828cloud

Data, Info and News of Life and Economy

Monthly Archives: April 2021

Chuckles of the Day




Grandma

Grandma offers to take teenage granddaughter to lunch on Saturday. They agree to meet at a restaurant.

When granddaughter shows up she is obviously wearing no underwear.

Grandma says, “Dear, you appear to have forgotten your undergarment!”

Granddaughter says,” No Grandma, it is a fashion statement and I want everyone to see my rosebuds!”

A little while later Grandma excuses herself and goes to powder her nose.

When she returns, Granddaughter exclaims, “Grandma what happened to your underwear?”

Grandma says, “Oh I want to show off my hanging baskets!”.

* * * * * * *

God

A young woman brings her fiance home to meet her parents.

After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man, so the father invites the fiancee to his study for a drink.

“So what are your plans?” the father asks the young man.

“I am a Torah scholar,” he replies.

“A Torah scholar. Hmmm,” the father says. “Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she’s accustomed to?”

“I will study,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.”

“And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?” asks the father.

“I will concentrate on my studies,” the young man replies, “God will provide for us.”

“And children?” asks the father. “How will you support children?”

“Don’t worry, sir, God will provide,” replies the fiance.

The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions, the young idealist insists that G-d will provide.

Later, the mother asks, “How did it go, Honey?” and the father answers, “He has no job and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I’m God.”

* * * * * * *

Young Wife

A 60 year old man was having coffee with his 70 year old friend who had just married a 25 year old.

“Your wife must be great in bed”, he said.

“No, not really,” replied the older man.

“Then she must be a great cook and housekeeper.”

“No she’s not much for that, either, said the married man.”

“Then why did you marry her?”

“Because she drives at night.”




中国设国家疾控局 能避免重蹈新冠疫情的覆辙吗?

记者: 家傲 . . . . . . . . .

中国政府周三发布公告,任命了国家疾病预防控制局局长,这意味着中国即将成立一个独立于国家卫健委之外的疾控部门。有业内人士认为,新机构的职能将有所扩大。不过,在外界指责行政干预延误了中国在新冠疫情初期防控工作的背景下,这样的体系改革又能走多远?

中国人力资源和社会保障部当天表示,国务院已经任命国家卫健委副主任王贺胜为国家疾病预防控制局(下称“国家疾控局”)局长,还任命了常继乐、沈洪兵、孙阳为国家疾控局副局长。其中,常继乐是国家卫健委疾病预防控制局局长,沈洪兵是中国流行病学家、南京医科大学校长,孙阳曾任国家卫健委应急办主任。这意味着,这家新机构将整合卫健委已有的相关职能,但将独立于卫健委之外。不过,目前外界尚未得知国家疾控局的职能范围。

新机构权力更大?

《新京报》日前引述四川大学华西公共卫生学院教授栾荣生说,此前国家卫健委下属的疾控局是司局级,而新设立的国家疾控局应该是副部级,后者的职能会更加独立、权限更大。他还表示,国家层面启动改革后,地方改革预计会在年底前跟进,省市级很可能也会成立疾控局,以整合地方卫健委等机构与疾控相关的职能。

前美国哈佛大学公共卫生学院教授李敦厚认为,中国政府设立这个新机构看上去是为了减轻传染病上报的繁琐程度。

“我认为当局意识到武汉发生这种事情确实有问题,下面的人猜上级领导的意思猜得太厉害了,所以就选择隐瞒。(此举的意思是,)你们不要猜那么多次,你们直接报上来,我通过这个国务院机构来决定。”

这远不是中国公卫体系的首次改革。早在1983年,中国卫生部就成立了中国预防医学中心,并在几年后将其更名为中国预防医学科学院。2002年初,当局在中国预防医学科学院、卫生部工业卫生实验所等机构的基础上,组建成立了中国疾病预防控制中心(下称“中国疾控中心”),开展疾病防控、应对突发公卫事件等工作。截至非典事件后的2004年末,中国已有3500多个各级疾控中心,但此后多年间,疾控体系的人员编制并未发生重大变化。

《新京报》还引述中国人民大学公共管理学院教授王虎峰说,国家疾控局将主要负责政策与管理,现有的中国疾控中心将负责技术业务。

美国智库外交关系委员会(Council on Foreign Relation)全球卫生问题高级研究员黄严忠表示,中国公卫体系已经经历过上述改革,所以成立一个新机构并不新鲜,而问题的关键是这个机构会不会有更多的实权。

“我认为机构名称的变化倒是次要的,而把这个机构的内部职能理顺、强化,在我看来似乎是更重要的。”

行政干预致疫情横行

说到实权,外界普遍认为,新冠疫情得以成为肆虐全球的大流行病,很大程度上是因为中国在非典事件后建立的传染病网络直报系统在这场疫情中屈服于行政干预,没有起到应有的作用。

《纽约时报》去年曾通过整理对医生、医学专家等人的采访和泄露的政府文件报道说,2019年12月,当武汉的多家医院开始接收一批患上了不明原因肺炎的病人时,他们理应主动上报这些病例,但院方却听从了地方卫生官员的指示,在传染病直报系统中隐瞒了相关病例信息,导致国家一级的应对工作出现延误。

中国著名经济学家华生曾在去年疫情大爆发后发文说,他听说中国疾控中心主任高福是在2019年12月30日在网上偶然发现了武汉市卫健委传出的一份关于不明原因肺炎的内部紧急通知后,才连夜给国家卫健委的领导打电话,拉响警报的。

公卫学者李敦厚说,机构改革只是治标不治本,中国真正缺乏的是言论自由。

“我觉得政府想改革是好事,可是当局把李文亮当作英雄,却把同样发出警告的公民记者和其他医生当作叛徒,这是错误的,表明改革的决心不够。”

有迹象表明,中国一方面严控言论,另一方面却在大肆散播假信息。欧盟周三发布报告说,去年年底以来,中国和俄罗斯的官媒一直在网上用多种语言传播假新闻,通过渲染西方疫苗的安全问题,削弱外界对这些疫苗和欧盟机构的信任。


Source : 自由亚洲电台


Read more at 新浪

国家疾控局首亮相,六问新机构 . . . . .

How Old Are Some of the Selected Major U.S. Tech Companies

Source : Statista

天和核心舱成功发射 中国空间站建造全面开启

Both China Manufacturing and Non-manufacturing PMI Down in April from Last Month

Source : Bloomberg and East Money

U.S. Personal Income Surged MoM in March, 2021

33.8% of the total income is paid by the government

Source : Bloomberg and ZeroHedge

Americans Filing New Jobless Claims Decreased Further Last Week

More than 16.5 million Americans still on some forms of government jobless benefits

Source : Trading Economics and Bloomberg

U.S. Economy Grew by an Annualized 6.4 percent in Q1, 2021

Source : Trading Economics and Bloomberg

Study of “Breakthrough” Cases Suggests COVID Testing May be Here to Stay

In rare cases, people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID and are immune to the virus can nevertheless develop the disease. New findings from The Rockefeller University now suggest that these so-called breakthrough cases may be driven by rapid evolution of the virus, and that ongoing testing of immunized individuals will be important to help mitigate future outbreaks.

The research, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, reports results from ongoing monitoring within the Rockefeller University community where two fully vaccinated individuals tested positive for the coronavirus. Both had received two doses of either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine, with the second dose occurring more than two weeks before the positive test. One person was initially asymptomatic and then developed typical COVID-19 symptoms; the other developed symptoms prior to testing. Both individuals recovered at home, an outcome consistent with evidence suggesting vaccination is effective in preventing severe disease.

Genome sequencing revealed multiple mutations in both viral samples, including the E484K variant in one individual, first identified in South Africa and Brazil, and the S477N variant in the other individual, which has been spreading in New York since November.

“These patients got vaccinated, had great immune responses, and nonetheless broke through with a clinical infection,” says Robert B. Darnell, The Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn Professor, who led the research with immunologist Michel C. Nussenzweig, virologist Paul Bieniasz, and geneticist Richard P. Lifton. The researchers were able to discern a quantifiable amount of virus in saliva samples from routine testing ongoing at Rockefeller, and sequence the viral RNA using a new coronavirus testing method developed in Darnell’s lab by postdoctoral associate Ezgi Hacisuleyman with help from senior research associate Nathalie Blachere. Since January, the university has required all employees working on-site to be tested weekly using this saliva-based PCR assay.

The observations suggest what is likely a small but ongoing risk among vaccinated individuals, and the possibility that they may continue to spread the virus.

“The idea that we could be entirely done with testing in the post-vaccine world is probably not a good one right now; for example, even fully vaccinated people who develop respiratory symptoms should consider getting tested for COVID-19,” says Darnell. “Conversely, exposure to individuals with known infection, even if fully vaccinated, should be taken seriously and again individuals should consider getting tested.”

“Given the scope of the pandemic, there’s a huge amount of virus in the world right now, meaning a huge opportunity for mutations to develop and spread,” he adds. “That is going to be a challenge for the developers of vaccines over the next months and years.”


Source: The Rockfeller University


Read also at NBC:

CDC: About 5,800 ‘breakthrough infections’ reported in fully vaccinated people . . . . .

Among COVID-19 Survivors, an Increased Risk of Death, Serious Illness

Julia Evangelou Strait wrote . . . . . . . . .

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that even mild cases of COVID-19 increase the risk of death in the six months following diagnosis and that this risk increases with disease severity. The comprehensive study also catalogues the wide-ranging and long-term health problems often triggered by the infection, even among those not hospitalized.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that many survivors — even those who had mild cases — continue to manage a variety of health problems long after the initial infection should have resolved. In what is believed to be the largest comprehensive study of long COVID-19 to date, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that COVID-19 survivors — including those not sick enough to be hospitalized — have an increased risk of death in the six months following diagnosis with the virus.

The researchers also have catalogued the numerous diseases associated with COVID-19, providing a big-picture overview of the long-term complications of COVID-19 and revealing the massive burden this disease is likely to place on the world’s population in the coming years.

The study, involving more than 87,000 COVID-19 patients and nearly 5 million control patients in a federal database, appears online in the journal Nature.

“Our study demonstrates that up to six months after diagnosis, the risk of death following even a mild case of COVID-19 is not trivial and increases with disease severity,” said senior author Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, an assistant professor of medicine. “It is not an exaggeration to say that long COVID-19 — the long-term health consequences of COVID-19 — is America’s next big health crisis. Given that more than 30 million Americans have been infected with this virus, and given that the burden of long COVID-19 is substantial, the lingering effects of this disease will reverberate for many years and even decades. Physicians must be vigilant in evaluating people who have had COVID-19. These patients will need integrated, multidisciplinary care.”

In the new study, the researchers were able to calculate the potential scale of the problems first glimpsed from anecdotal accounts and smaller studies that hinted at the wide-ranging side effects of surviving COVID-19, from breathing problems and irregular heart rhythms to mental health issues and hair loss.

“This study differs from others that have looked at long COVID-19 because, rather than focusing on just the neurologic or cardiovascular complications, for example, we took a broad view and used the vast databases of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to comprehensively catalog all diseases that may be attributable to COVID-19,” said Al-Aly, also director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center and chief of the Research and Education Service at the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System.

The investigators showed that, after surviving the initial infection (beyond the first 30 days of illness), COVID-19 survivors had an almost 60% increased risk of death over the following six months compared with the general population. At the six-month mark, excess deaths among all COVID-19 survivors were estimated at eight people per 1,000 patients. Among patients who were ill enough to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and who survived beyond the first 30 days of illness, there were 29 excess deaths per 1,000 patients over the following six months.

“These later deaths due to long-term complications of the infection are not necessarily recorded as deaths due to COVID-19,” Al-Aly said. “As far as total pandemic death toll, these numbers suggest that the deaths we’re counting due to the immediate viral infection are only the tip of the iceberg.”

The researchers analyzed data from the national health-care databases of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The dataset included 73,435 VHA patients with confirmed COVID-19 but who were not hospitalized and, for comparison, almost 5 million VHA patients who did not have a COVID-19 diagnosis and were not hospitalized during this time frame. The veterans in the study were primarily men (almost 88%), but the large sample size meant that the study still included 8,880 women with confirmed cases.

To help understand the long-term effects of more severe COVID-19, the researchers harnessed VHA data to conduct a separate analysis of 13,654 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with 13,997 patients hospitalized with seasonal flu. All patients survived at least 30 days after hospital admission, and the analysis included six months of follow-up data.

The researchers confirmed that, despite being initially a respiratory virus, long COVID-19 can affect nearly every organ system in the body. Evaluating 379 diagnoses of diseases possibly related to COVID-19, 380 classes of medications prescribed and 62 laboratory tests administered, the researchers identified newly diagnosed major health issues that persisted in COVID-19 patients over at least six months and that affected nearly every organ and regulatory system in the body, including:

  • Respiratory system: persistent cough, shortness of breath and low oxygen levels in the blood.
  • Nervous system: stroke, headaches, memory problems and problems with senses of taste and smell.
  • Mental health: anxiety, depression, sleep problems and substance abuse.
  • Metabolism: new onset of diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol.
  • Cardiovascular system: acute coronary disease, heart failure, heart palpitations and irregular heart rhythms.
  • Gastrointestinal system: constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux.
  • Kidney: acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease that can, in severe cases, require dialysis.
  • Coagulation regulation: blood clots in the legs and lungs.
  • Skin: rash and hair loss.
  • Musculoskeletal system: joint pain and muscle weakness.
  • General health: malaise, fatigue and anemia.

While no survivor suffered from all of these problems, many developed a cluster of several issues that have a significant impact on health and quality of life.

Among hospitalized patients, those who had COVID-19 fared considerably worse than those who had influenza, according to the analysis. COVID-19 survivors had a 50% increased risk of death compared with flu survivors, with about 29 excess deaths per 1,000 patients at six months. Survivors of COVID-19 also had a substantially higher risk of long-term medical problems.

“Compared with flu, COVID-19 showed remarkably higher burden of disease, both in the magnitude of risk and the breadth of organ system involvement,” Al-Aly said. “Long COVID-19 is more than a typical postviral syndrome. The size of the risk of disease and death and the extent of organ system involvement is far higher than what we see with other respiratory viruses, such as influenza.”

In addition, the researchers found that the health risks from surviving COVID-19 increased with the severity of disease, with hospitalized patients who required intensive care being at highest risk of long COVID-19 complications and death.

“Some of these problems may improve with time — for example, shortness of breath and cough may get better — and some problems may get worse,” Al-Aly added. “We will continue following these patients to help us understand the ongoing impacts of the virus beyond the first six months after infection. We’re only a little over a year into this pandemic, so there may be consequences of long COVID-19 that are not yet visible.”

In future analyses of these same datasets, Al-Aly and his colleagues also plan to look at whether patients fared differently based on age, race and gender to gain a deeper understanding of the risk of death in people with long COVID-19.


Source: Washington University School of Medicine