COVID Update: Thursday, June 4

Former Councilmember John Duran has been doing daily COVID updates on his Facebook page since March 2020. Many members of the community have found them helpful. They are republished here with his permission.

LA County Cases1,246,821(up from 1,246,619)
LA County Deaths24,421(up from 24,416)
LA Positivity Rate.4%(unchanged at .4%)
LA Hospitalizations216(up from 218)

120 new COVID Cases announced in LA County yesterday along with 9 additional deaths.  Positivity rate unchanged at less than half of one percent.   Hospitalizations still hover near 250.  

HIV AND COVID COLLIDE IN IMPOVERISHED NATIONS

Front page of the LA Times today.   A story about what is happening in poorer nations where HIV was not treated – and then combined with COVID.   Could spell trouble for the world unless the international organizations get on it to assist these poorer countries with meds for both HIV and COVID.

Geneticists and infectious disease specialists have uncovered a potentially dangerous COVID mutation in a woman with uncontrolled HIV virus.   Because her HIV was not treated with HIV meds, her immune system was severely impaired.   And because of that impairment, her body became an incubator for COVID variance and mutation.  

The coronavirus that lingered in her body went through 13 genetic changes and at least 19 other genetic shifts in her HIV infected body.  

The good news is that people living with HIV who are on meds with undetectable viral loads are NOT more likely to become infected with COVID.   Nor do they suffer more severe medical consequences with COVID than anyone else.  In fact, there is some indication that people living with HIV on meds develop higher levels of natural interferon which gives them a boost in defense against COVID.  

But people with HIV who are not being treated with meds become a factory for COVID variants.   And they could host some really difficult and dangerous mutants that the world would then have to face.  It is estimated that there are 8 million people worldwide who do not know they are HIV positive.   And an additional 1.7 million who do not do well on current HIV meds.   This is the recipe for public health nightmares in the future.

Here in the USA, most people with HIV are doing well on their meds and undetectable.  So they will NOT serve as hosts for deadly COVID mutations.   But this really requires the world to step up its efforts to get HIV meds into poorer countries along with COVID vaccines.   Our goal should be to eradicate the world of both HIV and COVID.   This is the eye opener data on a renewed call to focus on HIV as well as COVID.   

LOSING THE MASKS AT WORK

The ability for the vaccinated people to lose their masks at work could become the latest incentive to get vaccines in people’s arms.    It is becoming clearer that people who are fully vaccinated can safely remove their masks again.   But people who choose not to get vaccinated, should remain masked with social distancing requirement as the virus continues to be in our midst here and around the world.  

On May 13th, the US Center for Disease control and prevention issued guidelines that those who are fully vaccinated can go without masks in most places.   A few days later, the State of California announced it would align itself with the federal guidelines starting on June 15th.  

These new guidelines actually produced an uptick after May 14th in the number of people choosing to get their first vaccine dose.  70% of Californians have now received at least one dose.   We are on track to hitting the 80% mark by 4th of July if people continue to get off the fence and CHOOSE LIFE over sickness and death.  

THe President is backing perks to make COVID vaccines more appealing to the unvaccinated.  Sports tickets! Crispy Creme donuts!  Lottery drawings!  Free beer with a shot!  Free groceries!  Gift cards!  

  Only in America right?  The promise of swag or “free beer” and some of the reluctant make the time to jump into the pool of those who are protected.  You would think the assurance of staying disease free would be incentive enough?  But no.     So get your lottery chances now!  Remember that all those who are vaccinated by June 15th here in CA will automatically be enrolled in a million dollar give away!  

Sunny and 77 degrees today.  It’s “like another perfect day”.  I love LA!

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