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Ice Hockey superspreader event in Florida

At one game in June, in Tampa, Florida, 14 players out of 22 caught Covid, and that was only the symptomatic cases. None of the others were tested. Perhaps they all caught it?

Hockey game turned into COVID-19 superspreader event

Rachel Rettner, LiveScience: The game, which was held on June 16 at an ice rink in Tampa Bay, Florida, involved two teams of 11 players each, according to the report, from researchers at the Florida Department of Health. Typically, six players were on the ice and five on the bench at any given time, the report said. All of the players were male, and ranged in age from 19 to 53 years old.

The day after the game (June 17), one of the players developed a fever, cough, sore throat and headache, and tested positive for COVID-19. In the following four days (from June 18 to June 21), an additional 13 players developed symptoms of COVID-19

The game lasted 60 minutes, and players spent about 20 minutes in the locker room before and after the game, with each team having a separate locker room.

What’s an ideal way to share viruses? Refrigerate the air, and ask everyone to breathe hard.

Assuming they were infected at the one game, herd immunity probably wouldn’t help much. Even if half the team members were immune to Covid the other half would still have caught it.

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Rating: 7.9/10 (33 votes cast)
Ice Hockey superspreader event in Florida , 7.9 out of 10 based on 33 ratings

100 comments to Ice Hockey superspreader event in Florida

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    If only they were BLM protesters just carrying sticks and having some harmless protesting fun.
    Then it would be safe.

    40

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    120 days after this non-fatal “superspreader” event it becomes a national headline.

    Hmmm. What can we learn from this report.

    Well, its a relatively new incident to the press, in the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
    And it’s a cute and catchy theme for the ignorant, ICE HOCKEY in FLORIDA in JUNE.

    The 18 cases from the Yale hockey team weren’t nearly as interesting.

    Florida has been basically open for most of the pandemic. There have been thousands of hockey games. I know it’s counter-intuitive, but Tampa is
    (inserting local plug here) the home of the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, home to many expat Canadians and northerners, and a town seriously interested in hockey.
    Present writer included.

    One can assume the headline fits a certain political narrative. It is perhaps more interesting to ask why there aren’t hundreds, or thousands of ‘super-spreader’ incidents. They do seem to be relatively rare. I hope, and believe, the serious researchers are trying to track down the index individuals and figure out what makes them different, because we need to know.

    Professional Hockey played out an entire playoff season in a couple of bubbles without a single recorded case.

    Crowds of all sorts have gathered for all sorts of reasons in all sorts of conditions, without recording superspreaders. Clearly the cold & closure can be an issue as the early meatpacking incidents indicate. But I think the purpose of the pub here is more political that scientific.

    250

    • #
      wal1957

      And how many died, if any? Surely that should be the most important stat?
      This looks like a case of scare tactics 101.

      160

      • #

        Deaths are irrelevant to the point about superspreading and herd immunity.

        If these were 70 year old hockey players the deaths would very different but the spread would be the same or even worse. And that’s the issue — in a cluster superspreading disease herd immunity is not that useful.

        The hockey game just highlights problems that exist in any refrigerated workplace or cold climate. In the right situation this disease will jump right over anyone with immunity and reach the people behind them, that herd immunity is supposed to be protecting.

        212

        • #
          Saighdear

          Yes, ‘any refrigerated workplace’ – look at the number of cases in the European Meat Industry: -Frightening, by all accounts, in the local media. Made the headlines in Germany several times, in Scotland at least a coupla times…… nowhere else ? Supermarket coldstores and such like not affected then, – only the MEAT industry ..? Well now, THERE’s a thing, WHY NOT – what does that tell us? ( I’m sliding down another slope here – HELP Jo ! )

          20

          • #

            Good question. Anyone got any data on supermarket cold rooms? Do people also spend long hours in them, lifting heavy weights? Is there something different about the employees? Are meat packers more likely to be older, immigrants, dark skinned, more prone to catching and spreading disease? Is the density of people higher?

            Are ventilation systems better in supermarkets?

            37

            • #
              Saighdear

              Cold rooms: School CLASS Rooms to be kept COLD. This nonsense was spoken about, way back in the summer – never received much discussion. NOW in both Scotland and Englandshire, SOME daft Heads are poking their little noddles above the parapets to say that this is what they are doing ….. – without fuss it seems. Yet in a Tes Co, where only food ( essentials) should be sold, childrens clothing was fenced off. Customer made a big issue of it – their children in winter need CLOTHES. Amazing, init? Who’d have thunk it hat in winter one needs more clothes to keep warm and children GROW – or not if you don’t feed them …. that’s another thing now. What DO parents do then, what are they for ? Maybe just to make Canon fodder for others. ….

              10

            • #
              stewartpid

              Jo / others …. my understanding is that it isn’t the cold but the dry air / low humidity associated with the cold. Here in Canuckistan it is -15 C this AM and so we know about cold ;-) the dry air lets the virus droplets hang in the air far longer.
              However no locker rooms open here … u show up with ur gear on and put ur skates on outside and then head in. Locker rooms would be a nightmare to sanitize.
              During the Stanley Cup I hated seeing the players on the bench still spitting like crazy … should have been a 1,000 dollar fine for each lung oyster spit onto the ice.
              Good post & conversation Jo … I’m a long time lurker and so let me take the opportunity to thank u for this and all the past posts I have enjoyed.

              10

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Tested positive next day? Surely, then, caught it somewhere else.

      60

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        G’day Ted,
        You’ve missed a key paragraph:
        ” The day after the game (June 17), one of the players developed a fever, cough, sore throat and headache, and tested positive for COVID-19. In the following four days (from June 18 to June 21), an additional 13 players developed symptoms of COVID-19. ”
        Cheers
        Dave B

        20

        • #
          FarmerDoug2

          Five days still seems pretty quick

          20

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Maybe they were infected with multiple strains of the virus. One strain producing a sore throat, a different strain producing cough, and others producing headaches, fever, and the asymptomatic players had other mutated strains.

            Perhaps there is a need to remember, politicians, meat packers, football players and journalists have a much higher metabolic rate than the rest of a population that in general have sluggish immune systems and thus take longer to develop or even catch various viruses.

            Conclusion: Super spreaders have much higher metabolic rates which helps explain why they are super spreaders.

            10

            • #

              ES. Good luck testing your hypothesis. You haven’t done a literature search on superspreaders have you?
              See Nextstrain to get some idea of just how many different independent labs are testing this virus. The important transmission to the US probably occured about Feb 1 — right when Donald was saying “stop the flights” and the WHO was saying “keep them open”.,

              Because this is a cluster spreading disease with a very low K, it is to be expected that the first few cases that turned up would lead no where.

              52

          • #

            Five days is the average incubation period.

            33

        • #
          Broadie

          A ‘tester-demic’.

          A vicious outbreak of the hyper-sensitive PCR testing. University of Washington overall test positivity rate of %4.1 of those presenting for testing.

          Crank up the sensitivity, feed the ‘super-spreader’ narrative and fire it at the Trump Rallies.

          10

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Tested positive next day? Surely, then, caught it somewhere else.

      30

      • #

        Obviously one person had to bring the infection to the game from outside or no one would be sick 5 days later.

        42

        • #
          glen Michel

          Who cares. This virus will exhaust itself one day. If people die – so be it. Just another note in history – and an overstated one at that.

          50

          • #

            Who cares. All Civilizations will die one day — so be it. Just another note in history.

            Nothing is worth fighting for? And if 1% of the population spend several years (or decades) struggling to get out of bed, unable to work, a burden on their families, when we could have stopped it so easily (see WA) them’s the breaks.

            38

            • #

              Call me naive, I reckon some people do care that a Chinese bioweapon is exposing the gross complacent weakness of the west, where formerly high trust societies are captured by vested interests (no HCQ, no Vitamin d, foreign students, CCP influence on academics) and crippled through indecision and division. Where they keep acting weeks too late, thus dooming whole nations to go through repeat horrid cycles of lockdown which could have been avoided if they handled this properly at the start (the way I suggested).

              If the surge in cases in the US gives Biden a 5% advantage it might change history.

              Or perhaps the difference between a Trump v Biden future is overstated?

              32

              • #
                Saighdear

                No, I believe you’re not naive, but for me, the Jury is still out whether or not this is a Chinese Bio-weapon out there. Sure it exposes the weaknesses as you detail, but Ethics amongst Scientists is something else…..People control, population control, etc. This awful phrase springs to mind again ( from a UK Gov publication a few years ago ) – ‘require a Hunger for COMPLIANCE’ …. if we all complied all the time, NOTHING would have got done – no learning , no nothing….. unlessofcourse you happenned upon a favourable leader in your Generation. As for US politics ….Phew! Influencers and Social Media …… wen I deek yer face an I’lll deek yer scon, 10, 10 and I’m gone

                20

            • #
              Saighdear

              Hohhh…. difficult to be both defeatist and its Antonyms. We are here for one short blip in time – -as Flies come and go, get stood on, etc. But we are MORE than that. We have feelings, Should have a modicum of intelligence, yet a little ( how much is that exactly?) is a dangerous thing. We get entangled in Democracy and Sociaismand then lose our way in the interests of Courtesies. At work in the Engineering shop today, matters arise that lead you to think there are TOO MANY learned folk arounddoing more research than is good for them / us. Have we as a society taken time to Re-learn what has been researched and taught before us: So often I see (younger) folk trying to re-invent the wheel. Indeed in the 80′s we had gone back to the SQUARE WHEEL: some are still around but most disntegrated and caused a lot of grief to Farmers with their tractors( Wheel interchangeability ) It looked like Change for changes’ Sake – because “we” can. You will all know what I mean when you come to repair / replace, whether it is your car or Domestic items – even Clothing: what was good for so long is now no longer available, Zips don’t last, leather Boot-laces only last a week, etc.. We are going thru’ that phase now AGAIN. For goodness-sake, Parents, can’t you teach your children something ?
              NOW all this research is overwhelming, getting too political for survival ( Gravy trains) and too much for the level of competency of, it seems, ALL our governments to comprehend and handle, being twisted into various agendas to suit the mood
              So, do I care? Yes and no, Lord give me the power to know and accept what I can and cannot change, learnig to accept what I cannot change and the wherewithall to HELP change for the Better of Humanity. but the Lord works in mysterious ways …..

              10

        • #
          John F. Hultquist

          I assume the team members were spreading in practice and social activities before this particular game. Sounds like the 2 team and friends might interact with each other. Unless stated otherwise.
          What makes it to print or media signals seems to always lack useful background information.
          Regardless, this sort of game sounds like a bad idea.

          20

    • #
      UK-Weather Lass

      As evidence of how SARS-CoV-2 spreads it is evidence of the need for time exposed in a helpful environment (dressing room) multiplied by viral load multiplied by susceptible hosts, similar to the choir practice events reported contemporaneously many moons ago. This is evidence as to why certain closed events without head immunity will lead, eventually, to herd immunity and since that cannot be achieved without casualty (infection, symptoms, survival or death). There is no alternative unless we were sure the virus would eliminate itself after a certain period of time without contact and hosts and we know that is not going to happen from experience.

      This virus is with us for the duration and we need both herd immunity and a vaccine to reduce risk to acceptable levels. IMO delaying the former will not assist the latter.

      02

      • #

        Superspreader events make herd immunity useless. It doesn’t matter if you have three or thirty people who are immune between you and the superspreader. If you are in the choir room, the church, or the rink, with a superspreader it’s irrelevant.

        15

    • #
      sophocles

      Hmmm. What can we learn from this report?

      Simple:
      Indoor lighting, especially in refrigerated/cold areas like ice-hockey rinks, needs added UVB light to thoroughly sterilize the air and surfaces.

      Players and audiences will have to provide their own UV-proof sun glasses.
      No glasses, no entry.

      You’re there to watch a game so “sun-bathing” will not be permitted …

      20

  • #
    tom0mason

    It would be very informative if, any of those who have diagnostic symptoms of infection (not just a PCR test!) require any kind of medical intervention beyond the basic.

    It may (perhaps) give us a better idea of how much this infection has the ability to make very fit males ill.

    Sooner or later the vast majority of the population will contract a form of this virus (with or without a vaccine), it would be good to understand more about how infective it is in the general population. These issues are STILL very sketchy for the general population as most people are so distracted by (IMO worthless) PCR test numbers, and not paying so much attention on infectivity, virulence, and morbidity numbers (the real ones that matter).

    181

  • #
    Peter C

    At one game in June, in Tampa, Florida, 14 players out of 22 caught Covid, and that was only the symptomatic cases. None of the others were tested. Perhaps they all caught it?

    How many cases of Covid are aymptomatic? Not so many if this incident is typical. Most of the players developed symptoms. Even if all the players were infected the asymptomatic cases can only be 8 out of 22.

    30

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      I reckon this demonstrates rather conclusively that an asymptomatic carrier can infect others.
      And if I’m right in assuming ice hockey can be described as a close contact sport, then all players would be exposed to repeated doses of the virus over the duration of the game, delivering a significant load of virus, testing the immune system quite severely. True?
      Cheers
      Dave B

      12

  • #
    David Maddison

    I don’t like how terms like “super spreader” are invented and used to suit a political narrative. The term seems not to be used with influenza or any other common infection

    The term appears to have been invented in reference to version one of COVID, SARS-COV-1.

    In the literature it first seems to have appeared in 2004 in https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15030693/
    “Superspreading SARS events, Beijing, 2003″ but was infrequently used until now.

    I think the term was invented to scare people and help justify the Left’s desire to lock everybody up as in Victoriastan.

    Not even “Typhoid Mary” was called a “super spreader” until about 2011.

    220

    • #
      Ross

      My father was a super spreader in the 1970′s. He worked for a contractor who spread superphosphate fertiliser via old Bedford and Austin truck on farms in regional Victoria. When I first heard the term (think it was Jenny Mikakos, ex Health minister in Victoria, Australia for those OS people) I thought she had gone mad.

      100

      • #

        David,

        This is just science, not politics. The term superspreader would apply to people with influenza that shared it to a high number of people, but that doesn’t happen.

        Covid is a cluster spreading disease with a very low “K” value.

        https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/05/why-do-some-covid-19-patients-infect-many-others-whereas-most-don-t-spread-virus-all

        That’s why in addition to R, scientists use a value called the dispersion factor (k), which describes how much a disease clusters. The lower k is, the more transmission comes from a small number of people. In a seminal 2005 Nature paper, Lloyd-Smith and co-authors estimated that SARS—in which superspreading played a major role—had a k of 0.16. The estimated k for MERS, which emerged in 2012, is about 0.25. In the flu pandemic of 1918, in contrast, the value was about one, indicating that clusters played less of a role.

        Estimates of k for SARS-CoV-2 vary. In January, Julien Riou and Christian Althaus at the University of Bern simulated the epidemic in China for different combinations of R and k and compared the outcomes with what had actually taken place. They concluded that k for COVID-19 is somewhat higher than for SARS and MERS. That seems about right, says Gabriel Leung, a modeler at the University of Hong Kong. “I don’t think this is quite like SARS or MERS, where we observed very large superspreading clusters,” Leung says. “But we are certainly seeing a lot of concentrated clusters where a small proportion of people are responsible for a large proportion of infections.” But in a recent preprint, Adam Kucharski of LSHTM estimated that k for COVID-19 is as low as 0.1. “Probably about 10% of cases lead to 80% of the spread,” Kucharski says.

        19

        • #
          Tel

          How do you know that super-spreader events are unusual?

          If you remember when we were kids, huge numbers of people would catch chicken pox across a whole suburb, half the school would be empty. Then a week later everyone was back again. Same for all those diseases that kids would catch: Measles, Mumps, etc. They only started vaccinating for those relatively recently … when I was a kid everyone just expected to catch them. Almost no one did any measurement until recently, I’ve had heaps of colds and flu’s and I’ve never met a doctor sufficiently interested to measure what the heck it really was. Half the time I don’t even bother talking to the doctor, because they don’t actually do anything.

          The mass testing of everyone is a completely new social phenomenon and there is nothing in human history to compare it with. It’s literally never been done before.

          As for their estimate of 1918 flu, get real, they have no idea. It’s hard enough to trace the source of these things even today, when we have testing all over the place. Back in 1918 they didn’t have any testing for asymptomatic cases, and only worried about the people who got seriously sick. I’m confident any modern simulation trying to reconstruct a k value from 1918 is complete garbage.

          Regarding their 10% of the cases lead to 80% of the spread … let me point out that the default expectation (without any measurement) is that 20% of the cases lead to 80% of the spread. How do I know? Because that’s Vilfredo Pareto’s number … and it turns up nearly everywhere.

          There are a family of possible Pareto distributions, and if these particular researchers can demonstrate that we really have 10% of cases leading to 80% of the spread, that’s certainly mathematically possible, it doesn’t contradict any theory … but it would be unusual … requiring significant evidence to demonstrate why this thing behaves in a surprising manner. The easier explanation, is they simply weren’t very accurate in their estimate, and the spread is following a perfectly normal pattern. The Chinese data is very sketchy, and I wouldn’t trust it one bit, so if they used Chinese data as a starting point then without trying again on several other countries to confirm, those results should be considered unreliable.

          Finally, the reason you reported this particular case is BECAUSE it is the case that was noteworthy because of the large cluster. How many cases did you not report because those clusters were small? Millions … which leads to terrible sample bias. There were plenty of cases of people in New York who were locked in at home, didn’t go out anywhere but still got sick. No one knows who gave it to them … nor even whether it was surface contact, or it came in through the air vents, or contaminated food … no one has any idea. Case clusters? Maybe. Or maybe not. Since there are a large number of unobservable events, the modellers cherry pick the ones that the contract tracers can discover … that’s the big events.

          30

      • #
      • #
        glen Michel

        I was a super spreader around those times. At the end of the day when I finished spreading I had a beer or two and possibly a rum or two before a nice steak and off to bed ready for another day. What a bunch of cotton-wooled stops we are today.

        50

  • #
    David Maddison

    Why is there such a strong focus on PCR tests which seem to give many “positive test results” but not a commensurate number of actual clinical cases (i.e. sick people)? Wouldn’t it be more informative to, at least at the same time as a PCR test, do an antibody test as well to establish prior exposure? PCR tests don’t seem to be that valuable because the number of positives don’t correlate strongly with actual sick people.

    141

    • #

      Even if you’re immune from a vaccine or by recovering from the disease, you will test positive for a short time after exposure until enough virus builds up in the blood stream for the immune system to notice. The viral load never gets high enough to be contagious. The only cases of ‘asymptomatic’ transmission I’ve heard of were actually cases of pre-symptomatic transmission. This can also happens with most flus and colds.

      80

      • #

        PCR tests have been used for 35 years in hundreds of labs, and in millions of legal cases, forensic studies, archeological work and medical diagnoses.

        Seems people are still happy to accept millions of reliable uses for decades, but want to chuck it out for Covid because it suggests there is a problem they would prefer didn’t exist.

        48

        • #
          tom0mason

          So Jo, it’s been used for 35 years, that does not mean that it is the best method of testing for this virus.
          After 35 year is it not about time we move on to a better test, a more accurate and precise test? A test with less dogma and more reliability?

          Another point to ponder –
          https://twitter.com/i/status/1318904301771722752

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          • #

            Sure. I’m all for that. What test would that be?

            12

            • #
              tom0mason

              Have a listen to J.C on a Bike at https://youtu.be/TunB03Gg65Q (he’s a biologist professor) and note how he delineates the advances in bio-sciences since the late 1990s to 2004, and where he points out how everything has greatly advanced since then.
              Everything but diagnostic tests? Everything except improvements in the PCR tests? I suspect not!

              Now tell me again why this catastrophe of a test using PCR are the best we have in 35 years because I think you are mistaken.

              Also see his ‘The Yan Report 2′, and how he goes through a research paper on how the COVID virus may have been put together. Here he show how PCR was intended to be used! As a lab method to amplify up genetic material from highly (biologically) limited sample, and NOT be used with uncontrolled soup of biological matter that samples of blood, mucus, etc. present.

              (I’ve taken a while as I was trying to find his original ‘The Yan Report’ that I have a copy of but can’t find online. Basically during his original inspection and analysis of the paper he has a rant about how terrible the PCR tests are and how they are being POLITICALLY MANIPULATED.

              I find his and other’s arguments against PCR testing far more convincing than yours.

              20

          • #
            John F. Hultquist

            “Sensitivity” is a defined term, and I have no idea if the same exact test is used world.
            In many tests, including diagnostic medical tests, sensitivity is the extent to which true positives are not overlooked, . . .” [Wiki]
            Point: Doing a cancer test, one does not want to miss a real illness.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensitivity_and_specificity

            One study (William Briggs mentioned) out of England claimed the rate of false positives was between 0.8 and 4.0 (50% chance). In any case, this is a feature, not a bug (not a pun).

            10

          • #

            How does PCR have dogma. Add sample to tube. Run instrument get result.

            some dogma (do you know what dogma is?).

            The dogma is the interpretation. Presence of virus nucleotides does indeed not mean infectiousness. A positive PCR in a bunch of people who were previously negative but who had recently been in contact with a PCR positive person is cause for concern without ambiguity or “dogma”.

            00

        • #
          tom0mason

          What did PCR inventor Kary Mullis *actually* say about misusing his PCR-method for diagnostic testing?

          “With PCR you can almost find anything in anybody”

          PCR should *not* be used to detect specific infections. It is inadequate for diagnostic testing — especially when the optimum cycle threshold (Ct) value is not well defined.
          [Ct of a reaction is defined as the cycle number when the fluorescence of a PCR product can be detected above the background signal.]

          PCR is a reasonably good test to assist with analyzing a very small piece of biological material in laboratory conditions, though its precision, when the Ct is not well established, leaves a lot to be desired.
          Most manufacturers of PCR test kits are well aware of there short coming and often print a warnings that PRC should NOT be used exclusively for diagnostic testing.

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          • #

            I think you’ll find that Mullins was talking about PCR for HIV twenty years ago which is a DNA retrovirus and a vastly different infectious process to Covid.

            It’s been mischievous, to put it as nicely as I can, that a few experts have been repeating that quote out of context.

            Consider Western Australian data at this point: We have done 475,000 tests and found no positive cases in the community for the last 190 days. But the tests keep finding cases on ship and plane travellers.

            Looks like a reliable test, smells like a reliable test….

            Is there a better way to test for active or infectious Covid?

            34

            • #
              tom0mason

              So Jo, exactly what is the Ct for PCR tests in Australia and how was that figure arrived at? Who in Australia held the purified virus to determine the infectivity and the Ct range for PCR tests of that virus?

              40

            • #
              Lucky

              Mullis made a number of comments about the mis-use of his invention, the context is exactly the same as for the current mis-use.

              10

          • #
            Lucky

            tom… that is an intriguing twtr- that if testing positive get the person to circulate more rather than isolate!
            It would depend on the Ct (amplification) which is never made available, for good reason.
            The test device is brilliant, when used for what it does, when it is used for shutdown decisions, beating up people and imposing massive fines that is a mis-use. Science in the service of tyranny.

            30

          • #

            Yes, PCR tests are far too sensitive to use as a diagnostic tool for determining whether or not someone has a disease and is contagious. They pick up viral fragments long after the virus has been eradicated and will even test positive for someone who’s immune, but has been recently exposed. Instead of up to 40 or so generations of replication in common use, less than 30 would be sufficient and would not result in so many false positives.

            https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/09/01/covid-tests

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        • #
          David Maddison

          Jo, I didn’t say PCR doesn’t work for its intended purpose which is to amplify the quantity of trace amounts of DNA to a large enough amount that can then be sequenced.

          What I question is that while PCR tests might find DNA sequences indictive of C-19, it doesn’t mean that person is either sick or contagious. There are now huge numbers of “positive test results” but not corresponding numbers of actual sick people.

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          • #

            OK. Fair enough. But viral loads in positive PCR tests for people are hospitalized do predict mortality.
            https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanres/PIIS2213-2600(20)30354-4.pdf

            And while it is not definitive, viral load correlates with symptom onset, and likely also infectiousness at that point, but possibly not after another week or two, and shedding may continue in stool samples but it may well be uninfectious fragments.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7323671/

            We identified 113 studies conducted in 17 countries. The evidence from upper respiratory tract samples suggests that the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 peaks around symptom onset or a few days thereafter, and becomes undetectable about two weeks after symptom onset; however, viral loads from sputum samples may be higher, peak later and persist for longer. There is evidence of prolonged virus detection in stool samples, with unclear clinical significance.

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            • #

              Yes, for most respiratory illnesses induced by a virus, peak contagiousness closely corresponds to the onset of symptoms at which point a healthy immune system is letting you know that it’s working hard at reducing the viral load in the system. If the viral load isn’t decreasing, it’s an indication that the immune system isn’t doing its job and a treatment like Regenron or convalescent plasma is indicated to give the immune system a head start. Otherwise, the patient could enter phase 2 as the result of excessive inflammation from an ineffective immune response and may not survive.

              10

            • #
              David Maddison

              Jo, shouldn’t the actual viral load be reported? It can be estimated from the PCR test by the number of amplification cycles required. Below a certain viral load it appears people will not be sick or infectious, but will just provide positive test results.

              30

    • #

      What percentage of the zero cases since September 1 are really false positives where the liberal (right wing) government lockdown has successfully eliminated the virus from Tasmania?
      What percentage of the zero cases since August 14 are really false positives in the Northern Territory?
      what percentage of the zero cases excluding 1 recently returned traveler in the ACT since July are really false positives?

      00

  • #
    David Maddison

    Sports teams spread infections among each other and fans. Nothing new here. This article is from 2017.

    https://www.contagionlive.com/view/flu-champions-nfl-players-battle-flu-before-super-bowl

    Flu Champions: NFL Players Battle Flu Before Super Bowl
    February 4, 2017
    Carole Ellis

    Researchers find that having a local team in the Super Bowl sets a city up for a substantial increase in flu-related illness and deaths during influenza season.

    According to researchers at Tulane University and the College of William and Mary, having a local team in the Super Bowl sets a city up for a substantial increase in flu-related illness and even deaths during the influenza season that tends to debut around the same time football season ends.

    If the trend holds in 2017, the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots are ready to take their influenza germs with them all the way to Houston. Both teams have struggled throughout January as players contracted what both teams dismissively referred to as “the flu bug;” the struggle to keep influenza out of the locker room was real. During the playoffs, both the Green Bay Packers (who lost to the Falcons) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (who lost to the Patriots) battled the bug as well, leading many fans to speculate that the stars, or at least the locker-room creeping germs, had aligned to send the Falcons and the Patriots on their way to Houston.

    (See link for rest of article.)

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      tom0mason

      David Maddison,

      The point now is whether or not the government (local and/or national) should have the right to restrict your movements based on a very approximate PCR test. Should you be restricted from going to matches, games, cinemas, or churches because some PCR test has determined you have some unknown probability of being infected or infectious with this virus.
      IMHO the abundance of PCR positive results with few actual infection cases, and virtually no rise in mortality rates, only shows that we are in dire need of betters DIAGNOSTIC tests.

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        David, PCR reliably predicts whether you have vastly higher odds than normal of getting symptoms, needing hospital, dying, or producing those outcomes in people who you come in contact with.

        Tracking and tracing support this over and over and over….( x 30 million)

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          tom0mason

          Jo,

          IMO In Britain the lockdowns are being used as a political bludgeon to ensure the population obeys the government. The health minister certainly is an idiot who wishes to be seen as doing something even though in the long term it will not be effective.
          From https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/probable-healthcare-associated-infections-in-england/
          “Recent days have seen an apparent rise in the proportion of patients newly admitted in hospital with COVID-19 that represent probable healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), with these comprising 18% of all new hospital cases on 6 October. This is most apparent in the North West of England, where HCAIs made up 24% of all patients on this date.”

          and
          Using these data we can then estimate the probable number of HCAIs as 89 (18%) based on the number of new cases (n=494 on the most recent reporting date) minus the estimated new admissions to hospital from the community (n=405). Thirty people were (for unspecified reasons) readmitted with COVID-19 (number 1 from the list minus number 2).”
          Note that the death rate in Britain is NOT rising above the normal for the time of year! — see https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-florence-nightingales-daigrams-for-deaths/ .

          Meanwhile Wales and the Manchester are on a very aggressive lockdowns which I predict will achieve nothing! See https://principia-scientific.com/appeal-for-volunteers-to-help-expose-nhs-covid-test-fraud/ for the mess the UK is in.

          All this while government contracts worth 100′s of £millions, are handed out to crony companies who profit greatly from the mismanagement of the PCR testing situation (e.g. Serco the secretive company filled with ex-government employees — See https://rielpolitik.com/2019/01/14/deep-state-serco-the-biggest-corporation-youve-never-heard-of-a-corporate-octopus-with-tentacles-wrapped-around-the-globe/ for more.)

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            tom, (and many others). I know it’s tempting, but deaths per capita and total deaths in the early parts of an exponential curve are the two most useless statistics in terms of predicting what will happen next.

            Indeed, if I wanted to minimize and downplay what was coming these would be my GoTo two top factors to repeat.

            Instead, I look at daily new cases, daily new deaths, the three week lag, and hospitalization rates, and that tells me that hospitals are within weeks of being overloaded, and winter lockdowns will occur nearly everywhere because Europe failed to act fast enough in round one, didn’t close borders, and didn’t get rid of community transmission. AND they still aren’t treating Vitamin D deficiency or Zn deficiency seriously, and aren’t using UV C lamps to reduce infections indoors. Aren’t heating and ventilating rooms well either.

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              tom0mason

              Jo,
              So explain Sweden!
              Infections initially higher, mortality initially higher, after that ALL measured dropped and Sweden is below most European countries for infection and death rate!
              NO RESTRICTION were required!

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                I already explained Sweden. They did badly. Lots of people died. Traffic stats show they reduced movement dramatically anyway, and they live in perpetual lockdown with 50% of them inhabiting single person homes.

                When they go on their extended summer holidays they head for country homes and spread out. It’s like the country has a summer “iso”.

                They also do mandatory D supplements.

                Antibody tests suggest they don’t have herd immunity. And lo’, since the current new daily cases is as high as the first wave, I’d say the herd immunity idea has been thoroughly busted. Second waves are meant to be lower and slower. It isn’t.

                Sorry to rain on people’s parades. I take no joy in this.

                There is an industry out there that wants restrictions lifted and they are unfortunately pumping out misleading information. The idea that Sweden had no restrictions is just flat out wrong.

                As for the current state of things in Sweden, wait and see, but there was a major revision of death stats in Sweden in late June. “REtrospectively” death data changed from a long slow plateau to a neat guassian curve to zero. And since then mysteriously ten people often die of Covid but within a day they are resurrected or listed as dying of something else. Fishy. Watch their stats closely. It’s been “odd” since June 30.

                But the one bit of great news about sweden (assuming they are not lying about the stats) is that there aren’t many deaths yet. With 800 new cases a day three weeks ago, they should be recording 8 – 16 deaths a day now, but it’s only about 2. Though Sweden is only doing about half as many tests per capita as the UK is. Depending on how those tests are spread there may be some unrecorded deaths. I don’t know.

                Perhaps the D supplements are helping. (Though they were supplementing D in the first wave too).

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                tom0mason

                “They did badly. Lots of people died. Traffic stats show they reduced movement dramatically anyway, and they live in perpetual lockdown with 50% of them inhabiting single person homes.”

                The initial large number of cases and fatalities was NOT cause by a lack of lockdown or masks but mistakes made at care homes and certain medical facilities. The Swedish authorities fixed that and they have been doing VERY WELL ever since.
                Cases in Sweden are low, mortality from the virus is also very low. Overall the mortality from COVID is not that different from most other nations in Europe — its just that their figures were ‘front loaded’.
                They did all that WITHOUT unnecessary and restrictive laws.

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                tom0mason
                “Cases in Sweden are low” Could you please cite your source for that.
                This official government site from Sweden must be wrong. It says the second highest daily rate of new cases during the entire pandemic occurred this week.
                https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/statistik-och-analyser/bekraftade-fall-i-sverige/

                This site not only agrees with that second highest daily count in English but clicking on the “Show graph” link in the “active cases” small chart, show the active case count is the highest it has been. Not the second highest. Sweden is in a hopeless mess.
                https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

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              sophocles

              Sweden’s population is not as vitamin-D impoverished than was originally thought (including by me). Norway is another nation with widespread vitamin D 3 usage.
              Fish oil (rich in vit D 3) is widespread in Swedish diets and Norway uses food supplementation nationally.

              But Sweden made the same mistake we are still making around the world: maintaining low population Vitamin D 3 levels.

              These humans are stoopid …

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                sophocles

                To be effective, they needed to be measuring Vitamin D levels but nobody was.
                There was an assumption that the then prevalent/prevailing levels were adequate, which they weren’t. They did work but not as well as a concerted campaign would have.

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              John F. Hultquist

              BINGO!
              AND they still aren’t treating Vitamin D deficiency or Zn deficiency seriously, and aren’t using UV C lamps to reduce infections indoors. Aren’t heating and ventilating rooms well either.

              Medical and long term care facilities are being designed with such things in mind. The few “care” facilities I’ve been in (wife spent 7 weeks in one) are 50 years old. Not places for sick and/or old people.
              Many examples but try this one: A inmate was cold so the family brought in a small electric heater. Management made them remove it — wasn’t acceptable under the state’s code.

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          Lucky

          The PCR test without a stated Cr does not enable any reliable prediction.

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            it predicts presence very accurately and quickly. So far no other test comes close.

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              Lucky

              Gee Aye,
              A source that I understand has some familiarity with the PCR test stated on 5 Oct:
              “Yes, PCR will detect tiny amounts that could well be below anything meaningful wrt active infection. This is well known and is a property of the test.”
              and
              “. . 30-40 cycles is quite high”
              My interpretation of that is, for the test to have predictive value, the amplification factor, cycles, should be stated as it may then give a clue as to viral load.

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                What a smart person.

                Regarding predictive value – unfortunately not good as the collection method is not quantitative and making it so would be labourious and probably invasive. At present you could swab the same person twice and get a different amount of virus each time. Then there is storage and later handling that add variation.

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    Richard Ilfeld

    We are in dire need of a better public new media.

    We began with editorial judgement.
    We moved into biased selection.
    We evolved to slanted coverage.
    We rushed forward to screaming partisanship.
    And now we have careened into complete and utter corruption and propaganda.

    At least I’m sure this story wasn’t a Russian disinformation plant…..or was it?

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    Old Goat

    To me this looks like scare tactics. The cruise ship numbers are probably are the best indication of how infectious this virus is. However , the interesting thing is the common theme that cold environments seem to encourage “clusters” of infection. Meatworks and butchers seem to be hotbeds of infection and yet have to have high standards of cleanliness due to food standards. I think we still have a long way to go before we fully understand how to react practically to this virus.

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      Old Goat, this is just basic chemistry. This virus has a string of 29,000 molecules that will break if enough energy is applied. Once the code is broken the virus doesn’t work.

      High school thermodynamics predicts that viruses are more stable in fridges and less stable on car dashboards parked in the Australian sun.

      In the laboratory I worked in, if we wanted to keep a virus functional for decades we put it in a minus 70C freezer or liquid nitrogen.

      It’s not a scare tactic, it’s chemistry.

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      • #

        All these things come together in food science and industrial microbiology. Think of food spoilage

        Temperature
        Water (ie hydrolysis)
        Air (oxidation)
        Light
        Time

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      Chris

      The Diamond Princess . Four weeks – two weeks in quarantine and 2 weeks at sea. Carrying 3711 people ( crew and passengers) – 712 tested positive – 331 asymptomatic at the time of testing.- 381 had symptoms of which 37 required intensive care . A total of 14 have died.

      This was the perfect Petri dish experiment and yet it seemed to be completely ignored by researchers.

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        Chris indeed, one infectious man led to nearly 700 infections in just a couple of unquarantined weeks. The Ro was as high as 11 just before the quarantine started.

        Highly infectious and a death rate of 2% in a group with an average age of 58.

        But on a different cruise ship where everyone used masks, 80% of cases were asymptomatic.
        https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/07/418181/one-more-reason-wear-mask-youll-get-less-sick-covid-19

        Now that’s an important lesson….

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          tom0mason

          Jo the second example just shows that tests for viral load are needed, as well as better than PCR tests. Does asymptomatic mean you are helping to spread immunity? https://twitter.com/i/status/1318904301771722752

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            It’d be nice to think so. But is there any evidence of that? Viral fragments could just as easily generate an ineffective response as a useful one.

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              tom0mason

              As I have said before on this site I have been tested 3 times (March and May in hospital – complete with X-rays, and August at home) for this virus and EVERY time I been told I’m positive. It is BS I have never had any symptoms.
              I have just ordered another test and expect it next week.
              I’ll keep you informed as to the outcome of this 4th PCR test.

              Please be aware I’m over 65, have a heart condition, suffer with asthma and have damaged lungs from the past illnesses (1957-1958 influenza pandemic aka Asian flu, and at least 4 serious bouts of pneumonia).

              No Jo, I sit here in testament to the utter BS these PCR tests show!

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                Lucky

                tom… I hope you are not volunteering for a test. It is useless without the Cr. (Even then questionable for reasons such as the standard which you mentioned earlier). There is indeed an industry which promotes the tests.
                I have seen many anecdotal reports of false positives, tho’ I assume a false negative would not, could not, be reported.
                Curious, this is a do-it-yourself at home test? Is there any visible reference to Ct? (Being a skeptic I ask), is it manipulable?

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                sophocles

                Tom:
                Have you ever thought to have a vitamin D assay made?

                Since I’ve made the effort to maintain my Vitamin D levels (measurement is a necessary part of maintenance), my vernal hay-fever has disappeared which is a definite relief. (It’s been gone for about 5 years). My car was covered with pine pollen again this year and I was not reacting, again this year.

                And I have not been infected by common colds at all (some of which are caused by corona viruses). I’ve had one influenza three years ago which was very mild. I wasn’t being particularly thorough then.

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                tom0mason

                Lucky
                Yes I’m volunteering for a test and trace (though my phone ain’t a smart device so no tracking there). It is a do-it-yourself at home test promoted by the UK government. I believe everyone in the UK should get it done just to ram home to the government how broke their stupid system is!
                I’m sure I will become just another statistic when I’m told I’m positive again.
                As I have limited mobility there is nobody to contact except those who live around me (in this local council run but privately owned barracks of a building) and my sister who would often visit. My sister has already been put into lockdown last week as her other half, who returned from Austria on a flight where someone on-board later tested positive. Her other half also tested positive but after 8 days he still has no symptoms! (Just another random PCR positive?)

                sophocles,
                Yes I take vitamin D at 62.5ug or 25000i.u. often more, and vitamins A, C, E and zinc if I feeling low. I originally took it on medical advice and found that it has really helped. And also try to keep my diet as varied as possible — the many foreign owned shops are good for that. ;-)

                The plants that gets me going every time are cedars, especially cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani). Thankfully there are none around here but when I work overseas I found this out the hard way! However leylandii are everywhere these days and that causes me a few problems.

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                Lucky

                tom0mason #9.2.1.1.3

                Vitamin D. 25,000 iu per day may be good for the immune system but is too much otherwise, at this level additional supplements may be needed to counter calcium precipitation. (Usual disclaimers)

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                Environment Skeptic

                I agree Lucky. Very difficult to point this out to people.
                The Vitamin D can stimulate the production of quite a lot of osteocalcin, and it needs to be carboxylated to make sure that it does not end up sticking to arteries which of course calcifies the arteries.
                Vitamin K2 helps to reverse that by helping to carboxylate the osteocalcin so it can be deposited on bone and not float around in the arteries uncarboxylated.
                (Usual discalimers.)

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                Environment Skeptic

                From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986531/
                “Deficiency of vitamin K2 has been linked with vascular calcification and osteoporosis [1]. Matrix GLa protein (MGP) is a vitamin K-dependent protein that inhibits vascular and soft tissue calcification when activated.

                “Vitamin K is also a cofactor for carboxylation of glutamate to gamma carboxyglutamic acid (GLa). GLa containing bone proteins are synthesized by osteoblasts and have been identified as osteocalcin, matrix GLa protein, and pit protein S. Carboxylated osteocalcin (OC) increases after vitamin K2 administration and there is a connection between uncarboxylated OC and the risk of clinical fractures [2]. Vitamin K2 (MK-4) supplementation is quite safe and does not induce hypercoagulation even at doses of 15 mg three times a day [3].
                (Usual Disclaimers)

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                Indeed. K2 puts the calcium in your bones instead of your arteries.

                I have taken it for years. Hard to get from food. https://www.nutritionadvance.com/foods-high-in-vitamin-k2/

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                Environment Skeptic

                From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZeiWMlrceY
                Vitamin D and Vitamin K2-7: The Critical Co-Dependent Link to Heart Health (with Kiran Krishnan)
                2,313 views
                •Jan 22, 2019

                “This time of year, a lot of people are getting diminished amounts of time in the sun. We’re not making as much vitamin D in our body naturally, so a lot of people will start taking high doses of Vitamin D.

                “Taking Vitamin D is okay, but there’s a significant danger to taking really high doses of vitamin D. Vitamin D at really high levels can be toxic. Other health issues that arise out of taking too much vitamin D, because you’re throwing the balance of something else off.

                “In this instance, the “something” that gets thrown off is Vitamin K2-7. Vitamin D works in many ways by up-regulating proteins that are actually vitamin K2 dependent.

                “Vitamin K2-7 balances the protein processes enabled by Vitamin D and helps the body to put calcium on the bone, where it needs to be, and NOT to the heart or other places in the body where it can cause plaque build-up, calcification of arteries, and so on.

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                Environment Skeptic

                I make natto Jo.
                The main think is to ferment it in thin layers no more than an inch or two or the batch will overheat locally during the fermentation process. Took a while for me to figure those things out but by far the chceapest way of getting K2. More recently i have discovered that drying it helps preserve it although it will not dry into anything crispy.
                In my 60s and do not take any other form of supplement other than some fish oil.

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                Environment Skeptic

                :) .. might as well further add Jo that natto contains that gut police fighting the bad guys for us against intestinal permeability called Bacillus Subtilis. A true probiotic (Not pre-biotic)that survives through the stomach gastric juices in its spore form. The bacillus in natto, Subtilis, is also responsible for the very first antibiotics, Bacitracin. I know you may already know this but i thought it would be worth adding on the principal that where does one stop when looking at the miraculous web of life?

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          tom0mason

          Jo,
          Official figures released by SAGE as of the 23 October 2020 show the UK’s Coronavirus R0 rate has dropped from 1.3–1.5 last week to 1.2–1.4. This is BEFORE any aggressive lockdowns in Wales and Manchester. Maybe there is some herd immunity going on!

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    Richard Ilfeld

    One has a philosophical argument beyond the capability of most when it is simultaneously true that the cost of our response to the pandemic has been higher than the cost of the pandemic, probably true, yet we could have had better results with a different response, also true. And that we can improve the future, also true, and voting for a specific person will save us, almost certainly false.

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    Lucky

    #9.2.1.2.2 tom…
    That article by Dr Mike Yeadon is very well written and convincing. Highly recommended. Referenced (thanks Peter C) on Jo’s thread ‘Where are the deaths’.

    Dr Yeardon tells us that the purpose of the test for government is- to create …. (a 4 letter word)

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