COVID-19: Evidence continues to mount on immunity in unexposed & seronegative individuals

In May, I wrote about a number of studies which showed T-cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in individuals who were not previously exposed to the virus (eg in samples obtained in 2015). The past several weeks have seen mounting evidence from independent researchers bolstering the case that a substantial proportion of the population already possess some…

COVID-19: Why were some hospitals in NYC overwhelmed but not others?

ICYMI, I recently came across an NYT article that revealed some facts that are frankly shocking. “At Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, hundreds of Covid-19 patients arrived in need of more help than besieged medical workers could give. Patients were found dead in rooms. One medical resident described conditions as ‘apocalyptic.’ Yet at the same time,…

COVID-19: Comments on the NIH’s Remdesivir trial

Vinay Prasad has some insightful commentary on the NIH’s remdesivir trial (which was finally published in NEJM yesterday): [1] Beigel JH, Tomashek KM, Dodd LE, et al. Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report. New England Journal of Medicine. May 2020. doi:10.1056/nejmoa2007764

CDC releases estimates for COVID-19 fatality rates

At long last, the CDC has finally released comprehensive estimates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic under five different scenarios meant to help guide policy going forward. The scenarios include the CDC’s “current best estimate,” and all are based on information up to April 29th. Some key points: The CDC estimates that the fatality rate for COVID-19…

COVID-19: Coronavirus immunity without antibodies? The plot thickens (again!)

So do antibodies developed do to prior exposure to other coronaviruses offer protection against SARS-CoV-2? Paper #1: In 40-60% of a group of individuals not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (samples collected between 2015-18), T helper cells were reactive to SARS-CoV-2; as the authors note, the most plausible explanation is cross-reactivity due to previous infection with endemic,…

COVID-19: Coronavirus immunity without antibodies? The plot thickens

I recently wrote about a paper showing robust T helper cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in a group of recovered patients as well as the tantalizing finding that 40-60% of unexposed individuals (samples obtained 2015-18) showed cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that exposure to circulating coronaviruses responsible for the common cold could be protective against SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile,…

A Theoretical Model of the Pathophysiology of COVID-19

The latest episode of the EmCrit podcast features a discussion between Scott Weingart and Farid Jalali on the pathophysiology of COVID-19. Dr. Jalali’s wide-ranging insights on this complex, dynamic disease make this an absolute must-listen. EMCrit Wee – A Theoretical Model of the Pathophysiology of COVID-19 with Farid Jalali (Not a Single Thing Verified–Pure Musings)…

COVID-19: Could exposure to ‘common cold’ coronaviruses offer some protection against SARS-CoV-2?

Although not all that surprising in hindsight, the results of a paper recently published in Cell are nevertheless stunning: 40-60% of a group of individuals not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were found to have T helper cells that were reactive to SARS-CoV-2. The article summary: “Understanding adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is important for vaccine development, interpreting…

Worth reading: COVID-19, a ‘supernova in human history,’ will need multiple perspectives to understand and manage

Another must-read article in STAT by Vinay Prasad and Jeffrey Flier: Covid-19, a ‘supernova in human history,’ will need multiple perspectives to understand and manage Prasad and Flier emphasize a critical point that’s too often ignored; much of the current pandemic’s harmful impact on the world (measured by suffering and death, not soulless abstractions like…

COVID-19: Remdesivir apparently shows “a clear-cut, significant positive effect,” but where’s the evidence?

There have been some bizarre, troubling developments regarding the purported anti-COVID drug, remdesivir. At the end of April, Anthony Fauci told reporters in the oval office that the NIH’s remdesivir trial showed “a clear-cut, significant positive effect.” From now on, remdesivir “will be the standard of care,” meaning that any new potential drugs to treat…