I just couldn’t do another Covid-19 update. Everyone wants to know how long Covid-19 has been in the United States and how prevalent it is, but, first two important developments.
First, how safe are your cats? As you recall, the guidelines suggest that if you are sick and how isolating, you isolate yourself from your pets. this also applies to zookeepers as 8 tigers at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for Covid-19 when their keeper was infected Here is the latest report on cats:
Cats: Two pet cats in New York have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The CDC assures the public that the cats are expected to make a complete recovery. In one household, no humans were confirmed to have COVID-19. The CDC recommends that dogs and cats also follow social distancing guidelines.
Second, there was concern that certain blood pressure medications might increase the susceptibility to adverse effects from the virus, but that has not been born out in the following study.
ARBs & ACE inhibitors: Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were not associated with COVID-19 severity or mortality in a JAMA Cardiology study. Researchers looked at 360 COVID-19 patients with hypertension who were hospitalized in Wuhan from Jan. 15 to Mar. 15. Use of ARBs or ACE inhibitors did not differ significantly between those with severe and those with nonsevere disease (33% vs. 31%) or between nonsurvivors and survivors (27% vs. 33%). The authors conclude: “These data support current guidelines and societal recommendations for treating hypertension during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Of note, a study published last week in Circulation Research showed a reduced mortality risk in hospitalized COVID-19 patients taking these drugs.)
Now to how long the virus has been in this country, there were the results of an autopsy on a patient who died in Santa Clara County who died February 6th, about three weeks before the first reported US death, that indicate that this person was the first viral death and it was not travel related.
https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Santa-Clara-county-coronavirus-February-deaths-15217371.php This indicates that the virus was circulating earlier than previously thought.
Finally, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today an unpublished study that indicated, based on results of some random samples obtained at grocery stores and big box stores that 21% of patients had antibodies to Covid-19.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/23/nyregion/coronavirus-antibodies-test-ny.html Again, we don’t know the accuracy of the tests and the results have not been reviewed or published, but it does suggest that the disease has been circulating longer that previously thought.
That degree of immunity would not be enough to cause herd immunity and decrease transmission, unfortunately.
I was in New York in early December and developed a respiratory infection upon returning (another one in January). Could I have had it? Maybe so. I will probably check antibody levels at some point when I can be assured that the test used will be reasonably sensitive and specific.