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Clinical trial shows Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on right track – Los Angeles Times

Within 12 hours of getting the second dose of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Moderna Inc., Ian Haydon began to feel chills. Then came nausea, headaches, muscle pain and delirium. He took his temperature: 103.2 degrees.

The 29-year-old Seattle resident, one of 45 participants in the company’s Phase 1 clinical trial, knew his body was trying to mount a defense against the vaccine. If it worked, his immune system would be primed to fight an actual coronavirus infection.

An aspiring marathon runner without any health issues, Haydon could not remember ever feeling this sick. His girlfriend took him to urgent care. Later that night, he fainted in their apartment.

With fluids and rest, the symptoms faded. A day and half after getting the shot, he felt fine.

Similar side effects of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine were described in a report published Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. Its findings confirm the company’s preliminary announcement in May that the candidate vaccine prompted the production of coronavirus antibodies in human testers.

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The results of the peer-reviewed study “are promising, and they support continued development of this vaccine,” Dr. Penny Heaton, chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, wrote in an editorial for the journal. “However, we must bear in mind the complexity of vaccine development and the work still to be done before COVID-19 vaccines are widely available.”

Moderna is a front-runner in the global race to develop a vaccine and bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The 10-year-old Cambridge, Mass., company is one of six contenders to receive funding as part of Operation Warp Speed, a multibillion-dollar federal initiative designed to expedite vaccine development.

Its vaccine introduces genetic material from the coronavirus into the body, which responds by producing a protein that allows the virus to infiltrate a host cell. The presence of that so-called spike protein triggers the body’s immune response and induces the development of protective antibodies that can stop the virus in its tracks.

The technique, known as mRNA, was first developed to fight other coronaviruses — MERS and SARS — but had not been advanced beyond early clinical trials.

In the new Phase 1 trial, Haydon and the other study subjects produced coronavirus antibodies at levels comparable to patients who had contracted and recovered from COVID-19. However, that does not necessarily mean that the vaccine can provide immunity to the disease.

“It’s first step, but it is an exciting first step,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University and the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “It showed that this novel technology — mRNA — can induce a substantial immune response. We trust that the immune response will correlate with protection down the road.”

Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was more measured in his assessment.

“It was a small dose-range trial that showed that doses of vaccine were safe, and they induced a neutralizing antibody response similar to natural infection,” he said. “But we need a large Phase 3 trial.”

Moderna recently finished enrolling candidates for Phase 2 study, and its Phase 3 trials are expected to start later this month.

During the Phase 1 safety trial, the vaccine was administered in three doses — 25 micrograms, 100 mcg and 250 mcg — to three groups of 15 individuals. The men and women lived in Seattle and Atlanta and were between the ages of 28 and 41.

Although the study authors, led by Dr. Lisa Jackson of the Kaiser Permanente Washington https://bt-hypnotise.com/ Research Institute in Seattle, reported “no serious adverse events” or hospitalizations, each group of candidates experienced side effects that were significantly worse after the second dose.

Such side effects are not unusual, Schaffner said, citing the shingles vaccine.

If the Moderna vaccine winds up in widespread use, he said, “we’ll have to let everyone know in advance that your arm may hurt, and you will feel out of sorts for a day or so. We have to be aware of this too because these conditions can mimic aspect influenza or COVID itself.”

Three people who received 250 micrograms had their symptoms graded as “severe.” Moderna is no longer administering the 250-microgram dose in its trials.

Moderna is one of many biotech companies that have made a coronavirus vaccine a top priority, and investors have rewarded it. The company’s stock has risen from $18.59 on Feb. 24, when it announced it was pursuing a vaccine, to $75.04 at the close of markets on Tuesday. It jumped an additional $12.06 to $87.10 in after-hours trading following the study’s release.

With the ambitious goal of producing 300 million doses of vaccine by January, Operation Warp Speed will be challenged by logistics. Even if a vaccine is proven to be effective against COVID-19, production and distribution will be daunting.

“Remember, on Day One, we won’t have enough vaccine for all of the U.S.,” Schaffner said. “We will be rolling out a vaccine program as the vaccine becomes more available, and for a considerable period of time much of U.S. population will not be vaccinated. We will have to continue social distancing activities.”

As Moderna pushes ahead with new phases of its clinical trials, Haydon, who received the 250-mcg dose, has slowly resumed his normal routine. He has started marathon training again with the hope of running his first race by the end of the year, and he periodically has his blood drawn to measure the level of antibodies.

But he is not taking any chances. He still wears a mask, mostly stays inside and washes his hands “like a maniac.”

“I don’t feel protected,” he said. “My concern is actually to not get exposed, even more so than before. What if I were to catch full-blown COVID? I imagine hope for this vaccine would plummet.”

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First COVID-19 vaccine tested in US poised for final testing – The Associated Press

The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday — as the shots are poised to begin key final testing.

“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.

The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of https://bt-hypnotise.com/ and Moderna Inc., will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

But Tuesday, researchers reported anxiously awaited findings from the first 45 volunteers who rolled up their sleeves back in March. Sure enough, the vaccine provided a hoped-for immune boost.

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Those early volunteers developed what are called neutralizing antibodies in their bloodstream — molecules key to blocking infection — at levels comparable to those found in people who survived COVID-19, the research team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is an essential building block that is needed to move forward with the trials that could actually determine whether the vaccine does protect against infection,” said Dr. Lisa Jackson of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, who led the study.

There’s no guarantee but the government hopes to have results around the end of the year — record-setting speed for developing a vaccine.

The vaccine requires two doses, a month apart.

There were no serious side effects. But more than half the study participants reported flu-like reactions to the shots that aren’t uncommon with other vaccines — fatigue, headache, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. For three participants given the highest dose, those reactions were more severe; that dose isn’t being pursued.

Some of those reactions are similar to coronavirus symptoms but they’re temporary, lasting about a day and occur right after vaccination, researchers noted.

“Small price to pay for protection against COVID,” said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a vaccine expert who wasn’t involved with the study.

He called the early results “a good first step,” and is optimistic that final testing could deliver answers about whether it’s really safe and effective by the beginning of next year.

“It would be wonderful. But that assumes everything’s working right on schedule,” Schaffner cautioned.

Moderna’s share price jumped nearly 15 percent in trading after U.S. markets closed. Shares of the company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have nearly quadrupled this year.

Tuesday’s results only included younger adults. The first-step testing later was expanded to include dozens of older adults, the age group most at risk from COVID-19. Those results aren’t public yet but regulators are evaluating them. Fauci said final testing will include older adults, as well as people with chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus — and Black and Latino populations likewise affected.

Nearly two dozen possible COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of testing around the world. Candidates from China and Britain’s Oxford University also are entering final testing stages.

The 30,000-person study will mark the world’s largest study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine so far. And the NIH-developed shot isn’t the only one set for such massive U.S. testing, crucial to spot rare side effects. The government plans similar large studies of the Oxford candidate and another by Johnson & Johnson; separately, Pfizer Inc. is planning its own huge study.

Already, people can start signing up to volunteer for the different studies.

People think “this is a race for one winner. Me, I’m cheering every one of them on,” said Fauci, who directs NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“We need multiple vaccines. We need vaccines for the world, not only for our own country.”

Around the world, governments are investing in stockpiles of hundreds of millions of doses of the different candidates, in hopes of speedily starting inoculations if any are proven to work.

__

The Associated Press https://bt-hypnotise.com/ and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Benzie-Leelanau Health Department identifies new cases and low-risk exposure location – UpNorthLive.com

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Modernas coronavirus vaccine ready to advance to final phase of testing – CBS News

The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday. The shots are poised to begin key final testing. 

“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.

The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of https://bt-hypnotise.com/ and Moderna Inc., will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

But Tuesday, researchers reported anxiously awaited findings from the first 45 volunteers who rolled up their sleeves back in March. Sure enough, the vaccine provided a hoped-for immune boost.

Those early volunteers developed what are called neutralizing antibodies in their bloodstream — molecules key to blocking infection — at levels comparable to those found in people who survived COVID-19, the research team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Massachusetts Based Biotech Company Moderna Receives FDA Approval To Continue https://bt-hypnotise.com/ Vaccine Trials
A view of Moderna headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 8, 2020. The company is working on developing a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

Getty Images


“This is an essential building block that is needed to move forward with the trials that could actually determine whether the vaccine does protect against infection,” said Dr. Lisa Jackson of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, who led the study.

There’s no guarantee but the government hopes to have results around the end of the year — record-setting speed for developing a vaccine.

“Our goal is to have a vaccine available for broad distribution by year-end or early next year,” Moderna president Stephen Hoge told “CBS This Morning” in May, after seeing preliminary data on the Phase 1 trial. “If we and others build data that shows that the vaccine has a potential for benefit, that it’s safe and has a potential for efficacy, then, of course, there are circumstances where the vaccine could be deployed to high-risk populations earlier under something called an Emergency Use Authorization. Really though, that’s a decision that regulators, in particular the FDA, have to make.”

The vaccine requires two doses, a month apart.

There were no serious side effects. But more than half the study participants reported flu-like reactions to the shots that aren’t uncommon with other vaccines — fatigue, headache, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. For three participants given the highest dose, those reactions were more severe; that dose isn’t being pursued.

Some of those reactions are similar to coronavirus symptoms but they’re temporary, lasting about a day and occur right after vaccination, researchers noted.

“Small price to pay for protection against COVID,” said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a vaccine expert who wasn’t involved with the study.

He called the early results “a good first step,” and is optimistic that final testing could deliver answers about whether it’s really safe and effective by the beginning of next year.

“It would be wonderful. But that assumes everything’s working right on schedule,” Schaffner cautioned.

And Tuesday’s results only included younger adults. The first-step testing later was expanded to include dozens of older adults, the age group most at risk from COVID-19. Those results aren’t public yet but regulators are evaluating them, and Fauci said final testing will include older adults, as well as people with chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus — and Black and Latino populations likewise affected.

Nearly two dozen possible COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of testing around the world. Candidates from China and Britain’s Oxford University also are entering final testing stages.

US-VIRUS-HEALTH
Dr. Nita Patel looks at a computer model showing the protein structure of a potential coronavirus vaccine at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 20, 2020. It’s one of numerous labs working to develop a vaccine.

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images


The 30,000-person study will mark the world’s largest study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine so far. And the NIH-developed shot isn’t the only one set for such massive U.S. testing, crucial to spot rare side effects. The government plans similar large studies of the Oxford candidate and another by Johnson & Johnson; separately, Pfizer Inc. is planning its own huge study.

Already, people can start signing up to volunteer for the different studies.

People think “this is a race for one winner. Me, I’m cheering every one of them on,” said Fauci, who directs NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“We need multiple vaccines. We need vaccines for the world, not only for our own country.”

Around the world, governments are investing in stockpiles of hundreds of millions of doses of the different candidates, in hopes of speedily starting inoculations if any are proven to work.

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Asia stocks mostly higher as hopes for a coronavirus vaccine rise – CNBC

Stocks in Asia shed earlier gains and were mixed on Wednesday as concerns over U.S.-China tensions weighed on investor sentiment.

Mainland Chinese stocks led losses on the day regionally among the region’s major markets, with the Shanghai composite down 1.56% to about 3,361.30 while the Shenzhen component shed 1.874% to around 13,734.13. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also declined 0.28%, as of its final hour of trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.59% to close at 22,945.50 while the Topix index added 1.56% to end its trading day at 1,589.51. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.84% to close at 2,201.88.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.88% higher at 6,052.90.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.55%.

Bank Julius Baer’s Bhaskar Laxminarayan said Asia’s markets are “taking the cues from the global environment.”

“Equities in general … is the only game in town,” Laxminarayan, who is Asia chief investment officer at the firm, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. “Chances of making any kind of return on a risk-adjusted basis really rests on the shoulders of equities now.”

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he signed legislation to impose sanctions on China in response to its interference with Hong Kong’s autonomy. Trump also said he signed an executive order ending Hong Kong’s special status with the U.S.

Investors on Wednesday also watched for reaction to the latest developments surrounding a potential vaccine for the coronavirus. Biotech firm Moderna‘s potential vaccine to prevent https://bt-hypnotise.com/ produced a “robust” immune response, or neutralizing antibodies, in all 45 patients in its early stage human trial, according to newly released data published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan said in its outlook report on Wednesday that the country’s economy is “likely to improve gradually” from the second of this year, though the pace is “expected to be only moderate” as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic remains globally.

“For the time being, the Bank will closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 and will not hesitate to take additional easing measures if necessary, and also it expects short- and long-term policy interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels,” the BoJ said.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 96.127 after touching an earlier low of 96.06.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.13 per dollar after touching levels around 107.4 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.699 following an earlier high of $0.7018.

Oil prices edged higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.33% to $43.04 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.37% to $40.44 per barrel.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Front-Runner to Enter Final Stage as Positive Results Get Published – ScienceAlert

The US biotech firm Moderna said Tuesday it would enter the final stage of human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine on July 27, after promising early results were published in an influential journal.

 

The Phase 3 trial will recruit 30,000 participants in the US, with half to receive the vaccine at 100 microgram dose levels, and the other half to receive a placebo.

It is designed to show whether the vaccine is safe and can prevent infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or – if people still get infected – whether it can prevent the infection progressing toward symptoms.

If they do get symptoms, the vaccine can still be considered a success if it stops severe cases of COVID-19.

The study should run until October 27, according to its page on clinicaltrials.gov.

The announcement came after the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday published results from the first stage of Moderna’s vaccine trial, which showed the first 45 participants all developed antibodies to the virus.

Moderna, currently in the middle stage, is considered to be in a leading position in the global race to find a vaccine against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 13.2 million people and killed 570,000.

China’s SinoVac is also at Phase 2.

Russian news agency TASS on Sunday announced Russian researchers have completed clinical trials on a vaccine, though they have not shared their data.

Scientists caution that the first vaccines to come to market may not be the most effective or safest.

 

‘Encouraging’ results

Moderna had previously published “interim results” from the first stages of its trial, called Phase 1, in a press release on its website in May.

These revealed the vaccine had generated immune responses in eight patients, a result called “encouraging” by Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is co-developing the vaccine.

But some in the scientific community said they would reserve judgement until they saw the full results in peer-reviewed form.

According to the new paper, 45 participants were split into three groups of 15 each to test doses of 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms and 250 micrograms.

They were given a second dose of the same amount 28 days later.

After the first round, antibody levels were found to be higher with higher doses.

Following the second round, participants had higher levels of antibodies than most patients who have had COVID-19 and gone on to generate their own antibodies.

More than half the participants experienced mild or moderate side effects, which is considered normal.

The side effects included fatigue, chills, headache, body ache and pain at the injection site.

 

Three participants did not receive their second dose.

They included one who developed a skin rash on both legs, and two who missed their window because they had COVID-19 symptoms, but their tests later returned negative.

“The results look pretty good and look pretty consistent,” David Lo, a professor of biomedical sciences at University of California Riverside told AFP.

But he cautioned that more work was needed to evaluate the vaccine’s safety – including making sure that it did not backfire by eventually making the immune system “tolerant” toward the real virus.

Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University, added it was encouraging that the participants developed high levels of an advanced class of antibodies.

He added, however: “You have to be very limited in how much you can extrapolate from a phase one clinical trial, because you want to see how this works when a person is exposed to the actual virus.”

The Moderna vaccine belongs to a new class of vaccine that uses genetic material – in the form of RNA – to encode the information needed to grow the virus’s spike protein inside the human body, in order to trigger an immune response.

The spike protein is a part of the virus that it uses to invade human cells, but by itself the protein is relatively harmless.

The advantage of this technology is that it bypasses the need to manufacture viral proteins in the lab, shaving months off the standardization process and helping to ramp up mass production.

No vaccines based on this platform have previously received regulatory approval.

© Agence France-Presse

 

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Hidalgo County announces 31 more coronavirus-related deaths, 396 additional cases – KRGV

Hidalgo County reported on Tuesday 31 more people died due to complications related to the coronavirus. The newly reported deaths bring the county’s total to 183.

“I am deeply saddened today knowing that we continue to lose more and more of our neighbors to this terrible virus,” said Hidalgo Judge Richard F. Cortez. “The continued rise in fatalities and total positive cases is a grim reminder that this disease does not discriminate, and that we must all do our part if we are to overcome it.”

According to a news release from Hidalgo County, 396 more people tested positive for the virus — bringing the county’s total number of confirmed cases to 8,593.

Currently, there are 834 people hospitalized with complications from the virus, including 210 in intensive care units in Hidalgo County.

There are currently 5,031 known active cases in Hidalgo County and 1,087 people waiting for results, according to the county’s news release.

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Profile of a killer: Unraveling the deadly new coronavirus – Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — What is this enemy?

Seven months after the first patients were hospitalized in China battling an infection doctors had never seen before, the world’s scientists and citizens have reached an unsettling crossroads.

Countless hours of treatment and research, trial and error now make it possible to take much closer measure of the new coronavirus and the lethal disease it has unleashed. But to take advantage of that intelligence, we must confront our persistent vulnerability: The virus leaves no choice.

“It’s like we’re in a battle with something that we can’t see, that we don’t know, and we don’t know where it’s coming from,” said Vivian Castro, a nurse supervisor at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, just north of New York City, which struggled with its caseload this spring.

Castro had treated scores of infected patients before she, too, was hospitalized for the virus in April, then spent two weeks in home quarantine. As soon as she returned to the emergency room for her first shift, she rushed to comfort yet another casualty — a man swallowing the few words he could muster between gasps for air.

“It just came back, that fear,” she said. “I just wanted to tell him not to give up.”

The coronavirus is invisible, but seemingly everywhere. It requires close contact to spread, but it has reached around the globe faster than any pandemic in history.”

COVID-19 was not even on the world’s radar in November. But it has caused economic upheaval echoing the Great Depression, while claiming more than 570,000 lives. In the U.S. alone, the virus has already killed more Americans than died fighting in World War I.

Even those figures don’t capture the pandemic’s full sweep. Nine of every 10 students worldwide shut out of their schools at one point. More than 7 million flights grounded. Countless moments of celebration and sorrow — weddings and graduations, baby showers and funerals — put off, reconfigured or abandoned because of worries about safety.

In short, the coronavirus has rescripted nearly every moment of daily life. And fighting it — whether by searching for a vaccine or seeking to protect family — takes knowing the enemy. It’s the essential first step in what could be an extended quest for some version of normalcy.

“There’s light at the end of tunnel, but it’s a very, very long tunnel,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.

“There’s a lot we don’t know. But I think it’s absolutely certain we’re going to be adapting to a new way of life. That’s the reality.”

___

The new coronavirus is roughly 1,000 times narrower than a human hair. But scrutinized through an electron scope, it is clear this enemy is well-armed.

https://bt-hypnotise.com/es, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells.

Find a way to block or bind the spikes and you can stop the virus.

Once inside a human cell, the virus’ RNA, or genetic code, commandeers its machinery, providing instructions to make thousands of virus copies.

But the coronavirus has a weakness: an outer membrane that can be destroyed by ordinary soap. That neutralizes the virus, which is why health experts emphasize the need to wash hands.

Like organisms, viruses evolve, searching for traits that will ensure survival, said Charles Marshall, a professor of paleontology at the University of California and self-described “deep time evolutionary biologist.”

“https://bt-hypnotise.com/es fit into the standard evolutionary paradigm extremely well, which is if you’ve had some innovation, you get into some new environment … you get into a human and you do well, you’re going to proliferate,” Marshall said.

There are hundreds of coronaviruses, but just seven known to infect people. Four are responsible for some common colds. But in 2002, a virus called SARS, for severe acute respiratory syndrome, spread from China to sicken about 8,000 people worldwide, killing more than 700. Another coronavirus causes Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS, identified in 2012, spread to humans through camels.

The new coronavirus, though, has captivated scientists’ attention unlike any in decades.

When researcher Thomas Friedrich logged on to his computer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison after a meeting in January, he found colleagues had been frantically posting messages to one another about the new virus.

“People were getting increasingly excited and beginning to brainstorm ideas,” said Friedrich, who has spent years studying other infectious diseases.

Now much of Friedrich’s lab is focused on the coronavirus, studying its spread in Wisconsin, and collaborating with scientists around the world examining the disease’s behavior in monkeys.

Even early on it was clear this virus posed a major threat, he said. Human immune systems had never encountered it. And unlike Zika, whose spread can be controlled by targeting mosquitoes, or AIDS, which most often requires sexual contact, the new virus is readily transmitted through air.

“It had all the hallmarks, to me, of a potential pandemic,” Friedrich said. “Basically, everyone in the world is susceptible.”

___

The new virus has breached borders and claimed victims with stealth and speed that make it difficult to track.

Scientists are fairly certain the disease originated in bats, which harbor many coronaviruses. To get to humans, it may have been passed through another animal, possibly consumed for meat. By late January, when Chinese authorities walled off the city of Wuhan, where the disease was first diagnosed, it was too late to stop the spread.

The most severe pandemic in recent history, the “Spanish flu” of 1918, was spread by infected soldiers dispatched to fight World War I. But aboard ships, it took weeks for the troops and the disease to cross oceans.

Now, with more than 100,000 commercials flights a day ferrying tourists, business travelers and students around the globe, the new virus spread rapidly and virtually invisibly, said medical historian Mark Honigsbaum, author of “The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris.”

“By the time we woke up to the outbreak in Italy, it had been there for weeks if not months,” he said.

Soon after the first case in Wuhan, Chinese tourists with the virus traveled to France. But doctors there reported recently that a fishmonger contracted the disease even earlier than that, from an unknown source. On January 21, the first confirmed U.S. case was reported in Washington state, in a man who had traveled to Asia.

“It’s one person coming in from China and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine,” President Donald Trump said at the time. Ten days later, he blocked entry to most travelers from China.

But genetic analysis of samples taken from New York patients showed most of the virus present arrived from Europe instead, and took root in February — well before anyone thought about quarantining after a trip to Madrid, London or Paris.

___

Since February, when Dr. Daniel Griffin began treating patients suspected of having COVID-19, he’s cared for more than 1,000 people with the disease, first noted for attacking the lungs. But the infection certainly does not stop there.

“I am actually shocked,” said Griffin, a specialist in infectious diseases at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center. “This virus seems to leave nothing untouched.”

Scientists are getting a handle on the many ways the disease affects the body, but it’s a scramble.

The lungs are, indeed, ground zero. Many patients find themselves gasping for breath, unable to say more than a word or two.

Even after five days in the hospital, Vivian Castro, the nurse who became infected, said she returned home struggling for air.

“I climbed two flights of stairs to my room and I felt like I was going to die,” she said.

The reason why becomes clear in autopsies of those who have died, some with lungs that weigh far more than usual. Under a microscope, evidence of the virus’ destruction is even more striking.

When Dr. Sanjay Mukhopadhyay examined autopsy samples from a 77-year-old Oklahoma man, he noted changes to the microscopic sacs in the patient’s lungs. In a healthy lung, oxygen passes through the thin walls of those sacs into the bloodstream. But in the Oklahoma patient, the virus had turned the sac walls so thick with debris that oxygen was blocked.

The thickened walls “were everywhere,” preventing the lungs from sustaining the rest of the body, said Mukhopadhyay, of Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic.

Autopsies reveal “what the virus is actually doing” inside patient’s bodies, said Dr. Desiree Marshall, a pathologist at the University of Washington who recently examined the heart of a Seattle man who died from disease.

“Each autopsy has the chance to tell us something new,” she said. And those insights from the bodies of the dead could lead to more effective treatment of the living.

The coronavirus, though, keeps raising fresh questions. It left the hearts of two men in their 40s, recently treated by Griffin, flaccid and unable to pump enough blood. Some younger people have arrived in emergency rooms suffering strokes caused by blood clotting, another calling card.

Kidneys and livers fail in some patients and blood clots puts limbs at risk of amputation. Some patients hallucinate or have trouble maintaining balance. Some get a treatable paralysis in arms or legs. Many have diarrhea, but often don’t mention it until Griffin asks.

Their explanation? “That’s the least of my problems when I can’t breathe.”

Initially, doctors often put patients on ventilators if their blood oxygen levels dropped. But death rates were so high they now try other strategies first, like turning patients on their stomachs, which can help them breathe. The truth is that hospital workers are learning as they go, sometimes painfully.

“Every patient that I see, I think that could’ve been me,” said Dr. Stuart Moser, a cardiologist hospitalized in New York in March after he was infected. He recalls fearing that he might be put on a ventilator and wondering if he’d ever see his family again. Now, back at work, he said much of what he and his colleagues have learned about the virus’ myriad effects enables them only to treat patients’ symptoms.

“It’s difficult because they have so many problems and there are so many patients,” Moser said, “and you just want to do the right thing — give people the best chance to get better.”

____

In recent weeks, researchers have recruited 3,000 patients from around the world in a bid to solve a puzzling anomaly. Why does the coronavirus ravage some previously healthy patients, while leaving others relatively unscathed?

The project, called the COVID Human Genetic Effort, focuses on each person’s unique genetic makeup to seek explanations for why some got sick while others stay healthy. It’s one of several projects looking for genetic causes of susceptibility, including recent work by other labs suggesting a link between blood type and risk of serious illness.

“Step one is understanding and step two is fixing. There is no other way,” said one of the project’s leaders, Jean-Laurent Casanova, of The Rockefeller University in New York. He is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also helps fund The Associated Press https://bt-hypnotise.com/ and Science Department.

His project focuses on people 50 or younger who had no health problems before the coronavirus put them in intensive care. But the question of why the disease affects people so differently has broader implications.

It’s not clear, for example, why the disease has had such a limited impact on children, compared to other age groups. People older than 65 are well over 100 times more likely to be hospitalized for the virus than people under 18. But so far, there’s no explanation why.

Do children resist infection for some reason? Or is it that, even when infected, they are less likely to develop symptoms? If so, what does that mean about their chances for passing the infection along to others, like their grandparents?

These aren’t just academic questions. Answers will help in assessing the risks of reopening schools. And they could eventually lead to ways to help make older people resistant to the disease.

In largely sparing children, the pandemic virus echoes the bugs that caused SARS and MERS, said Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Florida.

Scientists wonder if children might have some key difference in their cells, such as fewer of the specialized proteins that the coronavirus latch onto. Or maybe their immune systems react differently than in adults.

While the virus has mostly bypassed children, researchers have recently been troubled by a serious, albeit uncommon, condition in some young patients, that can cause inflammation in hearts, kidneys, lungs and other organs. Most patients recovered, but the potential for long-term damage remains uncertain.

“This is what happens with a new virus,” Rasmussen said. “There’s a lot we don’t know about it. We’re on that steep learning curve.”

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With states and countries reopening in the face of an ongoing pandemic, it’s even more crucial to find solutions. At least the last few months have spotlighted the most critical questions.

Can people who have been infected with the disease get it again?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, has said that having the disease once should confer some degree of immunity. But it’s not clear how much or for how long, or what levels or types of antibodies people must have to protect them against future illness.

If some people harbor the virus without symptoms, how can we block transmission?

The reality is that many infected people will never feel symptoms or get sick. That means temperature checks and other strategies based on symptoms won’t be enough to stop it. Instead, many experts believe, widespread testing is needed to find silent carriers, isolate them until they are no longer contagious, and track down those they may have infected. Masks and distancing can help prevent infection and slow the spread of the virus.

Will researchers find medicines that can be used to treat the disease?

Hundreds of studies are under way, testing existing medicines and experimental ones. So far, only one — a common steroid called dexamethasone — has been shown to increase survival. An antiviral medicine, remdesivir, has been shown to shorten recovery time. Two others — the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — have not proven safe or effective for treating COVID-19 in large-scale trials, but some studies are still testing them to see if they might help prevent infection or illness.

How long will it take to find a vaccine?

Scientists in more than 150 labs around the world are pursuing a vaccine and nearly two dozen candidates are in various stages of testing. But there’s no guarantee any will pan out. Finding out if any offer true protection will require testing thousands of people in places where the virus is spreading widely. Some huge studies are expected to begin this month.

“It’s almost the Manhattan Project of today, where an enormous amount of resources are being devoted to this,” said Rene Najera, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University and the editor of a vaccine history website run by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

In the U.S., the goal is to have 300 million doses of potential vaccines by January. But any that fail tests will have to be thrown out. The World https://bt-hypnotise.com/ Organization has called for equitable sharing of any eventual vaccine between rich and poor countries, but how that will happen is far from clear.

It’s also uncertain how useful any vaccine will be if a sizable number of people, their skepticism fed by misinformation, refuse to be inoculated.

Even an effective vaccine will not address the likelihood that, given the large number of coronaviruses and increasing contact between people and the animals harboring them, the world is very likely to face other pandemics, said Honigsbaum, the medical historian.

That means uncertainty will linger as a hallmark of the new normal.

The knowledge gained about the coronavirus could prove invaluable in defusing that doubt and, eventually, in defeating the enemy. The real uncertainty, Redlener said, is whether people will use the lessons learned to protect themselves from the virus — or downplay the threat at their peril.

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Associated Press reporters Carla K. Johnson, Marilynn Marchione, Sam McNeil and Lauran Neergaard contributed to this story.

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The Associated Press https://bt-hypnotise.com/ and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Covid-19 vaccine shows promising immune response results – CNN

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Marinette County: Area experiencing surge of COVID-19 cases – WBAY

MARINETTE, Wis. (WBAY) – Officials in Marinette County say they are experiencing a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the area.

According to county officials, during the first couple of months of the pandemic, there was an average of one or two cases per week, however in the past month, that number has risen to three to four cases a day, and then to seven or eight cases a day.

The county stated a record high of 22 new cases were announced in a single day on Monday, July 13.

According to Tuesday’s DHS report, to date there have been 121 cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Marinette County, with 21 new cases reported Tuesday.

County officials remind everyone if someone tests positive, there will be a contact tracer who contacts you, however they warn to be wary of people who pose as contact tracers and try to scam you out of money. Contact tracers won’t ask for your credit card, bank account numbers, social security number, or send you a link by text message.

Across the river, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, there has also been an increase of cases in Menominee County.

On Tuesday, health officials say there was an increase, although not as large of an increase as Marinette County.

To date, there have been 46 confirmed cases in Michigan’s Menominee County.

County officials say although testing has increased since the beginning of the pandemic, it isn’t the sole cause of a rise in cases, and add a lack of social distancing and large gatherings have also increased the spread of COVID-19.

Although officials didn’t cite President Trump’s stop at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in their announcement, the rise in cases comes about two and a half weeks after he spoke at Fincantieri Marinette Marine on June 25.

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