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HealthNews RoundUp - 3rd Week of March 2020


Here’s How Testing For Coronavirus Works



All tests for coronavirus look for CoVid19 genetic fingerprints in the cells captured relatively painlessly on a Q-tip from the nose or throat.  To fingerprint the genetic material from those cells, it is first multiplied and then probed using a test called reverse-transcriptase n polymerase chain reaction or PCR.  The genes in the patient material are compared against standard probe genes characteristic of the CoVid19 virus.


The first probe genes were identified by the Germans, and they code for the viral envelope E gene.  Their test was adopted by the World Health Organization and most countries. The US government was offered the ready test but said “no thank you.”  The CDC wasted time developing its own probes for the virus nucleocapsid N gene.  Then the initial batch of reagents was flawed.  


All PCR tests takes several days due to the need for genetic multiplication, probe screen, and confirmation testing.  Other, faster tests are in development using CRISPR gene splicing technology to place fluorescent probes or antibody detection tests.  Such tests can deliver results in hours or even minutes rather than days.


#covid19test #coronavirus #pcr #epidemic #pandemic

covid19test, coronavirus, pcr, epidemic, pandemic



Humans’ Clothing Carries Toxic 3rd Hand Smoke



Even in a non-smoking theater, you breathe dangerous levels of tobacco-generated toxins carried in on clothing.  Environmental scientists at Yale measured levels of dangerous chemicals floating in the air during movies frequented by non-smokers versus flicks viewed by smokers.


Analyzing theater air by gas chromatography showed that more hazardous volatile organic gases waft off the clothing of attendees during action movies than during family movies.  Why?  Those loving action films are more often regular smokers.  The toxic emissions during a 2 hour movie were equal to smoking 2-20 cigarettes.


Keep this in mind when decide to view a particular movie in a public theater or streaming at home. 


Roger Sheu, Christof Stönner, Jenna C. Ditto, Thomas Klüpfel, Jonathan Williams, Drew R. Gentner. Human transport of thirdhand tobacco smoke: A prominent source of hazardous air pollutants into indoor nonsmoking environments. Science Advances, 2020; 6 (10): eaay4109 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay4109


#movies #vocs #tobacco #secondhandsmoke #streaming

movies, vocs. tobacco, secondhandsmoke, streaming



Social Distancing May Intensify CoVid19 Damage



The coronavirus creates  lethal multi-organ damage in part by inducing an of the immune system hyperstimulation known as a cytokine storm.  Ironically, social isolation to halt the spread of the CoVid19 epidemic may make a cytokine storm worse.


A new British meta-analysis of 30 studies found a solid connection between social distancing and a rise in circulating inflammatory mediators including c-reactive protein and fibrinogen.  Loneliness is associated with increased IL-6, another inflammatory protein.


To avoid infection, you must physically distance yourself from others.  To maintain an emotional connection, though, our current batch of video-chat apps including Facetime and Skype facilitates face-to face interactions without risk of contamination. 


Kimberley J. Smith, Shannon Gavey, Natalie E. RIddell, Panagiota Kontari, Christina Victor. The association between loneliness, social isolation and inflammation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2020; 112: 519 DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.02.002


#covid19 #inflammation #cytokinestorm #creactiveprotein #il6 #coronavirus

covid19, inflammation, cytokinestorm, creactiveprotein, il6, coronavirus




Homestar Finch 3 Drawer Dresser Recalled



Homestar North America of Dallas, TX is recalling its Finch 3 drawer dresser.  These units are unstable unless anchored to the wall.  They can fall over on children or pets causing severe injuries or death.


These units have been sold through,,,, and other online retailers.


If you have one of these in your home, be certain to anchor it to the wall using a free Homestar tip-over restaint kit.  Homestar will provide the kit and free home installation of it if you call them at 1-877-353-5999.


#recall #homestar #finchdresser

recall, homestar, finchdresser




Kichler Lighting Ceiling Fan Recall



Kichler Lighting LLC of Cleveland OH is recalling its Kichler 52 inch LEDfly Ceiling Fans.  There are defective arms holding the blades, and they may spin off during use and cause injury or worse.  There have been 62 reports of the blade irons breaking and/or blues detaching.


These units have been sold at Lowe’s stores and online through


If you have this fan installed, stop using it immediately.  Contact Kichler at 1-866-558-5706 to arrange for a free replacement fan.


#recall #kichler #fan

recall, kichler, fan



WinCo Frozen Blackberries and Frozen Berry Medley Recalled



WinCo Foods, LLC. of Boise, ID is recalling its Frozen Blackberries and Frozen Berry Medley.  Both products may be contaminated with Norovirus.  This highly contagious virus frequently causes cruise ship epidemics and triggers a severe gastroenteritis. The young, elders, or immunocompromised may have a critical infection.


The product was sold in WinCo stores in AZ, CA, ID, MT, NAUSEA AND VOMITING, OK, OR, WA, TX, and UT.


If you have this product, destroy it or return it to the store for a full refund.  For more info, call the company at 1-800-824-1706.


#recall #winco #berries #blackberries #norovirus

recall, winco, berries, blackberries, norovirus



Yamaha Guitar Group Recalls Digital Wireless Equipment for Electric Guitars



Yamaha has voluntarily recalled its Line 6 Relay G10 Digital Wireless Guitar System. And its charging cable.  The lithium battery may overheat forcing off the battery cover risking both fire and injuries.  If your have the unit, stop using it and call Yamaha at 1-877-865-4636 to obtain more information about a firmware fix for the unit and a replacement charging cable.


#yamaha #guitar #g10system #lithiumbattery

yamaha, guitar, g10system, lithiumbattery




Your Facebook Posts Reveal Your Health




When the language your employ in your social posts becomes more formal and, well irritated,  you likely have medical treatment or, worse, a hospital visit, just ahead.  This observation comes from a Stony Brook University and University of Pennsylvania study that analyzed, using artificial intelligence techniques, the Facebook posts and medical records of nearly 3,000 patients using an urban hospital.


Beginning 10 weeks before a emergency visit, social posts used less informal and jaunty language including lol and omg.  Instead, the verbiage projected anxiety, worry, and depression.


When you read your family’s and friend’s posts, watch for such changes, When you detect them, do ask and ask repeatedly “are you OK?”  


Sharath Chandra Guntuku, H. Andrew Schwartz, Adarsh Kashyap, Jessica S. Gaulton, Daniel C. Stokes, David A. Asch, Lyle H. Ungar, Raina M. Merchant. Variability in Language used on Social Media prior to Hospital Visits. Scientific Reports, 2020; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-60750-8


#facebook #twitter #health #anxiety #depression 

facebook, twitter, health, anxiety, depression



Diagnosing A CoVid19 Cytokine Storm



A simple lab test, the serum ferritin level, can help diagnose a deadly hyper-stimulation of the immune system triggered by coronavirus.  Each hospitalized CoVid19 patient should have the test, but some docs aren’t aware of it.


Chinese investigators, treating CoVid19 patients in Wuhan, found that the 13 most severely affected compared with 27 having milder disease had an overpowering  burst of immune system mediators associated with elevated ferritin levels.


Immunologists report that ferritin is elevated in auto-immune disease. A cytokine storm is the most extreme form of it.  Since a coronavirus-corrupted, raging immune system attacks all vital organs, recognizing and treating a cytokine storm is vital and lifesaving.


#ferritin #cytokinestorm #coronavirus

ferritin, cytokinestorm, coronavirus




Compazine Stops Tumor Cells From Hiding



The good ole nausea drug, Compazine or prochlorperazine, prevents tumor cells from hiding surface receptors that immunotherapy drugs require for the kill.  Oncologists at Australia’s University of Queenland studied this receptor hiding process called endocytosis in both human cells and a mouse model.


Studying human squamous cell carcinoma cells, they observed less endocytosis and more antibody binding sites in cells from patients responding better to cetuximab, an anticancer antibody to skin growth factor.  The endocytosis inhibitor Compazine demonstrably helped cancer immunotherapy in mice.  The drug turbocharged tumor cell killing by both the anti-tumor antibody cetuximab and the check point inhibitor avelumab.


Compazine may well be an effective antidote to immunotherapy failures. 


Hui Yi Chew, Priscila O. De Lima, Jazmina L. Gonzalez Cruz, etal. Endocytosis Inhibition in Humans to Improve Responses to ADCC-Mediating Antibodies. Cell, 2020; 180 (5): 895 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.019


#endocytosis #immunotherapy #compazine #prochlorperazine

endocytosis, immunotherapy, compazine, prochlorperazine




Cooked Butterfly Sushi Shrimp Recalled



AFC Distribution Corp. of Rancho Dominguez, California is voluntary recalling Cooked Butterfly Tail-On Whiteleg Shrimp, Lot #2019.10.02.  This shrimp may be found in various prepared sushi and other foods with sell-by dates ranging from 02/19/2020 to 03/13/2020.  The shrimp may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This organism causes a severe gastroenteritis with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and chills.


The shrimp have been sold in products prepared at retail AFC sushi counters and distributed in some 40 states.  If you have a product containing these shrimp, discard it or return it to the point of purchase for a refund.  For more information, contact the AFC Recall Team at 1-866-467-8744.


#recall #afc #shrimp #sushi #vibrio

recall, afc, shrimp, sushi, vibrio



How Long Will The Coronavirus Live On Surfaces



CoVid19 remains viable in contaminated spray for up to 3 hours. It can live on surfaces for up to 3 days.  This data, just reported in the New England Journal, comes from the NIH infectious disease unit in Montana.


The researchers tested the virus in 10 experimental scenarios.  The virus lived longest on plastics, 72 hours, and stainless steel, 48 hours.  No significant virus lived on cardboard after 24 hours or on copper after only 4 hours.


Keep this information in mind as you protect yourself from the virus.  Clean all surfaces frequently, including your phone.  Soap is an excellent virus killer  destroying its outer shell protein coat.


#covid19 #coronavirus #aerosols #plastic #steel #cardboard #copper

covid19, coronavirus, aerosols, plastic, steel, cardboard, copper



Could Your ABO Blood Group Save You From CoVid19?



If you’re one of the 44% with type O blood, you are significantly less likely to become seriously infected with coronavirus.  If you have type A blood, you are much more likely to contract it.


Chinese investigators studied infected persons in Wuhan and in Shenzhen.  Type O persons had a 33% lower infection risk.   Type A persons had a 21% higher infection risk. The AB group fared a bit worse than the A group, but the B group had no greater risk or benefit.


You can’t change your blood group, but you can avoid infection.  Those with A or AB groups should be even more obsessive about avoiding exposures.


#covid19 #coronavirus #abogroups #bloodgroups

covid19, coronavirus, coronavirus, bloodgroups




How Long Can A CoVid19 Patient Remain Infectious?



Once infected with the coronavirus, a patient could shed live and infectious virus for nearly 3 weeks.  Vietnamese researchers studied a 73 year old man admitted with a dry cough and difficulty breathing and diagnosed with a CoVid19 pneumonia.


Over an 8 day period, he improved clinically with what turned out to be a mild case.  Even so, longitudinal testing of his throat and gastrointestinal tract revealed persistently positive CoVid19 RT-PCR tests.  His throat tests finally turned negative by hospital day 11- illness day 16.  His rectal swabs remained positive until hospital day 18 - illness day 23.


Many of us will become infected.  Be prepared for a long quarantine.


#covid19 #coronavirus #shedding #quarantine

covid19, coronavirus, shedding, quarantine



Recall of Honda Portable Generators



American Honda is recalling its Portable Generators.  The inverter assembly may short circuit if salt water leaks in.  Should that happen, the unit will smoke and may catch fire.


About 340,000 units were sold in the US.


Immediately stop using those generator.  Contact a local authorized Honda Power Equipment service center to schedule a free repair.  For more information, call 1-888-888-3139.


#honda #generator #firehazard

honda, generator, firehazard



I will be suspending regularly scheduled reports due to family and other commitments during our CoVid19 epidemic.  I will produce and post reports of extraordinary significance intermittently.  Do stay healthy and love one another.


Working Healthy From Home



We must band together to flatten the CoVid19 curve, and most of us will be working from home if work is possible.  My son Dave, Business Insider’s Front Page Editor, offers these 5 tips to his BI colleagues and through me to you.  His credentials: he has been working remotely and successfully for 3 years.


  1. Don’t forget to eat.  At the office, you have a set lunchtime.  At home, you can eat whenever, but you won’t.  Carve out a fixed lunch time.  Better yet, also plan morning and afternoon snack breaks.

  2. Over-communicate.  Let your managers and colleagues know that you are working and turning out product.  These connections will make you and others happier.  Your ‘over-communicating” is still likely less than what you’d do at the office.

  3. Move your body.  Stand, stretch, and walk periodically.  Listen to your smart wearable’s  nagging.  Ask Alexa to play dance music and embarrass yourself.

  4. Use distractions strategically.  When you’re on deadline, avoid them by turning off music and the tube.  When your pace is relaxed, music eases tension and a talky program keeps you company.

  5. Pamper yourself.  Fuzzy slippers, coffee or hot chocolate (don’t forget the marshmallows), and definite am and pm breaks, 

 Remote work is a marathon, not a sprint.  Keep calm, focused, and happy and you’ll maintain a strong immune system.  When the closing bell rings, stop work and enjoy your family and friends to the fullest, even if only on video-chat.


#work #remotework #immunity #communication

work, remotework, immunity, communication




CoVid19 Is Not Germ Warfare



Genetic analysis of the novel coronavirus CoVid19 conclusively shows it was not genetically engineered to become a biological agent in a political or economic war.  The evidence just published in the journal Nature is compelling enough to convince all but the most stubborn science deniers.


Studying longitudinal samples of the virus, the virus’ overall structure and outer coat spike protein are not compatible with genetic manipulation of a known dangerous coronavirus such as those that caused the previous SARS and MERS epidemics.  CoVid19 evolved from a bat virus, and the previous coronaviruses originated in civets and camels.  


Unwarranted conspiracy theories are divisive and block our efforts to live through  CoVid19.


Kristian G. Andersen, Andrew Rambaut, W. Ian Lipkin, Edward C. Holmes, Robert F. Garry. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nature Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-0820-9


#covid19 #coronavirus #sars #mers #geneticengineering #biowarfare

covid19, coronavirus, sars, mers, geneticengineering, biowarfare



Popular Medications Reduce Your CoVid19 Defenses



The pain killer Ibuprofen, Advil and Motrin, along with angiotensin blood pressure lowering drugs may allow CoVid19 to more easily infect and possibly kill you. 


Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS are anti-inflammatory drugs that increase the angiotensin enzyme that facilitates virus binding to human respiratory lining cells.  Patients with severe CoVid infections frequently have high blood pressure and diabetes.  Diabetes itself and the blood pressure drugs ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers also increase this same angiotensin viral latching enzyme.


Researchers recommend using acetaminophen and not ibuprofen or NSAIDS for pain and fever.  They suggest switching blood pressure medications to the calcium channel blockers than don’t aid viral invasion.


#covid19 #coronavirus #angiotensin #aceinhibitors #angiotensinreceptorblockers


covid19, coronavirus, angiotensin, aceinhibitors, angiotensinreceptorblockers, calciumchannelblockers





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