Coronavirus: Virological findings from patients treated in a Munich hospital

Comprehensive research data now published in Nature

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Evaluation of a 'plaque reduction neutralization test'. Using blood samples from COVID-19 patients, this test detects the antibodies which neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, i.e. stop the virus infecting cells. These tests must be performed in laboratories meeting biosafety level 3 criteria, such as Charité's Institute of Virology and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology.  Credit  Photo: Müller/Charité
Evaluation of a ‘plaque reduction neutralization test’. Using blood samples from COVID-19 patients, this test detects the antibodies which neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, i.e. stop the virus infecting cells. These tests must be performed in laboratories meeting biosafety level 3 criteria, such as Charité’s Institute of Virology and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology. Credit Photo: Müller/Charité

In early February, research teams from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, München Klinik Schwabing and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology published initial findings describing the efficient transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The researchers’ detailed report on the clinical course and treatment of Germany’s first group of COVID-19 patients has now been published in Nature*. Based on these findings, criteria may now be developed to determine the earliest point at which COVID-19 patients treated in hospitals with limited bed capacity can be safely discharged.

In late January, a group of patients in the Starnberg area near Munich became Germany’s first group of epidemiologically linked cases of COVID-19. Nine patients from this ‘Munich cluster’ subsequently received treatment at München Klinik Schwabing. “At that point time, we really knew very little about the novel coronavirus which we now refer to as SARS-CoV-2,” says one of the study’s lead authors, Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute of Virology on Campus Charité Mitte. He adds: “Our decision to study these nine cases very closely throughout the course of their illness resulted in the discovery of many important details about this new virus.”

“The patients treated at our hospital were all young to middle-aged. Their symptoms were generally mild and included flu-like symptoms like cough, fever and a loss of taste and smell,” explains the other lead author, Prof. Dr. Clemens Wendtner, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at München Klinik Schwabing, a teaching hospital of LMU Munich. “In terms of scientific significance, our study benefited from the fact that all of the cases were linked to an index case, meaning they were not simply studied based on the presence of certain symptoms. In addition to getting a good picture of how this virus behaves, this also enabled us to gain other important insights, including on viral transmission.”

All nine patients underwent daily testing using both nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) swabs and sputum samples. Testing continued throughout the course of their illness and up to 28 days after the initial onset of symptoms. The researchers also collected stool, blood and urine samples whenever possible or practical. All of the samples collected were then tested for SARS-CoV-2 by two separate laboratories working independently of each other: the Institute of Virology on Campus Charité Mitte in Berlin and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, an institution which forms part of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).

According to the researchers’ observations, all COVID-19 patients showed a high rate of viral replication and shedding in the throat during the first week of symptoms. Sputum samples also showed high levels of viral RNA (genetic information). Infectious viral particles were isolated from both pharyngeal (throat) swabs and sputum samples. “This means that the novel coronavirus does not have to travel to the lungs to replicate. It can replicate while still in the throat, which means it is very easy to transmit,” explains Prof. Drosten, who is also affiliated with the DZIF, and is a professor at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). Due to genetic similarities between the new virus and the original SARS virus, the researchers initially assumed that, just like the SARS virus, the novel coronavirus would predominantly target the lungs – thus making human-to-human transmission more difficult. “However, our research involving the Munich cluster showed that the new SARS coronavirus differs quite considerably in terms of its preferential target tissue,” says the virologist, and adds: “Naturally, this has enormous consequences for both viral transmission and spread, which is why we decided to publish our initial findings in early February.”

In most cases, viral load decreased significantly during the first week of symptoms. While viral shedding in the lungs also decreased, this decline happened later than in the throat. The researchers were no longer able to obtain infectious virus particles from day 8 after the initial onset of symptoms. However, levels of viral RNA remained high in both the throat and lungs. The researchers found that samples with fewer than 100,000 copies of viral RNA no longer contained any infectious viral particles. This allowed the researchers to draw two conclusions: “A high viral load in the throat at the very onset of symptoms suggests that individuals with COVID-19 are infectious very early on, potentially before they are even aware of being ill,” explains Colonel PD Dr. Roman Wölfel, Director of the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology and one of the study’s first authors. “At the same time, the infectiousness of COVID-19 patients appears to be linked to viral load in the throat and lungs. In hospitals with limited bed capacity and the resultant pressure to expedite patient discharge, this is an important factor when it comes to deciding the earliest point at which a patient can be safely discharged.” Based on these data, the study’s authors suggest that COVID-19 patients with less than 100,000 viral RNA copies in their sputum sample on day 10 of symptoms could be discharged into home-based isolation.

The researchers’ work also suggests that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the gastrointestinal tract. However, the researchers were unable to isolate any infectious virus from patients’ stool samples. None of the blood and urine samples tested positive for the virus. Serum samples were also tested for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Half of the patients tested had developed antibodies by day 7 following symptom onset; antibodies were detected in all patients after two weeks. The onset of antibody production coincided with a gradual decrease in viral load.

The Munich- and Berlin-based research groups plan to conduct additional research on the development of long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2, both within the first German cluster and in other patients. This type of research will also play an important role in the development of vaccines.


A joint press release by Charité, München Klinik Schwabing and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology

From EurekAlert!

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April 4, 2020 2:51 pm

The take away is that people may be infectious before they realize they’re ill.

Where I live, the majority of coronavirus infections are in medical personnel. Given the prevalence of serious outbreaks in nursing homes, I’m beginning to wonder if the most dangerous carriers aren’t the professionals looking after our old folks. It’s pretty common for people who enforce rules to be pretty slack about their own observance of those rules. Anyway, I’m not surprised that medical personnel may be responsible for sickening their charges. If you believe them it’s always the other way around. Yeah, right. They should learn to act as if they might be infectious even if they feel OK. The above story is pretty clear about that.

Reply to  commieBob
April 4, 2020 5:04 pm

It would be best to test first people that interact with public. Testing should be free and these people should be tested frequently.

Reply to  commieBob
April 4, 2020 6:42 pm

The real take away is that they studied the virus that makes people sick this year, but by no means do they know that Covid-19 is the culprit. The tests, all the different (many cobbled up) tests, have not been vetted for accuracy for this specific virus (even by the CDC). More than likely they are watching basic coronavirus (covi) levels, which includes many harmless covi viruses humans have all the time. This is why they could not find active virus although they still detected virus RNA.

It has yet to be determined that Covid-19 is anything more than a very infectious virus (infectivity and virulence tend to be reciprocal), at least based on the unverified tests that we have. As the rate of positive tests versus total tests yields a low and relatively constant percentage (5–15%), it is more likely that these tests detect covis in general, which explains why there are so many positive tests in asymptomatic people.

As a person can have more than one virus at a time, among the salad of flu season viruses, assuming Covid-19 to be the pathogen here is truly guessing in the dark. The tests reveal nothing except that you get more positive results when you test more. We have an epidemic of testing and an epidemic of fear. It’s a SCAMDEMIC!

Reply to  Charles Higley
April 4, 2020 6:54 pm

Wait, wait, I just realized that there is really no known way to detect active virus versus virus RNA, short of doing culture—what cells are they using, what conditions? Do they have a culture system that no one has ever heard of? That takes a lot of time. It is seriously doubtful that their observations of active versus RNA has any meaning.

Reply to  Charles Higley
April 6, 2020 4:16 pm

Charles Higley wrote, “More than likely they are watching basic coronavirus (covi) levels, which includes many harmless covi viruses humans have all the time…” [and] “…Do they have a culture system that no one has ever heard of?…”

I’m not expert, but, as I understand it, it’s nothing like that. Viruses aren’t “alive,” so they don’t need to be “cultured” to “reproduce” like bacteria. Instead, scientists use “recombinase polymerase amplification” (RPA) technology, which is beyond my ken, but which quickly multiplies the target molecule in the sample, so that it can be detected.

These days, microbiologists are very, very good at that sort of thing. Here’s a paper about it:

EXCERPT: “RPA has high specificity and efficiency (10⁴-fold amplification in 10 min)…”

Yes, you read that correctly. In just ten minutes they can multiply the target molecule from a patient swab by a factor of 10,000!

The tests are based on a selection of sample virus strains, which I think is typically obtained from the WHO. I understand that they’ve identified eight distinct strains, so far. (One challenge is that the more cases there are, the faster new mutations occur, presumably.)

It is my understanding that “false negatives” a a big problem, but “false positives” are rare. These tests apparently cannot detect other corona-viruses. If you get a false positive, it is probably a case of sample contamination.

Nick Hill
Reply to  Charles Higley
April 5, 2020 2:28 pm

I’m not a scientist, Mr Higley, but my enquiries have led me to a similar conclusion.
There is a saying: energy flows where attention goes.
In other words, it’s all too easy to find what you’re preconditioned to find, especially if there are strong incentives to find it.
Means, motive and opportunity, to borrow from the language of criminology.

Eamon Butler
Reply to  commieBob
April 5, 2020 4:18 am

That’s certainly the case here in Ireland. Clusters in the Nursing homes, caring for the elderly and dementia patients etc. where by the health care workers had brought the virus into the homes. Visitors have been locked out.
Hospital staff, often shared accommodation and also shared transport to work. While their message has been heard loud and clear by the general public, and all non essential workers, (we are in as close to full Lockdown as you can get) there seemed to be an assumption by the medics that they had some kind of immunity to the communication of the virus. Though, I think that has improved awareness now.

April 4, 2020 2:55 pm

Doubtless this group will now be pilloried in the press and by medical colleges for not using double blind tests, unscientifically small study numbers and generally ignored.

Reply to  Greg
April 4, 2020 3:49 pm

Maybe, but I respect info from where the “rubber meets the road.” That it differs from lab simulations and computer models is not surprising. And I admire the Teutonic thoroughness at extracting all the data possible from real-world cases, even in the heat of the moment.

mike macray
Reply to  F4F111Col
April 13, 2020 12:04 pm

Apologies for going off topic, but does your call sign refer to the F111 swing-wing USAF fighter/ bomber? The one that major John Boyd , when asked by the four-star head of TAC who he was briefing : “Major, based on your extensive research, do you have any recommendations regarding this aircraft?”. Boyd replied “General, I’d pull the wings off, install benches in the bomb bay, paint the goddamn thing yellow, and turn it into a high speed line taxi” !

Reply to  Greg
April 5, 2020 1:24 am

The study shows, that Prof. Raould in France was right the way he testet the ongoing results of the treatement in the throat and not in the lung, one of the reasons Prof. Drosten, head of Virology Departement in Berlin Charité Hospital published in one of his daily podcasts his critical view about the study. In his opinion, the tests had only to be done in the lung.
Drosten is the main consultant of German gouvernement.

M Courtney
April 4, 2020 3:29 pm

Makes sense. It’s based on observations.

Would drinking lots of fluid regularly (water) be a good idea?
Just to wash the infectious agents down to the stomach acid?

Reply to  M Courtney
April 4, 2020 3:52 pm

I wonder if zinc lozenge cold remedies would be beneficial since the virus is replicating in the throat?

Dr Deanster
Reply to  Tommyboy
April 4, 2020 4:46 pm

That’s a good question? Maybe even some zinc mouthwash, gargle several times per day.

As I’ve told the family, I have no double blind placebo controlled study to show that taking 4000 IU of vitamin D starting in October, and taking a Zinc Vitamin everyday will prevent them from catching a bug. … but, hey, it can’t hurt. I throw on top of that Oil of Oregano with Carvacrol, which is proven to have antimicrobial activities, and we haven’t had any problems. My daughter reluctantly started taking it for a sinus infection, it cleared her up, but the side effect of clearing her acne made her a believer. She now takes it religiously.

Same would apply, get you some SmartMouth mouthwash, may help tremendously. The worst it could do is give you nice smelling breath.

Reply to  Dr Deanster
April 4, 2020 6:16 pm

” The worst it could do is give you nice smelling breath.”

🙂 I’ve been gargling one of the Listerine products for a while now. Not sure if it does much more than improve my breath, but the label says it kills bad germs. Nothing about dealing with any virus, however.

Reply to  Tommyboy
April 4, 2020 5:06 pm

One of the top coronavirus researchers suggest zinc lozenges at first sign of sore throat or illness coming on.

Van Doren
Reply to  Tommyboy
April 4, 2020 7:21 pm

Take zinc with quercetine and wash it down with a cup of green tee. Green tee & quercetine are natural ionophores, that enable zinc to move into cells, where it inhibits replication of viral RNA.

mario lento
Reply to  Van Doren
April 4, 2020 11:17 pm

I do this anyway! Also, whenever I feel a cold coming on, I sip Crown Royal from a plastic 1 ounce nip, that I refill. An ounce lasts a day and I swallow… so it kills all in mouth throat and down the tube. Zn, quercetin, and D3 are always floating around in my body anyway. My covid 19 lasted a total of 5 days with fever, aches and lungs rumbling like hell.

Reply to  Van Doren
April 5, 2020 1:35 am

Zinc inhibits COVID19 RNA replication inside cells so it’s a very effective treatment.

Hydroxychloroquine is a very effective medicine against COVID19 as it is one of only few ionophores capable of transporting zinc through cellular membranes.

Red meat is an excellent source of zinc.

Reply to  Van Doren
April 5, 2020 2:09 am

It is better to suck a zinc tablet.

Reply to  ren
April 5, 2020 8:58 am

Nope, much better absorbed from whole foods. Goes for nearly everything.

mario lento
Reply to  Goldrider
April 5, 2020 1:33 pm

yes because foods are chelated… in that they are part of an amino acid and hence naturally absorbed by cells seeking that protein.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 5, 2020 12:12 pm

Just a personal note. I usually get itchy inside my nostril(s) before proceeding to a head cold. A treatment that seems to work for me is to swab the area (inside nose) with rubbing alcohol on a piece of paper towel and then take shallow breaths in, while breathing out thru mouth to keep most of the vapors inside nasal cavities and out of my lungs. The alcohol is absorbent in the wet nasal cavities and probably has an anti-viral effect. Afterwards I blow my nose to flush. Repeated as required.
It would seem also that to make N95 masks more effective, that they could be swabbed on the outside with disinfectant wipes containing alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride leaving behind the relatively safe ADBAC disinfectant when the liquid evaporates.
It’s a shame the usage of handkerchiefs has met a cultural death. I have always used mine to catch a sneeze or cough, much more effective than hand or inside of elbow. And a clean inside panel can be used to rub a facial itch or watery eye. One time a nephew, who refused to carry one, sneezed in a restaurant waiting line and filled his hand with snot, then since nothing was available, wiped it on his pants.

April 4, 2020 3:50 pm

Results of this study show transmission occurs more easily and earlier than previously thought. United States health officials changed their earlier stance and began recommending face covering using scarves and other such things while at the same time stressing reserving medical grade PPE for actual medical staff.

April 4, 2020 3:50 pm

I need the “Science for dummies” version. Anybody out there that can interpret it for me.

Reply to  senecagriggs
April 5, 2020 11:27 am

People are infectious from early on – before there are other symptoms, but those with a healthy immune system are not infectious after 8-10 days and can be discharged from hospitals to recover at home.

Although only nine people, this is a descriptive study and provides useful information for clinicians, particularly with respect to infectious particles being produced in the throat as opposed to the lungs – this is a big difference to the previous SARS virus. It probably explains the spread as quarantine measures focussed on people who showed symptoms would not be effective.

April 4, 2020 4:03 pm

Starnberg is a fairly upscale area of commuter, weekend, and summer homes/villas on and near the Starnberger See, ~15 miles SE of central Munich. I wonder what the socio-economic status and living conditions of people from this area have on the results of the study.

Reply to  Nik
April 4, 2020 5:44 pm


I had people coming to Texas from Munich on the first week of February (planned since Dec) so I watched this from almost the beginning.

The actual point of infection was at Webasto Corp in Stockdorf. Its just off the Stamberg S-bahn line, but its basically a nice SW suburb of Munich

A Female employee from the Beijing office was visiting the Webasto home office in SW Munich. (she got it from her parents who fled Wuhan and met her before she left for Munich . Everyone in the original cluster worked in the offices she visited or were relatives of the employees. Some of them went on holiday & spread the virus to other parts of Europe & the Canary islands, but nothing seems to have broke out.

I thought at the time it was weird there wasn’t any clusters at MUC airport or at her hotel or from public transport or Tourist attraction. Patient Zero said she felt ill and may have worn a mask while traveling.

Until the Italian shite show that blew up Europe, the Webasto Munich cell seemed completely under control. The Visit from Munich employees to TX went on as planned and they didn’t think the CCV was a big deal at the time.

April 4, 2020 4:06 pm

Ribosomes in humans have 79 proteins & we’ve different levels of some in terms of genetic expression. Virus that get into a cell have a protein structure contributing to it’s viral shell (capsid).

Among the capsid proteins there are some which get to work on our ribosomal proteins, like ribosomal protein “SA”. The gene regulating this for us is “RPSA” & this gene activity can be up-regulated or down-regulated, in the additional context of our individual haplo-type.

At first contact by a viral capsid protein with a ribosome”s protein our immunological reaction is to increase (up-regulate) genetic expression of RPSA. If the cell is genetically capable of sustaining this response then downstream effects of the virus will play out in that human’s favor.

However, if the virus can knock back down the person’s activated ribosomal protein response, or if the individual lacks the genetic depth to activate the ribosomal protein, then the viral course continues. This is related to the way subsequent paths are either initiated or stopped in their tracks.

What becomes relevant is if the virus has an opening to get things to the point where it can instigate what gives the virus it”s free reign & is called mitogen activated protein kinase (“MAPK”). Which means the virus has to overcome a boost in ribosomal protein that is how virally infected cells otherwise hold down MAPK.

Viral infection that gets, one way or another, the gene RPSA to tamp back down it’s expression will gain the advantage of elevated MAPK . The signaling cascade then favors viral replication, pro-inflammatory cytokines & respiratory infectivity.

Wuhan virus has some differences with it’s earlier SARS virus relative. Among these are viral capsid protein amino acid substitutions.

Original Post points out the paucity of infection symptoms (cytokine effects) in early stages & after 8 days there is negligible viral shedding of replicants. The Wuhan virus capsid amino acid formatted protein(s?) seems to require a time interval before it can interact with some key ribosomal protein(s?) enough to overcome most people’s early responder gene RPSA trying to surge & control viral progress (by engaging MAPK).

See (2018) “Role of MAPK/MNK1 signaling in virus replication”; free full text available on-line.

Reply to  gringojay
April 4, 2020 5:56 pm

Wuhan virus reportedly infects diabetics relatively readily. In Type 1 diabetics there is reduced genetic expression of ribosomal protein “SA” (RPSA); although I am unsure if this limited genetic expression of RPSA holds true for Type 2 diabetics.

China has at least 3 recognized genetic RSPA nucleotide polymorphisms, each of which have 2 geno-type alleles. There is rs2133579 as AA/GA or as GG, and also rs2269349 as TT/CT or CC, plus rs7641291 as AA or GA/GG. Which leads me to wonder whether any of these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) are relevant to Chinese patient outcomes.

Humans also have a spectrum of just over 60 pseudo-genes related to the RPSA family. Pseudo-genes arise throughout our history when messenger RNA is brought into the genome & there has been reverse gene transcription.

There is a full length RPSA gene & can be several of those familial pseudo-genes in a person. I posit that the non-symptomatic, mildly ill & gravely ill are not so much distinguished from each other by their existing immune health as by their constellation of ribosomal distinctions. (Last month I elaborated in regard to Wuhan Flu how excessive cellular ribosomes result in their processing of messenger RNA that otherwise is infrequently put into active form.)

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  gringojay
April 5, 2020 11:24 pm

Do you have any evidence that coronavirus cannot infect absolutely EVERYONE relatively readily?

Diabetics are simply more likely statistically to develop more severe symptoms than healthy age-matched controls, simply because of comorbidity issues.

Gary Pearse
April 4, 2020 4:29 pm

I believe I may have prevented development of many regular flu/cold bouts in myself by snuffling mildly salted water up my nose and spitting it out my mouth at the first signs of irritation in the throat. Cup of warm water with ~ 1/4tsp of salt. Pour a puddle in the palm of the hand draw sharply up the nose. Repeat until the cup is empty. Keep some paper towel handy for blowing your nose. It also irrigates the sinuses evidenced by an occasional out flow in the nose up to an hour or so thereafter.

They have salty nasal sprays in the pharmacy but you don’t get the whole cycle including the amount that trickles down the throat with my method. The idea comes from the observation that North Atlantic fisherman tend to suffer much less from these illnesses than their families do. Covid 19, I dunno, but I do this anyway whenever I have been out.

Al Sommer
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 4, 2020 6:17 pm

I have been doing this very thing for years – 3 years of which I cared for elderly in care center – got very ‘little’ infections of any kind even though exposed to many infectious situations. One of the key things I did at the care center -which I do as needed even now – when someone would cough in my face or expose me in some way to ‘care center’ disease – IS I WOULD IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE BREAK ROOM AFTER AN EXPOSURE – and do as you explained – I used a combination of salt and baking soda. The sinuses need a ph above 7. I will note: do not do this with regular water – this causes an uncomfortable feeling in the sinuses. Some people react with ‘revulsion’ to sucking salty/baking soda water up your nose – but It really is not that uncomfortable – I highly recommend you try it. My dentist told me I need to do something about my swollen sinuses (I have had sinus problems all my life) – that is when I started this procedure. I had used a presureized nasal bulb – that was not good – it caused ear irriation, I believe the pressured solution go out to the ear canal (maybe inner ear??). There are also devices where you pour in one nostril – the solution comes out the other , I rally don’t believe that would be nearly effective as the procedure you explained – which is what I do.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Al Sommer
April 5, 2020 4:44 am

The Eustachian tubes go to the middle ear, not the inner.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 4, 2020 7:27 pm

A person needs to be careful with nasal irrigation. I understand there is an amoeba you can get from water that does very bad things.

I believe this is mainly a problem with outdoor water sports. Getting it from nasal irrigation is rare, but one should probably use sterile water or saline for this?

mario lento
Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
April 4, 2020 11:32 pm

I use a product from Neilmed. neilmed sinus rinse. I use RO bottled water, and one packet which has the right amount for the squeeze bottle. I also microwave it for 20 seconds to a temperature which is about body temp. It is not at all irritating. I hold my head back to let the solution soak into all pockets in sinus cavity. I gently blow my nose without blocking either nostril to prevent forcing water through my eyes or ear drums which could cause infection and discomfort!!! Works when I get any sort of congestion. I use a nasal spray to open up sinuses first.

Michael in Dublin
April 4, 2020 5:01 pm

Why do the American experts advising President Trump not know about this research and also from much other data? Why do the media not do their homework and drill them with sensible researched questions rather than gotcha questions?

Patrick Hrushowy
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 4, 2020 5:12 pm

Trump derangement syndrome?

Javert Chip
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
April 4, 2020 5:37 pm

re: Your question about the media’s softball – answer is:

The media could care less about Wuhan flu patients living or dying (unless, of course, it’s a member of the media or a direct family member). The media exists to produce data that hypocritical, unethical, and craven Democrats can use to investigate Trump.

The mere thought of Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler or Nancy Pelosi attempting to conduct anything more complicated than a bowel movement is enraging.

April 4, 2020 5:05 pm

Meanwhile, those on the front line getting no hazard pay or pay check protection. Or masks for that matter. Time for Commie Bob to step up and and get a job?

Tom in Florida
April 4, 2020 5:35 pm

It seemed odd to a friend that I was using an antiseptic mouth wash to gargle with whenever I came home from being anywhere public. I did it as a “can’t hurt, may help” precaution and it only takes a minute or two. With the above information, perhaps it is a good course of action because indeed it can’t hurt and may help.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 5, 2020 1:28 am

I just drink vodka for a week.

Marty Skapik
April 4, 2020 6:36 pm

I am a business owner in Clearwater Florida. Our county has a population of 1 million residents. In early January to the end of the month we had approximately 30-40 per cent of our employees complain with unexplained and unprecedented upper respiratory and pro -prolonged flu like symptoms. Since the beginning of the March we have had zero illnesses. We test every employee twice a day along with every single customer for elevated temperatures entering our establishment. I have casually statistically monitored and have found a consistent infection rate for each state and upon my analysis as a casual observer combined with my overwhelming empirical evidence I have determined that this infection has been in our population weeks before predictions. The states with higher density and exposure to international travel has created a stress on the health care system that normally would not be utilized to it’s extent. Has anyone been able to obtain the mortality rate in any state to be able to compare March 2019 versus 2020 ?
I would be willing to bet that any other state other than New York due to social distancing and reduced travel that death rates have been reduced.

Reply to  Marty Skapik
April 5, 2020 4:03 am

Same in the UK, except only anecdotal evidence. This occurred from Christmas onwards. I had this from Christmas eve and it took a month plus to clear. I had a colleague who was hospitalised with severe symptoms about the same time. I have since had what seems to be a different strain, it went through all 4 of us here and it is very persistent, although seems not to be serious for any of us. One wonders if the early version was attenuated to act as a preventative measure in the UK/US.

Reply to  Marty Skapik
April 5, 2020 9:24 am

Agree. One of the data points that is hard to get is the underlying disease conditions. A 86 year old who is dying of metastatic, terminal cancer tests positive for SARS CoV2 and the death is labeled as as COVId 19 death in the US. (Climate change data anyone??)

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Marty Skapik
April 5, 2020 10:37 am


At the end of February, the CDC estimated that 26 million people in the US had contracted seasonal flues. Clustering in communities is common.

Michael D Smith
April 4, 2020 9:43 pm
April 4, 2020 9:58 pm

Please can you share the paper title? I would like to read it.

Reply to  Stevec
April 5, 2020 3:49 am

It’s linked as last line at the articel:

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 5, 2020 3:59 am

I missed it because it said Eureka, but it’s just a link to the press release which is pasted into this article. I can’t see a reference in the press release either.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 5, 2020 5:25 am

Thanks Krishna! I tried google scholar but couldn’t find it. Appreciate it.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 5, 2020 2:05 am

German grundlichkeit against Anglo-Sakson grandstanding. The UK clueless ‘experts’ still do not consider loss of taste and smell as a symptom.

Steven Fraser
April 5, 2020 4:48 am

Surprised that references to Australian Studies about topically-applied Ivermectin efficacy have not appeared here.

NBC Red Radio Network Correspondent
April 5, 2020 11:37 am

Gee whiz! Useful information! Sure beats media reports by newsreaders who’s main qualification is their ability to spontaneously set their hair on fire.

Mike Dubrasich
April 5, 2020 1:22 pm

The image shows a microtiter plate used to detect antibodies — i.e. an ELISA test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).

For decades (since ~1980) the ELISA test for measles antibodies has been S.O.P. for nursing home workers. If you don’t have the antibodies, you can’t work there. (Google “ELISA measles” if you don’t believe me).

The image caption purports to show an ELISA test for novel corona virus (ChiCom19 or whatever you want to call it). That is totally possible because an ELISA test for WuFlu has been developed and reported and copied worldwide and is already in partial use.

Partial in that the Covid19 ELISA test has not been mass produced — yet. We should all be pressing the CDC, FDA, Trump, the Private Sector, and Congross to get this test out there NOW!


1. To identify the Immunes; those who have contracted the virus (whether they know it or not) and developed antibodies.

2. To ensure that the most at risk people have Immunes caring for them, at nursing homes, hospitals, etc.

3. To end the house arrest of the Immunes so they can move about freely and maybe even go to work.

4. To promote blood donations by Immunes for hyperimmune globulin concentrates, i.e plasma therapy for severely compromised Covid19 patients.

5. To calculate the mystery DENOMINATOR and solve the death rate and herd immunity conundrums. Note that not everybody needs to be tested for this. It’s like a political opinion poll in that only a few random folks in a population need to be sampled to extrapolate a statistical percentage of Immunes with reasonable uncertainty.

I can’t emphasize this enough!!!!!! Covid19 ELISA!!!!!!! Do it do it do it do it…

April 5, 2020 2:13 pm

I’m an essential worker, I get a health screening every time before I work. I think they should ask if someone has lost their taste and smell. The questions I was asked were, have you been in Florida the past 10 days or NY, have you been coughing and sneezing. Covid19 affects people in different ways which is why it has a diverse profile. I do believe many have had the disease but didn’t know it and then developed an immunity. We need to test people who have immunity and let them go back to work.

April 5, 2020 3:59 pm

The paper says that 100,000 RNAs per ml is the cut off.
The source: .

A few days ago I read that our tests detect positives at ~7,000/ml. That means that we have a lot of false positives, if my memory is correct.

The same article said that Russia used tests with cut off 100,000/ml, and was developing more sensitive tests only to check these ones.

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