Thank you to everyone for your patience yesterday! We were entirely focused on the election events happening to the South and were not able to complete a post for November 3rd.
Cellular Immunity for 6 Months
The UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium has announced results from a recent study they were involved with, showing that T-cell responses were present in all 100 individuals who were tested initially after SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as six months after. The study also showed that symptomatic people had a 50% greater T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 than those who had been asymptomatic. It is not known what effect this might have on immunity (if any) but is worth keeping an eye on in future studies.
This is very welcome information and goes hand-in-hand with other studies on COVID-19 antibodies which also showed a strong response at the 6-month time frame. Hopefully, follow-up studies will be released in the coming months to let us know what immunity can be expected at 9 and 12-month points.
Canada Updates Transmission Guidelines
Earlier today the Public Health Agency of Canada made an adjustment to their guidelines concerning COVID-19 transmission. The new guidelines make specific reference to COVID-19 spreading through respiratory droplets as well as aerosols (much smaller droplets that stay airborne significantly longer). This change is backed by scientific studies and findings, and echos changes made in other parts of the world as well. Here are some choice excerpts from the new guidelines:
“Reports of outbreaks in settings with poor ventilation suggest that infectious aerosols were suspended in the air and that people inhaled the virus. These settings have included a choir practice, fitness classes, and restaurants. Transmission in these settings may have been facilitated by certain environmental conditions, such as re-circulated air.”
“Maximize ventilation by ensuring that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are in good working order. Drawing as much fresh air as possible from outside will decrease the concentration of aerosols that may be suspended in the air, and reduce the chances of SARS-CoV-2 spread if those aerosols happen to contain the virus. If the weather permits, open a window. Reduce the noise level in public spaces, for example, turn off the music, so people can speak as quietly as possible.”
People in the Fraser Health Authority area should take these guidelines especially to heart at this time, and continue to follow the advice of experts regarding not socializing outside of your household and immediate family for the time being.
New Mask Guidelines in Canada
The transmission guidelines weren’t the only changes coming from the Public Health Agency of Canada! We have also been told that non-medical masks should now be made of at least 3 layers, and one of those layers should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric. It is likely no coincidence that this new guidance comes at the same time as the update about aerosol spread. If it was only larger respiratory droplets spreading COVID-19 there wouldn’t be as much concern about the number of layers and the fabric choices for the non-medical masks being used. For the complete Canadian guideline on masks, please see here.
That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!