Covid-19 Update: Antibodies & Steroid Treatment

09/11/2020 9:07 am EST

Focus: HEALTHCARE

Al Brooks, MD

Professional Trader, Author, Lecturer, Brooks Price Action, LLC and Brooks Trading Course

Yesterday Al Brooks discussed the risk of approving a vaccine that has not been thoroughly tested; here, he discusses antibodies, steroid treatment and a recent Chinese study on Covid-19 transmission on busses.

While the notion of a Covid-19 vaccine available this year appears unlikely and/or dangerous, there is some recent good news regarding antibodies and immunity.

There was a large study from Iceland in last week’s New England Journal of Medicine that found that level of antibodies did not decline 4 months after a Covid-19 infection. This is important because that would indicate that a person would probably be free from a second infection for at least four months.

It is important to note that the level of antibodies after a vaccine will probably be at least 1.5 to 2 times higher than after a Covid-19 infection. Therefore, I would assume that that protection would last at least six to 12 months.

I don’t mind getting a repeat vaccine every six months, but I doubt that I would get it more often. This study makes me think that I will not need a booster shot for at least six months. With some luck, we might need it only once a year. If that is true, they probably can combine it with the annual flu shot. I have written a few times that I am hoping that this will be the case.

No one wants to change their life forever because of the pandemic. This study makes me believe that life will be essentially totally back to normal within a year or two.

Steroids save lives

The World Health Organization looked at pooled data from seven randomize trials and concluded that steroids save lives in severely ill Covid-19 patients. This confirmed an unpublished study that showed the effectiveness of steroids in very ill Covid-19 patients.

Face shields are not as good as masks

You sometimes see people wearing face shields. The shields look good and cover your entire face, and it is easy to breathe. A group of scientists tested their effectiveness compared to that of ordinary face masks and concluded that face masks are much better than shields.

This is because of the obvious issue that air easily flows around the shield. This is unlike a face mask. If a mask is worn properly, most of the air goes through the mask. The mask traps the tiny water droplets containing the virus particles, greatly reducing the transmission of the virus.

They concluded, “The research suggests that to minimize the community spread of Covid-19, it may be preferable to use high-quality cloth or surgical masks that are of a plain design instead of face shields and masks equipped with exhale valves.”

They went on to say, “Overall, the visuals presented here indicate that face shields and masks with exhale valves may not be as effective as regular face masks in restricting the spread of aerosolized droplets. Thus, despite the increased comfort that these alternatives offer, it may be preferable to use well-constructed plain masks.”

Beware of buses

There was a report of two buses in China, each with about 60 passengers. One bus had a Covid-19 patient. Afterwards, 24 of the people on that bus tested positive, but none of the people on the other bus tested positive.

Also, sitting far from the infected person did not provide protection. They therefore concluded that the spread was through the ventilation system, and not simply direct spread from sitting near the infected person.

They observed, “Within bus 2, individuals in high-risk zones had moderately, but non-significantly, higher risk for Covid-19 compared with those in the low-risk zones. The absence of a significantly increased risk in the part of the bus closer to the index case suggested that airborne spread of the virus may at least partially explain the markedly high attack rate observed… The investigations suggest that, in closed environments with air recirculation, SARS-CoV-2 is a highly transmissible pathogen.”

With this in mind, NPR had a an article last week about how to protect yourself from virus particles lingering in the air.

Al Brooks’ earlier special reports on the Covid-19 pandemic:

COVID-19 Update: Beverly Hills Pseudoscientists & the Importance of Real Scientific Validation

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