packaging

We have Two tables in garage one for items that need to be cleaned and another for items that have been cleaned, only then being place and stored inside pantry and kitchen closets / Freezer or Fridge.

?
If I do short run into town for maybe fresh bread or milk...... mask only worn for 20 min 1/2hr, could this mask be reused?


??
Are we over doing it?

Jack
Nope, you're doing it PERFECTLY!! As far a reusing the N95s, it's really not a problem, especially for the quick runs to town.

We've been reusing because our trips are quick also and I've been reusing multiple times. For us, it's a matter of only having limited number of N95s, including having enough for the spring fertilizer/wide killer and insecticide applications.
 

WhatKnot

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My understanding as of late is that exam gloves provide some level of protection to the wearer while facial masks, other than N95’s, provide a higher level of protection to the folks that a wearer may contact than protection for themselves. What say you.
 

Capt13

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Dec 28, 2018
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I have a question too. After running a small number of random tests on the general public (for antibodies to see who has had it and who hasn't,) can you then extrapolate that number out? Will that number be accurate?
 

Tigashrk

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Mar 3, 2019
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Mikeprint, rotate a few masks like 3 each. Don’t wear consecutive days and let sit in sun or sunny window when not using. Try not to touch mask unless you have clean hands and didn’t touch anything. If you think it’s soiled or not fitting correctly, chuck it. The cdc website says you could put in oven for 30-40 minutes on a low temp, forgot the recommended temperature. I don’t cook mine. Getting a couple weeks out of them.
 

Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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I have a question too. After running a small number of random tests on the general public (for antibodies to see who has had it and who hasn't,) can you then extrapolate that number out? Will that number be accurate?
Another great question, the best analogy I can provide it's an Immunological Poll! The health care staff doing this would employ many of the statistical tools that pollsters use.

OK, I can hear the groaning and laughing, along with feeling the eyes rolling, but just like any poll, this "Poll's Accuracy" increases with sample size and ensuring there's a good cross sectional analysis, along with well thought through assumptions. I know, I know, we've all had disappointments with fish population estimates based on small sampling and I've professionally had knock down drag outs with statisticians to the point where I established a Dr. Dom rule, "He with the best statisticians wins". However, short of sampling virtually an entire population, this is what we have.

Here's something I posted in the other Corona Virus thread that bears looking at. It describes a very well-designed study being done in Germany that was reported in the NY Times. You'll see that this takes time, but it's a great example of a study that will provide accurate and invaluable information. IMPO (P=Professional) it's a great example of "Science-ing Like A Boss"...

BERLIN — Felix Germann was not expecting anyone when his doorbell rang last week. Outside was a doctor who looked like she had just stepped out of an operating theater, green scrubs, face mask and all — and a policeman.
“I didn’t do it!” Mr. Germann said, throwing up his hands, and everybody laughed.

The unusual visitors had come with an unusual proposal: Would he allow them to test his blood for Covid-19 antibodies? Every month? For a year? Starting next week?

He would be helping to further the science that would ultimately allow for a controlled lifting of social and economic restrictions and save lives.

“Of course I said yes,” said Mr. Germann, a 41-year-old project manager at a media company. “I want to help. This is a collective crisis. The government is doing what it can. Everyone needs to do their bit.”

With that, Mr. Germann and his girlfriend joined 3,000 households chosen at random in Munich for an ambitious study whose central aim is to understand how many people — even those with no symptoms — have already had the virus, a key variable to make decisions about public life in a pandemic.

The study is part of an aggressive approach to combat the virus in a comprehensive way that has made Germany a leader among Western nations figuring out how to control the contagion while returning to something resembling normal life.

If anyone is interested I've attached the entire article for your perusal...
 

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Roccus7

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Mikeprint, rotate a few masks like 3 each. Don’t wear consecutive days and let sit in sun or sunny window when not using. Try not to touch mask unless you have clean hands and didn’t touch anything. If you think it’s soiled or not fitting correctly, chuck it. The cdc website says you could put in oven for 30-40 minutes on a low temp, forgot the recommended temperature. I don’t cook mine. Getting a couple weeks out of them.
Great idea on "rotations" . I hang my "car masks" by off the rear view mirror so they get a UV bath...
 

Roccus7

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Dec 22, 2018
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My understanding as of late is that exam gloves provide some level of protection to the wearer while facial masks, other than N95’s, provide a higher level of protection to the folks that a wearer may contact than protection for themselves. What say you.
All true. Best defense for protecting yourself against infection is gloves and a "respirator mask" of which the N95 is least complicated and expensive version. To be as protective as possible, a N95 mask must be fitted so tightly that all incoming air comes through that filter under the small plastic shield, not leaking in along the sides.

The surgical cloth mask is to prevent you from infecting others, that's why surgeons wear them in the OR, to prevent them from infecting the surgical site.

At this juncture, I ASSUME that health officials continue to tell folks not to wear N95s because the supply is too low to even ensure that the front line health care workers don't have enough. If they were in good supply, I think the CDC would say "If you got 'em, wear 'em."

Full disclosure, I wear 'em because I stocked up in January before it all hit the fan, in the thought that I'd be touring Japan in late Feb and I'd need them for the spring boat work, along with spring insecticide and weed killer applications.
 
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cany

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Dumb question Is it ok to use hand sanitizer on my latex gloves so I dont have to throw them away every time I use them when touching bills ETC when I have to deal with the public
 
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Just a word about wearing gloves. They are great but they often give the wearer a false sense of security. I have seen multiple people with gloves touching their faces with them on. Just think about what you are touching while wearing them. After you take them off use soap and water or purell to clean your hands, and for the love of God DISPOSE OF THEM PROPERLY. In a garbage can not the ground.