Scientists have been puzzled as to why children are less affected by Covid-19.
Now, a controversial study may have found the answer.
According to researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London, it may be due to one factor: Many children already have antibodies to other coronaviruses.
It is fact that about one in five of the colds that children get are caused by coronaviruses. Antibodies to those viruses may also block SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers’ study was published Nov. 4 in Science. On average, only 5% of adults had these antibodies, but 43% of children did, the study said.
Many scientists not involved in the study were, in a word, intrigued.
Most thought the study was well-done. And importantly, the researchers’ theory was backed up by the solid data they presented.
Data from other researchers also supports the theory.
They have also discovered that many people do have antibodies to common colds caused by other coronaviruses. And, at least in laboratory studies, these antibodies also block the new coronavirus.
Scientists found that one antibody in particular that can prevent coronaviruses from entering cells. This antibody attaches itself to a spike that pokes out of coronaviruses.
The tip of the spike is unique to the new coronavirus. But the base is found in all coronaviruses, In lab tests, antibodies to the base of the spike prevented the new coronavirus from entering cells in order to reproduce.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if the “cure” to this coronavirus pandemic was the common cold?
The Big News
U.S. Hospitalizations at a Record
U.S. hospitalizations hit an all-time record at 61,964 yesterday. The earlier record was 59,940, on April 15. A similar peak reached 59,718 on July 23. Yesterday’s number was unlike the last two spikes. The earlier hospitalization numbers fell after a drop in infection rates. This time, cases are soaring with no end in sight. The U.S. recorded more than 130,000 new cases yesterday and more than 800,000 cases in the last week. That is around three times as many cases as Canada has had since the pandemic began.
Stay Away From Crowds Indoors
A new study collaboration between Stanford, Northwestern, Microsoft and others confirms what public health officials have been saying for months. The study used cellphone data from 10 U.S. cities. gave a thumbs down to crowded indoor spaces. Places like restaurants, bars and gyms were found to account for 80% of Covid cases during the initial spring spike in cases.
Covid and the Disabled
An analysis of insurance claims data was eye-opening. It found that people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders were three times as likely to die from Covid as others that have the virus. This should alert those that will be in charge of the early distribution of a vaccine as to one population to target.
The EU Buys Pfizer Vaccine
The EU has agreed to buy up to 300 million doses of the groundbreaking coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. Pfizer said deliveries were expected to begin by the end of the year. This is subject to the vaccine receiving regulatory approval from the European Medicines Agency. The vaccine will be produced in Germany and Belgium.
The Word of the Year
Collins English Dictionary has chosen its word for 2020: lockdown! Here’s what Collins said about the pick: “Our lexicographers chose ‘lockdown’ as Word of the Year because it is a unifying experience for billions of people across the world, who have had, collectively, to play their part in combating the spread of Covid-19.”
The Coronavirus Numbers
The United States has surpassed the level of 10 million virus cases. Here are the numbers from Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 51,595,737 Infected Worldwide
- 1,274,526 Deaths
- 10,260,282 Infected in the U.S.
- 239,695 Deaths in the U.S.
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The risk-on rotation reflation trade continues to have legs for the time being.
But I still think we could see this suffer payback before long.
Yesterday, it was still very much the driving force. The Nasdaq 100 fell almost 2% while the Russell 2000 small-cap index rallied over 1.7%. That left the S&P 500 almost flat for the session, closing a shade lower at 3,545.
Today already looks like a different story.
U.S. technology stocks were poised to rise on Wednesday. Trades driven by optimism over Pfizer-BioNTech’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine are showing signs of reversing.
Futures contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index were up about 1%.
Investors need to realize that shifts towards homeworking and online shopping are here to stay.
In the future, the pandemic’s effects will be considered as weighty as economic trends like the Great Depression or a major war. Changes that have been brought to the fore since the start of the pandemic will likely prove to be permanent.
One other factor to watch today: U.S. Treasury yields continue to rise, for now. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury is approaching the psychologically important 1% barrier.
Yours in Health & Wealth,